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Complete College America  

Complete College America (CCA) is the most comprehensive and ambitious higher education initiative ever undertaken by the state of Oklahoma. The goal is to increase the number of degrees and certificates earned in Oklahoma by 67% by 2023 to meet our state's workforce needs and keep Oklahoma competitive in a global economy.

Oklahoma's five-point plan to increase degree and certificate completion has led CCA to name Oklahoma a national model for degree completion. Our state plan focuses on promoting college readiness, transforming remediation, strengthening pathways to certificates and degrees, expanding adult degree completion efforts, and rewarding performance and completion.

Graduation rates at every tier in Oklahoma higher education have risen significantly in the 10 years since joining CCA, driving the state’s economy by providing a more educated workforce. Despite budget cuts to public higher education exceeding 26% since inception of our state’s CCA initiative, Oklahoma’s public and private colleges and universities and career technology centers have increased degree and certificate completion by more than 98% of the target benchmark to date. Within that growth is an exceptional increase in high-paying, high-demand STEM and health professions degrees. STEM degrees have increased by more than 54% in just the last nine years, and health care-related fields rank as the top degree-producing area at the associate degree level and among the top three at all degree levels.

Additionally, since joining the CCA initiative, the State Regents and our public colleges and universities have collaborated to implement various strategies to transform developmental education through changes to system-level policies and institutional practices. Aligning standards with the State Department of Education, working with campuses to develop innovative corequisite course models, and an innovative math pathways approach, among other efforts, have resulted in a decrease in the direct-from-high school remediation rate from 40.1% to 34.6% since 2014.

Oklahoma has also made a concentrated effort to reengage adult students. The State Regents’ Reach Higher adult degree completion programs provide welcoming environments with specialized advising and support systems for adult students to return and complete degrees in high-demand fields. To date, more than 10,000 students have completed a degree in the Reach Higher program. Grant funding has enabled expansion of specialized supports for Oklahoma adult learners and development of a prior learning assessment website, ShowWhatYouKnowOK.org, which empowers adults to earn college credit for knowledge gained through work and life experiences, non-degree-granting institutions, military training, or other learning environments.

At the national level, five foundations are providing multiyear support to Complete College America: the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Lumina Foundation for Education.

Complete College America – State and National Data (external link)