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Momentum Year Summit  

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.

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.

Oklahoma institutions of higher education have implemented a variety of CCA Game Changer strategies aimed at increasing student success (15 to Finish, Math Pathways, and co-requisite support courses). Now, OSRHE is adding another element: the Momentum Year initiative. The Momentum Year is a suite of CCA strategies designed to help students in their crucial first year of college. The CCA strategies focus on ways institutions of higher education work with students to guide them on a path to achieve their educational goals, including successful degree completion and on-time graduation. The theory behind Momentum Year is to guide students to make decisions during their first year that put them on a clear path to graduation and help them avoid first-year mistakes that heighten the risk they will drop out.

On Oct. 31, 2019, OSRHE held a Momentum Year Summit at the University of Central Oklahoma Nigh University Center. Building on the experiences and successes of the CCA strategies, the summit provided institutional teams with an opportunity to reflect upon the work they have accomplished to date and identify what remains to be done in order to fully implement a Momentum Year on their campuses by fall 2020. The Momentum Year Summit provided a forum for investigating priorities, sharing highlights and presenting challenges, as well as an opportunity to educate those who may not currently be involved in CCA activities and discuss strategies for broader campus engagement in completion work. A primary goal of the summit was to develop deeper dialog for individual institutions and the state system as we continue to implement strategies that focus on college completion. The summit provided an opportunity for institutions to think more deeply about how the Momentum Year integrates across the breadth of a student's experience at their college. Participants worked through a series of engaging and creative exercises to develop personal plans for action that will inform campuswide implementation plans.

For the summit, OSRHE invited campus representatives from the state system to participate in conversations around college completion strategies and activities. In addition to presidents, we invited teams of seven to nine members from each institution that included vice presidents of academic affairs and student affairs, chief fiscal officers, faculty, and staff to develop 18-month Momentum Year implementation plans. To assist in the development of these plans, national experts on aspects of the Momentum Year were available during the summit to meet with institutions and provide insight.