JANUARY 15, 2020
Dear Colleagues,

The new year brings fresh starts to enact aspirational change. Yet all too often desired intentions fail because our planning typically adds on, and doesn’t consider either what we need to remove or how we reallocate existing work to realize our aspirations.

As you take new actions this semester for the betterment of the members of your community, please remember to also think about what will need to be removed or reallocated. You deserve to be successful.

We at Strong Start to Finish wish you all a meaningful, balanced and extremely impactful start to 2020.

Christopher M. Mullin, Ph.D.
Director, Strong Start to Finish
Throughout November, Strong Start to Finish engaged its Scaling Sites as we introduced a new funding opportunity to supported targeted work in their respective areas.  So what, exactly, are they looking to accomplish? The goals are clear:
  • At the end of this project the system will have developed and scaled a Statistics Pathway for students.
  • At the end of this project all public institutions will meet the SSTF goal of 75% of underprepared students receiving co-requisite support.
  • At the end of this project the system will have significantly reduced the number of developmental courses being offered and the number of students enrolled in developmental courses.
  • At the end of this project the system will have greatly improved data on gateway math and English courses and the student supports being offered in conjunction with those courses.
  • At the end of this project the system will have recommendations for implementation of new multiple measures placement guidelines at both the system and institutional level.
While grants have yet to be made as the review process for these Scaling Site Supplemental Grants continues, we remain inspired and motivated by both the thoughtfulness of their work and the sense of urgency they have to ensure that yet another cohort of students does not perpetuate historic inequities.

Moreover, we look forward to receiving the applications from new systems as part of our Seeding Site Grant Program application.  Applications are due January 21, 2020.
Recent Strong Start to Finish publications include new pieces of evidence shared as Points of Interest;
  • Improving Student Odds (December 4, 2019). This Points of Interest shows the increased likelihood of students completing gateway math and English courses with co-requisite remediation.
  • Subsequent Course Success (December 11, 2019). This Points of Interest shows the increased likelihood of students enrolling in and passing subsequent college-level math courses following completion of co-requisite remediation.
  • Use of Multiple Measures Placement (December 18, 2019). This Points of Interest shows that more than half of community colleges now use multiple measures to assess students’ college readiness in math.
Additional resources are available for free from our Resource Library.

Last month Strong Start to Finish team traveled to Phoenix, AZ en mass to advance our collective work with colleagues at the Complete College America annual convening.  In collaboration with our Engage work, the team along with representatives from our Scaling Sites (CUNY) and SSTF Core Partners (ATD), presented to approximately 30 attendees about the successes of SSTF’s scaling work and how the assets of the Network can be leveraged to exemplify those milestones and mitigate barriers to progress.

One element of continuing to build the human and expertise capital of the Network is identifying, engaging and expanding our partners to include a number of Research & Service Partners that are committed to helping institutions and systems advance developmental education reforms.  To date, 13 additional Partners have been confirmed and have already begun engagement within Network events and collaboration. A complete list will be released in the spring.


Connect with Strong Start to Finish in-person at these upcoming events:
  • February 18-21: Achieving the Dream’s DREAM conference in National Harbor, MD
  • March 2-4: SSTF Learning Network Convening in Miami, FL
  • March 28-30: American Association of Community Colleges annual convention in National Harbor, MD
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