Evidence to Practice
Scaling Up Postsecondary Student Success Strategies
College completion rates are low—nearly 40 percent of students do not earn a degree within six years of enrolling in college. Community college students face the highest hurdles—about 60 percent are without a degree six years after matriculating. Research has identified strategies that institutions can use to improve student success and degree attainment, particularly among students from families with low incomes and others who have been underserved by current higher education policies and practices. Programs that show significant results must be implemented widely—and with fidelity to the proven practice—to change student outcomes meaningfully. This brief summarizes Minnesota’s experience with three areas of reform: using multiple measures for course placement, improving communications and policies about satisfactory academic progress, and offering comprehensive student support programs.