Governor McAuliffe announces Complete College America partnership

graduation-ratesGovernor Terry McAuliffe announced a strategic partnership with Complete College America, a national nonprofit, to increase on-time graduation rates, close attainment gaps and provide support for historically underrepresented students.

“This partnership will allow us to address the critical gaps in higher education that can stifle ambition and keep students from achieving their full potential,” Governor McAuliffe said. “We must do our part to make sure that we are providing our young people with the resources they need to stay in school, earn in-demand skills and become successful members of the new Virginia economy.”

Complete College America works with states to help high-need students earn career certificates or college degrees and to graduate on time. Currently, the organization partners with 33 states and the District of Columbia.

This agreement with CCA also overlaps with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia’s (SCHEV) strategic plan, which seeks to increase graduation rates across the Commonwealth.

“Increasing equity and opportunity in the college and university setting is essential to student success,” said Secretary Education Anne Holton. “Overall, we have very strong completion rates at our four-year institutions, but it is our goal to vigorously address the attainment gaps that continue to persist.”

This agreement will benefit all of Virginia’s colleges and universities. For example, Norfolk State University—a historically black public university in Virginia—has goals which align with Complete College America key priorities.

“As a University whose mission is to provide educational opportunities to a primarily underserved population, we are continually seeking new strategies for assisting students with completing their educational goals,” said Interim President and CEO Eddie N. Moore, Jr. “The partnership with Complete College America will help us continue to do just that.”

This new partnership will set the stage for Complete College America to begin working with administration, local government, education and other stakeholders to identify and address issues through a proven mix of research, advocacy, and technical assistance.

This agreement will also allow SCHEV to share statewide data with CCA so that the Commonwealth will be able to compare successes, goals and outcomes against other participating states in order to identify areas for improvement.

“The long-term economic growth of any state is tied to the educational attainment of its citizens,” said Stan Jones, president of Complete College America. “Governor McAuliffe, Secretary Holton and higher ed leaders in Virginia are taking the lead in addressing this challenge head on. We look forward to this new partnership and the great work we will do together.”

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