March, 2011Complete College America today launched the Completion Innovation Challenge, a new $10 million competitive grant program for states designed to inspire and enhance efforts to significantly boost college completion and close attainment gaps. A national organization whose sole mission is to work with states to increase the number of Americans with college degrees or certificates of workplace value, Complete College America has established the grant program with funding support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Beginning today, Complete College America is inviting Governors from all 50 states to take up the Completion Innovation Challenge by submitting proposals to win one of ten $1 million, 18-month implementation grants. Grants will be awarded to states that produce the best plans to develop and deploy innovative, state-wide strategies to substantially increase college completion.
In America, only about half of those who pursue a 4-year degree full-time finish it – after six years. Worse yet, barely better than two in ten pursuing an associate degree full-time make it to graduation day in three years. Part-time students fare even worse.
"Simply doing more of the same will not achieve the gains necessary to significantly raise student achievement and ensure America's competitiveness," said Stan Jones, president of Complete College America. Instead, the organization aims to leverage the grants to stimulate states to innovate and implement reforms in key policy areas it deems essential for real and lasting impact: