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Strong Start to Finish (SSTF) is a national effort focused on evidence-based reforms that help more college students succeed. SSTF is a network of like-minded individuals and organizations from the policy, research, and practice spaces who’ve come together for one reason – to help all students find success in post secondary education. Students must be set up for success in their first year at college. Developmental math and English courses can stand in the way of their path to a degree. SSTF is shifting that path so that every student can start strong, to finish strong.

Strong Start to Finish works to amplify a set of evidence-based Core Principles.

SUNY Scaling Site Overview

SUNY is one of four recipients nationally to receive a $2.1 million grant as part of the SSTF network focused on getting students onto successful pathways to college completion while addressing attainment gaps for historically-underserved populations. This funding presents a unique context for learning how systems can effectively support student success in the first year of college. In the aggregate, hundreds of thousands of students will be served.

With its award, SUNY will add to its comprehensive infrastructure to spread and scale evidence-based strategies across the system through its Student Success Center. SUNY will use the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Columbia University’s Guided Pathways model as the framework for this reform which will include specific strategies in which SUNY has already invested to holistically support students including: Math Pathways, Developmental English Co-requisite models, integrated student supports, multiple measures for placement, advising reforms, early alerts, and open educational and online resources, and additional support for technical degree pathways and P-TECHs to allow more students entering our colleges to have a strong start.

Through these reform efforts, SUNY has established the structure to fully transform developmental education, streamline educational pathways, and impact hundreds of thousands of students throughout the state. As colleges and students become increasingly diverse, SUNY is committed to working with faculty and campus leadership to ensure access and equity and help more students of color, low income students and returning adults to succeed and graduate.

SUNY Approach:

  • Technical Assistance: SUNY will support technical assistance and professional development for the participating colleges including guided pathways and developmental education state and national experts including CCRC, ATD, Carnegie Math Pathways, Dana Center, SOVA and others. Additionally, opportunities will be available for state-level strategy sharing between the participating colleges via professional development opportunities including webinars, meetings, institutes and other convenings.
  • Campus Innovation Grants: Participating colleges will receive innovation funds to complement the existing work they are doing in Guided Pathways, Math Pathways and in the Developmental/Co-req English Learning Community. This funding is intended to be a deeper dive for the college to address specific campus implementation strategies. Based on national research, a key strategy of SSTF is to help students complete their gateway math and English courses in the first year.

CUNY has also received a SSTF scaling site grant along with Ohio and Georgia.

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