Strong Start To Finish

Ohio Department of Higher Education

Through a competitive grant application process, the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) was selected to serve as one of Strong Start to Finish's scaling sites that serve as exemplars for scaling evidence-based practices.

Led by a coalition from the ODHE, Ohio Association of Community Colleges and Inter-University Council, and engaging 30 public two-year and four-year institutions, Ohio-SSTF aims to get students on successful pathways to college completion while also addressing attainment gaps for historically underserved populations.

Hear From the Scaling Sites

Priority Action Areas

Ohio-SSTF is focused on four priority action areas:

  • Ensuring that clearly structured programs of study exist for all majors.
  • Aligning redesigned gateways mathematics and English courses to all programs of study.
  • Implementing co-requisite remediation at scale in mathematics and English.
  • Building advising structures to ensure all students register for coursework in sequences to meet the goal.

Strategies at Scale

Through the support and professional networks of Strong Start to Finish, Ohio-SSTF will scale the following reforms:

  • Issue campus grants that build capacity; these grants may be for faculty/staff release time, technical assistance or coaching to address institution-specific policy and implementation barriers to scaling reforms. 
  • Host statewide implementation forums to identify best practices and levers for statewide policy improvement on a) placement, b) advising, c) co-requisite models, d) data and e) closing equity gaps. 
  • Review the community college performance funding formula to ensure all measures promote early completion of gateway mathematics and English.
  • Offer ongoing change management support to campus leaders as they implement institution-level change.
  • Integrate the four Ohio-SSTF priority action areas into existing legislatively-mandated campus completion plans.
  • Develop a data standard in Higher Education Information System (HEI) for gateway course completion.
  • Align gateway courses with programs of study and bring math co-requisites to scale for all Ohio-SSTF campuses.
  • Establish the Ohio English Initiative to frame common approaches for successful outcomes in English courses.

Project Leadership and Campus Involvement

Ohio-SSTF is administered by a governing council, including two members from the Ohio Department of Higher Education, Ohio Association of Community Colleges, and Inter-University Council and supported by an advisory council representing 16 campus leaders. Ohio-SSTF is managed by the ODHE Office of Academic Affairs

Eighteen community colleges and 12 universities volunteered to engage in Ohio-SSTF. These institutions collectively serve more than 62,000 first-year students annually:

  • Belmont College
  • Bowling Green State University
  • Central Ohio Technical College
  • Central State University
  • Cincinnati State
  • Clark State Community College
  • Cleveland State University
  • Columbus State Community College
  • Edison State Community College
  • Lorain County Community College
  • Hocking College
  • Kent State University
  • Marion Technical College
  • Miami University
  • North Central State College
  • Ohio State University
  • Ohio University
  • Owens State Community College
  • Rhode State College
  • Rio Grande Community College
  • Shawnee State University
  • Sinclair Community College
  • Southern State Community College
  • Stark State College
  • Terra State Community College
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Toledo
  • Washington State Community College
  • Wright State University
  • Youngstown State University