Student Self-Placement as an Equity Strategy

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Colleges increasingly recognize that a single assessment is poorly predictive of student success, inhibits student progression while increasing costs and disproportionately negatively impacts Black, Brown, low-income and first-generation students. Phase Two Advisory outlines methods and strategies that colleges are using to design self-placement approaches with equity at the center.

Advancing Methods to Measure Student Outcomes

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Within-group comparisons support the achievement of student groups who are marginalized by identifying ways to measure advancements and identify institutional barriers. Learn how combining between- and within-group comparisons can support addressing inequities in this blog by SStF Director Maxine Roberts.

All California Community Colleges Can Meet the Requirements of AB 705. Here’s How.

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A central goal of California’s AB 705, passed in 2017, was to ensure that all students complete transfer-level English and math classes within a year, without first taking remedial courses. It can be challenging for colleges to wade through uncharted waters and make the systemic changes needed to meet the law’s requirements. But proven solutions and resources are available to help institutions rise to the challenge.

Reforming Developmental Education Reforms

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Understanding and affirming the experiences and aspirations of racially minoritized students is a powerful way to support their academic confidence and success, especially during the first year of college. Read the latest blog post from our director, Dr. Maxine Roberts, for the Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness, to learn effective validation practices that can be used in the classroom and how to scale them in the system.

Meet Maxine Roberts, SStF Director

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After a national search, we’re excited to introduce our new Strong Start to Finish director, Dr. Maxine Roberts. Vice president Brian Sponsler sat down (virtually) with Maxine at our recent Learning Network Convening to discuss her ideas about the work ahead. 

Hope for the Coming Year


In this moment, as we mark the beginning of 2021, many of us are excited that advances in public health policy and vaccinations finally offer a path to take grasp of the COVID-19 pandemic. And that new federal administration and states’ leadership, including SStF systems leaders, legislators and governors, will offer opportunities to advance policy and benefit students at all levels – especially for those pursuing higher education.

SStF: How Course Pathway Maps Increase Student Success

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As developmental education reforms gain momentum across the country, course pathway maps help policymakers improve the student experience by identifying roadblocks to math and English course completion and, ultimately, a college degree. Course pathway maps create a visual guide, connecting the dots between every class in a sequence ending with the first college-level math or English course applicable to a degree.

12 States Accelerate Developmental Education Reforms During the Pandemic

Ed Note

Amid unprecedented challenges to nearly every aspect of higher education, it’s been difficult to continue commitments to institutional and systemic change made before the pandemic. However, Strong Start to Finish (SStF) continues to push through these difficult times to advance developmental education and support the 4.8 million students that this work now impacts.