Strong Start To Finish

Ohio Department of Higher Education

In 2017 the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) was selected as one of Strong Start to Finish’s six scaling sites.

Led by a coalition from the ODHE, Association of Community Colleges and Inter-University Council, Ohio’s 30 public two-year and four-year institutions ensured that students entered  into successful pathways to college completion, redesigned gateway math and English program and implemented corequisites while also addressing attainment gaps for historically underserved populations.

Ongoing supplemental funding, which began in 2020 through Strong Start to Finish, continues the focus on supporting a productive faculty mindset and the implementation of culturally responsive pedagogy.

Hear From the Scaling Sites

Priority Action Areas

Ohio-SSTF through its initial grant 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 corequisite remediation at scale in mathematics and English.
  • Building advising structures to ensure all students register for coursework in sequences to meet the goal.

Ohio-SSTF through its supplemental grant is focused on two priority action areas:

  • Create a productive faculty mindset.
  • Facilitate the implementation of culturally responsive pedagogy.

Strategies at Scale

Through the support and professional networks of Strong Start to Finish, Ohio-SSTF through its original grant 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) corequisite 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 corequisites to scale for all Ohio-SSTF campuses.
  • Establish the Ohio English Initiative to frame common approaches for successful outcomes in English courses.

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

  • Implement practices that align to the principles of inclusive and equitable instruction, including culturally responsive pedagogy.
  • Support faculty to implement strategies that are shown to improve student engagement, motivation, and learning.
  • Demonstrate success in closing racial and income equity gaps.

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