Strong Start To Finish

There is a persistent trend among students placed in developmental courses – particularly math and English.

They are not completing the courses and, in most cases, should not be taking them in the first place.   

You can be part of creating a fundamental shift for these students.  

Strong Start to Finish (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, not just the select few, find success in postsecondary education

We're leading the charge to
improve college outcomes
for all students.

We engage a network of like-minded individuals.

Undertaking the following key initiatives:

Provide ongoing “concierge services” to systems.

SSTF staff leverages technical assistance providers, co-authors of the Core Principles document, solution network partners, site-based leaders and other experts to support systems in roles including but not limited to speakers, confidants, or service providers.

Form site cohorts through cross-site engagements.

SSTF staff coordinates with site leaders to identify and promote opportunities such as site-specific events, conferences, and other convenings to encourage cross-site learning, as well as facilitates monthly webinars to elevate key learnings and engage in cross-site discussion.

Learn with the sites.

SSTF staff conducts a review of semi-annual reports on site workplan activities to ensure compliance with grant agreement(s) and annual reports of network participation grant sites. SSTF staff engages sites in conversations about their workplan items to extract learning underway and disseminate key observations. Additionally, SSTF staff is in regular communication with sites and conducts site visits on an annual basis to understand “ground-level” implementation of workplan items.

We deepen our insights through collective knowledge.

Undertaking the following key initiatives:

Co-constructing a learning agenda with Scaling Sites, technical assistance partners and other stakeholders.

The curation, creation and dissemination of knowledge from workgroups elucidate exemplary practices and identify effective actions to address ongoing challenges. SSTF staff leverages the knowledge of experts to address each strand of the learning agenda.

Develop actionable, evidence-based knowledge artifacts.

SSTF staff publishes original material informed by the learning agenda, reports, partnerships and knowledge from the field. We partner with other organizations to publish information of value.  

Leverage the collective and emerging knowledge from the field.

SSTF staff leverages the knowledge of experts to support the learning agenda.  

Resource types include:

Learning from the Reform papers address pressing questions provided on the SSTF learning agenda or questions that emerge from the field.

People in the Reform papers put a face and voice to the specific reform efforts to lift-up individuals who are involved in reforms through interviews. 

Podcasts from Strong Start to Finish provide 'how-to' instructions for practitioners in the field as they implement reforms. 

Points of Interest support the case for change by extracting a key takeaway from a research study of policy brief and summarizing the work in a one-page document.

Steps to Success papers provide “how-to” documents to practitioners in the field as they work to implement reforms. 

Strategic Investment Impacts papers provide a step-by-step guide, with accompanying worksheets, to calculate financial measures, offer a set of questions to lead a dialogue with senior staff and suggests ways to communicate the information with internal and external stakeholders.

We grow our efforts together for success at scale.

Undertaking the following key initiatives:

Develop a highly collaborative network.

The Solutions Network depends on the cooperation and support of nationally recognized education organizations and university-based institutes. The network utilizes 2015’s Core Principles for Transforming Remediation within a Comprehensive Student Success Strategy as its principle document to frame the mission of the network, as well as the resources and services to be provided.

Support asset development, refinement and innovation.

The Solutions Network provides resources and convenings to revisit and/or co-create tools that have a direct impact on scaling best practices around developmental education. Network activities focused on asset development include a revision of the Core Principles for Transforming Remediation, developing new informational pieces that align with the Institutional Transformation Assessment (ITA) and examine opportunities to package services to maximize network provider capacity.

Serve as a responsive concierge to network intermediary partners.

The Solutions Network currently works with Gates Foundation Frontier Set institutions and select Jobs for the Future Success Centers to cohort like institutions and their needs as identified through the ITA. In turn, the network will respond by packaging relevant services from network partners. The network will track both requests and provided services and resources to better understand developmental education demand and capacity.

For Questions or Additional Information, Please Contact:

Engaging Systems Contact

Emily Warren
Senior Project Manager

Office: 303-299-3642

Deepening Knowledge Contact

Brian A. Sponsler
Interim Director, SSTF & Vice President, ECS

Office: (303) 299-3615

Growing Network Contact

Molly Sarubbi, Ph.D
Senior Project Manager

Office: 303-299-3606