About the Network


Taking Collective Action for Student Success

Strong Start to Finish is a network of higher education system leaders, policy and research partners, education innovators, foundations and institution leaders committed to developmental education reform. We’re taking collective action to ensure students get the support they need to pass credit-bearing courses in English and math in their first year of college.

We support the scaling and implementation of proven developmental education reforms, oversee efforts across state higher education systems, develop and share innovative research, and facilitate quality technical assistance to members of the network and beyond. By connecting partners from across our network, we learn from each other’s accomplishments and challenges to accelerate reform efforts.

Education Commission of the States is the host of the Strong Start to Finish network.


We provide customized services to systems, intermediaries and institutions to help them accelerate transformation through a set of informed and evidence-based topics.

Learn about services


Our network gathers each year to share insights and strategies for developmental education reform. Watch videos and download resources from our 2021 Convening to help you and your colleagues ensure every college student gets a strong start to finish.

Learn about convenings

SStF has created a collaborative space that brings higher education institutions together to share and learn. Thank you for helping provide me with the knowledge and resources to best support our students in these difficult and challenging times.

– Scott Putorti, Coordinator of Testing and Assessment, Westchester Community College

State Higher Education Systems

We support higher education systems by providing technical assistance, elevating cross-site learnings and collaborations and assisting with the development and implementation of customized work plans.


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California Community Colleges
Colorado Department of Higher Education
Louisiana Board of Regents
Michigan Center for Student Success
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
Nevada System of Higher Education
Ohio Department of Higher Education
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education

Strong Start Arkansas
Strong Start Oregon
Tennessee Board of Regents
The City University of New York
The State University of New York
University System of Georgia

Learn more about the sites

Meet Our Partners

Our partners provide demonstrated expertise in developmental education and student success reforms.

Higher Endeavor

Higherendeavor Portrait

Strong Start to Finish is a member of Higher Endeavor, a network of service providers and intermediary organizations serving over 200 higher education institutions. As one of three Solution Network Intermediaries, Strong Start to Finish matches service providers in our network to institutions interested in implementing equitable developmental education reform approaches.

Our Funders

Initial funds have been provided by Ascendium Education Group, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Kresge Foundation. As we work together to support developmental education reform, we encourage additional investments.

Contact us to learn how you can support Strong Start to Finish. 

Ascendium Logo

Kresge Foundation logo