Core Principles


Evidence-Based Strategies Inform What We Do

Strong Start to Finish works to amplify a set of evidence-based Core Principles for Transforming Remedial Education Within a Comprehensive Student Success Strategy that guide all of our developmental education reform efforts. Informed by our partners, these principles connect higher education systems and institutions with proven tools, quality technical assistance, and financial and human capital resources to give every student the best start on the path toward their degree.

1. Identify academic direction and supports.

Every student’s postsecondary education begins with a well-designed process that empowers them to choose an academic direction and build a plan that starts with passing credit-bearing gateway courses in the first year.

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2. Enroll in college-level math and English.

Placement of every student is based on multiple measures, using evidence-based criteria, instead of through a single standardized test.

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3. Provide supports.

Campus communities transform policies and practices to ensure that every student is provided with high-value learning experiences and with the supports needed to remove barriers to success — especially students from historically underrepresented, disenfranchised and minoritized communities.

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4. Streamline remediation options.

Program-appropriate college-level math and English courses are offered to every student through evidence-based, integrated support models designed to accelerate gateway course success.

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5. Align courses with programs of study.

Every student is provided access to multiple pathways, such as statistics and data science, that integrate rigorous math appropriate to different disciplines and to the well-paying careers of today and tomorrow.

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6. Use data effectively.

Every student is supported in staying on track to a postsecondary credential through the institution’s effective use of early momentum metrics and mechanisms to generate, share and act on finely disaggregated student progression data.

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7. Prioritize the student experience.

Efforts to improve the student experience, meet the evolving needs of students, and remove barriers to student success are visibly prioritized by the institution through the use of mechanisms that elevate the voices and lived experiences of students — and the entire campus community.

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