Our Approach


Correcting Systemic Inequities Through Dev Ed Reform

SStF focuses on scaling reforms to developmental education across higher education systems, supporting a network of state systems and institutions.

We work to correct systemic inequities causing differential outcomes for students in the first year of college, putting the needs of Black, Brown, Asian American and Indigenous students, students with low incomes and returning adults at the forefront of our work.

Here’s How We Work

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We serve as the convener and technical assistance provider to a network of state higher education systems, institutions and researchers for systemic developmental-education reform.

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We share research, tools and measurable approaches for systems to enact developmental education reform practices.

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We partner with state higher education systems in scaling reforms to support students who have been underserved by the higher education system, so they can succeed in their first year of college.

Addressing Inequities in What We Do 

Strong Start to Finish views equity in education as the means to rectify injustices in the distribution of resources, practices and policies. This calls for addressing issues of access and success for students who are negatively impacted by institutional policies and practices, and we do this in our work with the Strong Start to Finish network.

We believe that in order to address inequities, ineffective developmental education policies and practices must be replaced with procedures and perceptions in support of students who are racially minoritized, those with low incomes and adults who are returning to college. 

We focus on these students’ success because although efforts to reform developmental education have resulted in improved student outcomes in the aggregate, access to and pass rates continue to be lower for students who are racially-minoritized, have low incomes and are returning adults. 

Equitable placement is one of the single most important reforms in educational history. It invites us to lean into diversity, equity and inclusion work to welcome our students in and provide the differentiated instruction and concurrent support students need to excel.

– Aisha Lowe, Vice-Chancellor, Academic Affairs, California Community Colleges