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The Completion Agenda
Monday, April 28, 2014 1:00:00 PM CDT - 3:00:00 PM CDT
In the last 10 years, completion has become a central issue to American higher education in a way that was never the case previously. To be sure, there have always been colleges and universities that graduated most of those they enrolled - these institutions typically serve those who have had outstanding high school educations (and who, on average, are better off economically than are most Americans). That many other institutions had low completion rates was largely accepted, or at least not the subject of intense focus.

That has changed.  Increasingly, policy makers, educators and foundations believe that a key goal for American society is to increase the percentage of adults with college credentials. One way to do that, of course, is to attract more students into higher education. But making sure that more of those who already enroll actually finish is seen by many as a more logical and more efficient approach. And the reality is that the United States won't reach ambitious college attainment goals based only on the success of those who come to college well prepared and destined for success, especially given shifts in the demographics of the U.S. population.

In discussions about the completion agenda, it's hard to find anyone who is anti-completion, but that doesn't mean that the policy questions are easy or uncontroversial. A policy or program that strikes one expert as a logical incentive to promote completion may strike another as potentially limiting access. And money of course also comes into play, given that, at many colleges, the completion agenda needs to be advanced in cost-effective ways in an era marked by frugality.

On April 28 at 2 p.m. Eastern, Inside Higher Ed editors Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman will lead a free webinar on The Completion Agenda, a discussion of some of the programs, aspirations and ideas in play right now.

Read up before you participate! Visit www.insidehighered.com/booklets to download "The Completion Agenda," a compilation of news articles and opinion essays, the latest in Inside Higher Ed's series of booklets on hot issues in higher education. 

Inside Higher Ed's "The Completion Agenda" webinar is made possible with the support of ETS, a leader in higher education assessment. The SuccessNavigator assessment from ETS helps colleges and universities reach at-risk incoming students and improve retention and completion rates as early as their next incoming class. Your registration information will be shared with the company.

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Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman
Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman are founders and co-editors of Inside Higher Ed.

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