DesignForScale: State Policy Self-Assessment Tool

DesignForScale: State Policy Self-Assessment Tool

Jobs for the Future, 2014

Toolkit Purpose 

The toolkit is designed to help community college advocates and administrators evaluate the current institutional and system policies that support or hinder student completion, discuss and prioritize needed policy changes, and track the effect of policy changes over time. 

Jobs for the Future
Intended Audience 
State-level governing authorities for community colleges (for example, Ohio Board of Regents or Virginia Community College System)
Career Pathways Target Population 
Community college students
Based On 
Previous self-assessment tools developed by Jobs for the Future for State teams engaged in the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network and the Developmental Education Initiative, and aligned with the Completion by Design “Preventing Loss, Creating Momentum” framework.
Summary of Toolkit Approach 

The product offers a self-assessment based around four categories from the Completion by Design “Preventing Loss, Creating Momentum” framework: Connection; Entry; Progress; and Completion. For each category, it lists questions that can be used to assess institutional policies (e.g., “Does the state encourage or require students to complete their developmental education courses early in their academic careers?”). The toolkit also includes assessments that are important to all four stages of the framework, such as data system capacity and use, student engagement, support services, and financial aid and affordability. The toolkit can be used to assess a full range of policies that comprise a comprehensive student completion agenda, or a narrow subset of policies geared towards implementing structured pathways, which may be most applicable for Career Pathways efforts.

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