Governor Maggie Hassan has announced that New Hampshire has joined the Alliance of States of the nonprofit organization Complete College America. (http://governor.nh.gov/media/news/2015/pr-2015-12-15-complete-college.htm). This collaboration is among the most recent measures taken by state policy makers and educators to reach the “65 by 25” goal of increasing the number of New Hampshire residents who have achieved post-secondary education from 46.7% to 65% by 2025.
Complete College America was established in 2009 to redress the discrepancy between the number of students enrolled in and those graduating from American colleges. While the number of students enrolled in higher education doubled between 1970 and 2009, the number of students obtaining degrees has plateaued.
New Hampshire joins thirty nine states and territories in the Alliance of States in “pledg[ing] to take bold actions to (1) significantly increase the number of students successfully completing college and achieving degrees and credentials with value in the labor market and (2) close attainment gaps for traditionally underrepresented populations.” (http://completecollege.org/about-cca/).
Complete College America has identified five ways to achieve these goals: performance funding, a range of support courses (co-requisite, stretch courses, and parallel remediation); a fifteen-credit per semester norm rather than the twelve credits mandated for government financial aid; structured schedules; and changes to the ways in which students enroll in degree programs (including “meta” fields of study and designated and required milestone courses for each semester).
The emphasis on support courses carries implications for instruction in developmental or basic writing at the university level with other possible implications for writing placement and/or writing self-placement mechanisms used by colleges and universities to identify first-year composition courses for incoming students.
New Hampshire joins its neighbors Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont in becoming a part of the Complete College America Alliance of States.