St. Louis Regional College Completion strategy

Our Mission is Simple:

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to be in the top ten of the nation’s 20 largest metros in college attainment by 2025. Together, we can do this by targeting five key groups:

Make no mistake: the strategy to achieve our goal is quite ambitious. Significant challenges lie ahead. We must work together as a region on two levels at once: removing the big systemic obstacles that hold everyone back and encouraging existing programs to keep moving forward for even greater impact.

Boulders in the Road

The biggest of the challenges we face are like boulders in the road, because they block the way forward for all five of the key groups. We must get them out of the way if we are to succeed. Doing so will require strong leadership partnerships, a healthy dose of determination, and heavy lifting.

Here are five boulders that we can start with right away:

Click a boulder or arrows to
learn about the boulders

Transferring Credits

Many students take classes at more than one school before they graduate, but it's difficult to transfer college credits from one institution to another.

Lack of

College is unaffordable for many students. At the same time, academic institutions are under financial stress.


Currently, our bi-state region lacks a set of common metrics that will allow us to measure progress and hold ourselves accountable for results.

Misalignment of
Higher Education and
Business Needs

Lacking shared knowledge of the dynamic global economy, higher education and business are too often misaligned.

Fragmented Assets

Today's knowledge economy requires talent that is continuously learning and relearning. We must link and leverage assets to foster a culture that supports this

Pathways to success

Fortunately, St. Louis has an abundance of assets to improve college completion. Existing programs are delivering measurable results for our target groups throughout the area. These programs should be linked, leveraged, and aligned for even more impact at a greater scale.

Key pathways to success include:

Flexible Content Delivery

Be flexible in the delivery of content for today's busy
and diverse student population.

Provide Coaching and Support

Provide coaching, mentoring, and peer support to students in school,
at work, and in the community.

Early Warning System for College Dropouts

Develop an early warning system to spot potential college dropouts
and address problems before its too late.

College Preparation in Middle and High Schools

Emphasize college preparation in middle and high school curriculum.

Streamline Transitions to Post-Secondary School

Create transition standards between secondary and post-secondary school,
enabling students to avoid extensive remedial coursework.

Tailor Services to Student Groups

Develop an early warning system to spot potential college dropouts
Customize services to the needs and interests of specific student groups.

Address Needs of Adult Students

Help adult students avoid spending unnecessary time and
money to complete college

Encourage Employer Support of Higher Education

Shine a light on best practice examples to employers throughout the region, encouraging them to support continuous learning and college completion.

Facilitate Employer-Higher Education Partnerships

Offer undergraduate classes and degree programs in the workplace by harnessing cooperative agreements with employers and universities.

Harness New Educational Technologies

Leverage new educational technologies to increase access, attract
new students and, where possible, reduce costs.

Expand Access to Student Support Services

Expand and facilitate access to support services such as childcare, transportation, financial planning, and debt counseling.

Connect Work with Learning

Connect work with learning through internships and
on-the-job training programs.

Spread the Word About Educational Services

Market information about educational services and opportunities
throughout the region.

Attract College-Educated Immigrants

Become a magnet for college-educated immigrants by removing
bureaucratic obstacles.

Increase Regional Coordination

Increase coordination amongst regional consortia of providers
serving similar groups.
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