Walla Walla Community College Site Visit, January 2015
Project Finish Line
Project Finish Line unites seven community and technical colleges in the Road Map Project region through the Puget Sound Coalition for College and Career Readiness. Over two years, these colleges will bring completion coaching to their campuses, and revise their policies and procedures to improve their students’ postsecondary credential completion and university transfer rates.
Institutional change requires a catalyst. The project will focus upon a direct intervention at four “principal” colleges who will employ Completion Coaches: Green River College, and the Seattle College District’s three campuses: North Seattle, Seattle Central, and South Seattle. Coaches will re-engage students, who are close to finishing postsecondary credentials. Coaches will prioritize services to underrepresented students of color and low-income students identified as experiencing opportunity gaps by Road Map Project and colleges’ institutional data. Completion Coaches have been successfully used at Walla Walla Community College winner of the 2013 Aspen Institute Prize for Community College Excellence. Walla Walla staff provide expert mentorship to the Project.
The project will be rigorously evaluated to provide formative data for ongoing improvement during the grant and to identify policies and strategies to support student completion.
Project Finish Line Learning Community
The Project Finish Line Learning Community will coordinate and strengthen these colleges’ “cultures of completion” to improve their students’ degree and certificate completion and university transfer rates. The Learning Community encourages broad representation from Coalition member institutions. Participants may include college administrators, faculty, institutional researchers, student services staff, etc. Learning Community events and gatherings will not only provide a discussion forum and resources for members to collectively impact student completion rates on a regional scale, it will also serve as a think-tank and test bed for additional practices to complement Completion Coaching.