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Report Outlines Ideas to Improve College Completion

Current and former governors, university presidents, chancellors of state university systems, and other national education leaders recommend ways to improve college completion in a report, "Front and Center: Critical Choices for Higher Education" released this week.

The report is based on discussions from a conference in December. Both the conference and report were sponsored by the Miller Center at the University of Virginia and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.

The recommendations include:

1. Promote and reward institutional changes, such as putting more money into instruction and online learning, that can help increase the number of people who successfully complete a degree or certificate.

2. Increase leadership at the federal level by aligning financial-aid and funding programs with student success and promoting cooperation among state leaders in higher education.

3. Create an environment at the state level that sets clear performance goals for institutions, and link funding mechanisms to the completion of courses, not just enrollment.

4. Improve leadership at all levels. Institutional governing boards need to establish completion agenda and accountability standards. Also, the report suggests .state policymakers should define completion priorities and target resources and the federal government set national goals and incentives to meet them.

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