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Our Strategy: Completion

Completing a credential or degree is an indicator of student success. To increase the number of Washington residents receiving a credential: 

  • Students who enroll in credential and degree programs must persist and complete their chosen credential. 
  • More supports are needed for students, including students of color, adult learners, undocumented students, and more.  
  • More resources are required to establish and/or maintain supportive learning environments. 

Racial Inequities in Completion Rates

There are glaring racial inequities in graduation rates across Washington. WSAC’s efforts to increase these rates are focused on supporting students of color, especially Black, Indigenous, and Latino students, who have been historically and institutionally marginalized within education.

Improving Completion Rates

WSAC is working to provide the necessary resources and establish a supportive learning environment so that all students who want to can earn a credential. 

To work toward this goal, we are:

  • Exploring how to define student success and the resources needed to support all students in their college and career pathways. 
  • Partnering with institutions to learn and test strategies that may increase persistence, retention, and completion to close equity gaps. 
  • Supporting strategies that enable students to move across and within Washington’s postsecondary institutions. These strategies include evaluating Washington’s transfer ecosystem, the ability for students to receive academic credit for prior learning from the military, industry training, or other training areas, reverse transfer, and direct transfer agreements.
  • Administering Career Launch grants to help four-year public colleges build programs that provide students with relevant real-work experience. 

We understand that there are many pathways, from short-term workforce credentials to doctoral degrees, and the time to complete these credentials varies. WSAC is working to support each of these pathways so that students can persist and earn a credential that can help students achieve their life and career goals. 

Centering equity calls for the Council to consider and seek to understand the critical resources needed to reach and support all students. While guided through the lens of race, understanding students’ intersectional and layered identities (e.g., age, gender) and assessing their experiences (e.g., adult learners, geographic proximity to institutions, English language learners, immigration) ensures that learners in Washington can access, pursue, and complete credentials.