Monday, October 4, 2010

Gates Foundation to Invest in College Completition

According to a report in today's Washington Post, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is making a $34.8 million, five-year commitment to raise stagnant completion rates in the nation's two-year public colleges.  The Gates initiative, Completion by Design, will seek applications from groups of community colleges in nine target areas: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Washington.  As many as five proposals will be funded, based on their prospects for success. 

The Postquotes Hillary Pennington, director of education, post-secondary success, at the Gates Foundation, as saying that the Foundation hopes the initiative will cause two-year colleges to "step back and analyze how many students they are losing, and why."

Across the nation, two-year colleges serve 12 million students.  However, they lag far behind four-year colleges in completion rates.  The Post outlines several reasons for this problem.  They are worth examining closely, with a view to fixing the problems.


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