The Completion Agenda has become the leading movement in higher education. It is supported by policy makers at the highest levels of government and by major foundations and national organizations. Chief executives of major community college associations quickly embraced the American Graduation Initiative proposed in 2009 by U.S. President Barack Obama, and the Completion Agenda has many champions among executive and administrative leaders at community colleges. Paradoxically, those who perform the fundamental work of teaching and learning—the faculty—have remained largely absent from the national completion conversation.
Although numerous projects and initiatives have been launched to develop strategies and tools to improve student learning, retention, and completion, these strategies and tools risk limited use unless faculty are intentionally and respectfully engaged in the local and national conversations about completion. Indeed, without the support of faculty—a group of individuals who arguably have the most immediate, sustained contact with students—the Completion Agenda has little chance of success.
Therefore, in January 2014 the League launched the Faculty Voices Initiative to engage community college faculty in the Completion Agenda conversation with two aims:
- Identify and report issues and concerns faculty have regarding the Completion Agenda; and
- Increase individual and institutional implementation of proven practices in teaching and learning that lead to improved student learning, retention, and completion.
Faculty Voices is using a phased approach of research, engagement and learning, and empowerment and dissemination. The project is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the League has partnered with Public Agenda to provide training and technical assistance.
For more information, contact
Vice President, Learning and Research
League for Innovation in the Community College