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Course Completion Playbook

Analyses and tools to improve student outcomes in critical gateway courses

This resource describes the four key steps to increasing course completion rates without reducing academic rigor.

Key Insights

High failure rates in gateway courses represent one of the largest obstacles to student success at most colleges and universities. Large required courses with failure rates as high as 30-60% can create retention and time-to-degree issues for hundreds or even thousands of students at a single institution.

While many faculty fear that nothing can be done without lowering academic standards, a growing body of research and practice demonstrates that with appropriate support, larger numbers of students can complete these courses and stay on track for a degree.

Start by completing the diagnostic exercise to determine which practices might be right for your institution. Then, explore the detailed descriptions, case studies, and resources for each of the nine tactics for improving course completion rates.

Insights and best practices for partners

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