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What is it?
Ohio Strong Start to Finish (OhioSSF) is a collaboration between the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE), the Inter-University Council (IUC), the Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC), and the 18 community colleges and 12 universities in Ohio that have committed to the project. The goal of OhioSSF is to significantly increase the number of students completing gateway mathematics and English courses as part of a guided pathway within their first academic year. Currently, slightly more than 20,000 (33%) first-time students at participating colleges and universities complete college-level mathematics and English in their first year; OhioSSF is committed to increasing that number to just over 31,000 (50%) by 2021. OhioSSF is also committed to reducing equity gaps for economically disadvantaged students (48% by 2021), students of color (51% by 2021), rural students (51% by 2021), and students over age 25 (37% by 2021).
Each participating campus has agreed to undertake institutional efforts that will contribute to the overall OhioSSF goal. Specifically, they have committed to a) developing institutional goals, including specific goals to reduce equity gaps; b) assembling an institutional leadership team; c) participating in convenings and technical assistance activities; and d) integrating the following four priority action areas on their campus:
- Ensuring that clearly structured programs of study exist for all majors;
- Aligning redesigned gateway mathematics and English courses to all programs of study;
- Implementing co-requisite remediation at scale in mathematics and English;
- Building advising structures to ensure all students register for coursework in sequences to meet the goal.
Participating campuses will be supported in their work through the OhioSSF Learning Network. A focus of the Network will be change management; Sova Solutions will lead this work by providing guidance on campus engagement practices needed to move change of this magnitude through an institution. Campuses will also be supported by sub-grants (Campus-Level Action and Success Supports, CLASS) to meet individual campus needs (e.g., institutional coaching, faculty/staff release time, or technical assistance from exemplars in Ohio or nationally).
The governance structure for the grant includes:
- A Governing Council responsible for strategic direction, hiring of grant team, research and evaluation, allocation of resources, communication to campuses, and implementation of strategies;
- An Advisory Council responsible for advising on strategies, monitoring progress, identifying state policy gaps, and ensuring all aspects of implementation at the campus level are considered.
- Campus Leads
- Team members