Higher Education Compact

web IMG_0236By: Catrina Leone


In 2010, Mayor Frank Jackson asked civic leaders, educators, and college and university presidents to develop a plan to increase the number of youth attending and graduating college. Organizational leaders met to look deeper into this plan and to research best practices as well as to explore a data-driven outcome. Mayor Jackson accepted these recommendations, and as a result formally launched the Higher Education Compact of Greater Cleveland in October 2011.


web IMG_0178

The Compact is a written pledge, a promise from these leaders to do what it takes to remove obstacles that prevent Cleveland youth from going to and succeeding in college. While the percent of Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) graduates enrolling in college has increased steadily from 45 to 61%, the percent of students actually completing their college degree is non-competitive. Do to this, Mayor Frank Jackson, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, fifteen Ohio Colleges and universities, area foundations and community organizations have come together in the past year to do the following things:

  • Establish the Higher Education Compact of Greater Cleveland, a community-wide effort, to greatly increase the number of Cleveland Students who earn degrees.
  • Develop a “College Success Dashboard” that colleges, civic leaders, educators,  and others in the community can use to track college readiness, college access and college persistence annually.
  • Research and benchmark efforts of other communities that are succeeding in efforts to get youth ready for and attending college.

web IMG_0217

The Higher Education Compact held its third annual Degrees by Design Best Practices Symposium at the Cleveland State University Wolstein center. In previous years, the main focus was more so on college readiness and access, but this year the focus was on college persistence and completion. It is no secret that reaching degree completion is a challenge for many students today. Mayor Jackson ensures we can overcome these obstacles and have our students walk across the stage on graduation day. At the Symposium, experts on college persistence were there, not only locally but state-and even nationwide.


The main goal of the Symposium  is to rise to the challenge of increasing college attainment in Greater Cleveland. There were many parts to the Symposium. Sections such as completing college, persistence and completion efforts in Ohio, CMSD’s role in increasing college completion, as well as responding to students in need. The Cleveland Metropolitan School District has engaged with the Strategic Data Project at Harvard University to go deeper in their dashboard and to better understand their role in the college pipeline.

web IMG_0211

Each program featured at the Symposium touched on key ways for students to rise to the top of their education, as well as ways to get support from the community. Responding to students in need is a two early-alert approach to student success. Early alert systems have become an important part of universities’ efforts to promote student persistence and success.

This is a great initiative to get more people involved and to help our youth reach their ultimate potential. To see more about The Higher Education Impact, stay tuned to TV20, as we will be airing this in our “weekly news wrap-up.” For more information on the impact, make sure to visit their website at : http://highereducationcompact.org



, , , , , , , ,