Public Agenda

Helping Students Along the Community College Pathway

For many young Americans, community college represents one of the few remaining pathways to the American Dream. Community colleges serve nearly half of the nation's undergraduate population. Yet less than half of the country's community college students graduate or transfer within 6 years.

Public Agenda is working in partnership with other organizations and various community colleges to help students, especially students of color and low-income students, complete their degree or transfer to a four-year institution. We do this by:

  • Speaking to groups including faculty and students about the perceptions and values they hold regarding college completion issues.
  • Collecting and analyzing this opinion research to make it freely available, so others can learn from and act on these insights.
  • Helping community colleges build capacity to engage faculty, students, staff and others. We provide tools and guidance for leaders to facilitate effective meetings and other engagements.
  • Working to ensure alignment between state policy activities and the work of colleges.

We do this work as part of community college initiatives including Completion by Design and Achieving the Dream, as well as through work on higher education with the Lumina Foundation.