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 Accepting the College Completion Challenge: A Call to Action 


The presidents of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) have written to member CEOs and board chairs to ask them to join in a call to action to engage community college institutions to advance 'the completion agenda' - increasing the number of students who complete degrees, certificates, and other credentials with value in the work place. The text of the letter appears below.

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September 9, 2010

Dear Member CEOs and Board Chairs:

Increasing community college student completion has become a major national focus and a key priority for AACC and ACCT. Business leaders, policymakers, and leading foundations are emphasizing the importance of increasing the number of students who complete degrees, certificates, and other credentials with value in the work place. We are writing now to ask you to join us in a call to action to engage our institutions to advance what has come to be called the completion agenda.

Last April, AACC and ACCT joined with four other national organizations to express our shared commitment to student completion. Partner organizations, including the Center for Community College Student Engagement, the League for Innovation in the Community College, the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, participated in an unprecedented joint signing ceremony, committing our organizations to assist our members to produce 50% more students with high-quality degrees and certificates by 2020. The signatory organizations have posted the call to action on their Web sites.

We believe it is now time to expand the commitment beyond organizations to our campuses.

The timing of such action is important. Community colleges are currently in the national spotlight, but the increased attention also means increased responsibility to our communities, our states, and our country—as well as to our students. Both AACC and ACCT have been working to help our member colleges and their students through aggressive federal advocacy efforts; the creation of a voluntary framework of accountability for community colleges; and professional development institutes for trustees, college leaders, and future leaders. Our public commitment to raising student completion rates further underscores the transparency and accountability community colleges are courageously espousing. We invite you to join us at the ACCT Congress, the AACC Convention, or any of several institutes to learn more about these growing priorities.

To assist you in accepting the completion challenge for your college, we have attached a draft template that you may want to adopt, adapt, or use in other ways, click here (PDF). Please keep us informed of any action your college takes to accept the completion challenge as this information will be valuable to us in our federal advocacy efforts.


George R. Boggs
AACC President and CEO

J. Noah Brown
ACCT President and CEO

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