2013 AACRAO
Strategic Enrollment Management Conference


Stan Jones

President, Complete College America

Opening Plenary Presenter
Monday, November 11 – 8:30a.m. – 9:45a.m.

Following three decades successfully reforming higher education in Indiana as Commissioner of Higher Education, state legislator, and senior advisor to the governor, Stan Jones founded Complete College America in order to build a network of states committed to substantially increasing the number of Americans with a postsecondary credential.

Mr. Jones began his longstanding commitment to education in 1974, when, at the age of 24, he was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives. As a member of both the House Education and State Budget committees, he developed expertise in higher education and higher-education finance. Stan served 16 years in the Indiana State Legislature and more than five years as a senior advisor to Governor Evan Bayh. His service as Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education spanned 12 years and the tenure of four different governors from both political parties.

As Commissioner, he was credited as a primary architect of several landmark education policy initiatives in Indiana. These initiatives include the 21st Century Scholars program, an early promise scholarship program aimed at increasing the number of low-income students attending and completing a postsecondary education; the development of Indiana’s new community college system; the creation of Indiana’s Education Roundtable; and the implementation of Core 40, a college prep curriculum that has contributed to a significant increase in high school seniors going to college.

The Game Changers

Like you, we’re interested in getting the most bang for our reform buck.  There may be “101 Things One Can Do to Boost College Completion,” but which policy levers produce the greatest returns on investment?  After four years of working with institutions across the country, scouring the research and scrutinizing best practices, Complete College America has landed on the most promising strategies. We call them the “game changers” because these significant initiatives are proven to produce rates of success double, triple or more than other approaches.  When implemented in combination, the game changers can be transformative.   

One of our five game changers leverages the power of all the others: Guided Pathways to Success (GPS).  High graduation rates and disappearing attainment gaps have been the consistent results when highly-structured degree plans, enabled by technology, and combined with intrusive student advising replace traditional à la carte course selection systems.  In a GPS environment, students see their entire program of study laid out for them, semester by semester, all the way to graduation day – and every required milestone course is guaranteed to be available when needed.  Built-in early warning systems trigger just-in-time student advising, targeting assistance when it helps most.  As a result, students make fewer costly mistakes that lead to excess credits and lengthen time to degree.  And institutions become more cost effective and productive because they can plan faculty needs and course availability semesters and even years in advance.

Stan Jones, President of Complete College America, will lead our opening session introducing you to these game changing approaches.  You’ll hear from leaders across the country who have dramatically improved the success of their students.