Strong Start To Finish

Strong Start to Finish is the authority on evidence-based reforms that help more college students succeed.

Strong Start to Finish is a network of like-minded individuals and organizations from the policy, research, and practice spaces who’ve come together for one reason – to help all students, not just the select few, find success in postsecondary education.  

We have a deep commitment to knowledge and working together to change institutional practice and policy. We are growing our reach across the nation to bring equity to higher education. With deep collaboration, we aim to achieve a larger impact and return on postsecondary investments.  

As experts in this space, we leverage and elevate the talent that surrounds us by pooling together some of the best and brightest in our fields to establish practices that work. Because we’ve been there – teaching on campus, serving on leadership boards, and working in the field – we know how to create the change we want to see for these students.  

Our Mission

Strong Start to Finish works to bring equity to higher education by supporting change at scale in policy and practice across the nation.

Our Vision

Strong Start to finish supports change at scale by incubating the development and promoting the dissemination of actionable, evidence-based policy and practice about student entry to and success in their initial year of college to bring equity to education.

Our Values

Strong Start to Finish has seven core values. These values represent key convictions that guide our decisions and direct our work.

  • We believe all students have the ability to be successful in college-level math and English. 
  • We believe student outcomes must not differ across age, race or gender.
  • We believe students should begin taking credit-earning courses in their first year of college.
  • We believe that more students could benefit by connecting guided pathways and developmental education.
  • We believe enough evidence about practices exists to support change to happen at scale.
  • We believe in empowering policymakers, leaders and practitioners to make decisions that positively impact their students and communities. 
  • We believe that when high education systems collaborate, they affect change.

Strong Start to Finish is supported by Education Commission of the States, a nonpartisan policy nonprofit organization that conducts research, delivers reports, provides expert counsel on the full spectrum of education policy issues, and convenes education leaders across the 50 states to learn from each other.