Harper College's strategic plan identifies a number of focus areas including improving academic achievement, narrowing achievement gaps, and increasing completion rates. As an Achieving the Dream institution since 2009, Harper analyzed internal data to develop strategies that would help move the completion needle, specifically within the college’s developmental education program.
“We were losing students in developmental courses before they were ever ready for college-level work. Those we could get to college ready were succeeding at rates comparable to those who started out there,” said Sheryl Otto, assistant provost and dean of student development for the college. “It became clear that we needed to improve the way we helped these students early in their time with us so they would be able to continue toward completing their degrees or certificates.” Harper College told their story in March 2013.