Breakthrough Models for College Completion: The Next Generation of Models for Higher Education


Updated May 2015

This compilation of Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) grantee profiles illustrates the innovative approaches of the postsecondary degree program designs awarded grants under NGLC's third wave of funding, which focused on "Breakthrough Models for College Completion." It provides practical details particularly of interest to those designing and planning new innovative degree programs. The profiles were updated in October 2013 and again in May 2015 to reflect changes in their design arising out of their planning year.

The introduction describes common attributes across the portfolio, including competency-based education, multiple faculty roles, tuition models that reward persistence, data to target supports, and self-paced instruction. Following the brief overview, each individual model is profiled. The individual profiles summarize key features through graphics and at-a-glance facts. They also offer important descriptive information about the instructional and financial models and their unique methods and structures to provide high-quality associate’s or bachelor’s degrees at affordable costs, particularly for underserved populations.

Next Generation Learning Challenges accelerates educational innovation through applied technology to dramatically improve college readiness and completion in the United States. To learn more about NGLC and the grantees it supports, visit

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