Increasing Degree Attainment
State-wide Student Success Initiatives

States Advance College Completion with AcademyOne's Technologies

FastPath Ohio


Addressing State-Wide Challenges


States are addressing the challenges of our time: the critical connection between college success and economic prosperity. Higher education attainment is essential to the nation and every state. Governors and legislatures across the United States are wrestling with how best to serve the mighty goal to build a smarter workforce. There is no cookie cutter approach that will satisfy all regions, but there is a common theme that technology can help bring parties together to foster outreach, engagement and better information to guide traditional and adult learners.

The first challenge facing state-wide initiatives is the varied, disparate and often incomparable technologies employed by institutions of various types, sizes and mission. The built-in methods, practices, vocabularies and tools underlying each institution are not readily comparable. It is difficult to distinguish what is common versus what is comparable in value, cost and outcomes. Colleges and universities market programs of study, the value of how they deliver educational outcomes and the recognition by others that aligns with expectations.

The second challenge facing state-wide initiatives is the myriad of initiatives, good intentions and approaches leading to increased access, enrollment and eventual success. The difficulty and rigor of attending college or university differ greatly, making it more important for learners and families to understand the commitment and investment. Navigating the educational choices is not easy - even for those of us in higher education.

The third challenge is the seismic shift that is under way is not a shift from low-skill occupations to high-skill occupations. It’s that almost all jobs are becoming higher-skill jobs. This means our emphasis has to focus on helping all citizens find their best path to life long learning as industries emerge, shift, evolve, mature and even decline in shorter timeframes. How do we serve constituents spanning their interactions and instances of life long learning if they are deemed separate and standalone?

Tennessee Reconnects with Adult Learners supported by
AcademyOne's ArticulatED and AwardED Technologies

The Tennessee Reconnect helps more adults attend a community college or technical college and complete a postsecondary degree or credential, tuition-free. All Tennessee adults who do not already have an associate or bachelor degree are eligible to attend community college or technical college tuition-free starting in the fall of 2018. Tennessee Reconnect is a strategic component to achieving goals of the Drive to 55. At least half the jobs in the state will require some post secondary education by 2025— and attracting future employers depends on a highly-skilled workforce. While our state is making great strides in increasing the number of high school students who enroll in college, we cannot meet the full job market demands without engaging and supporting more adult learners. Tennessee is the first state in the nation to offer tuition-free community or technical college to adults. The Drive to 55 Alliance is helping lead the charge for Tennessee Reconnect through increased private-sector awareness, ownership and support for the long term steps to prepare our workforce and state for the future.

Drive to 55

Update on Progress:  Tennessee’s higher education performance can be assessed with cautious optimism, summed up by a prominent business leader who stated, “We are making a lot of progress at a very fast rate, but we’ve still got a long way to go.”  With steady improvement in NAEP scores and climbing high school graduation rates, Tennessee has seen progress where many states have not.  "The Drive to 55 campaign has succeeded in unifying goals among higher education stakeholders, and the Tennessee Promise has influenced various policy innovations." - Quote from Driven to Perform: Tennessee’s Higher Education Policies & Outcomes A Case Study by Joni E. Finney and Elaine W. Leigh Roman Ruiz, Wendy Castillo, Edward Smith, and Daniel C. Kent Institute for Research on Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.  Read the April 2017 Report.

Details:   AcademyOne provides Tennessee with a multi-institutional portal and content management system. The portal includes institutional publishing tools, credit estimator and prospective degree audit enabling students to consider finishing a degree at one of the State's institutions. We also power Tennessee's Reverse Transfer System that automates the outreach, opt-in and prospective degree audit processing saving the institutions thousands of hours of time.

Resources:  Case Study ♦ ArticulatED Data Sheet AwardED Data Sheet

Florida Shines Powered by AcademyOne's Technology Services

FloridaShines - short for Florida's Students Hub of Innovative Educational Services - exists to empower all of Florida's 20,000,000 residents to earn a college degree and find a bright career. Whether you're in high school just starting to think about college or you're already working and ready to earn or complete your degree, FloridaShines can help. We've got the resources and support you need. FloridaShines works with the state's 40 colleges and universities and other partners to help you succeed in school and beyond. Check your transcript. Register for an online course. Search libraries across the state. And a whole lot more. All designed to help you shine.

Associated with Florida Shines is Complete Florida, a high-tech, low-hassle way for busy adults to finish their college degrees. We provide students with the freedom to learn, to dream, to achieve their goals.  Founded by the Florida Legislature in 2013, we’re here to help the 2.8 million Floridians – who started college but never finished – get the degrees they need for the jobs they want. Through our Florida partner colleges and universities we offer more than 100 degree programs to choose from. Nursing. Cybersecurity. Business Managagement. 

Drive to 55

Update on Progress:  In November 2015, the Board of Governors approved the State University System’s 2025 Strategic Plan for Online Education1 to guide the future development of online education in the State University System. The SUS 2016 Annual Report for Online Education, the first such report for online education in the System, reflects the progress universities have made in online education, in addition to their opportunities for further improvement.  Highlights below were taken from Online Education State University System of Florida Annual Report  2016 BOARD OF GOVERNORS APPROVED 3/30/2017.  

• Florida continued to be a leader in the provision of distance learning courses, ranking second in the nation in the number of students enrolled in distance learning courses. Texas was ranked first. • Sixty-one percent (61%) of SUS students took at least one distance learning course in 2015-16. • System-wide, 24% of undergraduate credit hours in 2015-16 were taken in distance learning courses.  Read the Full Report. 

Details: AcademyOne provides the technology underpinning Florida Shines.   We implemented a state-wide enterprise bus to coordinate online student service requests between institutions supporting the consolidated online catalog, course registration, on-demand degree audit, transient student course approval and access to local institutional services. 

Resources: Case Study ♦ AcademyOne's Higher Education Technology Services

Pennsylvania Department of Education SOARS with AcademyOne

Students Occupationally and Academically Ready, or SOAR, is a BCTE initiative ensuring that every Pennsylvania approved program of study is aligned to a postsecondary program. Through SOAR, high school students may be eligible to articulate some of their technical education coursework to postsecondary credits, thus reducing the need to duplicate coursework already successfully taken at the CTC. College credits earned through SOAR articulation agreements are tuition-free.

SOAR is built on programs of study which incorporate elements of secondary and postsecondary education and include coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant career and technical content. These career and technical programs of study includes a statewide articulation agreement partnership between secondary schools and postsecondary institutions.

Benefits of SOAR:

• Saving Money on College Tuition
• Saving Time by Shortening College Attendance
• Getting on the Right Career Pathway
• Entering the Job Market Ready
• Getting a Consistent Education (“Programs of Study [POS]

Students, school personnel and parents may access College Transfer (, a free website that provides detailed information regarding the program of study and the postsecondary institutions that have partnered with the state’s SOAR initiative.  At over 85+ career and technology centers (CTCs) and over 135+ school districts offering Pennsylvania Department of Education approved career and technical education throughout the Commonwealth, career and technical education programs are built around high expectations for student learning.  

PA Soar

Update on Progress:  According to the Final Report of the Select Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness, approximately 65,000 students in grades 9 through 12 are currently enrolled in SOAR CTE programs, representing  12% of the student population in those grades.   State lawmakers aim to improve Career & Technical education in Pennsylvania.   A package of bills is the result of hearings held and data gathered from 2015 to 2016 by the former Select Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness.  In the 2018 Pennsylvania State Budget, if approved, will be getting an additional $10M to continue outreach and improvements.

Details:   AcademyOne provides Pennsylvania Program to Program Articulation tools and views from CollegeTransfer.Net. The portal includes institutional publishing tools, credit estimator and equivalency searchs linked back to individual schools and districts. 

Resources:  Case Study ♦ Transfer and Articulation Tools ♦ CollegeTransfer.Net Membership

Ohio initiates a state-wide PLA AssessED Portal with AcademyOne

It is clear that a number of states are working at the leading edge of strategically deploying PLA policies to help students earn postsecondary credentials and degrees, and to build their workplace talent through pathways that extend beyond the college classroom. With its proven track record of promoting strong articulation and transfer policies, Ohio is positioned to join this group of leading states and to potentially emerge as a national leader in the PLA landscape.

The Ohio Technical Skills Innovation Network consortium, spearheaded by Lorain County Community College and in partnership with the Departments of Higher Education and Job and Family Services, has chosen AcademyOne’s prior learning assessment platform to advance their statewide PLA initiative. Integrated within the OhioMeansJobs online career counseling portal, the workflow solution will advise adults who aspire to return to college about how they can earn credit for what they already know.

The pilot project will encompass the OTN’s 11 participating community colleges and support their efforts to close the disconnect between a trained, educated advanced manufacturing workforce and growing job demand spanning over 290 employers in the state’s 71 counties.


Ohio FastPath

Update on Progress:  The first five institutions are up and running on FASTPATHOHIO.  Cincinnati State Technical and Community College,  Edison State Community College, Lorain County Community College, Northwest State Community College, Owens Community College, 

Details:   AcademyOne provides the Ohio institutions a shared cloud hosted AssessED PLA Portal. 

Resources:  Case Study ♦ AssessED Data Sheet