The Compton Community College District (CCCD) was awarded a $400,000 grant from the College Futures Foundation to support Compton College’s implementation of its Tartar Completion by Design (Guided Pathways), Dual Enrollment, block scheduling, and transfer partnerships.

To close achievement gaps and increase graduation and retention rates, Compton College has adopted the Tartar Completion by Design framework to guide the college’s priorities, decision-making, and evaluations. The Guided Pathways system has four main goals:

  • Create clear curricular pathways to employment and further education.
  • Help students choose and enter their pathway.
  • Help students stay on their path.
  • Ensure learning is happening with intentional outcomes.

“We are extremely grateful to the College Futures Foundation for awarding this grant to Compton College,” said Compton College President/CEO, Keith Curry. “The programs supported by this grant will enable Compton College to reach more equitable student outcomes for the communities served by our district. The Tartar Completion by Design program strives to create a faster path to graduation, transfer, and good-pay jobs.”

Many community colleges, for example, are experiencing promising improvements in student retention and graduation rates after implementing guided pathways. The new Guided Pathways system groups similar majors together, known as “meta-majors,” allowing students with similar majors to be distinguished with their niche and take classes across all potential career paths. The Guided Pathways provide clear, educationally relevant program maps—which include specific course sequences, progress milestones, and program learning outcomes—that are aligned with what will be expected of students upon program completion in the workforce and in education at the next level in a given field.

Students are helped from the start to explore academic and career options, choose a program of study, and develop a plan based on the program maps. These plans simplify student decision-making, and enable the college to provide predictable schedules, frequent feedback, and targeted support as needed to help students stay on track and complete their programs more efficiently.

Another program employed to speed up college completion rates is Dual Enrollment, which enables high school students to get a head start on their college education by taking college classes while still in high school. Dual Enrollment classes are offered at local high schools and provide no-fee advanced academic or career and technical education instruction for high school students capable of advanced work. In order to provide increased access and equity to all students, Compton College has increased the number of dual enrollment courses offered at local high schools through Afternoon College courses, Early College courses at the Compton Early College High School, as well as through AB 288 College courses at Compton and Parmount unified school districts’ high schools. This grant will help Compton College expand its offerings throughout all local school districts.

“With the support of Compton College faculty, staff, and administrators, we created a grant proposal that will help us achieve our Compton College 2024 goals,” said Compton College Dean of Counseling and Guided Pathways, César Jiménez. “The College Futures Foundation will help us move the needle toward closing the equity achievement gap by supporting our innovative work with dual enrollment, guided pathways, opt-out scheduling, block scheduling, and professional development. This is a game-changer for the college and our students will benefit greatly.”

The overall goal for Compton College Guided Pathways implementation via the Tartar Completion by Design program is to improve student completion and success rates by 2023-2024. Compton College’s five strategic initiatives will serve as the blueprint for all College planning and guide the College’s operations as it implements Tartar Completion by Design to focus on the student experience and organize strategies and measurable outcomes around students’ connection, entry, progress, completion, and transition to employment or transfer to a four-year institution.

“We are excited to partner with Compton College in this ground-breaking work,” said Shawn Whalen, Program Director at College Futures Foundation. “Their commitment to designing a college that supports all the talented students they serve to achieve their academic and career goals is a model for others to follow.”

The Compton College 2024 comprehensive master plan is available online: