Great Eight Network

Pathways Creation, Student Basic Needs Support, and Network Development: Elevating the Work at Historically Black Community Colleges and Predominately Black Community Colleges



This project will focus on pathways development to support adult learners of color in attaining credentials of value at Historically Black Community Colleges (HBCCs) and Predominantly Black Community Colleges (PBCCs) in Alabama. A guiding principle in Complete College America’s (CCA’s) mission is a commitment to advance college completion strategies with an equity lens. With this core value, the CCA team is partnering with Alabama Possible and has thoroughly embedded activities that elevate the needs of students representing these demographics into CCA’s standard Theory of Change. Successes include the ability to positively impact policy and practice that advances the student success outcomes for students of color, first generation students, adult students, and students from under-resourced households across systems in Alabama and other states.

This project is centered around engaging institutional leadership in appropriately identifying and responding to the needs of their adult students of color. Combining this student-centric approach that emphasizes institutional accountability with the establishment of baseline data for individual and collective student outcomes across the cohort will provide an opportunity to measure institutional progress toward eliminating different educational outcomes by race and age. Many of the institutions we will partner with for this investment in Alabama need direct technical assistance and infrastructure support to fully actualize their student success plans. The development of a cohort of content experts from within the institutions will serve to build internal capacity for increased collaboration and resource sharing. With Alabama Possible’s convening support, the establishment of a network for collaboration and partnership will contribute to building a community with the necessary resources to empower students and support their needs and success.

The major project objectives are:

  • Create a comprehensive network for all HBCCs/PBCCs to promote expertise, share resources across institutions, and promote culturally relevant learnings to all HBCC/PBCCs.
  • Provide technical assistance and support for Alabama’s HBCCs/PBCCs to implement strategies aligning academic programs, career choice, workforce needs, and credentials of value to meet the unique needs of adult learners of color.
  • Support the HBCCs/PBCCs to utilize well-sequenced pathways that embed stackable credentials into innovative, adult-centered associates degree programs that leverage advising to facilitate continuation, persistence, and completion.
  • Emphasize bundled supports to keep students on-track on these pathways, allowing them to maintain momentum to on-time completion.
  • Utilize data to identify disparities and to develop and implement culturally relevant strategic interventions to meet the identified needs.
  • Increase the national visibility, evidence-base, and prominence of HBCCs/PBCCs – their history and their critical role in shaping higher education- for a more equitable future, including uncovering mechanisms by which we can collaboratively change state and federal policy to better support students attending these institutions.

This Network is Supported by