News Ruby Selected To Join Complete College America - Garrett College
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June 19, 2018

Ruby selected to join Complete College America

Ashley Ruby

Garrett College's Ashley Ruby was selected to join an elite team of professional content experts across the country for Complete College America. At GC, Ruby serves as director of advising and academic success and assistant director of the learning commons.

Established in 2009, Complete College America, is a national non-profit with a single mission: Leveraging our Alliance to eliminate achievement gaps by providing equity of opportunity for all students to complete college degrees and credentials of purpose and value.

The need for this work is compelling. According to the organization's website (www.completecollege.org), between 1970 and 2009, undergraduate enrollment in the United States more than doubled, while the completion rate has been virtually unchanged.

Complete College America believes there is great reason for optimism and a clear path forward.

The CCA website states the following, "With a little more support – and a lot of common sense – we can ensure that many more young people get the high-quality college education that will help them live productive and fulfilling lives. All Americans will share in the benefits of their success."

Ruby earned the role as content expert with Complete College America by demonstrating measurable results following implementation of two of CCA's game-changing strategies at Garrett College: '15 to Finish' and proactive advising with academic maps.

These are two of the six strategies utilized by the CCA to boost student success, retention, and completion.

Dr. JR Kerns, Garrett College's Interim Dean of Student Affairs, said Ruby's selection will help students across the nation complete their educational programs.

"Being selected to such an elite team of professional content experts will allow Ashley to impact the lives of countless young people across the nation. Her work will not only help boost retention and completion rates for colleges and universities, but more importantly it will affect the lives of students who may not have been successful at the college level."

The philosophy behind '15 to Finish' is all about boosting the number of students who are on track for on-time graduation by encouraging enrollment in 15 credits each semester (30 credits per year, including summers). ‘15 to Finish' encourages students to take more credits, graduate on time and start earning faster.

Ruby applied the '15 to Finish' philosophy to multiple student onboarding activities; most notably, New Student Advising Day.

"Students are encouraged very early on to consider building momentum in their journey through higher education by taking 15 credits. Students that enroll in 15 credits per semester save time to degree, save money, and enter the workforce more quickly than if they were to only take the minimum of 12 credits" noted Ruby.

Equally important in higher education are providing clear pathways to degrees, careers and further education, as the majority of college students do not graduate on time.

Extra semesters and years get tacked on as students take courses that don't count toward their degrees or when needed milestone courses aren't available. Worse yet, in the absence of clear direction, graduation rates stagnate and students end up with loan debt but no degree (www.completecollege.org).

Under Ruby's direction, the Advising and Academic Success Center of Garrett College functions within a foundation of proactive advising.

Advisors intentionally build relationships with students to establish a learning-centered experience. Additionally, advisors regularly use academic maps and proactive advising strategies to demonstrate a semester-by-semester plan toward on-time completion, indicating milestone and pre-requisite courses. As such, advisors are effectively able to monitor progress and provide intervention as needed.

"This prestigious role will allow her to network with other advising and higher education professionals, share expertise on the '15 to Finish' and proactive advising strategies, provide support to institutions wishing to implement these strategies, and represent Garrett College nationwide within the CCA platform." Dr. Kerns added.