About the Higher Education Compact of Greater Cleveland

In 2010, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson asked civic leaders, educators, and college and university presidents to develop a plan to increase the number of youth attending and graduating from college. Organizational leaders met to research best practices and explore a data-driven, outcomes approach to promoting student success. This group recommended collaborative and collective efforts be aligned to increase college readiness, access and persistence, improvement goals be established and student progression be measured, monitored and shared with the community through a College Success Dashboard. Mayor Jackson accepted these recommendations and, by so doing, formally launched the Higher Education Compact of Greater Cleveland in October 2011.

The Compact is a promise, a written pledge — from these leaders to do what it takes to remove obstacles that prevent Cleveland youth from going to and succeeding in college.

Our community’s pledge to help youth enroll in college and graduate with a degree

In the City of Cleveland, just 6 percent of the residents 25 years and over hold an associate’s degree and 15 percent hold a bachelor’s degree or higher (US Census Bureau, 2010-2015 ACS). While the percent of Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) graduates enrolling in college has increased steadily from 45 to 67%, the percent of students actually completing their college degree is non-competitive. For every 100 CMSD students who graduated in 2009, only 22 percent earned a college degree within six years.

Low degree attainment translates into high unemployment, low wages, a low tax base and a high burden on the public sector.

Everyone wants better for our youth and community.

That’s why Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson,the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, sixteen Ohio Colleges and universities, area foundations and community organizations  came together to:

  • Establish the Higher Education Compact of Greater Cleveland, a community-wide effort, to significantly increase number of Cleveland Students who earn degrees.
  • Develop a “College Success Dashboard” that colleges, educators, civic leaders and others in the community can use to annually track college readiness, college access and college persistence.
  • Research and benchmark efforts of other communities that are succeeding in efforts to get youth ready for and attending college.