15 to Finish

15 to Finish is a campaign that encourages students to take 15 credits per semester (or 30 credits per year) to graduate on-time (i.e., in most cases, two years for an associate degree or four years for a bachelor’s degree). Since its launch in 2012 as part of the Hawai‘i Graduation Initiative, 15 to Finish campaigns have been implemented by seven states at scale and an additional 120 institutions nationwide. An additional seven states have committed to launching campaigns in 2017.

Visit the 15 to Finish web site.


CCA Data Snapshot: 15 to Finish

CCA Data Snapshot report
New handout from Complete College America (CCA) with highlight on the University of Hawai‘i.

15 to Finish, A University of Hawaiʻi Success Story

Presentation to WASC ARC 2017 Conference, April 19, 2017 by David Mongold, IRAO Senior analyst and Joanne Itano, Associate VP for Academic Planning and Policy.

15 to Finish WASC presentation April 19, 2017

Launching 15 to Finish

VP Risa Dickson’s presentation to Complete College America annual meeting breakout session, Nov. 10, 2016.

title slide

Complete College America honors UH’s STAR and 15 to Finish programs

The University of Hawaiʻi was honored for two of its graduation initiatives that are national models. Before an audience of 600 higher education leaders and advocates from around the country, Complete College America (CCA) announced that UH is the inaugural recipient of two President’s Awards at the national nonprofit’s 2016 annual meeting in San Francisco, California.
UH receiving CCA award

Read the full story at UH News

HGI Update 2016

HGI Info sheet 2016
This handout updates the Hawaiʻi Graduation Initiative including new and on-going strategies.

UH wins Inspired Delivery award at Access to Success

The University of Hawaiʻi’s 15 to Finish campaign was one of two winners in the U.S. Education Delivery Institute’s (EDI) Access to Success (A2S) event. As an Inspired Deliverologist Expert Award (IDEA) winner, UH was credited for system-wide goals that have:

  • awarded 11,278 degrees and certificates, the most in system history
  • exceeded goals for Native Hawaiian student degree attainment
  • almost doubled the goal for number of Pell grants disbursed
  • exceeded the goals for increasing the number of STEM degrees awarded

This is the last A2S meeting, as this five year initiatives comes to an end. Its goal was to reduce in half the gap between freshman and transfers underrepresented and low-income students in graduation rates compared to non-underrepresented minorities and low-income students. It was announced that UH four-year campuses were the only one to achieve this goal for bachelor’s degrees, and the two-year campuses exceeded the goal for low-income students.
UH winners at Access to Success

Advancing Student Completion

President David Lassner’s presentation at the SHEEO Annual Meeting in Boise, ID, on July 8, 2014.
slide14web

Update on HGI and 15 to Finish

CCAO 5-21-14 (.pdf)

Presentation by Joanne Itano to the Council of Chief Academic Officers and Council of Chief Student Affairs Officers on May 21, 2014.

Complete College America, 15 to Finish: From Idea to Action

CCA 15 to Finish webinar 4-29-14 (.pdf)

Established in 2009, Complete College America is a national nonprofit with a single mission: to work with states to significantly increase the number of Americans with quality career certificates or college degrees and to close attainment gaps for traditionally underrepresented populations. Most “full-time” college students are not taking the credits needed to graduate on time, instead opting for course loads that put them on 3- and 4-year plans for their associate degree and 5- and 6-year plans for their bachelor’s. The result—thousands of dollars more in student loan debt and an increased likelihood that students won’t make it to graduation day. This presentation, given by Joanne Itano on April 29, 2014 in a national webinar hosted by CCA, highlighted the work being done here in Hawaiʻi, where “15 to Finish” originated.

Indiana Strengthening Pathways to Success Summit, Sept 19, 2013



Presentation (.pdf)

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education is a “14-member public body created in 1971 to define the missions of Indiana’s colleges and universityes, plan and coordinate the states’s postsecondary education system, and ensure that Indiana’s higher education system, and ensure that Indiana’s higher education system is aligned to meet the needs of students and the state.”

Video file for presentation:
15toFinish_students.mov