Common Measures Learning Community (CMLC)

Project Purpose and Scope 

Through the Common Measures Learning Community (CMLC), NCAN is supporting 20 NCAN member programs in adopting the tracking of the two key student outcomes (college enrollment and degree attainment) of NCAN’s Common Measures, as well as the 12 essential indicators, and using these data to improve outcomes for students.


The CMLC is an opportunity to learn from and share with other college access and success programs on the vital topics of data tracking and program best practices, facilitated by NCAN. CMLC participants will learn how other programs are collecting and analyzing data as well as identify evidence-based program options for improving student outcomes where needed. Participants will receive customized tools, training, technical assistance, and reports, in addition to other benefits, and will have the opportunity to be featured in publicly released case studies on best practices.


The CMLC began in November 2013 and will run through June 2016. This project is made possible through the generous support of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. NCAN staff will ensure that participants receive carefully tailored and relevant support, investigate the questions and issues CMLC participants face in implementing Common Measures, and find/communicate effective and practical solutions.

Participating Organizations
The 20 NCAN members participating in the Common Measures Learning Community are:

·        10,000 Degrees – San Rafael, CA

·        Bridges to a Brighter Future at Furman University – Greenville, SC

·        College Bound, Inc. – Washington, DC

·        CollegeTracks – Bethesda, MD

·        Degrees of Change / Act Six – Tacoma, WA

·        East Bay College Access Network – Oakland, CA

·        Education Services Foundation’s Get2College – Jackson, MS

·        Genesys Works – St. Paul, MN

·        I Know I Can – Columbus, OH

·        The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation – Boise, ID

·        LA’s Promise – Los Angeles, CA

·        On Point for College, Inc.- Syracuse, NY

·        Options Center at Goddard Riverside Community Center – New York, NY

·        Partnership for the Future – Glen Allen, VA

·        The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis – St. Louis, MO

·        The SEED Foundation – Washington, DC

·        Tennessee College Access and Success Network – Nashville, TN

·        The Graduate! Network – Philadelphia, PA

·        Washington Student Achievement Council – Olympia, WA

·        YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee Sponsor-a-Scholar Program – Milwaukee, WI

In order to be eligible for CMLC participation, these organizations were all required to be:

• Current NCAN member maintaining membership through 2016.
• Nonprofit organizations, public and charter schools, or colleges and universities.
• Able to demonstrate a history of providing at least some access or success services or a combination of the two.
• Within an annual budget range for the direct service access/success activities between $400,000 to $8 million.
• Willing to implement the tracking of all Common Measures relevant to its program and able to demonstrate the ability/willingness to take on the database/IT capabilities necessary for data tracking.

Expected Outcomes

For participants

• Increase in college enrollment by 7%
• Increase in graduation rates by 5% from baseline.
• Implementation and tracking of NCAN’s Common Measures.

For other NCAN members

• Research papers, briefs, and conference sessions on best practices for:

o data collection, storage, implementation, and usage for program improvement
o ensuring student privacy
o using evidence-based strategies to better serve students

For more information on the CMLC, contact Sara Melnick at melnicks@collegeaccess.org or Bill DeBaun at debaunb@collegeaccess.org.