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Gates Foundation plans to invest millions over five years in three community colleges in Ohio

The Independent
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation plans to invest millions over five years in three community colleges in Ohio.

Stark State College, Sinclair and Lorain County colleges were selected by the Gates Foundation as part of its five-year “Completion by Design” initiative.

Completion by Design works with community colleges to dramatically increase graduation rates for low-income students, ages 16 to 26. Each college will audit their practices and implement new approaches to improve results.

“This program is important not only in that it focuses on the student completion that our state needs at this time, but also in that it can only be successful with the full engagement and support of Ohioans at many levels,” Stark State President John O’Donnell said.

The Gates Foundation has committed $36 million to the initiative, over five years, parceled among several community colleges in four states.

Tuesday, the Gates Foundation launched the initiative in Ohio by providing Stark State and the other two colleges with $500,000. The three colleges, the Ohio Board of Regents and the Ohio Association of Community Colleges will share the grant money.

“Ohio is a place that people pay attention to nationally,” said senior program officer for the Gates Foundation, Suzanne Walsh .
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