An AI Playbook for Enhancing College Completion

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Complete College America recently published an extensive playbook and equity paper that explore the potential use of artificial intelligence (AI) in increasing college completion rates and achieving greater equity in higher education. This comprehensive resource offers a range of strategies and steps that institutions can take to leverage AI technology and address disparities related to race, socioeconomic background, and other factors.

The playbook, spanning 78 pages, delves into over 200 possible applications of AI in the context of improving college attainment. These applications include the identification of students in need of support and the analysis of vast datasets. The accompanying equity paper emphasizes the importance of providing access to AI technology and training data while involving a diverse range of stakeholders in AI development.

According to Yolanda Watson Spiva, President of Complete College America, AI has the potential to transform student success and college completion strategies. The organization is committed to exploring these opportunities and ensuring equitable access to higher education.

To ensure equitable AI implementation, Complete College America pinpoints three key focus areas. First, institutions must ensure that both students and institutions at large have access to AI resources. Second, the training data used for AI development must be unbiased. Finally, the development of AI technology should involve the input and consultation of a wide range of educational stakeholders, including community colleges, minority-serving institutions, and public institutions.

Complete College America’s Council on Equitable AI in Higher Education, composed of 20 experts from various fields, will collaborate with technology companies, regulatory bodies, and higher education institutions to create an environment where equity is not just a goal but a tangible practice.

Vistasp M. Karbhari, a CCA fellow and civil engineering professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, emphasizes that while strategies for improving student success are well-known, the challenge lies in scaling those strategies due to limited resources. AI has the potential to level the playing field in higher education, but it is crucial to ensure that all institutions have the necessary technology, expertise, and financial resources to access and implement these technological advances. This will allow for the widespread use of generative AI tools, which can address the inequities in access and attainment.

Complete College America’s AI playbook and equity paper represent a significant step toward harnessing AI’s potential for transforming higher education. By identifying concrete strategies and emphasizing equity, the organization aims to create an inclusive and accessible learning environment for all students.