Date of Award

Spring 3-17-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair

Dr. Sally C. Selden

Committee Member

Dr. John C. Walker

Committee Member

Dr. John S. Capps


The Gates Foundation’s Completion by Design Loss Momentum Framework (LMF) has been the catalyst for twenty-first century community college reform. This framework indicates the points in a student’s college journey as: 1) Connection – from interest to application; 2) Entry – from enrolling to passing program gatekeeper courses; 3) Progress – from program entry to completion of program requirements; and 4) Completion – completion of credential of value for further market value or labor market advancement. The Completion by Design Loss Momentum Framework focuses on student success by using a Guided Pathways approach through which incoming students are given support to clarify goals for college and careers, choose a program of study, and develop an academic plan with predictable schedules (Completion by Design, 2018).

The success of students at one community college in Virginia as a result of the implementation of strategies from the Completion by Design Loss Momentum Framework was the focus of this study. Success was defined within each stage of the framework as indicated for cohorts of students entering the community college each fall for five years. An adaptation of the Completion by Design Loss Momentum Framework key performance indicators as applied within the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) performance-based funding model served as the measures upon which success was determined.

Once the research questions were defined in the context of the contemporary LMF theoretical framework, along with the identification of the longitudinal data that was used for the study, the single case study, embedded case design described by Yin (2009) was identified as the appropriate method. Case study research practices were employed to ensure the quality, validity, and reliability of this project.

There are multiple measures of success when considering college-level data, and it is difficult to determine which specific variables significantly impact student success. This study was designed to identify statistical significance for selected variables that aligned with one community college’s LMF implementation and to identify funding priorities to support successful strategies during a time where resources are limited due to declining enrollment. This study identified the statistical significance of strategies that were positively associated with student success as defined in the LMF.

This study found statistically significant results for the eight strategies as positive predictors for enrollment, retention, and completion for: FAFSA completion, full-time enrollment, advising, college success skills course, college-level math and English success in four terms for developmental students, credit accumulation in first term, and college-level math and English success in three terms for college-ready students.