NAICU Washington Update

NAICU, CIC Unveil Building Blocks to 2020 Website

October 01, 2010

NAICU and CIC unveiled a new website on Sept. 23 designed to highlight and support efforts by nonprofit private colleges and universities to increase the number of at-risk students they enroll, and to boost the retention and graduation rates of various student populations.

The website is the central component of Building Blocks to 2020, a national initiative organized by NAICU and CIC to help the nation meet President Obama’s call to make the United States first in college completion by 2020.

The website provides opportunities for campus professionals working on the front lines of student access, retention, and completion to learn from the experiences of other colleges, and to mine for practices and policies that fit their individual institutional missions and student populations.

The website will also serve as an information resource for consumers and policymakers who are interested in what colleges are doing to not only reach out to students from diverse backgrounds, but boost their chances of earning a degree. The number and diversity of institutions and programs represented on the website will grow, as NAICU continues to gather and post material from colleges and universities.

The Building Blocks to 2020 website provides summaries of more than 535 existing or proposed programs at more than 250 nonprofit private colleges and universities. Summaries of programs can be browsed alphabetically by institution, and by state, and are searchable by 34 topics.

Up until about 10 years ago, the U.S. led the world in college completion. However, as the percentage of young adults with degrees has surged in other developed nations, the U.S. now ranks 12th in the percentage of adults 25 to 34 with an associate’s degree or higher, according to the College Board.

The Sept. 23 announcement received press coverage, including from the Washington Post. The website will continue to be of interest to journalists as public awareness of the college completion agenda grows.

(If your institution has issued a news release or received local media coverage of your participation in Building Blocks to 2020, please send the relevant web links to Tony Pals,, for posting to the news room section of the 2020 website.)

Institutions that have not yet completed NAICU’s surveys of institutional programs can do so by clicking on the links below.

-- Access and Success Survey: What you are already doing on your campus to positively affect access, retention, and/or completion rates

-- 2020 Survey: Initiatives you are exploring or plan to expand, that supports the nation’s 2020 goal

Even though there is no deadline for completing the surveys, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible. NAICU will continue to maintain the website after the public launch. Questions about the surveys should be directed to Wendy Weiler,

Questions about individual institutional program summaries posted on the website should be directed to Roland King,

To submit a video showcasing a program on the 2020 YouTube channel that others may wish to model, send it (or a link to it) to