Press Release

2013 Leader Colleges Announced
Achieving the Dream today announced that eight Colleges have earned Leader College distinction.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

By: Lauren Lewis

Silver Spring, Maryland (August 20, 2013) Achieving the Dream today announced that eight Achieving the Dream Institutions have earned Leader College distinction for showing evidence of measurable improvements in student achievements. These leaders are showing promising progress in their student success efforts, proving that a concerted effort on broad faculty engagement, professional development, and an overall culture change at the institution is producing tangible results by increasing student persistence and closing achievement gaps.

The new 2013 Leaders Colleges are:

Austin Community College (Austin, TX)
North Central Michigan College (Petoskey, MI)
Danville Area Community College (Danville, IL)
Odessa College (Odessa, TX)
Harper College (Palatine, IL)
Tarrant County College (Fort Worth, TX)
Macomb Community College (Warren, MI)
Tyler Junior College (Tyler, TX)

“It is with great honor that we announce the 2013 Leader Colleges,” said Carol Lincoln, Achieving the Dream Senior Vice President. “These Leader Colleges are truly focused on improvement at scale. They are working hard to ensure that they are moving the needle for whole cohorts of students and should be given recognition for their relentless efforts and promising achievements.”

“North Central Michigan College’s faculty and staff have been working hard to increase the success of our students and close achievement gaps,” said North Central Michigan College President Cameron Brunet-Koch. “We are honored to be recognized as an Achieving the Dream Leader College and will continue our efforts to help our students achieve their goals.”

The 2013 Leader Colleges are making strides in the national movement to increase student persistence and close achievement gaps, demonstrating the power of the Achieving the Dream Student-Centered Model of Institutional Improvement. Each college approaches the work differently, but with the guidance of the model and Achieving the Dream Coaches, colleges not only systemically change the way they operate but also implement key student supports that align with their overall policy and institutional systems, such as college readiness programs, mandatory new student orientation, student success courses, developmental course redesign, curriculum redesign, and intensive and individualized advising.

The following is an exampleof the success the new 2013 Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges are producing through their unrelenting focus on improving student success rates:

Odessa College (Odessa, TX), implemented various student supports based on its data, including the development of a mandatory student success course, the implementation of a Drop Rate Improvement Program, and the expansion of faculty engagement and professional development efforts.

Results include:

Improved course completion rates to over 90% for every student subgroup in the Arts and Sciences division.

Increased the percent of first-time-in-college students successfully completing courses with a “C” or better from 65% in 2009-2010 to 69% in 2012-2013.
“These data suggest that our approach of developing interventions is working,” said Odessa College President Gregory Williams. “We developed interventions that create systemic change to affect all students and we are encouraged by the data showing all Achieving the Dream student cohorts gender, ethnic, age, and economic status are showing improved student success rates.”



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