Achieving the Dream Recognizes Miami Dade College and Pierce College District for Transformative Change, Improved Graduation Rates
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Achieving the Dream congratulates the 2017 Leah Meyer Austin Award recipients Miami Dade College (FL) and Pierce College District (WA). The national prize is given annually to a college or colleges in the ATD Network that show measurable improvement in student outcomes driven by top-to-bottom cultural change in the institution.
Pierce College made data-driven college-wide changes to address its issue of dropping retention, course completion, and graduation rates. The three-year graduation rate for all Pierce College students increased from 22 percent in 2009 to 31 percent in 2013. Their fall-to-fall retention rate improved from 51 percent to 60 percent for all students. Their rate for first generation college-going students increased from 21 percent to 30 percent.
Miami Dade College realized that too many barriers prevented too many students from remaining in college or completing their academic programs. To address this issue, the college undertook bold, institution-wide changes. During this transformation, for example, their three-year graduation rate increased from 31 percent to 34 percent, including an improvement of six percentage points for male students.