275,000 Students Now Have a Better Chance of Graduating from College and Achieving their Dreams

27 institutions selected into the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network; commit to rigorous student success and completion

Silver Spring, MD (April 26, 2012) – Achieving the Dream – a national nonprofit leading the nation’s most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history – welcomed 27 institutions into the National Reform Network. The 2012 Cohort (serving 275,000* students throughout 10 states; including 20 community colleges, six technical institutions, and one historically black college) will begin, immediately, the important work of identifying and implementing evidence-based strategies for closing achievement gaps and increasing retention, persistence, and completion rates.

“This new cohort of colleges will collectively help 275,000 students succeed,” said Beverly Fletcher, Senior Director of Organizational Development and Change for Achieving the Dream. “And the success of each student means much more than just a personal goal secured. It means improved skills, better employability, and economic growth for their community and our nation as a whole.”

Introducing the Achieving the Dream 2012 Cohort

Albany Technical College (GA)
Arkansas Baptist College (AR)
Atlanta Technical College (GA)
Atlantic Cape Community College (NJ)**
Augusta Technical College (GA)
Blue Mountain Community College (OR) 
Central Alabama Community College (AL) 
Central Georgia Technical College (GA) 
College of Southern Nevada (NV) 
Columbia Gorge Community College (OR) 
Columbus State Community College (OH)
Columbus Technical College (GA)
Gaston College (NC)
Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GA)
Klamath Community College (OR) 
Kingsborough Community College (NY) 
Linn-Benton Community College (OR) 
Miami Dade College (FL) 
Oregon Coast Community College (OR) 
Pierce College (WA)
Southwestern Oregon Community College (OR)
St. Petersburg College (FL)
Stanly Community College (NC)
Tillamook Bay Community College (OR)
Treasure Valley Community College (OR)**
Umpqua Community College (OR) 
Wallace State Community College (Hanceville, AL) 

“The Technical College System of Georgia is honored to have such a large representation of our colleges selected into the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network,” said Judy Taylor, Resource Development, Technical College System of Georgia. “Our sights are set on improving student success and completion on a substantial scale, and we are ready to do the fundamental reform work necessary to achieve that dream.” 

In addition to the colleges that are self-funding their participation in Achieving the Dream, this most recent expansion has been made possible with grants provided by The Kresge Foundation.

“The work of closing achievement gaps and improving student success is extremely difficult and critically important,” said Beverly Fletcher, Senior Director of Organizational Development and Change for Achieving the Dream. “Being an Achieving the Dream Institution takes courage, discipline, and a tenacious institution-wide commitment to student success and equity. The 2012 Cohort should be applauded for doing their part to tackle one of society’s most daunting challenges: success for more college students.”

The Achieving the Dream Model

Each new college will commit to the Achieving the Dream Student-Centered Model of Institutional Improvement. Based on four principles, the Model frames the overall work of helping more students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. Each college will approach the work differently, but Achieving the Dream’s five-step process will provide practical guidelines for helping keep the focus where it belongs and building momentum over time. Throughout the process, Achieving the Dream Coaches will offer customized support and help each college’s core team implement data-informed programs and policies that build long-term, institution-wide commitment to student success. Learn more about the Model here.

Achieving the Dream is a national nonprofit leading the nation’s most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. The Achieving the Dream National Reform Network, including nearly 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams - working throughout 32 states and the District of Columbia - helps 3.75 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

*Number based on Fall 2010 enrollment for full- and part-time students provided by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)

**Atlantic Cape Community College and Treasure Valley Community College were admitted to the 2012 cohort as of May 30, 2012, due to the timing of the college boards’ approvals.

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Achieving the Dream, Inc. is a national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. Evidence-based, student-centered, and built on the values of equity and excellence, Achieving the Dream is closing achievement gaps and accelerating student success nationwide by: 1) guiding evidence-based institutional improvement, 2) leading policy change, 3) generating knowledge, and 4) engaging the public. Conceived as an initiative in 2004 by Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations, today, Achieving the Dream is leading the most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. With over 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams - working throughout 35 states and the District of Columbia – the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network helps more than 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

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