Kingsborough Community College’s Learning Communities Drive Increases in Degree Attainment

Congratulatory Statement from Achieving the Dream President and CEO William Trueheart

(July 27, 2012)  Huge congratulations are deserved for Kingsborough Community College – an Achieving the Dream Institution - for demonstrating significant increases in degree attainment for students who participated in their learning communities.

MDRC’s report, Commencement Day: Six-Year Effects of a Freshman Learning Community Program at Kingsborough Community College documents and confirms the outstanding accomplishments of the Kingsborough Community College Opening Doors demonstration program. Kingsborough is showing the nation that learning communities, done well with a focus on integrative and collaborative learning and a robust partnership between academic affairs and student affairs, and strong, committed leadership, can positively affect community college students’ short- and long-term academic outcomes.  

Kingsborough implemented the semester-long learning community intervention, and the MDRC study tracked participating students’ progression for six years and examined whether the program led to long-term academic success. According to MDRC:

“The Opening Doors Learning Communities program increased the proportion of students who earned a degree by 4.6 percentage points after six years.” Additionally, the program is cost-effective, as “the cost per degree earned was lower per program group member than it was per control group member.”

As most community college reformers know, increasing student learning outcomes is extremely important and extremely difficult. Dr. Regina Peruggi, President of Kingsborough Community College and her team deserve an enormous amount of credit for their innovative reforms. We are pleased to note that ATD’s Vice President, Rachel Singer, was an architect and champion of the Opening Doors Learning Community Program and an active reformer at Kingsborough Community College for more than 25 years prior to joining Achieving the Dream as Vice President for Community College Relations and Applied Research. Rachel and her Kingsborough colleagues have clearly demonstrated that student access can be translated into student success and completion when college leadership commits to student-centered reforms.

Please join me in congratulating Kingsborough Community College for being an exemplar of equity and excellence.

Press Release Files

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PDF version of the statement246.91 KB

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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