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Holistic Student Supports

2016 Leah Meyer Austin Award – William Rainey Harper College

Stories & Case Studies
February 23, 2016

Moving from stand-alone excellence to integrated excellence

In 2009, when Kenneth Ender became president of William Rainey Harper College, he discovered faculty and staff who were ready for a college-wide strategy that emphasized student success. Harper’s students were not completing enough of the credentials they had come to college to earn, and Harper’s faculty and staff wanted that to change.

Dr. Ender saw in that desire a unique opportunity to unify the college under one common agenda. With the support of the board of trustees, Harper College joined the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network in 2009 and began applying the ATD Institutional Improvement Model and organizing to launch a student success agenda grounded in the principle of building community.

The overall impact has been transformational. Since joining ATD, Harper College’s culture has evolved from one of “stand-alone excellence” to a community dedicated to “integrated excellence.” Leaders from all areas of the college are now empowered to improve the student experience. The collective efforts of the college community have contributed to an impressive ten percentage points increase in their graduation rate.

Read the brochure below to learn more about how they did it.

2016 Leah Meyer Austin Award – William Rainey Harper College

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