BBCC rejoins ‘Achieving the Dream’

Achieving the Dream (ATD) welcomed back Big Bend Community College to its National Reform Network on June 23 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

BBCC is one of a cohort of 16 community and technical colleges from eight states selected to participate in the 2015 Achieving the Dream Kickoff Institute June 23-25.

“ATD participants must demonstrate an institution-wide commitment to spend at least three years working with experts to implement reforms designed to improve student success and completion rates on their campuses,” said ATD President and CEO William E. Trueheart.

“Such a huge commitment to fundamentally rethink educational and student support is unusual and should be applauded because their work will result in a much larger, better educated, and productive workforce,” said Achieving the Dream President and CEO William E. Trueheart.

Big Bend participated in ATD for five years (2006-11) as one of the first ATD colleges in Washington state, took a break, and is returning to the network of more than 200 colleges. During the time BBCC was not an official member of the ATD network, college officials continued to work with other ATD college in the state to share best practices and improve student success.

“We continued to do the work of collecting data and building on what we learned from our AT experiences,” said Terry Leas, BBCC President. “Rejoining ATD will help Big Bend take the next big step in improving student success.”

By 2020, almost two thirds of all jobs will require education and training beyond high school, according to a report by Anthony P. Carnevale, Georgetown University Professor and Director of the University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. Recovery, Job Growth and Education Requirements through 2020, recently cited by Bill Gates and other education leaders, found that unless the US begins producing more college graduates, there will be a shortfall of 11 million skilled workers to fill those jobs.

Achieving the Dream, Inc. 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 over 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams – working throughout 35 states and the District of Columbia – helps more than  4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

Colleges in the ATD National Reform Network work to preserve access and assure that students, especially low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity.

Introducing the 2015 Cohort Colleges:

  • Bergen Community College (N.J.)
  • Big Bend Community College (Wash.)
  • Blue Ridge Community College (N.C.)
  • Coastal Pines Technical College (Ga.)
  • Cuyamaca College – Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District (Calif.)
  • Grossmont College – Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District (Calif.)
  • Jackson State Community College (Tenn.)
  • Lakeshore Technical College (Wis.)
  • MiraCosta College (Calif.)
  • Modesto Junior College (Calif.)
  • Ogeechee Technical College (Ga.)
  • Onondaga Community College (SUNY) (N.Y.)
  • Roane State Community College (Tenn.)
  • Ventura College (Calif.)
  • Westchester Community College (SUNY) (N.Y.)
  • Wiregrass Georgia Technical College (Ga.)

At the 2015 Kickoff Institute, the new ATD colleges worked in teams with coaches to increase their data analytic capacity to inform decision-making, understand how guided pathways can improve the student experience, identify opportunities to improve teaching and learning, and understand equity challenges on campus.  

The 2015 cohort represents the first colleges in the Network to begin using the new Institutional Improvement Model to advance student success.  The Model, composed of the Institutional Capacity Framework and the Continuous Improvement Cycle, provides practical guidelines for maintaining focus on students’ needs and building momentum over time. Throughout the process, Achieving the Dream coaches offer customized support and numerous peer learning opportunities to accelerate the adoption and adaptation of evidence-based, high-impact practices.

In addition to using the new model, the 2015 Cohort will benefit from achieving ATD’s agreement with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) in which colleges’ data on key student success outcome measures will be extracted from student data already being submitted to NSC. The change responds to requests by Achieving the Dream Institutions for a more streamlined data reporting structure.

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