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Gaston College has a strong history of using strategic planning to guide its goals, to provide a framework for excellence, and to respond to community needs, as well as future opportunities. In response to identified issues in student retention, the college has, in the past few years, undergone a major initiative to improve retention, and continues to be fully committed to implementing evidence-based practices designed to maximize student success.
Gaston College looks forward to working with Achieving the Dream and receiving assistance to further develop systemic initiatives that will impact the success both of at-risk students and their student population as a whole. Through participation in Achieving the Dream, Gaston College will:
- Have an opportunity to obtain guidance on developing improved methods for data-mining and interpretation
- Gain assistance in determining which indicators to follow more closely
- Develop improved training for college staff on data-related issues
- Use systems that will enable them to keep the community better engaged through improved local-level data, and analysis of its impact on the local community economy and society
Gaston College has two campuses, one in Dallas, NC (main) and the other in Lincolnton, NC. Gaston College was granted a charter by the State of North Carolina in 1963 and began its first classes in temporary headquarters in September 1964. The college moved to its permanent campus between Dallas and Gastonia two months later, serving both Gaston and Lincoln counties. Gaston College enrolls over 5,000 students each term in curriculum programs and averages over 16,000 students annually in its Continuing Education programs.
Gaston College is home to a tremendous ethnic, racial, gender, age, religious and socioeconomically diverse student body. It strives to provide a high quality education to all of their students, and equal access to all college services. However, the college also recognizes that despite these efforts, these students have not all historically achieved at the same level. Between 2007 and 2010 the average 150% graduation rate for male students was 22% and for female students was 19%. During that same period, the average rate for white students was 23%, compared with 13% for black students and 16% for Hispanic students. For the fall 2010 semester, 31% of students were minorities and 99% of students were residents of North Carolina.
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