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Miami Dade College
Not surprisingly, 74% of Miami Dade College (MDC) students begin college academically underprepared, and 56% are first-generation college students. With that, efforts to improve student success and the motivation to help students improve their academic achievements will aid MDC’s performance as an Achieving the Dream Institution. In turn, this will constitute a model for other colleges as their minority and at-risk student populations grow.
With the help of Achieving the Dream, the college wishes to continue improving their efforts in:
- A commitment to evidence and data to support decision-making, program development and the identification of critical points in students’ progression
- A long history of addressing student success with practices that impact progression from earliest contact through completion
- A strong track record with its predominantly at-risk student population
- Increasing graduation and retention rates for all first-generation students.
MDC is eager to collaborate with the Gates Foundation and the Florida Department of Education to create model pathways and practices for the other 27 community colleges in the state.
MDC is an open-access, state-supported college governed by a seven-member Board of Trustees and the college President. The largest community college in the United States, MDC confers more associate’s degrees than any other college in the nation. In 2010-11, MDC enrolled 166,842 students—representing 185 countries and 94 languages—in credit and noncredit classes at eight campuses and numerous outreach centers throughout a 2,000 square-mile area of Miami-Dade County, Florida. With a distinguished record of academic service to underrepresented populations, MDC is ranked first nationally in the number of associate degrees awarded to both Hispanics and African Americans.
About 60% of MDC Associate in Arts graduates transfer directly to the area’s state university, Florida International University (FIU), representing more than half its enrollment. MDC serves the needs of 2.4 million residents in Miami-Dade County, one of the poorest metropolitan areas in the U.S. MDC students are predominantly minority: 71% are Hispanic and 18% are African American. Half speak a native language other than English, and 28% are resident aliens or refugees. Sixty-seven percent are low-income, and 46% live below the federal poverty level. Sixty-nine percent work while enrolled, 20% of them work full-time.
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