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Pierce College (WA)
Student success and completion is at the cornerstone of the work done at Pierce College. Through participation in Achieving the Dream, the college plans to help all of their students succeed as well-rounded and prepared learners. Achieving the Dream will provide the college with the expertise, networking resources, and evaluative tools to make wholesale changes in their student success and completion efforts. In addition, the resources that will be provided will give the college the necessary tools and strategies to reduce the incidence of student failure and withdrawal.
As an Achieving the Dream Institution, Pierce College plans to:
- Gain a systematic evidence-based approach to student success
- Improving students’ college-level skills, first-year retention, completing college-level math and degree completions
- Use the research they are doing and the additional tools gained to better understand which programs and initiatives make a difference, and which do not
- Make better data-driven decisions and establish a culture of evidence
Pierce College is the largest institution of higher education in Pierce County, Washington and serves a vital need in the surrounding community with two major campuses at Fort Steilacoom and Puyallup and seven extended learning sites. Pierce College is one of fifteen colleges in the nation to receive a U.S. Department of Education grant for a Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success. The college community is highly diverse with great disparity and severe inequities. The boundaries of the local school district include many million dollar mansions, and yet 64% of the students are eligible for free or reduced lunch.
The college reaches out to new immigrants, high school drop-outs, veterans, adult new readers and other diverse communities. In the fall 2010 semester, Pierce College served approximately 27,300 students; 34% were enrolled in professional/technical programs, 8% were enrolled in Basic Skills programs. The average student age was 29 years old; 32% of students were ethnic minorities, 52% were female, 3% were disabled. Sixty percent of students were part-time and 225 students were International.
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