Kingsborough Community College’s Learning Communities Drive Increases in Degree Attainment

Congratulatory Statement from Achieving the Dream President and CEO William Trueheart

(July 27, 2012)  Huge congratulations are deserved for Kingsborough Community College – an Achieving the Dream Institution - for demonstrating significant increases in degree attainment for students who participated in their learning communities.

MDRC’s report, Commencement Day: Six-Year Effects of a Freshman Learning Community Program at Kingsborough Community College documents and confirms the outstanding accomplishments of the Kingsborough Community College Opening Doors demonstration program. Kingsborough is showing the nation that learning communities, done well with a focus on integrative and collaborative learning and a robust partnership between academic affairs and student affairs, and strong, committed leadership, can positively affect community college students’ short- and long-term academic outcomes.  

Kingsborough implemented the semester-long learning community intervention, and the MDRC study tracked participating students’ progression for six years and examined whether the program led to long-term academic success. According to MDRC:

“The Opening Doors Learning Communities program increased the proportion of students who earned a degree by 4.6 percentage points after six years.” Additionally, the program is cost-effective, as “the cost per degree earned was lower per program group member than it was per control group member.”

As most community college reformers know, increasing student learning outcomes is extremely important and extremely difficult. Dr. Regina Peruggi, President of Kingsborough Community College and her team deserve an enormous amount of credit for their innovative reforms. We are pleased to note that ATD’s Vice President, Rachel Singer, was an architect and champion of the Opening Doors Learning Community Program and an active reformer at Kingsborough Community College for more than 25 years prior to joining Achieving the Dream as Vice President for Community College Relations and Applied Research. Rachel and her Kingsborough colleagues have clearly demonstrated that student access can be translated into student success and completion when college leadership commits to student-centered reforms.

Please join me in congratulating Kingsborough Community College for being an exemplar of equity and excellence.

Press Release Files

PDF version of the statement246.91 KB

Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads a growing network of more than 220 community colleges committed to helping their students, particularly low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity. ATD is making progress in closing academic achievement gaps and accelerating student success through a unique change process that builds each college’s institutional capacities in seven essential areas. ATD, along with nearly 75 experienced coaches and advisors, works closely with Network colleges in 41 states and the District of Columbia to reach more than 4 million community college students.

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