PRESS for Completion

Nationwide, while great strides have been made at community colleges for student success, the proportion of faculty (including adjunct faculty) and student services personnel deeply engaged in the work is modest compared to the total number of faculty and staff at the colleges. Further, the reform work has not yet eliminated the disconnections between academic departments and student services that limit vital collaboration.

Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges, known for their commitment to student-centered evidence-based reforms and outstanding increases in student outcomes, were deemed an ideal network of colleges for testing and expanding innovative faculty and staff engagement strategies and student success interventions. Through a competitive grant program funded by the Walmart Foundation and administered by Achieving the Dream, 15 of 50 eligible Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges were selected in June 2012 to participate in the Walmart PRESS (Persistence, Retention and Student Success) for Completion grant program to deepen faculty and staff engagement while increasing student success. The grant includes a 27-month process during which the selected colleges receive technical assistance and support from Achieving the Dream. In addition, each selected college has agreed to serve as a peer coach and be active in the learning community among the other 200+ colleges in the larger Achieving the Dream National Reform Network.

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