Cuyahoga Community College

CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga Community College was selected as one of 15 community colleges across the country to win a $100,000 Walmart PRESS for Completion grant. The grant program, sponsored by the Walmart Foundation and administered by Achieving the Dream, a national nonprofit leading the nation’s most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for community college student success, will enable Cuyahoga Community College to better engage faculty (especially adjunct faculty) and staff in important campus-based reform efforts and ensure that more students have a better chance of staying in school and obtaining a market-valued credential.

“We at Cuyahoga Community College are proud and excited to be selected as one of 15 Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges to receive the Walmart PRESS for Completion grant,” Cuyahoga Community College President Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton said.  “We look forward to working with faculty and staff members on important engagement strategies that will allow us to serve our students in meaningful and effective ways in the attainment of their educational goals.  Beyond the impact this important initiative has on our own students here at Cuyahoga Community College, it is exciting to be engaged in something that has such far-reaching direct impacts on over 100,000 students around the country.”

“Cuyahoga Community College has met high standards of practice and performance and is well-positioned to tackle one of the toughest community college reform challenges our nation is facing: engaging more full-time and adjunct faculty and staff in student success efforts,” said Rachel Singer, Vice President of Achieving the Dream, Inc.

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 disconnections between academic departments and student services limiting vital collaboration. Cuyahoga Community College is an Achieving the Dream Leader College, a network of 50 colleges known for their commitment to student-centered evidence-based reforms and outstanding increases in student outcomes. Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges are deemed a most ideal network for testing and expanding innovative faculty and staff engagement strategies.

Through a competitive process, including 50 eligible Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges, Cuyahoga Community College was selected as a grant recipient in the Walmart PRESS for Completion grant program. The grant will include a 27-month process during which time Cuyahoga Community College will receive technical assistance and support from Achieving the Dream. In addition, Cuyahoga Community College has agreed to serve as a peer coach and be active in the learning community among the other 175+ colleges in the larger Achieving the Dream National Reform Network.  Ultimately, at least 100,000 students stand to benefit directly, and 3.75 million indirectly, from the collective work of the selected colleges.

Representatives from Cuyahoga Community College participated in the inaugural Walmart PRESS for Completion Grant Recipient Kickoff Institute at the Hyatt Hotel in Reston, VA from June 24 – June 26, 2012. 

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support initiatives that are helping people live better around the globe. In May 2010, Walmart and its Foundation made a historic pledge of $2 billion through 2015 to fight hunger in the U.S. The Walmart Foundation also supports education, workforce development, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness initiatives.

Achieving the Dream is a national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. Evidence-based, student-centered, and built on the values of equity and excellence, Achieving the Dream is closing achievement gaps and accelerating student success nationwide by: 1) guiding evidence-based institutional improvement, 2) leading policy change, 3) generating knowledge, and 4) engaging the public. Conceived as an initiative in 2004 by Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations, today, Achieving the Dream is leading the most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in community college history. With nearly 200 colleges, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams - working throughout 32 states and the District of Columbia - Achieving the Dream helps 3.75 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

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