Texas colleges to join peer coaching initiative

Achieving the Dream Inc. (ATD) has selected seven community colleges in Texas to participate in the new ATD Texas Peer Coaching Initiative.

The initiative is designed to accelerate the transfer of effective practices among colleges with the long-term goal of improving sustainable student outcomes. The TG Public Benefit grant program awarded ATD a $185,000 grant to support the program.

The  participating colleges are Alamo Colleges, Brazosport College, El Paso Community College, Houston Community College, Lee College, San Jacinto College and South Texas College.

Representatives from those colleges, ATD and TG convened for an inaugural Texas Peer Coaching Initiative Kickoff Institute at Austin Community College on Tuesday.

Promoting student success

All seven colleges had been designated ATD Leader Colleges. Each one has received $10,000 from ATD to provide support to at least two other Texas colleges on effective, evidence-based strategies to increase students' persistence, retention and completion.

The seven “have already demonstrated commitment to and progress on the principles of Achieving the Dream and have shown an increase in student achievement,” said ATD Vice President Rachel Singer. “They are therefore poised to assist other institutions in the student success movement.”

“We recognize that leadership matters,” said Jacob Fraire, vice president of student and institutional success at TG, a nonprofit corporation that helps schools, students and borrowers navigate the federal student aid process. “We are fortunate that Texas has a great core of Leader Colleges from which we can build a knowledge infrastructure for achieving success for all community college students.”

Taking the lead

ATD has designated 52 community colleges that have demonstrated the power of ATD’s Student-Centered Model of Institutional Improvement  as Leader Colleges. These institutions have made progress in raising persistence and graduation rates and closing achievement gaps and, thus, are well-positioned to serve as mentors within the ATD community of learners.

To be eligible for Leader College distinction, colleges must demonstrate commitment to and progress on the ATD principles of leadership, use of evidence to improve programs and services, broad engagement and systemic institutional improvement.

They must also show three years of sustained improvement of student success on at least one of these measures of performance:

•    Completion of certificates or degrees
•    Term-to-term and year-to-year retention
•    Completion of college-level math and English courses
•    Advancement from developmental to credit-bearing courses
•    Course completion

In addition, each Leader College must successfully implement at least one student success intervention or initiative that is advancing student outcomes in sufficient scale to benefit a substantial proportion of students.


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