Eleven Community Colleges Earn New Honor for Excellence in Student Success

Achieving the Dream Awards “Leader College of Distinction”

LONG BEACH, CA (February 19, 2019) – Achieving the Dream (ATD) today announced 11 community colleges in the ATD Network have earned Leader College of Distinction status for achieving new, higher student outcomes and narrowing equity gaps.

“The metrics ATD established for Leader College of Distinction are meant to encourage colleges to sustain aggressive efforts that result in far greater student success and equity,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “The honor recognizes Network colleges that have lived their reform work over time and seen real improvements in student achievement across the institution.”

The first cohort of Leader Colleges of Distinction are:

  • Amarillo College (TX)
  • Bay College (MI)
  • College of Southern Nevada (NV)
  • Cuyahoga Community College (OH)
  • Everett Community College (WA)
  • Kingsborough Community College (NY)
  • Lorain Community College (OH)
  • Lee College (TX)
  • North Central State College (OH)
  • Passaic County Community College (NJ)
  • Pierce College (WA)

ATD created the Leader College of Distinction award in 2018 to recognize colleges that have continued striving to meet challenging student success goals, often earning Leader College status several times. Leader Colleges of Distinction must show improvement in three measures, including a lagging indicator like such as completion, while Leader Colleges must show improvement in two student outcome measures. Leader Colleges of Distinction also are required to show they have shrunk performance discrepancies in at least two metrics between groups disaggregated by gender, race/ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. The metrics that applicants for the Leader College of Distinction honor are required to select from include: (a) completion of gateway math and/or English in Year 1, (b) persistence from Year 1 to Year 2 (fall-to-fall retention), (c) courses attempted/completed with a C- or higher grade within one year of initial enrollment; (d) completion of a certificate or degree within four years of initial enrollment; and ( e ) transfer to a four-year institution and achievement of a baccalaureate degree within six years of initial enrollment.

Only colleges that have been Leader Colleges for three or more years were eligible to apply for this status.

ATD anticipates that earning the new honor will position colleges to be successful in competing for the Leah Meyer Austin Award. In addition, the increased visibility should help accelerate the adoption of effective practices across the Network institutions and the community college field as a whole.

Leader Colleges of Distinction will have their own identity within the ATD Network, including a new LCoD logo, and will receive priority to participate in ATD’s innovation initiatives. They will be asked to present and facilitate more sessions at ATD events and institutes and asked to serve as mentor colleges.

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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. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Wakelet.

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