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The 2011 Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges

Achieving the Dream, Inc., a national nonprofit that strives to help community college students stay in school and earn a college credential, recently named 23 institutions as Leader Colleges.

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COVER STORY:
By The Numbers

Achieving the Dream, Inc., a national nonprofit that strives to help community college students stay in school and earn a college credential, recently named 23 institutions as Leader Colleges. These emerging leaders join the ranks of institutions that have achieved Leader College status by raising persistence and graduation rates and closing achievement gaps. Following is an alphabetical list of the new Leaders Colleges and a brief description of their ATD activities:

  • Aiken Technical College (Aiken County, S.C.) increased success rates in the lowest level of developmental math from 54 percent in 2007 to 69 percent in 2010. This improvement is associated with the Lecture/Lab Prescriptive Remediation that has been scaled to reach almost 40 percent of developmental students.

  • Bunker Hill Community College (Boston, Mass.) increased fall-to-fall retention rates for students of color from 45 percent for the 2006 cohort to 51 percent for the 2009 cohort. The improvement is associated with enhanced professional development centered on student support and success, a learning community seminar for first-year students and success coaching.

  • College of the Mainland (Texas City, TX) increased the percentage of students successfully completing developmental mathematics courses within the first year from a 46 percent average in years 2003-06 to 54.8 percent in 2009. This improvement is associated with several interventions, including implementation of a student success course geared towards developmental students.

  • Community College of Allegheny County (Pittsburgh, Pa.) increased the percentage of students completing developmental reading coursework by the second year from 38 percent for the 2005 cohort to 47 percent for the 2009 cohort. They also have increased the percentage of students completing all developmental coursework in two years from 31 percent in 2006 to 35 percent in 2009. This improvement is associated with a variety of interventions including Early Intervention, elimination of “D” as a passing grade, and eliminating late registration.

  • Community College of Beaver County (Monaca, Pa.) increased fall semester course completion for all full-time, first-time-in-college students from 67 percent in 2007-08 to 70 percent in 2010-11. Several policy and curricular changes are credited for the improvement, including stricter placement testing and enrollment requirements and greater use of student success data. These interventions have been scaled to reach 100 percent of full-time, first-time students.

  • Community College of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, Pa.) increased first-time, fall-to-fall black male student persistence from 33 percent in 2007 to 44 percent in 2010. This improvement is associated with intensive faculty professional development on promising teaching practices.

  • Community College of Vermont (Waterbury, Vt.) increased first-time, fall-to-fall retention rates for first-time-in-college students from 38 percent in 2006 to 41 percent in 2009. Credited for the improvements is a required first semester seminar that helps students to build strong information literacy and critical thinking skills and teaches them how to engage in the academic community.

  • Delaware County Community College (Media, Pa.) increased fall-to-spring retention from 68 percent in 2007 to 73 percent in 2011. A combination of interventions is responsible: English conferencing, supplemental instruction, an Academy for College Excellence, reading/counselor pairings and new student orientation and mentoring.
  • Galveston College (Galveston, Texas) increased developmental math success rates from 21 percent in fall 2006 to 58.6 percent in fall 2010. The improvement is associated with changes to the developmental math curriculum including increased contact hours and use of MyMathLab software. These interventions reach 100 percent of developmental math students and 18.8 percent of all students.

  • Highline Community College (Des Moines, Wash.) increased the percentage of upper level ESL students advancing from remedial to credit-bearing courses within 8 quarters of enrollment from 6 percent in 2004-05 to 19 percent in
    2009-10. This improvement is associated with an ESL-to-Credit Transition Support intervention. This intervention has been scaled to reach 5 percent of students.

  • Lee College (Baytown, Texas) increased the success rate (earning a grade of C or better) for developmental education courses from less than 40 percent in 2007 to almost 60 percent in 2010. Developmental education success rates also increased for all subgroups, including black and Hispanic students. This improvement is associated with changes to the development course curriculum, including: fast-track courses, additional counseling, and increased course contact hours.

  • Montgomery County Community College (Blue Bell, Pa.) increased success rates in developmental math from 49 percent in 2007 to 52 percent in 2010. This improvement is associated with changes to the developmental math curriculum and accelerating students through developmental math where appropriate.

  • Northern Essex Community College (Lawrence, Mass.) increased the percentage of students successfully completing basic and college algebra or college algebra & trigonometry from 49 percent in 2006-07 to 64 percent in
    2009-10. This improvement is associated with the introduction of the math center and supplemental instruction, interventions that have been scaled to reach 13 percent of all students and 38 percent of students taking math courses.

  • Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College (Orangeburg, S.C.) increased success rates for developmental and gatekeeper courses in which students are receiving supplemental instruction from 52.8 percent in 2007-08 to 59 percent in 2010-11. This improvement is considered due to the introduction of supplemental instruction that uses peer-assisted study sessions.

  • Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas (Helena, Ark.), increased course success rates from 57 percent for the 2004-06 cohorts to 78 percent for the 2010 cohort, and three-year degree or certificate completion rates increased from 10 percent in 2004 to 24 percent in 2008. Credited for the improvements are changes to developmental education coursework, including supplemental instruction labs, increased contact hours and creation of an additional developmental reading level.

  • Pulaski Technical College (North Little Rock, Ark.) increased first- to second-term retention for first-time, degree or certificate-seeking, full-time students from 82 percent for the 2007 cohort to 87 percent for the 2010 cohort. This improvement is associated with the new student orientation program.

  • Renton Technical College (Renton, Wash.) increased the percentage of students who have earned a certificate or degree or are still enrolled from 61 percent in 2007-08 to 74 percent in
    2010-11. This improvement is associated with a reading program that helps students improve their reading comprehension.

  • Roxbury Community College (Boston, Mass.) increased the rate at which students starting in developmental math advance to college-level math by their third semester from 11 percent in 2006 to 25 percent in 2009. This improvement is due to changes in developmental math coursework including: new placement procedures, addition of a lab component, use of modules and technology-assisted instruction and collapsing the developmental math sequence for most students.

  • San Jacinto College (Pasadena, Texas) increased fall-to-spring persistence from 73 percent in 2007 to 78 percent in 2010. This improvement is associated with a combination of interventions including mandatory new student orientation, a student success course and free tutoring.

  • Sinclair Community College (Dayton, Ohio) increased the three-year certificate and degree completion rate (for first-time, degree-seeking students) from 8 percent in 2005-06 to 12 percent in 2008-09. The improvement is associated with the elimination of graduation applications and fees, redesign of the developmental math curriculum and teaching approaches including content alignment, introduction of MyMathLab and faculty professional development.

  • Tacoma Community College (Tacoma, Wash.) increased fall-to-fall retention rates for students enrolled in two or more developmental courses from 47 percent for the 2005 cohort to 58 percent for the 2009 cohort. This improvement is associated with an intrusive advising approach that includes an advising dashboard, an improved student success course, new student orientation focused on hands-on educational planning, and the “Welcome Week” where staff are stationed throughout campus to answer questions.

  • Wayne County Community College District (Detroit, Mich.) increased first year fall-to-winter retention from 49 percent in 2006-07 to 64 percent in 2009-10. This improvement is associated with the an early alert system intervention strategy providing intrusive advising to students in developmental English and math as well as students in learning communities. This intervention has been scaled to reach 15 percent of all students.

  • Westmoreland County Community College (Youngwood, Pa.) increased fall-to-spring retention from 72 percent in 2006 to 75 percent in 2009. Credited with the improvements are changes to developmental coursework, including mandatory placement testing, mandatory enrollment in appropriate developmental coursework, smaller class sizes, scheduling changes, required tutoring labs, and fast-track options for students near placement cut-off scores.

Source: Achieving The Dream: Community Colleges Count


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