Selected Community Colleges to Participate in Initiative To Increase Student Success
INDIANAPOLIS Twenty-seven community colleges in five states will participate in “Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count,” a new initiative designed to enhance the academic success of low-income and minority students. Each college will receive a $50,000 investment grant to develop plans for addressing this challenge and will be eligible for additional funding to implement their plans. Achieving the Dream is a multi-year initiative funded by Lumina Foundation for Education and involving several national partner organizations. The first phase of the initiative will directly involve the selected colleges in Florida, North Carolina, New Mexico, Virginia and Texas. In future years, the initiative will expand to involve eligible community colleges in additional states. Currently in the planning phase, the national initiative will be launched in the fall. A team of national reviewers selected the 27 participating institutions from among 60 community colleges that submitted proposals. Eligible colleges were regionally accredited, public, associate degree-granting institutions. Each college was required to have an enrollment of at least 33 percent minority students or 50 percent students who receive government-supported financial aid.According to the reviewers, those colleges selected most effectively demonstrated their commitment to increasing student success and best communicated their vision for accomplishing this at their institutions.Participating community colleges will be supported in their work by initiative partners with significant expertise in this field, including the American Association of Community Colleges; Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas-Austin; Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University; Futures Project, Brown University; Jobs for the Future; MDRC and Public Agenda. These organizations, along with the initiative’s managing partner, MDC Inc., will help colleges identify and adapt practices and policies appropriate for their institutions to enable them to achieve their goals. “Community colleges are an important point of entry for postsecondary students, especially for students who have traditionally been underrepresented in higher education,” said Martha D. Lamkin, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation. “Our hope is that the Achieving the Dream partnership can spark a national movement to help these students succeed.”
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