Categorized | Education

UH Community Colleges recognized for ‘Achieving the Dream’


The University of Hawaii Community Colleges (UHCC) was recognized as a leader in the national student completion movement by Achieving the Dream, a national nonprofit leading the nation’s most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for community college student success and completion.

One of 14 institutions designated as a 2012 Leader College, UHCC was recognized for demonstrating sustained improvement and accomplishments on key student achievement indicators, including student persistence and completion.

“We’re honored to be recognized as an Achieving the Dream Leader College,” said John Morton, UH Vice President for Community Colleges. “This prestigious designation as a leader college certainly affirms our commitment to helping students achieve success and recognizes the perseverance of our faculty and staff in making data-informed decisions in closing achievement gaps and removing barriers for our students, particularly Native Hawaiian students and low-income students.”

Leader Colleges are demonstrating the power of the Achieving the Dream Student-Centered Model of Institutional Improvement by raising persistence and graduation rates and closing achievement gaps.

Each college approaches the work differently, but with the guidance of the model and Achieving the Dream coaches, colleges implement data-informed programs and policies that build long-term, institution-wide commitment to student success.

Examples implemented in Hawaii colleges include: college readiness programs, mandatory new student orientation, student success courses, developmental course redesign, curriculum redesign, and intensive and individualized advising.

“We are proud of the University of Hawaii Community Colleges for earning this respected distinction,” said Rachel Singer, Achieving the Dream vice president for community college relations and applied research.

“These seven community colleges in Hawaii have raised the bar on promising practices that will impact policies to help more students succeed,” she said. “They deserve recognition for their dedication to the student success movement.”

In order to be eligible for Leader College distinction, colleges must demonstrate commitment to and progress on the principles and values of Achieving the Dream: committed leadership, use of evidence to improve programs and services, broad engagement, and systemic institutional improvement all guided by a student-centered vision focused on equity and excellence.

Additionally, each Leader College has successfully implemented at least one student success intervention that is advancing student outcomes.

The 14 new Leader Colleges are:

* University of Hawaii Community Colleges (Hawaii)
* Bay de Noc Community College (Escanaba, MI)
* Central Piedmont Community (Charlotte, NC)
* Community College of Baltimore County (Baltimore, MD)
* College of the Ouachitas (Malvern, AR)
* Davidson County Community College (Thomasville, NC)
* Elgin Community College (Elgin, IL)
* Greenville Technical College (Greenville, SC)
* Lone Star College System (The Woodlands, TX)
* National Park Community College (Hot Springs, AR)
* Springfield Technical Community College (Springfield, MA)
* Temple College (Temple, TX)
* Texarkana College (Texarkana, TX)
* Trident Technical College (North Charleston, SC)

These colleges have identified workable solutions to issues such as enhancing the experience of first-year students, improving developmental education, closing achievement gaps, strengthening academic and personal advising for students in need of additional support, strengthening links to high schools and four-year institutions to strengthen student preparation and advancement, and increasing retention, persistence rates, and the number of certificate and degree recipients.

The University of Hawaii Community Colleges (UHCC) is a statewide system of seven separately accredited institutions part of the larger ten-institution University of Hawaii System. Through these seven degree-granting campuses, three University Centers, and Education Centers on Molokai, Lanai, in Hana, Maui, and on the Waianae Coast of Oahu, UHCC provides open-door access to affordable, high-quality education in a variety of programs from career and technical to liberal arts education.

Achieving the Dream, Inc. 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 and completion in higher education 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 – the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network helps 3.75 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

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