Signifying a strong commitment to student success and completion, West Kentucky Community and Technical College is one of 12 institutions selected, this year, into the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network. WKCTC was welcomed into the network today at DREAM 2014 and will immediately begin the challenging work of identifying and implementing evidence-based strategies for closing achievement gaps and increasing student retention, persistence, and completion rates.
“We have shown our commitment to our students in national recognition from the Aspen Institute three consecutive years,” said Dr. Barbara Veazey, WKCTC president. “Our acceptance in the Achieving the Dream initiative signifies our continued commitment to creating a culture of completion and student success.”
Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count is a national nonprofit organization focused on helping colleges improve student success, particularly students of color and low-income students, by removing barriers while maintaining academic rigor. The organization works on multiple fronts, including efforts on campuses and in research, public engagement and public policy. Launched as an initiative in 2004 with funding from the Lumina Foundation for Education, Achieving the Dream focuses on broad institutional change, informed by student achievement data.
The Achieving the Dream National Reform Network, including over 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams - working throughout 34 states and the District of Columbia - helps nearly 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.
WKCTC joins Jefferson Community and Technical College as the only Kentucky colleges to be selected to the network. JCTC was named in the 2011 cohort.
The 2014 Achieving the Dream Cohort of Community Colleges are:
The Achieving the Dream Model
Each new college will commit to the Achieving the Dream Student-Centered Model of Institutional Improvement. Based on four principles, the Model frames the overall work of helping more students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. Each college will approach the work differently, but Achieving the Dream’s five-step process will provide practical guidelines for helping keep the focus where it belongs and building momentum over time. Throughout the process, Achieving the Dream Coaches will offer customized support and help each college’s core team implement data-informed programs and policies that build long-term, institution-wide commitment to student success.
“We are delighted to welcome West Kentucky Community and Technical College into the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network as we celebrate our 10th year of working to improve student success and completion rates across the country,” said Achieving the Dream President and CEO William E. Trueheart. “West Kentucky Community and Technical College represents a diverse group of students whose success means much more than just a personal goal secured. It means improved skills, better employability, and economic growth for their community and our nation as a whole.”
Learn more about the Achieving the Dream Model at achievingthedream.org/approach/institutional_change