Roane State Community College is among half a dozen colleges nationwide designated by Achieving the Dream for having attained first-time Leader College status. The six colleges achieved and sustained significant improvements in student outcomes through measurable progress in areas critical to improving success for all community-college students.
“I’m very proud to recognize a new group of Achieving the Dream Network colleges that are advancing equity, offering a more impactful student experience, and achieving stronger, measurable results,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “ATD Leader Colleges’ gains in student success and progress toward improving outcomes for all students make them examples for their peers.”
The following colleges earned Leader College status for the first time in 2018:
- Anne Arundel Community College, Maryland
- Central Alabama Community College, Alabama
- Grayson College, Texas
- Roane State Community College, Tennessee
- Western Technical College, Wisconsin
- West Hills Lemoore, California
he colleges showed institution-wide improvement in critical areas including completion of Gateway math and/or English in a student’s first year, year-over-year retention, courses attempted/completed with a grade of C- or higher within one year of initial enrollment, and completion of a certificate or degree within four years of initial enrollment.
Each of the six colleges selected by ATD to receive the Leader College designation excelled in their work to improve in areas critical to student success.
In addition to increasing both their NSC and IPEDs three-year graduation rates by four percentage points and eight percentage points respectively, Roane State Community College reduced its equity gaps for Black and Hispanic students and Pell recipients in the areas of Gateway math & English and for Hispanic and Pell recipients for fall-to-fall persistence. With the development of the ATD Implementation Plan in 2015, the college created a roadmap, included in its 2015-2025 strategic plan, for the accomplishment of a success agenda including mileposts for transforming student support and academic success. Transformation required significant changes to long-standing policies and practices for remedial education, on-boarding of entering students, academic advisement, and scheduling. Many of these changes were especially challenging to bring to scale at an institution with nine campuses in two time zones; however, results have been transformative. The transition from a traditional model of remediation to a co-requisite model has resulted in the academic gains reported in this application. The implementation of a one-on-one coaching model to onboard students at the campus of their choice, eliminating barriers of time and geography, has contributed to an increase in retention. More recent policy changes to keep students on the path to completion include implementation of mandatory academic advisement and development of data-driven, student-centered course scheduling. All of our strategies have been developed through engagement of cross-functional teams of faculty and staff with strong support from senior leadership.
Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges are eligible to compete for all grant-funded learning initiatives and are encouraged to provide leadership and support to other colleges in the ATD national Network, disseminate lessons learned, support state and national efforts to advance the student success agenda, and continue to improve student outcomes. New for 2019, Network institutions must now be Leader Colleges in order to compete for Achieving the Dream’s top national award, the Leah Meyer Austin award, a $25,000 prize for an institution in the ATD Network that successfully implements whole-college approaches to improving student success and achieves notable increases in student outcomes.