Roane State Community College is one of just four institutions from across the country to earn Leader College of Distinction status, the highest designation offered to institutions in the Achieving the Dream (ATD) Network.
Along with Roane State, the 2020 cohort of Leader Colleges of Distinction includes 2020 Leah Meyer Austin Award winner Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) in Wisconsin, Sinclair Community College in Ohio, and Odessa College in Texas.
“In 2020, community colleges had to reimagine what student success looks like during a time of upheaval, uncertainty, and unprecedented distance learning. The ATD institutions joining our Leader Colleges of Distinction this year have not only risen to the challenge of supporting students during a pandemic but have demonstrated a sustained commitment to improving student outcomes for many years prior. We are proud to acknowledge the work and care involved in driving these outcomes,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream.
ATD created the Leader College of Distinction award in 2018 to recognize colleges that have pursued and met challenging student success goals, often earning Leader College status several times. Leader Colleges of Distinction must show improvement in three or more student outcome metrics, including at least one lagging indicator such as completion or transfer with an earned baccalaureate.
Leader Colleges of Distinction also are required to show they have reduced equity gaps in at least two metrics for at least two student groups. These requirements recognize and motivate sustained and proactive reform efforts that result in greater improvements in student success and equity.
“Roane State has been steadfastly devoted to student success no matter what barriers we or our students may be facing,” RSCC President Dr. Chris Whaley said. “I’d like to thank our administration, faculty and staff, our students, and our community partners for their unflinching commitment to Roane State’s vision of transforming lives, strengthening community, and inspiring individuals to excellence. The outcomes truly speak volumes.”
Roane State had substantive increases in student persistence, credit completion, and completion of a credential within four years of initial enrollment. Roane State narrowed their equity gaps for low-income students receiving Pell grants, part-time students, and between male and female students. The college also closed their existing equity gap on student persistence, increasing persistence for part-time students by 16 percentage points.