College Receives National Community College Leader Recognition
(Delaware and Chester Counties, PA • September 24, 2014)—Delaware County Community College was one of 16 higher education institutions nationwide recertified today as an Achieving the Dream Leader College—a designation awarded to community colleges that commit to improving student success and closing achievement gaps.
It is the second time the College has received Leader status, which lasts three years. The College was recognized for increasing degree and certificate attainment for first-time, full-time students and for increasing persistence rates for all students.
"The Achieving the Dream Leader designation is an important affirmation of the commitment and progress the College continues to make toward helping students achieve their academic and workforce training goals," said Delaware County Community College President Dr. Jerry Parker.
The College is one of only five community colleges in Pennsylvania recertified as Leaders. There are 14 community colleges in the Commonwealth. Leader colleges have shown how data can inform policy and practice to help community college students achieve their goals, resulting in improved skills, better employability and economic growth for families, communities and the nation as a whole.
With the guidance of Achieving the Dream coaches, colleges not only systemically change the way they operate, but also implement key student supports that align with their overall policies and institutional systems, such as college readiness programs, mandatory new student orientation, student-success courses, developmental course redesign, curriculum redesign, and intensive, individualized advising.
Achieving the Dream grants Leader College designation for three-year cycles. After three years, institutions must undergo a recertification process to maintain Leader College status. Since 2009, Achieving the Dream has granted Leader College status to a total of 79 active Achieving the Dream institutions. This year, Achieving the Dream has recertified 16 Leader Colleges, including Pennsylvania’s Delaware County Community College, Community College of Beaver County, Community College of Philadelphia, Montgomery County Community College and Westmoreland County Community College.
About Delaware County Community College
For more than 45 years, Delaware County Community College has served as the center of educational opportunity for residents of Delaware and Chester Counties. Here, students find affordable open admission to higher education and can earn an Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.), or an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree. The College’s comprehensive programs offer dual enrollment and transfer options to four-year colleges and universities, prepare students for entry into the workforce, award professional certificates and provide career advancement and lifelong learning opportunities. The College serves a diverse population of more than 26,000 credit and non-credit students each year.
About Achieving the Dream, Inc.
Achieving the Dream 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, Achieving the Dream is leading the most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. With more than 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors and 15 state policy teams—working throughout 34 states and the District of Columbia—the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network helps nearly 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.
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