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Atlantic Cape Named a Leader College by Achieving the Dream

September 28, 2016

Achieving the Dream (ATD) designated Atlantic Cape Community College as a “Leader College,” a national honor awarded to institutions in the ATD National Network that have shown three years of steady improvement in two outcomes that measure student success.

“Leader College status represents a sustained, successful effort to build a student-centered culture,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “Colleges that stay focused on the hard work of transformation deserve to be recognized when they make measurable progress.”

Atlantic Cape was awarded Leader College status by demonstrating the success of the Accelerated Learning Program it launched in 2012. ALP is an effort to improve college success rates for students that test into remedial English.

Through the program, students who test into the second level of remedial English can enroll in ALP. ALP allows the student to bypass the remedial course and go straight into college-level English 101 while taking a support course with the same professor.

The program allows students to save time by taking the courses concurrently and enabling them to begin college-level work immediately.

College data shows 84 percent of students enrolled through ALP complete ENGL101, nearly double the completion rate of students who go the traditional route of remedial English.

“The Leader College award is based on a public, college-wide, shared commitment to enhance student success at Atlantic Cape Community College,” said Dr. Peter L. Mora, president. “This commitment to student completion is grounded in our past Strategic Plan 2012-2016, and expanded in our current Strategic Plan 2017-2021. Over this period, Atlantic Cape has demonstrated the use of data-driven strategies that measure the effectiveness of our student success programs. Moreover, the Leader College award is an external recognition of our efforts to develop a culture of student success at the college.”

Leader Colleges are eligible to compete for all grant-funded learning initiatives offered by ATD and are encouraged to provide leadership and support to other colleges in the ATD network, disseminate lessons learned, support state and national efforts to advance the student success agenda, and continue to improve student outcomes.

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. 

This year, Achieving the Dream designated five institutions as Leader Colleges for the first time and recertified 17 Leader Colleges.

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. Conceived as an initiative in 2004 by the Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations, Achieving the Dream today leads a student success network made up of over 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams - working throughout 35 states and the District of Columbia. The Achieving the Dream National Reform Network helps more than 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

Atlantic Cape Community College is a comprehensive, two-year college offering flexible, affordable learning for students of all ages since 1966. Atlantic Cape serves residents of Atlantic and Cape May counties at three full-service campuses in Mays Landing, Atlantic City and Cape May Court House. The Mays Landing Campus, which encompasses 541 acres in New Jersey’s picturesque Pinelands, houses several academic buildings, the Academy of Culinary Arts with eight training kitchens and a full-service gourmet restaurant, and a state-of-the-art Science, Technology, Engineering and Math building that opened in January 2015. The Cape May County Campus opened in 2005, providing access to all college programs and amenities close to home. The Worthington Atlantic City Campus houses the Casino Career Institute, which includes a mock casino floor and slot machines, the Health Professions Institute, where students train for careers in allied and auxiliary health fields, and the Caesars Entertainment Wing for Hospitality and Gaming Studies. For more information, visit www.atlantic.edu.