Atlantic Cape Selected for Achieving the Dream Network
Signifying a strong commitment to student success and completion, Atlantic Cape was one of 26 institutions selected into the 2012 Achieving the Dream National Reform Network – the nation’s most comprehensive nongovernmental reform network for student success in higher education history. Upon notification in May, the college immediately began to identify strategies to close achievement gaps and increase student retention, persistence and completion rates.
“As part of the comprehensive Student Success Initiative endorsed by Atlantic Cape’s Board of Trustees, the college will enter the Achieving the Dream program,” Dr. Peter L. Mora said in announcing the initiative. “Participating in the Achieving the Dream program for the next three years will enhance the effectiveness of Atlantic Cape’s efforts to meet the mission-based mandate to improve student retention and completion outlined in our current strategic plan.”
As an Achieving the Dream Institution, Atlantic Cape will develop and implement research-based policies and practices based on quantitative and qualitative analyses of its institutional strengths, problem areas and achievement gaps. Atlantic Cape is committed to assessing the effectiveness of these policies and practices, institutionalizing the approaches that prove successful, and sharing the findings widely.
To introduce the initiative to the college community, a college-wide convocation was held Aug. 30. The event, which was streamed live to all campuses, featured presentations by faculty, administrators and Achieving the Dream coaches. A panel of faculty, staff and students led a discussion on challenges the college will face as it embarks on this initiative.
Through Achieving the Dream, Atlantic Cape will have the opportunity to learn from other Achieving the Dream Institutions, and receive assistance from experienced practitioners in:
- building a culture of evidence campus-wide
- using data to identify problems
- setting priorities
- and measuring progress toward increasing student success.
“The work of closing achievement gaps and improving student success is extremely difficult and critically important,” said Beverly Fletcher, senior director of Organizational Development and Change for Achieving the Dream. “Being an Achieving the Dream Institution takes courage, discipline and a tenacious institution-wide commitment to student success and equity. Atlantic Cape should be applauded for helping tackle one of society’s most daunting challenges: success for more college students.”