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Delaware County Community College, Serving Delaware and Chester Counties

College Recognized as Leader in the National Student Completion Movement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       Contact:  Dan Kanak, Public Relations
                                                                                                                                                       610-359-5135 (o)

Achieving the Dream Designates 23 “Leader Colleges” for Accomplishments on Key Student Achievement Indicators

(Delaware/Chester County, PA)—Delaware County Community College was recognized as a leader in the national student completion movement by Achieving the Dream, a national non-profit that helps 3.5 million community college students stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. The College, one of 23 institutions designated as a 2011 Leader College, was recognized for demonstrating sustained improvement and accomplishments on key student achievement indicators. The announcement was made by Achieving the Dream President & CEO William Trueheart. 

The College achieved Leader College status by raising persistence and graduation rates, closing achievement gaps and changing lives. Achieving the Dream institutions that have met high standards of practice and performance are recognized as "Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges.” Leader Colleges have demonstrated commitment to and made progress on the four principles of Achieving the Dream: committed leadership, use of evidence to improve programs and services, broad engagement and systemic institutional improvement. They have also shown three years of sustained student success on at least one of the following measures of performance: course completion, advancement from remedial to credit-bearing courses, completion of  college-level math and English courses, term-to-term and year-to-year retention, and completion of certificates or degrees.

"We are excited to be recognized as a Leader College,” said Dr. Virginia Carter, Provost. “Since we began our relationship with the Achieving the Dream organization, student success became a college priority that involved everyone. Initiatives and processes to help each student move towards his/her educational goal are integrated into the fabric of the college - from fiscal planning to hiring and program development. The recognition is a tribute to the dedication of our faculty, staff and communities."

Delaware County Community College was selected to participate in Achieving the Dream in 2006 by a national panel made up of community college experts. Since then, the College has increased fall-to-spring retention from 68% in 2007 to 73% in 2011. This improvement is associated with a combination of interventions: English conferencing, Supplemental Instruction, JumpStart Math, Academy for College Excellence, Reading/Counselor Pairings, New Student Orientation and Mentoring. That in combination has been scaled to reach 31% of all students.

“The work of improving student success is very difficult, critically important, and urgent,” said Achieving the Dream President & CEO William Trueheart. “Delaware County Community College has carefully analyzed student outcomes and has implemented sustained positive student-centered changes. They deserve enormous recognition for their focus on equity and excellence and for their extraordinary contributions to their communities and our nation.”

Every new Leader College has pioneered promising practices and policies to help more students succeed, and examples of these interventions include: college readiness programs, mandatory new student orientation, student success courses, developmental course redesign, curriculum redesign, cooperative learning, learning communities and intensive and individualized advising.

A complete list of Achieving the Dream participants and Leader Colleges can be found at www.achievingthedream.org.

About Achieving the Dream

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. 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) improving results at institutions, 2) influencing public policy, 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 the largest non-governmental reform movement for student success in higher education history, with 160 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 16 state policy teams - working throughout 30 states and the District of Columbia.

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