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2009-07-16 digital edition

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2009-07-16 / Sports

Blinn College Joins National Student Success Initiative

Achieving the Dream at over 100 community colleges

Blinn College is one of 20 new community colleges in seven states to join Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count, a national initiative to help more community college students succeed. With the addition of these colleges, the initiative has grown to include 102 institutions - 98 colleges and four universities — in 22 states.

Achieving the Dream is a longterm national initiative to help more community college students succeed - particularly those students who traditionally face the most significant barriers to success including minority students and low-income students. The initiative is built on the belief that broad institutional change, informed by student achievement data, is critical to significantly improving student success rates.

"We are thrilled that Blinn College has been selected to participate in such an important, groundlevel effort to help students succeed," said Blinn College President Dr. Dan Holt. "We are determined to help each student successfully pursue their individual goals while completing degree, certificate and other programs. Being a part of Achieving the Dream will help us do an even better job."

Each new college has made a two-year commitment to focus its efforts on closing performance gaps among students in targeted populations. This most recent expansion of Achieving the Dream has been made possible with grants provided by four foundations including the Greater Texas Foundation.

"Achieving the Dream colleges are identifying methods for increasing student success and implementing interventions to create institutional improvements for all students," said Carol Lincoln, a senior program director at MDC, Inc., the managing partner of Achieving the Dream and its national director. "We're excited about bringing these new colleges into Achieving the Dream and continuing our tradition of providing educational and societal benefits to colleges, students and communities around the country."

Achieving the Dream helps participating colleges implement strategies designed to help more students earn degrees, complete certificates or transfer to other institutions to continue their studies. The initiative emphasizes building a culture of evidence, in which colleges use data to identify effective practices, improve student success rates and close achievement gaps.

The following community colleges in Texas have joined the initiative: Austin Community College District, Austin; Blinn College, Brenham; Odessa College, Odessa; Richland College, Dallas; Temple College, Temple.

Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count is a national initiative to help more community college students succeed, particularly minority students and lowincome students. The initiative works on multiple fronts - including efforts on campuses and in research, public engagement and public policy - and emphasizes the use of data to drive change. Achieving the Dream was launched in 2004, with funding and other support provided by Lumina Foundation for Education and seven national partner organizations. They include the American Association of Community Colleges and the Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas-Austin.

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