Norwalk Community Colleges (NCC) is one of three colleges in the state of Connecticut participating in the Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count initiative. During the 2005 - 2006 academic year, we engaged in a planning phase of the grant, where we analyzed data and developed strategies for improving student success. We are currently in our implementation phase, which began in Fall 2006 and will continue for four years.
Achieving the Dream is a multiyear national initiative to help more community college students succeed. The initiative is particularly concerned about student groups that traditionally have faced significant barriers to success, including students of color and low-income students.
Too many students leave community colleges without earning a certificate or degree, or without transferring to continue their studies. Consequently, they risk losing the opportunity to earn a livable wage. When students complete courses and earn credentials, however, they can improve their own lives, which ultimately benefits the nation. (Achieving the Dream website)
Achieving the Dream is supported in Connecticut by the Nellie Mae and Lumina Foundations.
NCC's Achieving the Dream Initiative seeks to improve semester-to-semester retention and raise course passing rates using the following strategies:
· Establishing Learning Communities
· Full-time and adjunct professional development and learner centered practices focused on gateway courses
We are grateful for the ongoing guidance and support of our Achieving the Dream coach and data facilitator:
· Coach: Dr. Jacquelyn M. Belcher, President/CEO of Options Unlimited, LLC
· Data Facilitator: Dr. Ted Wright, Special Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives, Broward Community College
Vanessa Smith Morest
Dean of Institutional Effectiveness