Turning the Tide Five Years of Achieving the Dream in Community Colleges


In 2004, Lumina Foundation for Education launched “Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count,” a national initiative aimed at improving success among community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color. Now encompassing more than 130 institutions in 24 states and the District of Columbia, Achieving the Dream helps community colleges build a “culture of evidence” by using student records and other data to examine students’ performance over time and to identify barriers to academic progress. From there, community colleges are expected to develop intervention strategies designed to improve student outcomes; conduct further research on student progress; and bring effective programs to scale. As a result, it is anticipated that colleges will see measurable improvements over time in student outcomes, including increased progress through developmental education and college-level “gatekeeper” (introductory) courses, grades, persistence, and completion of credentials.

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