Achieving the Dream, Inc. is a national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping more community and technical 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 It is an initiative that uses student achievement data to effect broad institutional change.
Achieving the Dream represents a commitment by CTC to eliminating achievement gaps while improving outcomes for all our students. Through the Achieving the Dream initiative CTC will examine our policies, practices, and institutional culture with the goal of reducing inequities we find that are create barriers to success. To achieve high rates of success for all students, especially students who traditionally have faced the most significant barriers to achievement, CTC has committed to building on our student-centered vision, by adopting a culture of evidence, and accountability with a renewed commitment to equity and excellence.
Because too many students leave community and technical colleges without earning a certificate or degree, or without transferring to continue their studies, Achieving the Dream colleges like CTC have made specific commitments to improve student achievement on their campuses by pledging to maintain open access to educational opportunities while improving student success. Success is defined by the rates at which students:
- Successfully complete remedial or developmental instruction and advance to credit-bearing courses
- Enroll in and successfully complete the initial college-level or gateway courses in subjects such as math and English
- Complete the courses they take with a grade of “C” or better
- Persistence from one term to the next
- Attain a certificate or degree
Because too many students leave community and technical colleges without earning a certificate or degree, or without transferring to continue their studies, Achieving the Dream colleges like CTC have made specific commitments to improve student achievement on their campuses by pledging to maintain open access to educational opportunities while improving student success.
Columbus Technical College is committed to the Achieving the Dream focus that effectively promotes student success through four principles:
Committed Leadership that supports efforts to improve student success, not just to increase enrollments, and are committed to achieving equity in student outcomes across racial, ethnic, and income groups; demonstrating a willingness to make changes in policies, programs, and resource allocation to improve student success.
Use of Evidence to improve programs and services by building a culture of evidence that uses data about student progression and outcomes to identify achievement gaps among student groups, formulates strategies for addressing the gaps identified and improving student success overall, and evaluates the effectiveness of those strategies.
Broad Engagement Faculty, student services staff, and administrators at CTC share responsibility for student success, and collaborate on assessing the effectiveness of programs and services and improving them. Other stakeholders with influence on student success (K-12 systems, community groups, employers, etc.) will be included in discussions about student performance, desired outcomes, and potential improvement strategies. The college also gains invaluable insight about ways to improve student success from students themselves through surveys, focus groups, and/or advisory councils.
Systemic Institutional Improvement through planning processes that rely on data to set goals for student success and then uses the data to measure goal attainment. The college commits to regularly evaluating its academic programs and services to determine how well they promote student success and how they can be improved. Decisions about budget allocations are linked to plans to increase student success. Professional development opportunities will be provided that reinforce efforts that help to close achievement gaps and improve overall student success.