June 2011, Volume 15, Number 3


Gates Foundation, MDC Strive for Even Higher Graduate Numbers

Gates Foundation logo

Miami Dade College, long a pioneer in developing innovative strategies to support student achievement and degree completion, is teaming up with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to improve the nation’s success in higher education.

The Foundation, one of the leaders in global philanthropy, has among its goals the mission of expanding educational opportunities and access. Toward that end, the Foundation has recognized MDC’s exceptional efforts and has selected the College to receive a Completion By Design grant.

Five-Year Project

The grant is for the first phase of a five-year project that will identify and implement solutions that will substantially increase the College’s already outstanding number of college graduates. This year alone, more than 14,000 students graduated from MDC, which is the largest institution of higher education in the nation with more than 174,000 students annually and more than two million alumni.

MDC is one of only four institutions across the country selected for the grant, and the only single institution, versus a system of colleges.

“This grant has the potential to re-invent, re-imagine and drastically improve the delivery of higher education in America, getting the U.S. back to the top position in the world regarding the percentage of college graduates,” said MDC President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón. “This is a top priority for Miami Dade College, the Gates Foundation and President Obama, who mentioned it at our graduation ceremony,” said Padrón. “We need to think big.”

Developing a New Model

Completion By Design is a five-year investment that will enable the grantees to develop a model pathway to degree completion that can be used throughout the United States.

The Gates Foundation and Miami Dade College make the perfect team. The College’s faculty and leadership have a passion for helping students complete their degrees, as does the Gates Foundation. And MDC’s mission to change lives through the opportunity of education strategically places student success at the forefront of the College’s methodology.

— WV

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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution which does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
disability, veteran’s status, ethnicity, pregnancy, sexual orientation or genetic information. Additional information may be obtained by contacting the
Office of Equal Opportunity Programs/ADA Coordinator/Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577.