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Miami Dade College Selected for the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network; Commits to Rigorous Student Success and Completion

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Miami, April 26, 2012 - Signifying a strong commitment to student success and completion, Miami Dade College (MDC) is one of only a handful of institutions selected this year for the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network – the nation’s most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. MDC will immediately begin to identify strategies to close achievement gaps and increase student retention, persistence, and completion rates.

“If our students achieve their dreams, then the goal of prosperous communities and a strong nation will become reality. No greater priority exists,” said MDC President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón.

“This new cohort of colleges will collectively help 270,000 students succeed,” said Beverly Fletcher, Senior Director of Organizational Development and Change for Achieving the Dream. “And the success of each student means much more than just a personal goal secured. It means improved skills, better employability, and economic growth for their community and our nation as a whole.”

As an Achieving the Dream Institution, MDC will develop and implement research-based policies and practices based on quantitative and qualitative analyses of its institutional strengths, problem areas, and achievement gaps. MDC is committed to assessing the effectiveness of these policies and practices, institutionalizing the approaches that prove successful, and sharing the findings widely. Through Achieving the Dream, MDC will have the opportunity to learn from other Achieving the Dream Institutions, and receive assistance from experienced practitioners in building a culture of evidence campus-wide, using data to identify problems, setting priorities, and measuring progress toward increasing student success.

“The work of closing achievement gaps and improving student success is extremely difficult and critically important,” added Fletcher. “Being an Achieving the Dream Institution takes courage, discipline, and a tenacious institution-wide commitment to student success and equity. MDC should be applauded for helping tackle one of society’s most daunting challenges: success for more college students.”

With student success at the heart of MDC’s mission to change lives through the opportunity of education, the College’s participation in the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network dovetails with its ambitious college readiness and completion project, MDC3, which has involved the entire College community in developing an integrated set of policies and procedures to significantly impact graduation rates.

The Achieving the Dream Model

Each new college will commit to the Achieving the Dream Student-Centered Model of Institutional Improvement. Based on four principles, the Model frames the overall work of helping more students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. Each college will approach the work differently, but Achieving the Dream’s five-step process will provide practical guidelines for helping keep the focus where it belongs and building momentum over time. Throughout the process, Achieving the Dream Coaches will offer customized support and help each college’s core team implement data-informed programs and policies that build long-term, institution-wide commitment to student success. Learn more about the Model by visiting http://www.achievingthedream.org/approach/institutional_change.

Achieving the Dream is a national nonprofit leading the nation’s most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. The Achieving the Dream National Reform Network, including nearly 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams - working throughout 32 states and the District of Columbia - helps 3.75 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

Miami Dade College is the nation’s largest institution of higher education with an enrollment of more than 174,000 students. It is also the nation’s top producer of Associate in Arts and Science degrees and awards more degrees to minorities than any other college or university in the country. The college’s seven campuses and two centers offer more than 300 distinct degree programs including several baccalaureate degrees in education, public safety, supervision and management, nursing, physician assistant studies, film, engineering, and others. In fact, its academic and workforce training programs are national models of excellence. MDC is also renowned for its rich cultural programming. It is home of the Miami Book Fair International, Miami International Film Festival, the MDC Live! Performing Arts Series, the National Historic Landmark Miami Freedom Tower, a sculpture park and a large art gallery and theater system. MDC has served nearly 2,000,000 students since it opened its doors in 1960.

 

Learn more about the Model by visiting http://www.achievingthedream.org/approach/institutional_change.

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, jmendiet@mdc.edu, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino Florin, 305-237-3949, testorin@mdc.edu, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, sue.arrowsmith@mdc.edu, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482, arios1@mdc.edu
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359, tcarroll@mdc.edu, media specialist




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 and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or genetic information. Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs/ADA Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for information.