July 27, 2010
On July 27 Northampton Community College became one of seven colleges in the nation recognized as a leader in the national student completion movement by Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count (ATD).
Launched in 2004 with funding provided by the Lumina Foundation for Education, Achieving the Dream is a non-profit organization dedicated to significantly improving student success rates through broad institutional change, based on research. It links 130 institutions that together serve more than a million students.
Northampton has participated in the program since 2006. The research the College has done, particularly in math education, has helped to reduce the number of students who drop out after their first semester and to increase the percentage of students who are able to complete an introductory math course successfully.
Northampton prides itself on being an open admission institution, "but it is not enough to get students in the door," says the College's president, Dr. Arthur Scott. "We must make sure they succeed once they have entered."
Officials at Achieving the Dream describe the colleges recognized as leaders as "institutions large and small, rural and urban, single campus and multi-campus that are working to address a variety of student success challenges. These colleges have identified workable solutions to issues such as enhancing the experience of first-year students, improving developmental education, closing achievement gaps, strengthening academic and personal advising for students in need of additional support, strengthening links to high schools and four-year institutions to improve student preparation, and increasing retention, persistence rates, and the number of certificate and degree recipients."
Other colleges to receive the designation on July 27 at the Achieving the Dream Developmental Education State Policy Meeting in Miami, Florida, were Alamo Community College District (Texas), Brazosport College (Texas), Capital Community College (Connecticut), Martin Community College (North Carolina), Northern Virginia Community College, and Yakima Valley Community College (Washington).
"We are proud to be part of this group. The announcement reinforces our core mission, helping students reach their educational goals. The faculty and staff preparing for the fall semester look forward to continuing to make improvements in teaching and learning, all aimed at helping students at NCC succeed," says Dr. Elizabeth Bugaighis, dean of education and academic success at Northampton.