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LCC was one of 10 Washington community and technical colleges that participated in Achieving the Dream between 2011 and 2015 with support provided by College Spark Washington.
In this five-part series, lead researchers Deena Heg and Bob Watrus explore what it takes to increase student success and close achievement gaps. Additional briefs will be posted as they become available.
Achieving the Dream is a national nonprofit dedicated to helping more community college students succeed, particularly students of color and low-income students. Built on the values of equity and excellence, Achieving the Dream advances community college student success.
Nearly half of all U.S. undergraduate students attend a community college, a testament to the broad access that community colleges like Lower Columbia College offer. But access alone isn't enough. Fewer than half of all students who enter community college with the goal of earning a certificate or degree have met their goal six years later. Meanwhile, occupations that usually require a post-secondary degree or award are expected to account for nearly half of all new jobs over the 2008-2018 period.
With the aim of helping more students meet their educational goals, Lower Columbia College is proud to have been an Achieving the Dream institution from 2011 to 2016. Achieving the Dream, Inc., is a national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping more community college students stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree, particularly students in populations under served by higher education (such as low-income students and students of color). In 2011, Lower Columbia College was awarded funding from College Spark Washington to become an Achieving the Dream school, joining 160 community colleges involved in the initiative nationwide.
Achieving the Dream emphasizes the use of data and evidence to drive change within community colleges, and in state and federal policy. With the assistance of expert Achieving the Dream coaches and advisors, LCC has considerably increased efforts to gather and utilize data on student success, and to engage the voices of LCC's students, faculty, staff, and community. Using this information, LCC has developed and is in the process of implementing multiple strategies across campus to achieve measurable increases in student success. Through these efforts, LCC seeks to give students a better chance at realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their educational and life goals.