Achieving the Dream

Austin Community College students, faculty, and staff are invited to take part in discussions about the college’s progress toward achieving the goals set forth by the nationwide Achieving the Dream initiative when facilitators visit the college Wednesday through Friday, April 18 – April 20.

“Perhaps no one is better able to provide insights into the challenges of earning a degree than our students and faculty,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC President/CEO. “We want colleagues and students from across the college to help us refine the strategies that will make us a national leader in student success.”

Achieving the Dream is a national nonprofit program dedicated to helping community college students remain in college and earn a degree or certificate. The program targets students who traditionally have faced barriers to success, such as minority students, those who are first in their families to attend college, and students from low-income families. For 2½ years, ATD has been an important component of ACC’s Student Success Initiative (SSI) focusing on four key areas:

  • Required orientation for first-time-in-college students.
  • An advisor program specifically for Developmental Math students to support their transition to college-level courses.
  • Adoption of the course Developing Mathematical Thinking (MATD 0385) for students who do not need college algebra for their degree.
  • A faculty coach program to evaluate and apply student performance data in curriculum revision and redesign.

During the three-day visit, ACC will review SSI data against program goals and discuss ways to streamline and clarify the SSI strategic plan. Faculty, staff, and students are invited to attend the sessions to offer input about the specific steps the college is taking toward achieving the broader initiatives.

“We have made steady progress toward our ATD objectives,” says Dr. Stephanie Hawley, ACC associate vice president of college access programs. “By involving people from across the college, we can ensure that our efforts are aligned and integrated.” For example, she adds, students and staff may have experiences and ideas to share regarding required orientation.

“We need the perspectives and expertise of faculty, students, and staff to help us create the programs that will help students succeed,” Hawley says. “It really does take a whole college.”

See a complete listing of sessions below. Hawley issued a special invitation to students and faculty for an SSI/ATD goals discussion scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 18, in Room 201 of the Highland Business Center.

For more information or to register to attend, contact College Access Programs at 223.7630 or 223.7637, or email Millie Marquis, Space may be limited for some sessions. Faculty and staff can register in advance to earn professional development credit.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

HBC 201

8:30 – 9: 00 Breakfast
9:00 – 9:20 Welcome and ACC’s Journey to Become a National Leader in Student Success — Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC President/CEO
9:20 – 10:10 The SSI Journey: A Dialogue with College Leaders
10:10-10:50 What is Equity? Video and Discussion

Promoting a Culture for Improved Student Outcomes Using Design Principles for High Impact Interventions – Kay McClenney, Director, Center for Community College Student Engagement and Brad Phillips, Achieving the Dream Data Coach

11:00-12:30 *Break-Out Sessions (see descriptions below)
12:30 Working Lunch
3:15 Debriefing and Discussion
4:45 Adjourn

*It Takes a College: Enhancing the SSI Plan

11: 00- 3:15 What is the First-Year Experience? (Room 221)

Join faculty, staff, and students as we discuss the next steps for welcoming and helping ACC students achieve their goals. Discover how we all contribute to student success in the first semester. Drs. Kathleen Christensen, vice president of student support and success systems, and Richard Armenta, associate vice president of student success, will address enhancing the First-Year Experience to close persistence gaps.

Next Steps for the Faculty Coach Program (Room 220)

Over the past five years more than 50 faculty member coaches have been involved in improving instruction and curriculum. Join Mike Midgley, vice president for instruction, and deans and faculty from various departments as they plan the next steps to provide greater support for faculty.

Closing the Equity Gaps with Supplemental Instruction (Room 219)

Supplemental Instruction is one of ACC’s many successful strategies to help students complete courses with a C or better. Join the conversation and the planning process.

Strengthening the Adult Education-to-College Pipeline (Room 217)

Join David Borden, ACC executive director of adult education, and staff as we work on curricular redesign to ensure more students are college-ready when they exit Adult Education programs. Participants will discuss ways to increase communication and collaboration among Adult Education, Student Support and Success Systems, and instructional areas.

3:15- 4:45 Goal Leaders Report: Progress and Next Steps (Room 201)

Kathleen Christensen, Mike Midgley, David Borden, and Richard Armenta will lead discussions about the day’s progress and the next steps for finalizing the SSI plan to enhance success equity.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

HBC 201




Remarks from Dr. Rhodes

9:30 Break-Out Sessions
9:30-3:30 Placement Test Preparation (Room 301.2)

Providing students with opportunities to prepare for placement tests is an important service. Join a discussion on ways to develop a coherent pathway.

9:30-Noon OIEA and IT Collaborations to Become a Leader College: Data Collection, Analysis and Use (Room 301.7)
Learn about ACC’s progress with data collection, analysis, and use. Achieving the Dream Coach Brad Phillips will discuss cohort tracking and the how the college is making strides toward evaluating strategies to enhance student success.

*Breakfast and lunch are provided.

Friday, April 20, 2012

HBC 201

Drafting the Comprehensive Developmental Education Plan



9:00 Welcome and Why Developmental Education is a Priority – Mike Midgley
9:10 – 9:15

Session Overview and Introduction of Tamara Clunis, former Director of Developmental and Adult Education, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board -Stephanie Hawley, associate vice president, college access programs

9:15 – 10:00 DE Data Review – Richard Griffiths, coordinator of institutional studies
10:00 – 10:45

Setting the Context: Review and Discussion of the First-Year Experience Pathways  – Susan Thomason, director, instructional development services, Constance Elko, professor of Mathematics, and Richard Griffiths

10:00 – 10:45 Overview of Planning Components and Expectations- Tamara Clunis
10:45 – 11:30 Instructional Areas and Student Support and Success Systems Services: Small Group Planning Sessions
11:30 – 12:30 Working Lunch
12:30 – 4:00 Instructional Areas and Student Support and Success Systems: Small Group Sessions
4:10- 4:50 Follow-up Discussion
4:50 Next Steps – Stephanie Hawley
5:00 Adjourn

Back to Top

One Response to "Achieving the Dream"