JUNE 20, 2007

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Three community colleges join national program

Three of Oklahoma’s community colleges have joined a national program to help more of their students succeed.

Oklahoma City Community College, Rose State College in Midwest City, and Tulsa Community College have joined Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count, a multi-year national program started with sponsorship by the Lumina Foundation for Education. Each college will participate in the program for five years.

“I’m looking forward to the possibilities that this program could provide for the students at these colleges,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “Forty-three percent of Oklahoma’s college students attend a community college, and unfortunately, too many of them leave before they graduate. I believe this program has the depth to identify real challenges for these students and determine ways to help them succeed.”

Achieving the Dream will provide support to the colleges to implement strategies that help more students, particularly at-risk students, earn degrees or transfer to other institutions to continue their studies.

The program emphasizes the use of data to identify effective practices, improve student success rates and close achievement gaps. Each college will be matched with technical assistance and an Achieving the Dream coach to help collect and use data, develop promotional materials, engage the faculty and community, and develop sustainable strategies.

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education recently authorized expenditures for the colleges to participate in the program. Oklahoma GEAR UP will also contribute to the program for the State Regents to receive assistance with systemwide policy development in support of these efforts.

The Oklahoma colleges join 81 others in 14 states that are participating in the program, which began in 2004. The colleges also receive support from 14 national partner organizations.

Contact: Ben Hardcastle, OSRHE, (405) 225-9346