CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Education

March 4, 2013

Wallace State Among Ten Community Colleges Chosen to Join AAC&U Roadmap Project Supported by MetLife Foundation

New Cohort Competitively Selected to Join the Existing Network of Institutions Working on Integrated and Coordinated Strategies to Support Student Success

HANCEVILLE — The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) recently announced the names of ten community colleges chosen in Phase Two of the Developing a Community College Student Roadmap Project. The Roadmap Project is made possible by a grant from MetLife Foundation as part of MetLife Foundation’s commitment to increasing the success of community college students.

Part of its Liberal Education and America’s Promise initiative, AAC&U’s Roadmap Project assists community colleges in creating robust and proactive programs of academic support—tied to expected learning outcomes—that engage students at entrance and teach them, from the outset, how to become active partners in their own quest for educational success. The project seeks to “connect the dots” among the varied student support programs on community college campuses and create roadmaps for success applicable at multiple institutions. These roadmaps will be anchored in a set of expected learning outcomes essential for all students to succeed in life beyond college.

“We are pleased to continue our support for the significant Roadmap Project,” said Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. “This ambitious, collaborative work led by AAC&U is important for the participating colleges, the success of their students, and for all of higher education.”

The Roadmap Project has been working intensively over the past two years with a select group of twelve leadership institutions that are developing institutional models in support of community college student success. Collectively, these leadership institutions are taking what are often isolated and independent student success efforts and creating an integrated roadmap to support both student persistence and higher levels of academic achievement.

Funding from MetLife Foundation has enabled AAC&U to expand this initial group of institutions and add another ten community colleges to the project. Through a rigorous application and evaluation process, national leaders chose community colleges with constructive plans designed to improve student learning outcomes and create pathways to student success through evidence-based interventions and programs. They were chosen because they are poised to become national models in supporting and advancing community college student success. Since their selection in January, they have already begun developing and implementing their plans.

The new cohort of institutions includes:

Alamo Colleges (TX), Brookdale Community College (NJ), Chattanooga State Community College (TN), College of the Canyons (CA), Community College of Allegheny County (PA), Community College of Baltimore County (MD), Manchester Community College (CT), Massachusetts Bay Community College (MA), Monroe Community College (NY), and Wallace State Community College (AL)

“It is quite an honor to be selected, and we are excited about the contributions to and benefits of participating in this project,” said Wallace State President Vicki Hawsey. Through the Roadmap Project, Wallace State will work to identify high-impact practices that engage both faculty and students in collaborative, innovative, and meaningful learning experiences leading to student success.

Wallace State’s Roadmap Project will be headed by English faculty member Dr. Kathy Buckelew and Social Sciences Division chair Dr. Rebecca Reeves.

“The newly selected Roadmap campuses will join a distinguished group of twelve institutions that are leaders in improving community college student success,” said Tia Brown McNair, Senior Director for Student Success. “One of the greatest benefits of this project has been the knowledge-sharing among a community of educators not only dedicated to asking the difficult questions, but also to implementing change as a result of inquiry and reflection. The Roadmap institutions demonstrate a sustained commitment to completion and quality.”

Each Roadmap institution will work to ensure that its student success programs are integrated with, and reinforced by, its own educational culture. Institutions will develop and coordinate practices and policies that support engaged learning, provide meaningful assessment data about student learning outcomes, and help build a community of support for high achievement.

This initiative also builds in the research sponsored as part of AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise initiative, including the research on high-impact educational practices that are proven to increase persistence, completion, and achievement of key learning outcomes especially for students traditionally underrepresented in higher education. For additional information about outcomes and high-impact educational practices, see www.aacu.org/leap.

Institutions in the existing Roadmap Project include:

Eugenio María de Hostos Community College (CUNY) (New York, New York), Gainesville State College (Oakwood, Georgia), Georgia Perimeter College (Decatur, Georgia), Lane Community College (Eugene, Oregon), Miami Dade College (Miami, Florida), Middlesex Community College (Bedford, Massachusetts), Mt. San Antonio College (Walnut, Los Angeles County, California), Northern Virginia Community College (Annandale, Virginia), Prince George’s Community College (Largo, Maryland), Queensborough Community College (CUNY) (New York, New York), Salt Lake Community College (Salt Lake City, Utah), and Tidewater Community College (Norfolk, Virginia).

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