MDC-AAC&U Project, Funded by MetLife Foundation, Will Support and Expand Effective Student Success Strategies at Community Colleges
Miami Dade College among 12 colleges chosen to lead new project, Developing a Community College Student Roadmap: From Entrance to Engagement in Educational Achievement and Success
Miami, August 17, 2010 - The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the names of twelve community colleges chosen to take the lead in a new initiative funded by MetLife Foundation as part of its commitment to increasing the success of community college students, and Miami Dade College (MDC) is among the names.
Part of its Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative, AAC&U’s new “Roadmap Project” will assist 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.
“AAC&U is looking beyond the important goals of increasing student access and persistence,” said Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. “The Roadmap Project emphasizes that ‘success’ must take account of what the students actually learn.”
Each of the Roadmap institutions demonstrated that they are poised to become national models in supporting and advancing community college student success. In fact, MDC has collaborated with the AAC&U on numerous occasions on this front from hosting major AAC&U meetings to implementing its trailblazing Learning Outcomes initiative two years ago.
“The community colleges leading the Roadmap project share a commitment to ensuring that every one of their students achieve the outcomes of an engaged liberal education—outcomes essential for success in today’s competitive global economy,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider. “Many national leaders now recognize that improving student success at community colleges, in particular, is a key component to meeting President Obama’s ambitious goals for increasing the number of Americans with college degrees. This project, however, is designed not only to increase transfer and graduation rates, but will tackle the more challenging, but no less important task of ensuring that these graduates achieve a quality education along the way toward attaining degrees.”
Each Roadmap institution will work to ensure that their student success programs are integrated with, and reinforced by, their own educational cultures. They 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.
“We are very excited to bring together educational leaders at community colleges all working intentionally to become even more learning-centered institutions,” said AAC&U Vice President Susan Albertine, who will lead the initiative at AAC&U. “Each of these participating institutions is influential within their districts or systems and the examples and models they are developing will become catalysts for institutional changes across these regions and systems. We look forward to national models emerging from this project that can be widely adapted at institutions of all sorts.”
This initiative also builds on 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 practices, see www.aacu.org/leap.
AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises 1,200 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges and universities of every type and size.
AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education at both the national and local levels and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges. MDC President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón is the immediate past chair of the AAC&U.
Information about AAC&U membership, programs, and publications can be found at www.aacu.org.
About MetLife Foundation
MetLife Foundation supports education, health, civic and cultural organizations. In education, it seeks to strengthen public schools through effective teaching and leadership, and to prepare students for access to and success in higher education, particularly the critical first year. The Foundation’s grantmaking is informed by findings from the annual MetLife Survey of the American Teacher. For more information, visit www.metlife.org.
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, email@example.com, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949, firstname.lastname@example.org, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, email@example.com, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359, firstname.lastname@example.org, media specialist
AAC&U Contact: Debra Humphreys, vice president for Communications and Public Affairs, 202-387-3760, ext. 422, or email@example.com