Miami Dade College Takes On National College Completion Challenge: A Call to Action
Miami, February 16, 2011 - In an unprecedented and unified action, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and five other national organizations representing the nation's 1,200 community colleges, their governing boards, their faculty and 11.8 million students pledged to increase student completion rates by 50 percent over the next decade.
The pledge was formally introduced at the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges, convened by Dr. Jill Biden, and attended by President Barack Obama, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Melinda Gates, Miami Dade College (MDC) President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, and other business, education and philanthropic leaders.
President Padrón and MDC Board of Trustees Chair Helen Aguirre Ferré recently signed a Statement of Commitment to join the national initiative. MDC administrators, faculty and staff take great pride in the confidence that has been expressed in the college’s work and mission.
“Finding innovative ways to increase student retention and graduation rates has always been our priority,” said Padrón. “We have various initiatives in place that take students where they are and place them where they need to be to achieve success.”
In 2007, the College launched its award-winning Learning Outcomes initiative to better prepare students for success and lifelong learning. MDC also participates in the Roadmap Project, funded by the MetLife Foundation and spearheaded by the Association of American Colleges and Universities; Statway (an innovative course that combines statistics and developmental mathematics) funded by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; the National Center for Academic Redesign Changing the Equation project funded by NCAT in conjunction with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Florida Division of State Colleges Developmental Redesign Project subgrant; and the TRIO program to help low-income, first-generation and disabled students achieve a college education, among other programs/projects.
Miami Dade College is the nation’s largest institution of higher education with an enrollment of more than 170,000 students. It is also the nation’s top producer of associate in arts and science degrees. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer more than 300 distinct degree programs including several baccalaureate degrees in education, public safety, supervision and management and nursing. In fact, its academic and workforce training programs have served as national models of excellence. MDC is also renowned for its rich cultural programming. It is home of the Miami Book Fair International, Miami International Film Festival, the Cultura del Lobo performing arts series, the National Historic Landmark Miami Freedom Tower, a sculpture park and a large art gallery and theater system. MDC has served nearly 2,000,000 students since it opened its doors in 1960.
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