(Aiken, SC) Aiken Technical College has been selected as one of 15 community colleges across the country to win a $100,000 Walmart PRESS for Completion grant. The grant program, sponsored by Walmart Foundation and administered by Achieving the Dream – a national nonprofit leading the nation’s most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for community college student success - will enable Aiken Technical College to better engage faculty and staff in important campus-based reform efforts and ensure that more students have a better chance of staying in school and obtaining a market-valued credential.
“Aiken Technical College is honored to have been selected as a Walmart PRESS for Completion grantee, “said Father Gregory Rogers, Dean of General Education and University Transfer. “This grant award is symbolic of Aiken Technical College’s national reputation in fostering student success, and we look forward to working with Achieving the Dream and Walmart in this effort.”
“Aiken Technical College has met high standards of practice and performance and is well-positioned to tackle one of the toughest community college reform challenges our nation is facing: engaging more full-time and adjunct faculty and staff in student success efforts,” said Rachel Singer, Vice President of Achieving the Dream, Inc.
Nationwide, while great strides have been made at community colleges for student success, the proportion of faculty (including adjunct faculty) and student services personnel deeply engaged in the work is modest compared to the total number of faculty and staff at the colleges. Further, the reform work has not yet eliminated disconnections between academic departments and student services limiting vital collaboration. Aiken Technical College is an Achieving the Dream Leader College, a network of 50 colleges known for their commitment to student-centered evidence-based reforms and outstanding increases in student outcomes. Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges were deemed a most ideal network for testing and expanding innovative faculty and staff engagement strategies.
Through a competitive process, including 50 eligible Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges, Aiken Technical College was selected as a grant recipient in the Walmart PRESS for Completion Grant Program. The grant will include a 27-month process during which time ATC will receive technical assistance and support from Achieving the Dream. In addition, the College has agreed to serve as a peer coach and be active in the learning community among the other 175+ colleges in the larger Achieving the Dream National Reform Network. Ultimately, at least 100,000 students stand to benefit directly, and 3.75 million indirectly, from the collective work of the selected colleges.
Representatives from Aiken Technical College will participate in the inaugural Walmart PRESS for Completion Grant Recipient Kickoff Institute at the Hyatt Hotel in Reston, VA from June 24, 2012 – June 26, 2012.
For more information on the Leader Colleges, see: www.achievingthedream.org/LeaderColleges
For more information about Achieving the Dream, visit: www.AchievingtheDream.org