September 22, 2015

Achieving the Dream today announced Century College earned Leader College distinction—a national designation awarded to community colleges that commit to improving student success and closing achievement gaps. Century College has shown how data can inform policy and practice to help community college students achieve their goals, resulting in improved skills, better employability, and economic growth for families, communities, and the nation as a whole.

“The Leader College designation will allow us to access additional resources to help us more effectively implement some of the actions we’ve already initiated to improve student success at Century College,” states Century College Interim President Pat Opatz. “In addition, this distinction puts us in a better position to attract and acquire new grant funding for the College.”

Century College was selected as a Leader College based on promising data collected regarding College student success initiatives and reduction of the achievement gap over the past few years. For example, Century College experienced an increase of 0.6 percentage points in term-to-term completion between 2012-2013 and 2013-2014.

This change was driven by an increase in persistence among African American students. African American student persistence improved from 61.3% in 2012-2013 to 71.0% in 2013-2014. The term-to-term persistence of White students in this time period changed from 75.3% to 75.5%; a 0.2 percentage point change. The achievement gap between these two groups narrowed to 4.5 points from 14 points the previous year. These results have been achieved through the development of targeted success strategies by Century College, such as Tutors Linked to Classes, First Year Experience workshop series, a redesign of the student experience, accelerated developmental education, and more.

“Becoming a Leader College is very powerful and affirms the exceptional work and commitment of faculty and staff to their students’ success,” said Achieving the Dream Vice President for Community College Relations Cindy Lenhart. “Century College is using evidence to make informed decisions that lead to significant institutional change.”