From: Elise Mullinix, TJC Editorial Manager
For a second time, Tyler Junior College has been designated as an Achieving the Dream Leader College, a national honor awarded to institutions in the ATD National Network that have shown three years of steady improvement in student success.

TJC first achieved Leader College status in 2013. Achieving the Dream grants Leader College designation for three-year cycles, and institutions must undergo a recertification process to maintain their status.

“Leader College status represents a sustained, successful effort to build a student-centered culture,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “Colleges that stay focused on the hard work of transformation deserve to be recognized when they make measurable progress.”

Based on its overall four-year completion rates for the Fall 2011 ATD cohort of students, TJC showed a 52-percent success rate, defined as students who either completed their degree or transferred to a four-year institution. TJC scored 5 percent higher than the national cohort and 8 percent higher than the state cohort from the same year.

“The 2010-11 academic year was the first year of initiatives for TJC in Achieving the Dream, and our focus is reflected in these successful outcomes,” said Dr. Tampa J. Nannen, TJC assistant vice president for academic affairs.

“Student engagement both inside and outside the classroom is key to the continued achievement of our students. TJC faculty and staff are dedicated to the success of our students as well as college students across the nation.

Dr. Juan E. Mejia, TJC provost and vice president for academic and student affairs, said, “I do believe in the vision that the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network is more powerful and influential than any individual college can be. Through these partnerships, Achieving the Dream colleges, and specifically Leader Colleges, will continue to be a source of innovation that will benefit the students and communities we have been called to serve.

“TJC values the opportunity and privilege that we have to lead and share with others the numerous best practices currently in place at our institution.”

Leader Colleges are eligible to compete for all grant-funded learning initiatives offered by ATD and are encouraged to provide leadership and support to other colleges in the ATD network, disseminate lessons learned, support state and national efforts to advance the student success agenda, and continue to improve student outcomes.

Leader Colleges also have been winners of ATD’s annual Leah Meyer Austin award, a $25,000 prize for an ATD institution that takes whole-college approaches to improving student success and achieves notable increases in student outcomes.

For more on the Achieving the Dream initiative, go to AchievingTheDream.org.

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