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TCC SELECTED FOR NATIONAL INITIATIVE TO INCREASE STUDENT SUCCESS
New program – Achieving the Dream
launches this fall at 27 U.S. community colleges

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – (Aug. 31, 2004) – Tidewater Community College has been selected with 27 community colleges in five states to participate in Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count, a new initiative to enhance the academic success of low-income and minority students.

TCC received a $50,000 investment grant to develop plans for addressing this challenge, and will be eligible for additional funding for implementation. Quintin Bullock, provost of TCC’s Norfolk Campus, and Terry Jones, acting provost for the Portsmouth Campus, head the initiative for the college.

“Community colleges are central to the success of this population; our charge is to offer students the means to reach their dreams, whether that’s securing good-paying employment or furthering their education,” says TCC President Deborah DiCroce. “The selection of TCC for this important initiative points to our leadership in this arena, while giving us the opportunity to research and re-think how to raise the bar on student persistence rates.”

Achieving the Dream is a multi-year initiative funded by Lumina Foundation for Education and involving several national partner organizations. The first phase of the initiative will directly involve the chosen colleges in Florida, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia. In future years, the initiative will expand to involve eligible community colleges in additional states.

“We look forward to finding and implementing new and innovative ways to connect our students to the college community, to open more paths to graduation, good jobs and careers,” says Bullock. “We are taking up the challenge to create a ‘culture of evidence’ as we examine statistics and devise data-collection systems.” Recent retention-based initiatives at TCC include the college’s Title III grant, Creating the Conditions for Successful Student Achievement: Improving and Linking Developmental Programs and Student Services; Student Support TRIO program; the college’s Women’s Center; Bridges Learning Systems project; and “Beating the Odds,” a mentoring program for male students.

A team of national reviewers selected the 27 participating institutions from among 60 community colleges that submitted proposals. Eligible colleges are regionally accredited, public, associate degree-granting institutions. Each college is required to have an enrollment of at least 33 percent minority students or 50 percent students who receive government-supported financial aid.

According to the reviewers, the colleges selected are those that most effectively demonstrated their commitment to increasing student success and best communicated their vision for accomplishing this at their institutions.

TCC and the other participating community colleges will be supported in their work by initiative partners with significant expertise in this field, including the American Association of Community Colleges; Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas-Austin; Community College Research Center, Teacher’s College, Columbia University; Futures Project, Brown University; Jobs for the Future; MDRC and Public Agenda. These organizations, along with the initiative’s managing partner, MDC, Inc., will help colleges identify and adapt practices and policies to achieve their goals.

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Laurie White
Media Relations
757-822-1085

Tidewater Community College is the second largest of the 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth of Virginia, enrolling more than 34,000 students annually. The 37th largest in the nationís 1,600 community-college network, TCC ranks among the 50 fastest-growing large community colleges. Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district in downtown Norfolk, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-three percent of the regionís residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC.

 
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