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STLCC Dreams Big

October 21, 2010

This year, STLCC has initiated its engagement with Achieving the Dream. After submitting its proposed plan for the coming year in mid-August, approximately 1,500 faculty and staff engaged in a college-wide kickoff event Aug. 27 to demonstrate STLCC’s renewed commitment to student success. Dr. Kay McClenney was the featured speaker. 


Achieving the Dream offers STLCC an opportunity to join more than 100 other colleges across the country who have developed and implemented innovations and made strategic plans to address achievement gaps in five key areas. At its core, the initiative seeks to help more students reach their individual goals, which may include earning a community college certificate or degree, attaining a bachelor's degree, and/or obtaining a better job. Achieving the Dream colleges maintain a high degree of access for historically underrepresented groups while working to increase the percentage of students who:

·         Successfully complete the courses they take.

·         Advance from remedial to credit-bearing courses.

·         Enroll in and successfully complete gatekeeper courses.

·         Enroll from one semester to the next.

·         Earn degrees and/or certificates.


As STLCC begins to strategize and to prioritize work on the five goals listed above, here is a summary of what’s been happening:

·         The ATD Student Success Team has met four times since the beginning of September and has begun to examine data around the five ATD goals. Data reviewed by the team so far include persistence from term to term (Goal 4), and courses with the highest enrollment and the least success (Goals 1 and 3). Achievement gaps for African-American students at STLCC are a major concern.

·         Campus-based ATD teams are forming.

·         An ATD office has been established at each campus. Teresa Huether is working with all campuses to support ATD-related efforts and information sharing.

·         Student Success Team members have made presentations upon request at most of the locations through department/division meetings and other campus structures. Approximately 10 presentations have been given to date.

·         Institutional Research and Planning staff members have submitted all required cohort data to JBL Associates and have provided the Student Success Team with data to support the identification of targeted goals and strategies for the coming year.

·         Besides reviewing data, the Student Success Team and other groups have been asked to read articles and information pertinent to student success, has taken the ATD equity survey, and has been asked to examine policies and practices affecting student success at STLCC.

·         ATD Data Coach Heather Wathington, Ph.D., visited STLCC Oct.11-12. She commented not only on the real progress STLCC has made in the ATD process and the ease of accessing pertinent data, but also provided valuable guidance about next steps. As Dr. Wathington said: “The students we serve are not the problem; but the college is the solution!”

·         On Professional Development Day, Oct. 19, five speakers from five different ATD colleges discussed successful strategies they’ve employed to address the ATD goals. These presentations followed the keynote address by Dr. Gerardo de los Santos of the League for Innovation in the Community College.


For more information on STLCC’s Achieving the Dream efforts, visit the website at or send an e-mail to dreambig@stlcc.edu.