Tyler Junior College was recognized today as a leader in the national student completion movement by Achieving the Dream, for showing evidence of measurable improvements in student achievements.
TJC, one of eight institutions designated as a 2013 Leader College, is showing promising progress in its student success efforts, proving that a concerted effort on broad faculty engagement, professional development, and an overall culture change at the institution is producing tangible results by increasing student persistence and closing achievement gaps.
“It is with great honor that we announce Tyler Junior College as a 2013 Leader College,” said Carol Lincoln, Achieving the Dream senior vice president. “Tyler Junior College is truly focused on improvement at scale. The college is working hard to ensure that it is moving the needle for whole cohorts of students and should be given recognition for its relentless efforts and promising achievements.”
Tyler Junior College is making strides in the national movement to increase student persistence and close achievement gaps, demonstrating the power of the Achieving the Dream Student-Centered Model of Institutional Improvement. Each 2013 Leader College approaches the work differently, but with the guidance of the model and Achieving the Dream Coaches, colleges not only systemically change the way they operate but also implement key student supports that align with their overall policy and institutional systems, such as college readiness programs, mandatory new student orientation, student success courses, developmental course redesign, curriculum redesign, and intensive and individualized advising.
TJC’s specific initiatives as an Achieving the Dream participant are to: Improve developmental mathematics education outcomes; reform and improve the comprehensive New Student Experience; implement a strategic professional development program for faculty and staff; and broaden the college’s work with partner organizations and institutions to improve student success.
TJC is working to consolidate professional development efforts and to promote the use of data in decision-making and innovation in teaching strategies. Using student success data in a faculty-driven decision, the college implemented a number of initiatives that changed the overall culture of the college. These included: a civility campaign to improve campus safety, developmental math redesign and modularization, the implementation of a student success course for developmentally placed students, early alert and mid-term grade reports, and career advising. Tyler Junior College’s efforts have has positive effects on the success of its students. For example the college:
• Increased the percentage of students successfully completing developmental course requirements in 2 years from 18 percent in 2008-09 to 25 percent in 2011-12
• Increased the course completion rate of all new students from 61 percent in 2008-09 to 63 percent in 2011-12.
• Increased course completion rates for new students referred to developmental math over 10 percent (from 48.3 percent in 2008-09 to 58.8 percent in 2011-12).
• Increased course completion rates for new students referred to developmental English from 46.9 percent in 2008-09 to 58.57 percent in 2011-12.
“Working with the Achieving the Dream national reform movement we have been able to make significant progress toward improved student success and persistence,” said TJC Provost Dr. Homer “Butch” Hayes.
Leader College Criteria
To be eligible for Leader College distinction, colleges must demonstrate commitment to and progress on the principles and values of Achieving the Dream: committed leadership, use of evidence to improve programs and services, broad engagement, and systemic institutional improvement all guided by a student-centered vision focused on equity and excellence. To meet the Achieving the Dream Leader College criteria for performance, colleges must present evidence of improvement in student achievement on one of the measures below over three or more years:
• Successfully complete remedial or developmental instruction and advance to credit-bearing courses
• Enroll in and successfully complete the initial college-level or gateway courses in subjects such as math and English
• Complete the courses they take with a grade of "C" or better
• Persistence from one term to the next
• Earn a certificate or associate's degree
Additionally, each Leader College has successfully implemented a student success initiative that is advancing student outcomes of sufficient scale to benefit a substantial proportion of the total target student population. Indeed, these institutions have met high standards of practice and performance and Achieving the Dream expects these colleges to support other colleges within the Achieving the Dream community of learners.
Other institutions named Leader Colleges included:
• Austin Community College (Austin)
• Danville Area Community College (Danville, Ill.)
• Harper College (Palatine, Ill.)
• Macomb Community College (Warren, Mich.)
• North Central Michigan College (Petoskey, Mich.)
• Odessa College (Odessa)
• Tarrant County College (Fort Worth)