NWTC earns national recognition for student success outcomes

Wednesday September 24, 2014

Achieving the Dream announced that Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) is one of 16 community colleges selected for the 2014 cohort of Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges—a national designation awarded to community colleges that commit to improving student success and closing achievement gaps.

“Making sure our students master their courses, remain in college and earn a credential is at the heart of everything we do at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College,” said NWTC President Dr. H. Jeffrey Rafn. “Being honored as a Leader College from Achieving the Dream demonstrates that our faculty and staff’s tireless commitment towards student success is making a measurable difference in the lives of our students. This is a big deal for the college, our students and the community, and we're excited to continue making strides into the future."

Achieving the Dream Leader College badge

Achieving the Dream performed an extensive review of specified practice and performance activities. NWTC 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.  A few highlights of how NWTC is raising the bar to better serve its students include improving the completion rates for all students receiving a "C" or better in their courses from 77.4% in 2009-10 to 81.7% in 2012-13, and increasing number of English Language Learner students transitioning to a degree or diploma program from 21 students in 2012-13 to 77 students in 2013-14.

“The work of improving student success is critically important to our education and economy,” said Carol Lincoln, Achieving the Dream Senior Vice President. “Northeast Wisconsin Technical College has demonstrated that better student outcomes are possible when an institution focuses on policies and practices that help students learn at high levels and overcome challenges life throws at them. NWTC is working hard to move the needle for whole cohorts of students, and deserves recognition for its relentless efforts and promising achievements.”

The 2014 Leader Colleges are making strides in the national movement to increase student completion and close achievement gaps, demonstrating the power of the Achieving the Dream Approach. With the guidance of Achieving the Dream Coaches, colleges not only systemically change the way they operate, but also implement key student supports that align with their overall policies and institutional systems, such as college readiness programs, mandatory new student orientation, student-success courses, developmental course redesign, curriculum redesign, and intensive, individualized advising.

Find out more information about how Leader Colleges are showing sustained improvement on Achieving the Dream’s five measures of student success.

Achieving the Dream grants Leader College designation for three-year cycles. After three years, institutions must undergo a recertification process to maintain Leader College status. Since 2009, Achieving the Dream has granted Leader College status to a total of 79 active Achieving the Dream Institutions.

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College is a two-year technical college providing education, training, and life-long learning opportunities for individuals and businesses throughout Northeast Wisconsin. Our customers stimulate the economic vitality of our district as a result of the application of skills and knowledge acquired through the completion of our more than 200 certificates, degrees, diplomas, and courses. The College serves more than 40,000 people annually, and has transfer agreements with dozens of colleges and universities.  

Achieving the Dream, Inc. is a national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. Evidence-based, student-centered, and built on the values of equity and excellence, Achieving the Dream is closing achievement gaps and accelerating student success nationwide by: 1) guiding evidence-based institutional improvement, 2) leading policy change, 3) generating knowledge, and 4) engaging the public. Conceived as an initiative in 2004 by Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations, today, Achieving the Dream is leading the most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. With over 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams - working throughout 34 states and the District of Columbia – the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network helps nearly 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.


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