Arkansas Baptist College Students Now Have an Even Better Chance of Earning a Degree and Achieving their Dreams

Signifying a strong commitment to student success and completion, Arkansas Baptist College is one of 25 institutions selected, this year, into the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network – the nation’s most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. Arkansas Baptist College will begin immediately to identify strategies to close achievement gaps and increase student retention, persistence, and completion rates.

We are honored to partner with Achieving the Dream in efforts to increase retention and ultimately graduation rates. The College’s administration, faculty, and staff are committed to the needs and academic development of our students,” said Dr. Fitz Hill, President of Arkansas Baptist College. “This partnership will enhance campus initiatives to better assist our students in achieving their dreams.”

“This new cohort of colleges will collectively help 270,000 students succeed,” said Beverly Fletcher, Senior Director of Organizational Development and Change for Achieving the Dream. “And the success of each student means much more than just a personal goal secured. It means improved skills, better employability, and economic growth for their community and our nation as a whole.”

As an Achieving the Dream Institution, Arkansas Baptist College will develop and implement research-based policies and practices based on quantitative and qualitative analyses of its institutional strengths, problem areas, and achievement gaps. Arkansas Baptist College is committed to assessing the effectiveness of these policies and practices, institutionalizing the approaches that prove successful, and sharing the findings widely. Through Achieving the Dream, Arkansas Baptist College will have the opportunity to learn from other Achieving the Dream Institutions, and receive assistance from experienced practitioners in building a culture of evidence campus-wide, using data to identify problems, setting priorities, and measuring progress toward increasing student success.

Introducing the Achieving the Dream 2012 Cohort

Albany Technical College (GA)

Columbus State Community College (OH)

Pierce College (WA)

Arkansas Baptist College (AR)

Columbus Technical College (GA)

Southwestern Oregon Community College (OR)

Atlanta Technical College (GA)

Gaston College (NC)

St. Petersburg College (FL)

Augusta Technical College (GA)

Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GA)

Stanly Community College (NC)

Blue Mountain Community College (OR)

Klamath Community College (OR)

Tillamook Bay Community College (OR)

Central Alabama Community College (AL)

Kingsborough Community College (NY)

Umpqua Community College (OR)

Central Georgia Technical College (GA)

Linn-Benton Community College (OR)

Wallace State Community College (Hanceville, AL)

College of Southern Nevada (NV)

Miami Dade College (FL)

Columbia Gorge Community College (OR)

Oregon Coast Community College (OR)

“The work of closing achievement gaps and improving student success is extremely difficult and critically important,” said Beverly Fletcher, Senior Director of Organizational Development and Change for Achieving the Dream. “Being an Achieving the Dream Institution takes courage, discipline, and a tenacious institution-wide commitment to student success and equity. Arkansas Baptist College should be applauded for helping tackle one of society’s most daunting challenges: success for more college students.”

The Achieving the Dream Model

Each new college will commit to the Achieving the Dream Student-Centered Model of Institutional Improvement. Based on four principles, the Model frames the overall work of helping more students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. Each college will approach the work differently, but Achieving the Dream’s five-step process will provide practical guidelines for helping keep the focus where it belongs and building momentum over time. Throughout the process, Achieving the Dream Coaches will offer customized support and help each college’s core team implement data-informed programs and policies that build long-term, institution-wide commitment to student success. Learn more about the Model here.

Achieving the Dream is a national nonprofit leading the nation’s most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. The Achieving the Dream National Reform Network, including nearly 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams – working throughout 32 states and the District of Columbia – helps 3.75 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

About Arkansas Baptist College

Founded in 1884, Arkansas Baptist College is the only black Baptist higher education institution west of the Mississippi River. ABC is a liberal arts college that offers two and four year degree programs. Arkansas Baptist College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and is affiliated with the Consolidated Missionary Baptist State Convention of Arkansas. The college is committed to graduating students with an enhanced sense of community awareness and social responsibility. Dr. Fitz Hill is the College’s 13th President.