About Achieving the Dream
We at Westmoreland County Community College are committed to our students’ success in the classroom and in the world we live. That’s why we are proud of our participation in Achieving the Dream (ATD), a national initiative aimed at helping more community college students earn certificates or degrees that open the door to better jobs, further education and greater opportunity. Our participation in Achieving the Dream has transformed Westmoreland.
Using evidence, which is a fundamental concept of ATD, the college developed and evaluated strategies for improving student learning and success. New policies for admissions, placement testing, class registration, and orientation were established to ensure students are placed into courses appropriate for their level of academic preparedness. Additional student services personnel were hired to provide case management for new and at-risk students.
As a result of the changes in procedure and implementation of strategy interventions, overall retention of first-time, full-time, degree seeking students has improved by 2.3 percent; term-to-term persistence from developmental to gateway courses has improved by 1 – 7 percent depending on the courses, and successful completion in the developmental and gatekeeper courses has improved 3 – 12 percent depending on the course.
Westmoreland has received national recognition for its work with ATD. In 2009, Westmoreland was selected as a Bellwether finalist for its ATD work. The initiatives established as a result of ATD participation were published as best practices in the Community College Journal of Research and Practice and Lumina Foundation’s Focus magazine.
Similarly, in 2011, Westmoreland was selected by ATD along with 23 other colleges to serve as an Achieving the Dream Leader College. As a Leader College, Westmoreland is expected to serve as mentors within the ATD community of learners as well as advocates for the values, mission and principles of the initiative.
We encourage you to take advantage of the courses, programs and services that are available at Westmoreland to help you succeed in college and in life.
Your success is our success.