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Now browsing: Hometown News > Community > St. Lucie County

IRSC selected for national Achieving the Dream program
Rating: 4 / 5 (1 votes)  
Posted: 2013 Jun 28 - 07:04

For Hometown News

TREASURE COAST -- Signifying a strong commitment to student success and college completion, Indian River State College is one of only 13 institutions nationwide -- and the only Florida college -- selected for the Achieving the Dream program, the nation's most comprehensive non-governmental network for student success in higher education history. IRSC will immediately begin the challenging work of identifying and implementing strategies for increasing student retention, persistence and graduation rates.

"Indian River State College is honored to participate in the national priority of closing achievement gaps and increasing success for every student. Through Achieving the Dream, we will build upon our track record of creating a college environment that helps students achieve and graduate," said Dr. Edwin R. Massey, IRSC president. "Twenty-first century jobs require higher level skills than ever, and it's vitally important that students are fully equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for career success. Helping students reach their educational goals contributes significantly to their individual career prospects, but the benefits extend further to support the economic strength of our community and nation."

Following a rigorous application process, IRSC was selected based on the college's commitment to student achievement, innovative approaches to teaching and advanced use of technology.

"Becoming an Achieving the Dream Institution takes courage, diligence and an unrelenting institution-wide commitment to student success and equity," said William Trueheart, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. "Indian River State College should be applauded for doing its part in the student success movement."

A national nonprofit organization, Achieving the Dream provides tools, resources and support to selected colleges. Member colleges are focused on helping students, especially low-income and minority students, complete their education and obtain market-valued credentials. Data is used to evaluate students' progress to degree completion.

Intervention strategies assist students who need help and the steps taken are evaluated and adjusted for effectiveness.

IRSC has maintained a record of increasingly large graduating classes for the past 11 years, with 3,200 students earning Associate and Bachelor's Degrees during the 2012-13 school year.

Various innovative initiatives implemented by the college have contributed to this successful student performance. Guidance counselors carefully evaluate each student's interests and past academic record to tailor a personalized program plan. Students taking college-preparatory courses also complete a course to develop their study, test-taking and time management skills. Students also benefit from Direct-Connect, an individualized tutoring program.

Through mandatory New Student Orientation, students become familiar with all the College's programs and services. Other successful IRSC programs include expansion of student internships and academic support workshops.

Indian River State College is participated in the 2013 Achieving the Dream Kickoff Institute in Orlando. The Institute provided a forum for IRSC to work with Leadership and Data Coaches. IRSC also received a sneak preview of the Interventions Showcase. This unique tool, newly-created by Achieving the Dream, provides colleges a platform to explore student success interventions and to find colleges that are implementing similar strategies.

Using information from the Interventions Showcase, IRSC can connect with others within the network to exchange ideas, challenges and findings as they relate to specific interventions.

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 more than 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors and 15 state policy teams working throughout 34 states and the District of Columbia to help 3.8 million community-college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

Indian River State College is a public comprehensive college serving Florida's Research Coast with campuses in Fort Pierce, Okeechobee, Port St. Lucie, Stuart and Vero Beach.

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