Columbus State earns national recognition for minority student performance improvement
Campus News | Thursday, February 20, 2020
“Leader College of Distinction” status awarded to 2019 cohort of 11 community colleges nationwide
Columbus State Community College has earned the Achieving the Dream (ATD) Leader College of Distinction status for closing performance gaps among African-American and Hispanic students.
The recognition follows Columbus State’s recognition by ATD in 2019 as its Leah Meyer Austin Award winner for student performance improvement, its highest honor bestowed annually. The College first became an ATD Leader College in 2015 based on its commitment to accelerating student success and moves up from that designation to become a Leader College of Distinction.
ATD recognized Columbus State as a Leader College of Distinction for four-year performance improvement rates from 2015-2018 among first-time-ever-in-college African-American and Hispanic students, including a breakout for solely African-American males.
Highlights include closing the gap between Hispanic and Caucasian students completing college-level English, and narrowing the gap for African-American males completing college-level English from 20 percent to 7 percent compared to Caucasian students.
“It is such an honor to continue our work with ATD toward aggressive continuous improvement of our student outcomes,” said Dr. David Harrison, Columbus State president. “We don’t do it for the recognition, but for the partnership and accountability ATD brings to the table. We are proud to be making progress on our journey toward eliminating performance gaps within our student populations.”
“Accelerating improvement in student success outcomes is difficult work and requires a sustained commitment from the entire college community. Small but national recognitions like this one are important for affirming and applauding the often unsung and behind the scenes work of these institutions,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream.
Columbus State Leader College of Distinction status is based on the reduction in performance gaps among first-time-ever-in-college students by:
- Six percentage points for Hispanic students completing college-level math (from 10 percent in 2015 to 4 percent in 2018).
- Seven percentage points for African-American students completing college-level English (from 19 percent in 2015 to 12 percent in 2018).
- Four percentage points (and complete gap closure) for Hispanic students completing college-level English (from 2 percent in 2015 to -2 percent in 2018).
- 13 percentage points for African-American males completing college-level English (from 20 percent in 2015 to 7 percent in 2018).
- Three percentage points for African-American students completing college credits with a C- or higher (from 12 percent in 2015 to 9 percent in 2018).
- Five percentage points for Hispanic students completing college credits with a C- or higher (from 10 percent in 2015 to 5 percent in 2018).
- Four percentage points for African-American males completing college credits with a C- or higher (from 13 percent in 2015 to 9 percent in 2018).
- Six percentage points for African-American students earning a credential within four years (from 8 percent for the 2011 cohort to 2 percent for the 2015 cohort).
- Six percentage points for African-American males earning a credential within four years (from 7 percent for the 2011 cohort to 1 percent for the 2015 cohort).
ATD created the Leader College of Distinction award in 2018 to recognize colleges that have continued striving to meet challenging student success goals, often earning Leader College status several times. Leader Colleges of Distinction must show improvement in three measures, including a lagging indicator such as completion. Leader Colleges of Distinction also are required to show they have shrunk performance discrepancies in at least two metrics between groups disaggregated by gender, race/ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. Only colleges that have been Leader Colleges for three or more years were eligible to apply for this status.
Achieving the Dream leads a national network of more than 200 community colleges dedicated to helping their students, particularly low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity. Achieving the Dream is working toward closing achievement gaps and accelerating student success through a change process that builds colleges' institutional capacities in seven critical areas. More than 100 coaches and advisors and 15 state policy teams are working throughout 35 states and the District of Columbia to help Achieving the Dream reach more than 4 million community college students.
As a national leader, Columbus State is the only community college in the nation to earn ATD Leader College status, develop next-generation academic and career pathways as part of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Guided Pathways, and to be entrusted with developing a new credentialing model through the AACC Right Signals Initiative.
(Below, 12 members of the Columbus State community were on hand in National Harbor, Maryland on February 20 when the the Leader College of Distinction honors were formally announced.)