Community colleges across the United States provide millions of students with access to the training and education they need in order to achieve their academic and professional goals and create a successful future for themselves.
Unfortunately, community colleges have also been increasingly challenged by low completion rates. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, nearly half of all students seeking higher education choose a community college, but fewer than half of those students finish what they start.
At Cengage Learning, we believe these figures underscore the idea that access to community colleges is only one part of the equation. We want to help students stay engaged in their college studies and stay in college—so they can see their dreams come to fruition.
These beliefs drive our recent collaboration with Achieving the Dream, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping community college students stay in school and earn a certificate or degree.
Conceived in 2004, Achieving the Dream now leads the most comprehensive non-governmental reform movement for student success in the history of higher education. With a network including over two hundred institutions, more than one hundred coaches and advisors and fifteen state policy teams, Achieving the Dream is helping nearly four million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.
Both ATD and Cengage Learning place students at the center of engagement. Cengage Learning’s research and development focus on the student’s needs across the curriculum—including resources for courses in Developmental Math, Developmental English and College Success, which are building blocks to success for many community college students. As Liz Covello, VP and General Manager of Developmental Studies noted: “Our research shows that these students must catch up to their classmates, while also navigating complicated financial, familial and employment issues. These issues can impede college success without proper mentoring and access to high-quality educational materials, which is why this collaboration between Cengage Learning and Achieving the Dream was a perfect fit.”
Together, Cengage Learning and Achieving the Dream are working to increase students’ probability of success. As part of our collaboration – which formally launched in Fall 2014 with investment in the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network and continued with our participation in this February’s DREAM 2015 conference – Cengage Learning will contribute resources to Achieving the Dream’s Technology Solutions Resource Center and conduct webinars for members of the Achieving the Dream Network. In this way, we’re demonstrating our support of Achieving the Dream’s mission to lead and guide community college reform.
Sandi Kirshner, Cengage Learning’s Chief Marketing Officer, recently stated: “As the end-users of our solutions, ensuring the success of students is more important than ever before. Our investment in Achieving the Dream will enable us to together make a greater impact in the lives of students who may be at-risk for dropping out, and we can provide technology and resources that will truly engage these students and prime them for success.” As an organization, we look forward to what this collaboration will bring.
For more information about Cengage Learning’s developmental studies programs, visit www.cengage.com/devenglish, www.cengage.com/success or www.cengage.com/devmath. For more information about Achieving the Dream, please visit www.achievingthedream.org.