Community College Leadership Program receives $3.7 million to help colleges improve student success rate

AUSTIN, Texas—The Community College Leadership Program (CCLP) at The University of Texas at Austin has been awarded $3.7 million by the Lumina Foundation for Education to raise student success rates at colleges in seven states.

Part of a 10-partner national initiative called Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count, the CCLP’s work will target students of color, low-income students and others who traditionally have faced significant barriers to academic achievement. Grant funds will be used to coach 35 colleges in Connecticut, Florida, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Virginia and to conduct research on effective techniques for promoting student success.

“Nothing less than a competitive future for the country is at stake as these community colleges lead the nation to increase student success among the most at-risk students,” says Byron McClenney, the leader project leader in the CCLP.

Work with community colleges during the past year, with a $1.7 million grant received from the Lumina Foundation in 2004, has helped the CCLP pinpoint specific practices that could significantly increase student retention and graduation rates. Participating colleges examined their student data, which was broken down by race, ethnicity and low-income status, and selected areas in which they wanted to concentrate on improvement during the multi-year initiative. A focus on developmental education for students who lack basic skills, enhancement of support services for students during their first semester and the creation of learning communities in which students work together in multiple courses are some of the practices to be tested during the next four years.

The CCLP, which was created in 1944 and is in the College of Education, is the oldest graduate program in the nation to be devoted to the preparation of community college leaders. It has graduated more community college presidents and deans than any other program in the United States.

For more information contact: Dr. Byron McClenney, 512-471-4484 or 512-470-3690.