LA CROSSE, Wis. (February 27, 2014) –Signifying a strong commitment to student success and completion, Western Technical College is one of 12 institutions selected, this year, into the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network. Western was welcomed into the network today at DREAM 2014 and will immediately begin the challenging work of identifying and implementing evidence-based strategies for closing achievement gaps and increasing student retention, persistence, and completion rates. “This partnership will play a key role in Western’s ability to reach our Vision 2020 goal of serving 1,000 more students by 2020,” said Western President Lee Rasch. “Achieving the Dream can help us understand how to better leverage our data and make more informed decisions.” “We are delighted to welcome Western Technical College into the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network as we celebrate our 10th year of working to improve student success and completion rates across the country,” said Achieving the Dream President and CEO William E. Trueheart. “Western represents a diverse group of students whose success means much more than just a personal goal secured. It means improved skills, better employability, and economic growth for their community and our nation as a whole.”

Introducing the Achieving the Dream 2014 Cohort
? Calhoun Community College (AL)
? Cowley College (KS)
? Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GA)
? Grayson College (TX)
? McLennan Community College (TX)
? Mohawk Valley Community College (NY)
? North Georgia Technical College (GA)
? Savannah Technical College (GA)
? West Georgia Technical College (GA)
? West Hills College Lemoore (CA)
? West Kentucky Community & Technical College (KY)
? Western Technical College (WI)

The Achieving the Dream Model Each new college will commit to the Achieving the Dream Student-Centered Model of Institutional Improvement. Based on four principles, the Model frames the overall work of helping more students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. Each college will approach the work differently, but Achieving the Dream’s five-step process will provide practical guidelines for helping keep the focus where it belongs and building momentum over time. Throughout the process, Achieving the Dream Coaches will offer customized support and help each college’s core team implement data-informed programs and policies that build long-term, institution-wide commitment to student success. Achieving the Dream, Inc. 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 over 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams – working throughout 34 states and the District of Columbia – helps nearly 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

Contributed by Julie Lemon