Riverland sets goal to increase student completion rates by 50 percent by 2020

Published 1:16 pm Saturday, March 5, 2011

Riverland Community College recently joined in an unprecedented and unified action, signing a statement of commitment to increase student completion rates by 50 percent over the next decade. It joined six national organizations representing America’s 1,200 community colleges, their governing boards, their faculty and their 11.8 million students. Nationally, Riverland became the 34th college to sign, according to a news release.

“The Democracy’s Challenge Call to Action is an extraordinary step forward for the nation’s community colleges,” said Association of Community College Trustees Chairman Thomas M. Bennett, a trustee at Parkland College, Ill.

“This call to action represents the culmination of the community college movement’s renewed commitment to accountability, student success and completion,” said ACCT President and CEO J. Noah Brown.

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The call to action has also been signed by the chief executive officers of the American Association of Community Colleges, The Center for Community College Student Engagement, League for Innovation in the Community College, National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. These organizations joined forces to represent the voices of community and technical college governing boards, presidents, administrators, faculty members and students.

The call to action expressly commits the partner organizations to student success-oriented actions, including:

• Changing institutional culture from emphasis on access only to emphasis on access and success

• Engaging in courageous conversations regarding diversity, equity and excellence reflecting student success and institutional performance

• Increasing success rates for all students and eliminating the attainment gaps that separate student groups on the basis of race, ethnicity, and family income

• Acting on facts to make positive changes in the interest of student success and college completion

• Promoting faculty and staff development focused on evidence-based educational practice

• Providing development opportunities for college CEOs, trustees and future college leaders to build partnerships for student success

“This call to action aligns perfectly with Riverland’s strategic goals,” said Terry Leas, Riverland’s president. “Riverland’s actions and planning are all focused on this preferred future for our students and our college’s academic goals.”

To view Riverland’s Democracy’s Challenge Call to Action, go to www.riverland.edu/CallToAction.

Riverland Community College, a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, is a regional comprehensive community college inspiring learning for living through a personalized educational environment. Approximately 4,000 students are served annually through a wide range of credit-based educational opportunities. An additional 5,600 students are annually served in non-credit courses. Facilities are located in Albert Lea, Austin and Owatonna.