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Achieving the Dream

Patrick Henry Community College is an Achieving the Dream Leader College and the recipient of a Developmental Education Initiative Grant through MDC, Inc. funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Achieving the Dream (AtD) Leader Colleges must demonstrate commitment to and progress on the four principles of Achieving the Dream: committed leadership, use of evidence to improve programs and services, broad engagement, and systemic institutional improvement. Leader colleges are expected to serve as mentors within the Achieving the Dream community of learners, as well as advocates for the principles of Achieving the Dream. The ultimate goal for Achieving the Dream is to improve student success. Central to the project are low-income students and students of color who have traditionally faced significant barriers to success.

PHCC began the Achieving the Dream journey in 2004 as one of 27 colleges in five states initially selected to participate. Today there are 102 community colleges in 22 states involved. The Lumina Foundation provided the funding for the initial group of colleges. Currently, thirteen prestigious partner organizations are actively involved to include: American Association of Community Colleges, The University of Texas Community College Leadership Program, The Community College Research Center, Jobs for the Future, Knowledge Works Foundation, Lumina Foundation, MDC, MDRC, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Public Agenda, Houston Endowment, Inc. The Heinz Endowments, College Spark and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded 15 of the original round one and round two colleges to participate in the Developmental Education Initiative (DEI). DEI or what PHCC refers to as its Progress Initiative centers on scaling the successful educational strategies piloted through Achieving the Dream.

PHCC developed and implemented strategies, based on data, to enhance student engagement and ultimately student success. The two-pronged approach focused on: Student Engagement Inside the Classroom and Student Engagement Outside the Classroom.

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