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Harper awarded Achieving the Dream grant

  • Harper College News Bureau
  • August 2, 2016

Achieving the DreamAchieving the Dream, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to student success, has selected Harper College to participate in a new initiative to engage part-time faculty as active contributors to the College’s reform efforts under the leadership of full-time faculty.

Adjunct or part-time faculty teach more than half of all students in U.S. community colleges, frequently in students’ first college-level courses and developmental education courses.

Achieving the Dream’s two-year, $160,000 grant to Harper will help the College strengthen relationships with its adjunct faculty to encourage instructional reform and make all faculty members’ skills and experiences fully available to students.

“We’re committed to supporting our adjunct faculty, and this initiative will help equip them with the tools and strategies they need so they can be further engaged,” said Dr. Michael Bates, Associate Dean of Harper’s Academy for Teaching Excellence.

Through the grant, Harper will focus largely on professional development for adjunct faculty, who will gain the skills to implement high-impact teaching practices and measure the impact of their efforts on student learning.

Silver Spring, Md.-based Achieving the Dream received $2.3 million from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Great Lakes Higher Education Guarantee Corporation to fund and administer the 24-month project.

Harper is joined in the initiative by The Community College of Baltimore County (Maryland), Patrick Henry Community College (Virginia), Delta College (Michigan), Community College of Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) and Renton Technical College (Washington).

“Adjunct faculty voices are essential to community college reform efforts,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, President and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “Colleges need to involve all faculty leaders, full-time and part-time, in creating systems that allow them to be fully engaged participants in the change process.”

Harper has been active with Achieving the Dream, which has a network of more than 200 institutions, since 2009. In 2013, Harper earned the organization’s Leader College distinction, a national designation awarded to community colleges that commit to improving student success and closing achieving gaps. Leader Colleges have shown how data can inform policy and practices to help students achieve their goals, resulting in improved skills, better employability and economic growth for families, communities and the nation as a whole.

Media relations:  Kim Pohl, Media Relations Manager, 847.925.6159