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IRSC Earns National ‘Leader College’ Status for Student Success Outcomes

IRSC Earns National ‘Leader College’ Status for Student Success Outcomes

February 20, 2020 Suzanne Seldes

Fort Pierce, FL—Achieving the Dream (ATD) has recertified Indian River State College (IRSC) as a “Leader College,” a national honor awarded to institutions in the ATD National Network that have sustained aggressive efforts that result in improved student success and equity. IRSC first achieved Leader College status in 2016. The Leader College designation is a three-year term.

Achieving the Dream (ATD) has recertified IRSC as a “Leader College.”

“IRSC is honored to be recognized nationally for closing achievement gaps and increasing success for every student,” said Dr. Edwin R. Massey, IRSC President. “Helping students reach their educational goals contributes significantly to their individual career prospects, and the benefits extend further to support the economic strength of our community and nation.”

Large-scale, college-wide reform, particularly in the area of mathematics, has involved revision and standardization of curriculum, adoption of innovative teaching practices, data-informed professional development and evidence-based decision-making—all leading to improved retention and graduation rates for IRSC students. Among the accomplishments over the most recent three-year period leading to the ATD Leader College recertification:

  • Increasing the overall percentage of students earning a credential within four years to 40%, an increase of 6%

  • Narrowing the equity gap, evidenced by the percentage of Pell recipients who earn a credential within four years, now at 39%, up 6%

  • Increasing success rates among black students in gateway math courses by 7%

Leader Colleges embody ATD’s goal to help colleges build institutional capacity to create a student-focused culture and strong outcomes for all students. Leader Colleges are encouraged to provide support to other colleges in the ATD network, disseminate lessons learned, support state and national efforts to advance the student success agenda, and continue to improve student outcomes.

This year, Achieving the Dream designated four institutions as Leader Colleges for the first time and recertified six Leader Colleges.

“We’re proud to acknowledge the achievements of colleges in our Achieving the Dream Network,” said ATD president and CEO Dr. Karen A. Stout. “These new Leader Colleges represent a group that has worked extremely hard over the past few years to change the trajectory of their institutions. Their work impacts their students, communities, and the higher education sector.”


About Indian River State College

A leader in education and innovation, Indian River State College (IRSC) transforms lives by offering high quality, affordable and accessible education to the residents of Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties through traditional and online delivery. IRSC is recipient of the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. The College serves nearly 30,000 students annually and offers more than 100 programs leading to Bachelor’s degrees, Associate degrees, technical certificates and applied technology diplomas.

About Achieving the Dream

Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads a growing network of 277 community colleges committed to helping their students, particularly low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity. ATD is making progress in closing academic achievement gaps and accelerating student success through a unique change process that builds each college’s institutional capacities in seven essential areas. ATD, along with 75 experienced coaches and advisors, works closely with Network colleges in 44 states and the District of Columbia. 

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