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Part of national initiative to foster rooted change and build a ‘culture of evidence’

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – (June 23, 2005) – Tidewater Community College has been awarded a $400,000 multiyear grant as part of Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count, a national initiative that promotes change to improve student success in community colleges.

As one of 27 community colleges from five states participating in Achieving the Dream, TCC will receive the implementation grant over four years to support institutional change. Lumina Foundation for Education awarded the grant.

“Community colleges are the harbingers of success for their students - who comprise nearly 50 percent of the college-enrolled population in the United States. Many of them, however, will not persist without an environment of support and guidance,” says TCC President Deborah DiCroce. “Our charge is to offer these students the means to reach their dreams - from securing good-paying employment to furthering their education. The selection of TCC for this important initiative points to our leadership in this arena, while giving us the opportunity to re-tool how we raise the bar on student persistence rates.”

Last fall TCC received a $50,000 investment grant from Lumina to develop a plan for addressing the challenge. The depth and strategic focus of TCC’s plan - undergirded at each section with data collection - secured the $400,000 for implementation. Michael Summers, vice president for academic and student affairs, Quintin Bullock, provost of TCC’s Norfolk Campus, and Terry Jones, provost for the Portsmouth Campus, head the initiative for the college.

The institution’s job is not just to help students make it through college but to aid them in chartinglife’s harder courses - to teach them how to learn. - Chronicle of Higher Education, 10/11/01

Achieving the Dream is a long-term initiative that focuses on measurable outcomes, particularly closing achievement gaps. Participating colleges will use data to drive strategies, monitor progress and evaluate outcomes.

TCC’s Achieving the Dream strategic goal for the four-year grant period is to close the gap between students who have and have not been successful in achieving their academic and career goals. Last year’s identification and analysis of top change areas at TCC point to six priorities that the college will focus on:

  • English and Mathematics Placement - insuring all students take required math and English classes in their first year - proven to result in higher retention and passing grade achievement;

  • Student Support Services - increasing communication and information flow to students;

  • College Success Skills Course - increasing the number of students who take the required course in their first semester, when it proves the most useful;

  • College-wide Registration Process - revising registration with better academic advisement to enroll students in classes that suit their preparation and goals;

  • College-wide Academic Advisement Plan - for consistency across programs on all campuses;

  • College Intake Process - ensure students are coded in an appropriate program that matches their interests and preparedness.

“We are excited to have TCC participating in Achieving the Dream,” says Martha D. Lamkin, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation. “By embarking on this critical mission, TCC’s leaders have demonstrated their commitment to improving student achievement by making lasting changes in their college’s culture and practices.”

Achieving the Dream is providing a range of support to TCC and other participating community colleges. Each college works closely with an Achieving the Dream coach, many of whom are former college presidents, and an Achieving the Dream data facilitator. The initiative’s national partner organizations - the American Association of Community Colleges; Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas-Austin; Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University; Jobs for the Future; MDC; MDRC; and Public Agenda - also provide support.

About Achieving the Dream
Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count is a national initiative that promotes change to improve student success at community colleges. The initiative works on multiple fronts – including efforts at community colleges and in research, public engagement and public policy – and emphasizes the use of data to drive change.



Laurie White
Media Relations

Tidewater Community College is the second largest of the 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth of Virginia, enrolling more than 36,000 students annually. The 37th largest in the nation’s 1,600 community-college network, TCC ranks among the 50 fastest-growing large community colleges. Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district in downtown Norfolk, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-four percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit