Achieving the Dream
HCC is an Achieving the Dream College and joins community colleges nation-wide to determine initiatives that will improve student retention and success. Based on collected data, HCC continues to develop programs, courses and support measures designed to help students succeed.
Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count is funded by the Lumina Foundation for Education, KnowledgeWorks Foundation and The Nellie Mae Education Foundation.
National press has emphasized the issue of success for all college students, including those attending community colleges. This problem is prevalent throughout the country, regardless of background, ethnic or racial demographics. Too many students leave college before they earn a diploma or certificate. Multiple reasons are cited for these drop-out rates and the widening gap for those enrolled students who do not achieve success and graduate. Achieving the Dream hopes to determine what strategies will institute the changes that will enhance student learning and their achievement of success.
HCC has established priorities to accomplish:
- More alignment with area high schools in order to close the gap between high school preparation and college expectations. To do this, the College continues the high school Bridges Program with 16 area high schools involved. The Bridges program provides four workshops developed with input from each high school to help prepare students for college. The workshops include Orientation to College, Financial Aid, Career Planning, and College Placement Test Preparation. The workshops are held either at the high school or at Housatonic. Parents are encouraged to attend.
- Increase success in math and English courses. To do this, certain math and English courses have been reconstructed into modules which allow students working on computers to proceed and advance as they are ready for next level work. Additionally, the Center for Academic Progress conducts workshops to prepare incoming students for the Accuplacer Placement test and also administers iMath, a short math refresher which also improves the student’s readiness for the Accuplacer. Intensified Math and English courses with embedded extra hours help those students who might need extra help in order to advance to the next level.