The Achieving the Dream Network designates MiraCosta College as a 2019 Leader College. Leader College status is a national designation awarded to Achieving the Dream institutions that have shown intentional and significant progress in improving the success of all community college students. MiraCosta College is the first college in the San Diego region to receive this designation.
“MiraCosta College’s Pell students [those with financial need] improved in completion of both math and English college-level courses consistently over the past four years. We are pleased to see your institution’s efforts to become more data focused, improve systems and processes for students, and adopt a framework for guided pathways,” explains Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream, in a letter to Superintendent/President Cooke announcing the accomplishment.
“Student success is interwoven into the very fabric of the work we do here at MiraCosta College and reflects the commitment of our employees. We are honored to receive this prestigious award from Achieving the Dream (ATD),” said MiraCosta College Superintendent/President Dr. Sunita “Sunny” Cooke. “From earning a certificate, to transfer to a university, to skills building, MiraCosta College strives to support all our students to achieve their educational goals. Since we sent a team of board members and college faculty, staff, and administrators to attend the ATD kickoff institute, we have been on a mission to serve the students we have in a holistic and effective manner. We have embarked upon intensive data inquiry and analysis, professional development, coaching, and our "big bet" was to transform the student experience using a guided pathways framework.” This means meeting students where they are, helping them make informed decisions, and supporting them in every aspect along a streamlined journey to a career of their choice.
Achieving the Dream is a national nonprofit organization that works with a network of higher education institutions, coaches and advisers, state policy teams, investors, and partners to help more than four million community college students to better attain success. The organization’s Leader Colleges are selected based on several benchmarks for success, including that students achieve a certificate or degree within four years of enrolling, the number of students who attempt or complete a course with a grade of C minus or higher, and that a college demonstrates institution-wide improvement in critical areas, such as students completing gateway math or English courses during their first year of enrollment.
“We raised the bar for colleges to attain Leader College status and MiraCosta College rose to the challenge. Achieving the Dream is excited to add MiraCosta to the growing list of ATD Network colleges that have demonstrated measurable gains on important student success metrics over a three-year period,” explains Karen Stout. Leader Colleges “play an important role in accelerating adoption of effective practices within the national Achieving the Dream Network and across the higher education sector. Leader Colleges are recognized for the quality of their work in whole college reform, resulting in increased completion rates for all students.”
Achieving the Dream was founded 15 years ago, and MiraCosta College has been a part of the network since 2015. As a Leader College, MiraCosta College will continue to build institutional capacity to create a student-focused culture and strong outcomes for all students.
About MiraCosta College
The MiraCosta Community College District has served the coastal North San Diego County area for over 80 years. More than 21,000 credit students per semester in over 70 disciplines enroll in associate degrees, university transfer and workforce readiness certificate programs. The college also serves a wide spectrum of educational needs in the region ranging from programs for adult education, basic skills, and ESL to a California Community College pilot program offering the nation’s first baccalaureate degree in biomanufacturing. MiraCosta College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).