Skip to main content

Macomb Community College named a Leader College by Achieving the Dream, a nonprofit reform network for student success

– Tuesday, August 20, 2013 1:00AM

Distinction recognizes Macomb's efforts in increasing student persistence and achievement rates

Macomb Community College has been named a Leader College by Achieving the Dream.  Macomb joined Achieving the Dream, a nonprofit network for student success that involves more than 200 colleges in 34 states and the District of Columbia, in 2009 and was one of eight community colleges nationwide awarded the Leader College distinction this year. 

The criteria for the Leader College designation encompasses demonstrating a committed leadership, use of evidence to improve programs and services, broad engagement across the institution and systematic institutional improvement guided by a student-centered vision, in addition to improvement in a student success measure for three or more years.  The other seven community colleges recognized were North Central Michigan College, Petoskey, Mich.; Austin Community College District, Austin, Texas;  Danville Area Community College, Danville, Ill.; Odessa College, Odessa, Texas; Harper College, Palatine, Ill.; Tarrant County College, Fort Worth, Texas; and Tyler Junior College, Tyler, Texas

“We’re appreciative that Achieving the Dream recognizes Macomb Community College’s focus on enhancing student success,” said Dr. James Jacobs, president, Macomb Community College.  “Macomb’s work with Achieving the Dream is an important facet of a pervasive institutional priority to increase the number of students who complete their program of study and tap into the power of higher education in supporting future personal economic self-sufficiency.”

Through faculty-driven Achieving the Dream initiatives, Macomb has reformed its math curriculum, including developing a new college-level course, Everyday Math, that has significantly improved student course completion. The result has been a significantly higher rate of students successfully completing a course that fulfills a college-level math requirement -- 94 percent versus a 62 percent completion rate for the college’s traditional initial college-level math course. Macomb has also rolled out a new course that is now required for students who place into pre-college level coursework when they enroll.   College Success Skills helps students develop competency in essential areas such as time management, note taking, test taking, and thinking and reasoning, in addition to providing guidance in career exploration.  

“As an open admissions school, Macomb Community College has to be prepared to meet students at their level of college readiness and provide effective support to help successfully move them along their educational pathway to completing a credential,” said Dr. James Sawyer, provost and senior vice president, Learning Unit, Macomb.  “The commitment and engagement of Macomb’s faculty in improving student achievement has been vital in identifying and making meaningful strides in student success.”

Macomb is focused on improving student success through a variety of approaches, including strategic collaboration with both K-12 school districts, and universities and senior colleges, as well as participating in special initiatives such as Achieving the Dream.  Working with the Community College Research Center (CRCC) at Columbia University’s Teachers College, Macomb has dramatically redefined its enrollment process to help students not only sift through program options but to start off on the right foot by employing counseling, advising and college support services as they chart out their program of study.  Macomb’s Student Options for Success (SOS) program connects students with a variety of community and public benefit organizations to provide tools for ongoing financial stability while pursuing a college credential.  Macomb’s participation in Achieving the Dream, the CRCC project and a portion of the SOS program are financially supported by the Kresge Foundation, a $3 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and investing in arts and culture, education, work in the environment, health, human services and community development efforts in Detroit.

About Macomb Community College

Macomb Community College ( is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 48,000 students annually.  Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges and as the largest grantor of associate degrees in Michigan.  The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.


Media Contact: Jeanne M. Nicol, 586.445.7204,