Joe Wyatt
Published April 19, 2017

Achieving the Dream, the foremost national authority on community college achievement, innovation and success, has awarded Amarillo College Exemplary Status for its Leadership and Vision.

Achieving the Dream2hpIn February 2017, Achieving the Dream administered an anonymous survey to AC faculty to assess areas of strength and improvement at the College. This study focused on multiple facets of the College, areas such as Leadership and Vision, Teaching and Learning, Engagement and Communication, and more.

AC earned above-average scores across the board; however, in the area of Leadership and Vision, the college truly excelled and was deemed Exemplary by Achieving the Dream.

“The vision at Amarillo College is clear, and leadership has emerged at every level of the College,” said Achieving the Dream Leadership Coach Linda Watkins. “People at AC are speaking together in one voice about what student success means and what they can do to help improve the College and the Community.”

Watkins, who has served as AC’s Achieving the Dream leadership coach since the College joined the prestigious consortium in 2011, said everyone at the College should be proud of the survey results.

“I’m very proud of the results of the survey, and the people of Amarillo College should be, too,” Watkins said. “I’ve seen tremendous change at the College over the past five years, a true transformation that has put the focus squarely on enriching students’ lives. The journey to improve student success is never easy, but when faculty and staff pull together like they have at AC, anything is doable.”

Upon joining Achieving the Dream, AC instituted a series of initiatives aimed at improving student success. These efforts have been fruitful and have led to significant improvements in student persistence, completion of courses with a grade of C or better, and higher rates of completion of certificates and degrees.

“I’m so proud of the faculty and staff at Amarillo College, and of the work being done by our Leadership Team,” AC President Russell Lowery-Hart said. “We are moved and gratified by the results of this affirming survey.

“It tells us that the work we are doing to provide life-defining experiences for our students is working, that our vision is sound and our strategy is good. We are not in it for the accolades, but we certainly appreciate the significance of being recognized for our student-success initiatives by a national authority.”

This is not the first recognition of Amarillo College from Achieving the Dream. In Fall 2014, AC was designated a Leader College by the organization.

Conceived in 2004 by the Lumina Foundation for Education, Achieving the Dream is a national non-profit built on the belief that broad institutional changes based on student-achievement data is critical to significantly improving student success rates. With guidance of Achieving the Dream leadership and data coaches, member colleges align their overall policies to implement key student supports.