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LCC Becomes Founding Member of National Effort to Improve Student Success

November 18, 2013

Lansing – Lansing Community College (LCC) has been selected by the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education to be one of 12 Founding Institutions for the pilot of the Gardner Institute's Gateways to Completion™ (G2C™) initiative. The G2C structured course transformation process will allow faculty and staff at LCC to analyze student and institutional performance in lower-division gateway courses.

Focusing on transforming key courses so as to increase the likelihood of student success in them, the Gateways to Completion initiative seeks to increase graduation rates among American college students.

By accepting the invitation to be involved in the G2C pilot, LCC has agreed to focus its analysis on up to five high-risk courses. The analysis will inform the creation of evidenced-based course transformation plans that LCC will subsequently implement.

"The Gateways to Completion initiative allows LCC to strengthen its ability to maximize student learning, said Dr. Richard Prystowsky, LCC's Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. "This initiative reflects our institution's commitment to student success, allowing us to focus on improving success rates in some of our most fundamental gateway courses so that students will have a better chance to realize their academic goals. We are very proud to have been selected for this initiative and to be part of the pilot."

"Gateway courses enroll large numbers of undergraduate students," stated Drew Koch, the Gardner Institute's Executive Vice President. "Research studies, such as Clifford Adelman's Answers in the Toolbox and The Toolbox Revisited, show that students who do not succeed in gateway courses are significantly less likely to complete their stated programs of study and they are also are less likely to complete college degrees anywhere."

"Failure rates in these courses at institutions across the nation often exceed 40% and 50%," Koch continued. "Given the connection between the completion of a postsecondary credential and both economic and personal well being, these high failure rates are unacceptable. The nation simply cannot realize its Completion Agenda goals and institutions cannot maintain the public's trust if colleges and universities do not take decisive action to address high failure rates in gateway courses. LCC clearly recognizes the need to improve student learning and success in gateway courses. We are quite pleased that its faculty and staff will use G2C as part of their ongoing efforts to intentionally and positively address the issue."

LCC joins 11 other G2C Founding Institutions from across the United States. The 12 institutions include: American Public University System; Arkansas Tech University; Ashford University; Florida International University; Kennesaw State University; Lansing Community College; Lone Star College – North Harris; Metropolitan State University – Denver; Nevada State College; North Dakota State University; University of Houston – Downtown; and the University of Rhode Island.

"The cohort's composition shows that this is an issue that spans all of academe," shared John Gardner, President of the Gardner Institute. "We applaud Lansing Community College for its willingness to take action on this issue. The institution is a true leader and innovator in the student success movement."

"Faculty at LCC will play a significant role in the G2C work," according to Prystowsky. "In fact," he continued, "this is a faculty-led project."

Aside from engaging in its own work, LCC will join the other 11 G2C participating institutions at the annual G2C Community of Practice meeting and the annual Gateway Course Experience Conference.

The Gardner Institute is a North Carolina-based, federally-recognized non-profit organization. Since 1999, the Institute has worked with hundreds of postsecondary institutions within the United States, as well as with a select number of international institutions, to improve undergraduate student learning, success, retention, and completion rates.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Andrew K. Koch
Executive Vice President
John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education
koch@jngi.org / 828-877-3549

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