Tallahassee Community College Wins Leah Meyer Austin Award – Florida Trend

Achieving the Dream (ATD) awarded Tallahassee Community College the prestigious Leah Meyer Austin Award, the highest honor an ATD network college can earn. The award is given annually to a college that uses a holistic approach to reduce equity gaps between groups of students and increase success for all. The award recognizes institutional strength, aligned policies and procedures, a student-focused culture, and notable increases in student achievement. This year’s award comes with a $25,000 prize.

“The College’s selection as the winner of the Leah Meyer Austin Award is the result of the passionate efforts of faculty and staff who continue to put our students first in all areas,” said Dr. Jim Murdaugh, President of the Tallahassee Community College. “The success of our students will always be our top priority and driving force at TCC. These values ​​will continue to shape the College’s efforts to continually improve our programs. The Leah Meyer Austin Award process gives us another opportunity to examine our data, reflect on what we are doing, and learn from other outstanding community colleges.

TCC has been part of the ATD network since 2004 and received the highly regarded designation of being an ATD Leader College in 2009 before being recognized as a Leader College of Distinction in 2022. TCC is the only college in Florida to receive both the Leah Meyer Austin Award and Leader College of Distinction designation. TCC was also named one of the top 10 colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute in 2021.

TCC’s success is driven by its commitment to the CARE culture. In September 2019, over 170 TCC faculty and staff came together to answer the question: How could TCC reimagine its student experience with an innovative model that removes barriers to success for all students? Campus-wide barriers and strategies were identified through a design brainstorming session that resulted in the development of the CARE model which focuses on four key areas that impact learning and student success: connections, studies, resources and engagement.

Connections refers to the provision of early, intentional, and integrated experiences to help students find their belonging

Academics refers to providing clear academic pathways that ensure learning occurs

Resources provide the appropriate holistic supports for students by helping to remove academic and life barriers

· Engagement helps students become involved in opportunities for social and academic enrichment.

The goal of this model is to foster a culture of academic excellence, personalized learning, and student success that closes existing equity gaps and promotes economic and social mobility for all.

Achieving the Dream (ATD) is the national nonprofit leader in promoting evidence-based institutional improvement. ATD leads a growing network of more than 300 community colleges committed to helping their students, especially low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals of academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity. ATD is making progress in closing equity gaps and accelerating student success through a unique change process that builds each college’s institutional capacity in seven critical areas. ATD, with nearly 75 experienced coaches and counselors, works closely with network colleges in 45 states and the District of Columbia to reach more than 4 million community college students.

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