Connecting the Dots Toward College Completion

A recent on-campus summit at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nev., helped faculty and administrators “connect the dots” between the college’s diverse efforts to promote student success.

Some 140 college staff members attended the day-long summit, which included remarks from the college president, community college district superintendent and the chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education.

“We have strong student retention and completion initiatives throughout the college,” said Lance Bowen, Truckee Meadows associate dean for assessment and planning. “The goals of the College Completion Summit were to celebrate our college completion success, build greater awareness of these completion efforts, and provide a united front to further increase completion rates.”

Following an overview of national best practices and Truckee Meadows Community College initiatives, attendees heard more than a dozen presentations describing student success initiatives at the college. Teams of participants then considered ways to “interconnect” existing student success programs to enhance completion.

‘Big ideas’

One of the “big ideas” then was selected for a $1,000 award to support its implementation. The winning idea was to develop a credit card-type statement that illustrates the time and cost of finishing six, nine and 12 credit hours per semester.

Other ideas generated at the summit included matching 1,500 entering students each fall with 200 volunteer faculty and staff mentors, and providing student advisement services within each department.

USA Funds® provided funding for Truckee Meadows’ College Completion Summit through an award based on the college staff’s participation in the 2013 USA Funds Symposium.