Achieving the Dream

Galveston College is proud to be a part of the Achieving the Dream network, which is a multiyear national initiative to help more community college students succeed (earn degrees, earn certificates or transfer to other institutions to continue their studies). The initiative is particularly concerned about student groups that have faced the most significant barriers to success, including low income students and students of color. Achieving the Dream (AtD) acts on multiple fronts, including efforts at community colleges and in research, public engagement and public policy. Conceived as an initiative in 2004 by Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations, AtD now leads the most comprehensive non-governmental reform movement for student success in higher education history.

Galveston College initially joined AtD in 2004 and gained Leader College status in 2011. The College’s status as Leader College was renewed in 2014. The AtD National Reform Network includes over 200 institutions of higher education, 100 coaches and advisors, 15 state policy teams, and numerous investors and partners working throughout 34 states and the District of Columbia to help 3.8 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

Galveston College initially joined AtD in 2004 and gained Leader College status in 2011. The College’s status as Leader College was renewed in 2014. Specific details about Galveston College’s initiatives and progress with AtD can be found on the College’s profile page on AtD’s website.

 AtD Leadership Team

Dr. Cissy Matthews* Vice President of Instruction
Deon Botha Director of Advising and Counseling
Scott Branum Director of Admissions/Registrar
Ron Crumedy Acting Vice President of Student Services/Director of Financial Aid
Dr. Anne Dickens STEM/Title V Program Director
Dr. Kimberly Ellis Student Activities Coordinator
Carolyn Harnsberry Activity Coordinator/Curriculum Specialist/Program Coordinator for Developmental Math
Elizabeth Johnson Division Director of Science and Business
Phillip Presswood Program Coordinator for Developmental Literacy
Dr. Larry Root Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Research
Rodrigo Santoyo Instructor of Developmental Mathematics
Elvia Segura Developmental Education Student Success Advisor


  Gulf Coast Partners Achieving Student Success (GC PASS)

The Houston Endowment awarded Galveston College a $600,000 grant to implement success initiatives dedicated to increasing college-readiness among high school students and decreasing the need for developmental education. The grant is coordinated, directed, and evaluated by the University of Texas at Austin’s Community College Leadership Program and ground-level leadership for the project is provided by Houston A+ Challenge. Galveston College is one of eight Texas Gulf Coast community colleges selected to participate in the project.

The Gulf Coast Partners Achieving Student Success (GC PASS) initiative is a region-wide, collaborative effort between community colleges and selected independent school districts. The primary goals of GC PASS are to increase college readiness among high school graduates, ease transitions between high school and community college, and to increase student success in community college developmental courses. College readiness means a student has the ability to read, write, compute, and think critically at the collegiate level. The ultimate goal of the project is to ensure students persist through college to earn a postsecondary credential.

The Gulf Coast PASS project was born out of the success of the Achieving the Dream™(AtD) national initiative which was designed to help more community college students succeed – particularly underrepresented students (e.g. students of color, working adult learners, low-income students) who face unique barriers to academic success. The AtD initiatives emphasize that data-driven student achievement results are critical to significantly improving student success rates.

 In 2011, Galveston College was awarded Leader College Status by AtD. Galveston College increased developmental math success rates from 21 percent in fall 2006 to 58.6 percent in fall 2010. The improvement is associated with changes to the developmental math curriculum including increased contact hours and use of instructional software. These interventions reach 100 percent of developmental math students and 18.8 percent of all students.

Through a three-year cycle, community college/K-12 district faculty alignment teams will meet regularly to plan, implement, evaluate, and refine comprehensive projects aimed at improving college readiness, transitions, and student success. Galveston College is paired with Galveston Independent School District’s Ball High School to align curriculum and enhance teaching techniques that help prepare students for college while they are still in high school. Assessment scores, grades and other data will be tracked to evaluate students’ progress through high school and college. Galveston College and GISD are committed to and agree to share all requested student data to permit cohort tracking of student progression. According to the Texas State Initiatives (TSI), ensuring students are prepared to tackle college-level courses helps to eliminate the need for one or more semesters of developmental courses that may prolong academic progress and graduation.

Updated 2/19/2015 - Content Author mgarcia