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Grayson College named Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction

Grayson College announced its selection as an Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction, Monday. The College received this distinction for reaching new levels of student success with substantive gains in four-year completion rates and narrowing equity gaps for Latinx students and students receiving Pell grants. ATD created the Leader College of Distinction award in 2018 to recognize colleges that have continued striving to meet challenging student success goals, often earning Leader College status several times.

“We are not at the end of our journey,” GC President Dr. Jeremy McMillen said. “We will continue to evolve. We know we have many miles ahead if we are to achieve our mission, which is, simply stated - student success.”

Working closely with ATD, Grayson College leadership aligned its strategic planning and data analysis work with a clear eye on bolstering student success at the course, program, and college completion levels, resulting in significant gains in each area.

The College increased its four-year completion rate from 18 percent for the fall 2012 cohort to 30 percent for the fall 2016 cohort, a 12 percentage point increase.  This has included narrowing equity gaps, most notably for students receiving Pell grants and Latinx students. The gap on completion within four years between students receiving Pell grants (30%) and students not receiving Pell grants (29%) was narrowed by 15 percentage points, while the gap between White students (31%) and Latinx students (33%) was narrowed by 3 percentage points.

The proportion of credits completed of those attempted within one year increased from 68 percent for the fall 2017 cohort to 73 percent for the fall 2020 cohort, a 4 percentage point increase. GC has also seen equity gaps in credits completed between white students (77%) and Latinx students (72%) narrow by 2 percentage points.

The College has continued its work to increase success in gateway courses, with one-year completion rates for both English and math courses increasing from 13 percent for the fall 2017 cohort to 26 percent for the fall 2020 cohort, a 13-percentage point increase. Gateway equity gaps have narrowed as well, with the gap in one-year completion rates in Gateway English between students receiving Pell grants (66%) and students not receiving Pell grants (70%) decreasing by 13 percentage points.

As it responds to the challenges of the last two years, Grayson College continues to build on its successes, with a particular emphasis on promoting more equitable access to the college.  Responding to the high percentage of high school students who delayed college during the pandemic, Grayson created the GC Connect Scholarship for students who had not transitioned to college, resulting in nearly 500 students restarting their postsecondary journey.  With the support of Greater Texas Foundation and the College Board, Grayson is now working to launch the Texoma Promise program, which the college projects will support 85 percent of all high school graduates in its service area. 

In addition, the college is working to further close equity gaps for racially minoritized students, particularly male students that identify as Black or Latinx.  The college is also working to increase the percentage of Grayson students who transfer and complete a bachelor’s degree.  These efforts, along with a broad range of services, are positioning Grayson to create more equitable, vibrant futures for its students.