Kilgore College named as ‘Leader College’ by Achieving the Dream

Achieving the Dream (ATD) has designated Kilgore College as a “Leader College,” a national honor awarded to institutions in the ATD National Network that have shown three years of steady improvement in outcomes that measure student success.

“Leader College status represents a sustained, successful effort to build a student-centered culture,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “Colleges that stay focused on the hard work of transformation deserve to be recognized when they make measurable progress.”

Leader Colleges are eligible to compete for all grant-funded learning initiatives offered by ATD and are encouraged to provide leadership and support to other colleges in the ATD network, disseminate lessons learned, support state and national efforts to advance the student success agenda and continue to improve student outcomes.

“The designation for Kilgore College as a Leader College is an exciting external validation of the college’s work to this point, but also a mechanism to further spur innovation and create a new urgency for the work yet to come,” said Dr. Brenda Kays, KC president. “I believe that being selected as a Leader College will challenge us not only to maintain, but to continue to reach greater heights.”

KC applied for Leader College status based on the number and percentage of students successfully completing developmental math course requirements in two years.

In an effort to improve student success rates, the college’s math department redesigned its course delivery systems by implementing Modular Math courses which cover material in smaller portions of material (modules) at an individualized pace rather than a traditional lecture format.

Modular Math courses were first offered in the fall of 2012.

In the pilot semester, 118 students were enrolled in six modular course sections.  Modular Math offerings were gradually scaled up over the next four years due to the promising student success rates and by the spring of 2016, 74 percent of developmental sections were offered in the Modular Math format with 322 students enrolled.

Student success rates in modular courses averaged 68 percent from the spring of 2012 through the spring of 2015, while success rates in traditional lecture-based developmental courses averaged 48 percent during this same time period.

While students in modular courses have proven successful, the math department continues to offer courses in a traditional lecture format to accommodate students who prefer this type of lecture-based course.

Achieving the Dream grants Leader College designation for three-year cycles. After three years, institutions must undergo a recertification process to maintain Leader College status. 

This year, Achieving the Dream designated five institutions as Leader Colleges for the first time and recertified 17 Leader Colleges.

Leader Colleges have been winners of ATD’s annual Leah Meyer Austin award, a $25,000 prize for an ATD institution that takes whole-college approaches to improving student success and achieves notable increases in student outcomes.

About Achieving the Dream:

Achieving the Dream, Inc. is a national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. Conceived as an initiative in 2004 by Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations, Achieving the Dream today leads a student success network made up of over 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams – working throughout 35 states and the District of Columbia. The Achieving the Dream National Reform Network helps more than 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

About Kilgore College:

Kilgore College is an accredited public two-year community college that has met the academic and workforce needs of East Texas since 1935 by providing educational opportunities that have high quality, great value, easy access and a community focus.

KC offers 138 academic majors, has an enrollment of around 5,500 students and employs 145 teachers–30 of whom have doctoral degrees.  In its 81-year history, more than 140,000 former students are proud to say they have benefited from a KC education.

In addition to basic academic courses for transfer students, KC offers training in high-demand programs such as nursing, law enforcement, fireman training, surgical technology, EMT, culinary arts, process technology, welding, radiologic technology, physical therapy, automotive and auto body repair technology, process technology and industrial maintenance—as well as numerous other high-tech vocational fields and certificate programs.

KC also has a vibrant Workforce Development-Continuing Education department that offers hundreds of courses for life-long learners as well as classes specifically designed for local businesses to help with specific industrial needs.  The college also has an international student program, attracting students from around the world.

In addition to the main campus in Kilgore, KC-Longview offers a full range of college classes and services including university transfer courses, continuing education classes, vocational programs and adult basic education and literacy courses.

KC promotes great value primarily for its 20-member school district service area in Northeast Texas with a highly competitive cost.  Home of the world-famous Rangerettes, KC has four NJCAA Division I sports: football, men's basketball, women's basketball and softball.

KC promotes easy access through open-door admission, distance learning opportunities, dual credit courses for high school students, developmental education and a comprehensive financial aid program.