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North Lake Named 'Achieving the Dream' Leader College

This article appeared in a 2015 issue of the student newsletter.

by Brian Beaudry

North Lake has been named an Achieving the Dream’s 2015 Leader College, a national designation awarded to community colleges that commit to improving student success and closing achievement gaps. Only 19 colleges earned this honor in 2015.

“We are so pleased to have been honored as an Achieving the Dream Leader College. This distinction signals that North Lake has been recognized nationally as a college that directs attention, support and resources to helping more students be successful,” said Dr. Christa Slejko, North Lake president.

“Becoming a Leader College is very powerful and affirms the exceptional work and commitment of faculty and staff to their students' success,” said Achieving the Dream Vice President for Community College Relations Cindy Lenhart. “[North Lake College is] using evidence to make informed decisions that lead to significant institutional change.”

North Lake College joined Achieving the Dream in 2010, committing to student success and institutional improvement. With support from the Meadows Foundation, NLC has implemented strategies to improve student success, close achievement gaps and increase retention, persistence, and completion rates.

The 2015 Leader Colleges are making strides in the national movement to increase student completion and close achievement gaps, demonstrating the power of the Achieving the Dream Approach. With the guidance of Achieving the Dream Coaches, colleges not only systemically change the way they operate, but also implement key student supports that align with their overall policies and institutional systems, such as college readiness programs, mandatory new student orientation, student-success courses, developmental course redesign, curriculum redesign, and intensive, individualized advising.

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. 

For the rest of the 2015 Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges and for more information on the Achieving the Dream program, visit