November 1, 2019 12:51 pm

As an Achieving the Dream (ATD) Leader College of Distinction, Pierce College remains committed to finding new ways to increase student success while removing the barriers that stand in the way of their educational goals.

Thanks to Pierce’s work with ATD, the college has made transformational changes that have resulted in a graduation rate nearly 20 percentage points above the national average.

Since Pierce College joined ATD in 2012, Dean of Natural Sciences Tom Broxson, Ed.D., has helped lead the college’s efforts to close equity gaps and increase student retention and completion. “The Achieving the Dream formula of having outside experts come in, look at institutional data and meet with college leadership truly works,” Broxson said. “As a college, we have taken to heart the advice our Achieving the Dream coaches have given us, and we’ve been able to do some exceptional work as a result.”

Broxson is taking his expertise on the road as one of Achieving the Dream’s newest coaches, where he will have the opportunity to help students nationwide reach their goals faster. “A large part of what led to me being selected as a coach is the work that’s been done at Pierce College,” he said. “This is a fantastic opportunity for me to learn from other colleges and increase student success around the country. I’m looking forward to bringing best practices from other colleges to Pierce through my work with Achieving the Dream.”

Broxson will serve as an ATD coach for Amarillo College in Amarillo, Texas. In this role, he will spend time working with campus leaders to better understand what is working well, and identify areas in need of improvement. ATD coaches work with college leadership to develop evidence-based, student-centered strategies that are built on the values of equity and excellence, and are aimed at accelerating student success.

He will meet with Amarillo College leadership several times per year to learn more about the best ways to help their students succeed at greater rates.

“I really care about this work. I came to work at a community college because I saw it as a key lever point to change our society and the world,” Broxson said. “Education is the means by which we can make this world a better place. Having the ability to work with so many first-generation college students as they change the trajectory of their family’s lives is incredible. It’s an amazing opportunity for me to be able to help an entire college change even more lives.”