CCBC receives National Student Achievement Award

Feb 23, 2015 | by Hope Davis | 443.840.5053 (office) | 443.840.5560 (cell)

Achieving the Dream Inc. recognizes CCBC for closing achievement gaps and improving student success

Baltimore, MD – The Community College of Baltimore County is a recipient of the prestigious Leah Meyer Austin Award, an award given by Achieving the Dream Inc., which recognizes colleges for its dramatic improvements in student outcomes. CCBC was one of two colleges to receive this recognition. In addition to the award, CCBC will receive $10,000 to support its ongoing student success efforts.

Achieving the Dream Inc. logo
The Leah Meyer Austin Award was established in 2008 to recognize Achieving the Dream colleges that design and implement college-wide approaches that promote student success and result in significant, sustainable institutional improvement.

Successful colleges put in place policies, processes, and programs that reinforce and build on each other to improve student achievement and meet equity goals.

“The recipients of the Leah Myer Austin Award are truly exemplary,” said Dr. William E. Trueheart, President & CEO of Achieving the Dream. “Even in the face of serious challenges, these colleges have the courage to make major changes because they believed their students’ success required and deserved them.”

Since it joined Achieving the Dream, CCBC has seen remarkable improvement in many indicators of student success, some of which include:
  • A doubling of completion rates for students completing developmental and gateway courses.
  • A 55 percent increase in certificate and degree completion from 2010 to 2014.
  • More than 90 percent of students giving very high ratings to their experiences with advisors.
  • Students collectively saving $80,000 since the beginning of CCBC’s “piggy bank” financial empowerment program.
To build and sustain systemic change, CCBC has threaded student success into every offering and service – from student services to academic support to teaching. It permeates through the college at all levels.

“Some people use words like ‘student success’ as glibly as they say ‘good morning.' At CCBC, we make student success both a mantra and a mission,” expressed CCBC President Sandra Kurtinitis. “It’s in our DNA. Our Achieving the Dream Student Success agenda has been transformational for students, both in and out of the classroom.”

The winners of the Leah Meyer Austin Award were selected by a committee composed of representatives from Achieving the Dream, the American Association of Colleges and Universities, the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, Jobs for the Future, the University of Wisconsin System, MDC, and MDRC.

The award is given in honor of Leah Meyer Austin, a former senior vice president at Lumina Foundation and a current Achieving the Dream board member, whose visionary leadership shaped Achieving the Dream in its early years.


About the Community College of Baltimore County (
CCBC offers hundreds of programs and thousands of courses helping people of all ages, backgrounds and interests earn degrees, transfer, launch or advance careers, and prepare for in-demand jobs.

Providing accessible, affordable and high-quality education since 1957, CCBC educates more than 70,000 students each year, including half of all Baltimore County residents attending college in Maryland as undergraduates. Committed to student success and the development of lifelong learners who strengthen our regional workforce and enrich our community, CCBC has also been selected to participate in Achieving the Dream, a national student success initiative. In 2011, the Chronicle of Education honored CCBC as one of only 26 community colleges across the nation named “Great Colleges to Work For.”

CCBC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, 2nd Floor West, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267-284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

CCBC. The incredible value of education.