Chattanooga State Community College earns “National Leader College” status

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – Success doesn’t come easy and Chattanooga State Community College proves that.

In 2016, they joined an organization called Achieving the Dream.

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Now, they are being recognized as one of the Leading community Colleges in America.

They are one of ten chosen and one of four to earn the title for the first time.

“We have finally arrived at a place that we want to be with student success. So, our ATD mission has provided us with an opportunity to look at student success through a different lens. So, we are paying a lot of attention to equity and becoming equity minded,”says Julius Dodds, Director of Academic Retention.

The transformation of Chattstate has taken several years and many steps.

“We did a number of things. In the past community colleges didn’t require a lot of their students to attend new student orientation, now we do. We require all of our first time freshman to take a college success course, because the students that take that class are so much more successful. We also require tutoring in some of our classes,”says Rebecca Ashford, President of Chattanooga State Community College.

Chattstate is also launching a student podcast series called “Tiger stories.”

“Each episode is the story of one or two students. So, it’s just kind of finding out what brought them to college, what they are studying, when they felt like they really belonged on campus or feel like they have made a connection with someone. It also has what advice they would give to people who are thinking about coming to college,”says Liz Norell, Professor of Political Science.

Professor Liz Norell says doing this podcast series gives students the opportunity to let their voices be heard.

You can find the Chattstate Tiger Stories podcast on any podcast app including Apple podcast, Spotify, and on Chattanooga state’s website.