Teachers College, Columbia University

Collaborating to Create Change: How El Paso Community College Improved the Readiness of Its Incoming Students Through Achieving the Dream

By Monica Reid Kerrigan & Doug Slater
Collaborating to Create Change: How El Paso Community College Improved the Readiness of Its Incoming Students Through Achieving the Dream

This report describes how the El Paso Community College (EPCC), as part of the Achieving the Dream Initiative and in collaboration with the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and 12 local independent school districts, developed and brought to scale a process for helping high school students prepare for entry into college.

El Paso area high school students now participate in what is known as the "college readiness protocol." Before graduating high school, virtually all students: (1) complete a joint admissions application to EPCC and UTEP, (2) learn about and prepare for the ACCUPLACER test, (3) take the ACCUPLACER test, (4) review scores with counselors, and (5) refresh skills and take the test again if needed. Some students also (6) enroll in a summer bridge program to strengthen their basic skills.

According to EPCC’s analysis, since the college readiness protocol was established in 2005, fewer entering EPCC students have placed into developmental programs, and the proportion of students placed into higher levels of developmental courses has also increased.