MDC Puts Students on the Fast Track to Success Student success is an integral part of a strong higher education system and is essential to the intellectual and economic growth of our community. Miami Dade College has the largest undergraduate enrollment of any college or university in the United States, but puts an even greater focus on optimizing the college experience for individual student success and completion. “We have been an institution that’s been driven on access and success since our inception,” said Dr. Lenore Rodicio, MDC’s executive vice president and provost. “But recently we’ve started to look at more concrete ways that we can change the outcome for all students.” It begins with a three-tiered advisement model that touches students at each stage of their academic career, with pre-college advisers helping individuals even before they walk through MDC’s doors. “Every student at just about every high school in the country can identify an adviser assigned to that school,” said Rodicio. Once students arrive at MDC, they take part in a mandatory orientation and meet with an academic adviser to plan out their first year. Closer to graduation, students transfer to an academic mentor who can help provide more targeted support on the types of careers they can pursue and what schools might best suit them as they continue their studies. “We’ve also done a lot of work around academic mapping and giving students more focused choices,” said Rodicio. Rather than having students select courses out of a menu, students work closely with advisers, exploring what courses align best to get them to the finish line faster and in a way that will help them build the skills they need for their future career. Another major focus has been strengthening the mathematics experience for first-year students by developing two distinct paths, with one for science majors and the other for nonscience majors. “The result is that we’ve virtually eliminated some of the gaps we had in terms of mathematics achievement for students in the first year,” said Rodicio. – AVG Success at a Glance • Fall-to-fall retention rates at MDC are 5 percent higher than national average • 89 percent of graduates with an Associate in Science found employment Since the fall of 2012: • first-year students’ courseload has increased by 2.5 percent • Hispanic graduates have increased 16 percent • 17 percent increase in Black (non-Hispanic) graduates
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