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One of Four Colleges Awarded the National Gates Foundation Achieving the Dream Catalyst Grant

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) was selected as one of four community colleges in the nation to participate in the new Catalyst Fund grant program and will receive a $215,000 grant.

The Catalyst Fund grants, administered by Achieving the Dream, Inc. – a national nonprofit leading the nation’s most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for community college student success – with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will assist BHCC in the process of scaling effective interventions to reach a significantly large population of students. BHCC was selected because of the College’s known commitment to student-centered, evidence-based reforms and outstanding increases in student outcomes.

“Bunker Hill Community College is honored to be one of the four colleges nationally to be awarded an Achieving the Dream Catalyst Fund grant,” said Bunker Hill Community College President Mary L. Fifield. “Our College’s successful Learning Communities initiative, developed in partnership with Achieving the Dream, has already served more than 4,000 students and has a year-to-year retention record 32 percent higher than our general student population. The Catalyst Fund grant will enable us to reach and benefit more diverse and more part-time students on an even larger scale. Additionally, it brings us closer to total college-wide institutionalization of Learning Communities.”

“Postsecondary completion is one of the Gates Foundation’s major priorities,” said Suzanne Walsh, Senior Program Officer, Postsecondary Success at the Gates Foundation. “We want to see most students who enroll in a community college complete what they started. Achieving the Dream Colleges have a great tradition of working with students in an intense way and effectively using evidence to guide their decision-making process. We are pleased to fund this critical initiative to scale proven interventions.”

Lessons learned from BHCC will help inform best practices for scaling interventions to better inform the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network and community colleges across the nation.

Media Contact:
Karen M. Norton, Executive Director of Integrated Marketing and Communications
Bunker Hill Community College, Boston, MA 02129
Phone: (617) 228-2177; Email: