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Bunker Hill Community College Research Director Wins Presidential Scholarship

Thursday, April 1, 2010

David J. Leavitt, Bunker Hill Community College Director of Institutional Research, has won a Presidential Scholarship for advanced study at the Association of Institutional Research (AIR) Data and Decisions Academy, BHCC President Mary L. Fifield announced this week. The scholarship recognizes BHCC leadership in applying state-of-the-art data tools to strategies to increase student success.

“AIR is committed to the essential work of teaching community college professionals to collect and analyze complex data on campus and then use that information to improve student outcomes,” said Christopher S. Coogan, director of the Data and Decisions Academy.

Leavitt is one of 65 Presidential Scholars chosen from 675 professionals invited to apply from the 22 community colleges participating in the nationwide Achieving the Dream program, a multi-year project to improve student retention and outcomes at community colleges.  The Data and Decisions Academy is funded with a $1.92 million grant from the Lumina Foundation, which also leads the Achieving the Dream program.   

Leavitt said he will use his new skills to support improved student outcomes.  “We are constantly analyzing data to determine whether our strategies are working or need to be adjusted,” Leavitt said.  “Participants at the Data and Decisions Academy will learn new ways to analyze data to help make informed decisions, and receive guidance on how to make our present analyses more efficient.”

Recognizing the cost of travel in time and in dollars, the Data and Decisions Academy courses are entirely online.  “That’s a perfect fit for my busy work day and my busy home life, with two little boys,” Leavitt said.

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About Bunker Hill Community College
Bunker Hill Community College is the largest community college in Massachusetts, enrolling approximately 18,000 students annually. BHCC has two campuses in Charlestown and Chelsea, and a number of other locations throughout the Greater Boston area. BHCC is one of the most diverse institutions of higher education in Massachusetts. Sixty-five percent of the students are people of color and more than half of BHCC's students are women. The College also enrolls nearly 600 international students who come from 94 countries and speak more than 75 languages.