New grant will improve training and support services for part-time faculty at Renton Technical College

  • Published Thursday, July 28, 2016

Published Thursday, July 28, 2016

Renton, Wash. – Renton Technical College (RTC), with support from the Achieving the Dream (ATD) organization, will increase professional development opportunities and provide mentoring and support services for adjunct faculty, as part of larger effort to make students more successful at the college.

Renton Technical College is one of six colleges selected by ATD to receive funding and guidance for the Engaging Adjunct Faculty in the Student Success Movement, an ambitious effort to better engage part-time faculty as active contributors to college reforms under the leadership of full-time faculty.

“We are grateful for the support from ATD and look forward to improving the experience of adjunct faculty,” said RTC President Dr. Kevin McCarthy. “Any contribution we make to improve the quality of public higher education is a direct investment in better citizens, stronger communities and a more equitable society.”

Besides RTC, the colleges selected include: Harper College, The Community College of Baltimore County, Patrick Henry Community College, Delta College, and Community College of Philadelphia.

The initiative is being funded by a $2.3 million donation from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. Renton Technical College will receive $159,603 to fund its projects.

Achieving the Dream, a national nonprofit organization working with more than 200 colleges to increase student success across the country, is administering the 24-month initiative, which will help the participating colleges strengthen relationships with their adjunct faculties to encourage instructional reform and make all faculty members’ skills and experiences fully available to students.

Adjunct or part-time faculty teach more than half of all students attending U.S. community colleges, frequently in students’ first college-level courses and developmental education courses.

The initiative will enable RTC to improve new faculty orientation, create a mentoring program with experienced teachers, offer training opportunities for more effective teaching, and study reforms in workload and compensation for adjuncts.

The initiative recognizes that adjunct faculty with close connections to their colleges can be more valuable to their students if they have access to information about college programs and resources, data on student performance and progress, and the informal knowledge developed by full-time faculty.

A team from RTC will formally begin its work at a launch event on Saturday, July 30, at Evergreen State College, in Olympia. Following the one-day event, the team will participate in the Teaching and Learning National Institute (TLNI), co-sponsored by Achieving the Dream.

The TNLI is bringing together faculty teams from 30 community colleges and four-year institutions from across the country to develop evidence-based action plans to improve instructional practices, student engagement, and student learning at their campuses.

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About Achieving the Dream

Achieving the Dream is a national nonprofit dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, persist in their studies and earn a college credential. Conceived as an initiative in 2004 by Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations, today Achieving the Dream is leading a comprehensive non-governmental reform network that includes more than 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams working throughout 35 states and the District of Columbia. Achieving the Dream helps more than 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams. To learn more visit

About Renton Technical College

Renton Technical College prepares a diverse student population for work, fulfilling the employment needs of individuals, business and industry. Renton Technical College is one of 34 colleges in Washington state operated by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. The Renton Technical College service area encompasses the Renton, Kent, Auburn, Tahoma and Enumclaw School Districts and the central and south portions of the Seattle School District.

For more information, contact:
Roberto Bonaccorso
Director of College Relations and Marketing
(425) 235-2356