AUBURN — Faculty and staff members at Central Maine Community College (CMCC) participated recently in a group activity that focused on student success barriers. The “Game On” competition enabled teams to walk in the shoes of students as they navigate their journeys through college and explore the impact of college policies, practices and culture on student success.

Adapted from the Achieving the Dream “Finish Line Game,” this professional development tool also served as a competitive team-building exercise. Participants found it sparked conversations about factors that can affect student progress, many of which occur outside the classroom.

Achieving the Dream (ATD) is a network of more than 220 colleges in 39 states dedicated to improving student success. As a network institution, CMCC is working with national experts to make better use of evidence-based approaches to improving student outcomes.

“The ATD goal is to close academic achievement gaps and accelerate student success by examining data and building on the college’s capacities in seven essential areas, such as leadership and vision, teaching and learning, and data and technology,” said Dean of Academic Affairs Betsy Libby.

The Kresge Foundation awarded an $810,000 grant to the Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges to enable CMCC and the other Maine community colleges to join the ATD network. More information is available online at

Pictured are CMCC faculty and staff members advancing through the steps as they cope with barriers to success in the “Game On” activity held recently at the college. From left are Dan Marino, chairman of the architectural and civil engineering program; Austin Perreault, chairman of culinary arts; June Roberts-Sherman, chairwoman of graphic communications; and Stephan Strengari, learning and advising specialist.

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