“Gaston College, its students, and the community we serve will greatly benefit from the rewards of our strong commitment to performing as an Achieving the Dream Institution.”

– Dr. Patricia Skinner, President, Gaston College

Achieving the Dream

Achieving the Dream at Gaston College

Who We Are

Gaston College was granted a charter by the State of North Carolina in 1963 and began its first classes in temporary headquarters in September 1964. The college moved to its permanent campus on Highway 321 between Dallas and Gastonia two months later. Serving both Gaston and Lincoln counties, Gaston College enrolls over 5,000 students each term in curriculum programs and averages over 16,000 students annually in its Continuing Education programs. Part of the North Carolina Community College System, Gaston College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees.

Gaston College has identified three priorities, with specific interventions, as Achieving the Dream initiatives:

  • Increasing the percentage of new students successfully completing their developmental education sequence (for those who place into developmental courses)
  • Closing the achievement gap for African-American students in developmental education courses
  • Improving the term to term (persistence) retention and completion of students


Achieving the Dream Across the Nation

Achieving the Dream is a national nonprofit dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. Data-informed, student-centered and built on the values of equity and excellence, Achieving the Dream is closing achievement gaps and accelerating student success nationwide by 1) transforming community college practices; 2) leading policy change; 3) generating knowledge and 4) engaging the public. Launched as an initiative in 2004 with funding from Lumina Foundation, Achieving the Dream is today the largest non-governmental reform movement for student success in community college history. With more than 160 community colleges and institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 16 state policy teams—working throughout 30 states and the District of Columbia—Achieving the Dream helps 3.5 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

For additional information, please visit the Achieving the Dream website.

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