Texas Community College Education Initiative
Catch the Next
Catch the Next, Inc. (CTN), established in 2009, is a national, award-winning professional development organization, empowering students to catch college and career dreams while empowering faculty, staff, and institutions to fulfill their professional and educational missions and visions. Catch the Next’s mission is to increase the educational attainment of Latinos and other underserved communities and to close achievement gaps in Texas.
Catch the Next, Inc. has primary responsibility for overall program planning, coordination, and administration, including fiscal and policy responsibilities for the CTN Ascender program and the Teaching and Learning for Student Success Peer Mentoring program. In addition, CTN is responsible for all program trainings, data management, analyses, and reporting, in partnership with member colleges. CTN's strategy consists in implementing data-driven professional development as well as program planning and coordination leading to a rigorous, accelerated, interdisciplinary, and culturally relevant model of instruction, student services, and engagement.
Catch the Next implements best practices in professional development through its three-part series of intensive and research-based seminars, led by skilled practitioners in the Ascender Program, as well as its Teaching and Learning for Student Success Monthly Webinar series, featuring presentations of research, teaching practices, and creative expressions of our national body of scholar, author, and community leadership mentors. This sustained professional development, all with foundations in empathetic mentoring and coaching, has proven success in the enrichment it provides to the classrooms and student interactions among our member faculty, staff, and administration.
In addition, representing the philosophy that together we are stronger than we are apart, CTN’s Teaching and Learning for Student Success program provides faculty, staff, and administrators both mentorship and continuous opportunities for professional growth by offering both presentation experience at our tri-annual seminars as well as opportunities for peer-reviewed publication through our Catch the Next Journal of Ideas and Pedagogy in addition to the professional development opportunities for both faculty and students published in our monthly newsletter.
The CTN approach to student success is founded on the following principles:
Because knowledge of academic and professional literacy practices supports academic success across disciplines, all students take an accelerated, rigorous English course with writing supports for underprepared students.
All students complete credit-bearing coursework in English and Mathematics in the first year.
Teaching and learning incorporates evidence-based, culturally relevant curricula and pedagogy.
Linked courses (cohorts) and support services, such as advising, counseling, and mentoring, are integral to the first-year experience.
Student engagement and leadership until the student graduates and/or transfers are integral to student persistence and retention.
Faculty, staff, and administrative/institutional peer mentoring and professional development with experienced scholars, researchers, and practitioners sustains teaching and learning practices for student success.
Catch the Next’s mission is to increase the educational attainment of Latinos and other underserved students and to close achievement gaps in Texas. The Ascender Program (previously “Crossing Bridges, Catching Dreams”) was designed in 2012 to create a community of learning focused on the development of students and faculty and to improve individual and institutional performance and effectiveness. In the new policy climate and shifting landscape of developmental education in Texas, Catch the Next partners with member colleges to break down institutional silos, provide research-based curricular and pedagogical models, and create spaces for community and familial engagement in the effort to support student success.
As the graph of our data below shows, our model has effectively moved students out of developmental education and into credit-bearing courses. We are now poised to support the same profile of students as they begin college in co-requisite courses to ensure their ultimate attainment of bachelor’s degrees and beyond.