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No Limits, No Excuses Expands

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Amarillo College is expanding the No Limits, No Excuses initiative.

AC recently finished their pilot program helping about 60 students through their studies with coaches. The college says they found about a 20% higher success rate of students continuing to the next semester.

Amarillo College Student Affairs Associate Vice President April Sessler says, "If it hadn't been for the intervention from the coaches so many times, I really don't think that we would of kept those students. And they were highly successful at the end of the semester."

AC is the first college in the country to follow No Excuses which pushes for student success regardless of income or circumstance. They're now able to make the pilot an actual program thanks to a grant through the Amarillo Area Foundation.

AC says they learned from the pilot many times what obstacles these low income or first generation students face. Sessler says, "It's things like they lost their babysitter. Or their electricity got shut off. Or their car broke down."

In the program, each student is paired with a success coach, be it faculty or a community member. Sessler says, "The one thing that really makes a difference to them is having that one person that they can count on to go to or that they know really cares about them."

AC says they hired a person to coordinate and expand the program, and recruit more coaches. The Amarillo Area Foundation says they hope No Excuses helps reduce the high poverty level in the area. Its Vice President Charlotte Rhodes says, "There's some people in our community that even hold two jobs. But it's not enough to support their family, and they're still below the poverty level. So we want to get people trained, and maybe not a college degree, but at least certified."

AC says their goal is to help out the 2,000 students in need every semester in the near future.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.

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