Achieving the Dream Reform Network Continues to Grow with 2015 Cohort Colleges


SILVER SPRING, Md. (June 23, 2015) – Achieving the Dream today welcomed 16 community and technical colleges from eight states into its National Reform Network. Faculty, staff, and administrators from those colleges will participate in the 2015 Achieving the Dream Kickoff Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

“To become an Achieving the Dream College, applicants must demonstrate an institution-wide commitment to spend at least three years working with Achieving the Dream experts to  implement reforms designed to improve student success and completion rates on their campuses. Such a huge commitment to fundamentally rethink educational and student support is unusual and should be applauded because their work will result in a much larger, better educated, and productive workforce,” said Achieving the Dream President and CEO William E. Trueheart.

By 2020, almost two thirds of all jobs will require education and training beyond high school, according to a report by Anthony P. Carnevale, Georgetown University Professor and Director of the University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. Recovery, Job Growth and Education Requirements through 2020, recently cited by Bill Gates and other education leaders, found that unless the US begins producing more college graduates, there will be a shortfall of 11 million skilled workers to fill those jobs.

The Achieving the Dream 2015 Cohort is joining a network of over 200 colleges that are working to preserve access and assure that their students, especially low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity.

Introducing the 2015 Cohort Colleges:

Bergen Community College (N.J.)
Big Bend Community College (Wash.)
Blue Ridge Community College (N.C.)
Coastal Pines Technical College (Ga.)
Cuyamaca College - Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District (Calif.)
Grossmont College - Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District (Calif.)
Jackson State Community College (Tenn.)
Lakeshore Technical College (Wis.)
MiraCosta College (Calif.)
Modesto Junior College (Calif.)
Ogeechee Technical College (Ga.)
Onondaga Community College (SUNY) (N.Y.)
Roane State Community College (Tenn.)
Ventura College (Calif.)
Westchester Community College (SUNY) (N.Y.)
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College (Ga.)

At the 2015 Kickoff Institute June 23 – June 25, these colleges will work in teams with coaches to increase their data analytic capacity to inform decision-making; understand how guided pathways can improve the student experience; identify opportunities to improve teaching and learning; and understand equity challenges on campus.  

The 2015 cohort represents the first colleges in the Network to begin using the new Institutional Improvement Model to advance student success.  The model, composed of the Institutional Capacity Framework and the Continuous Improvement Cycle, provides practical guidelines for maintaining focus on students’ needs and building momentum over time. Throughout the process, Achieving the Dream coaches offer customized support, and numerous peer learning opportunities to accelerate the adoption and adaptation of evidence-based, high impact practices.

In addition to using the model, the 2015 Cohort will benefit from Achieving the Dream’s agreement with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) in which colleges’ data on key student success outcome measures will be extracted from student data already being submitted to NSC. The change responds to requests by Achieving the Dream Institutions for a more streamlined data reporting structure.

“We are delighted to welcome the 2015 Cohort colleges into the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network and congratulate them for taking this next step in operationalizing their commitment to improving student outcomes,” said Achieving the Dream Vice President for Community College Relations Cindy Lenhart.

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Achieving the Dream, Inc. is a national nonprofit that is 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. Evidence-based, 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) guiding evidence-based institutional improvement, 2) leading policy change, 3) generating knowledge, and 4) engaging the public. Conceived as an initiative in 2004 by Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations, today, Achieving the Dream is leading the most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. With over 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams - working throughout 35 states and the District of Columbia – the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network helps more than 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

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