Leader College

Achieving the Dream is now accepting applications for the 2022 cohort of Leader Colleges. Colleges that meet the criteria outlined below are invited to submit their applications until the September 30 deadline.

To apply, download the application and submit here by 5:00 p.m. ET on September 30, 2021.

Resources for applicants

Leader College application form (PDF)
Leader College application rubric (PDF)
Leader College data template (.xlsx)
Submit all applications materials HERE

Colleges interested in applying for this opportunity are invited to attend application office hours, virtual sessions where ATD staff will walk through the application process and answer any questions participants may have. Two sessions will be offered:

  • Thursday, August 12, 3:00–4:00 p.m. ET [Register]
  • Thursday, August 26, 3:00–4:00 pm ET [Register]

See Frequently Asked Questions here.
Contact network@achievingthedream.org if you have any questions.

Helpful videos

The below videos walk you through the application process and provide further information about each of the documents you will use to support your application.










ATD invites colleges that have completed at least three years of active network participation to apply for Leader College status. Additional eligibility criteria include:

  • Active ATD participation in current year including payment of current invoice
  • Good standing with your accrediting agency (not on warning or probation)

Leader College certification metrics require colleges to provide four years of data and highlight a three-year upward trend on the two metrics selected in the All Students (Overall) group. Colleges must demonstrate, through disaggregation, the narrowing of an equity gap on at least one student characteristic on one or more metrics.


A hallmark of the ATD experience is to recognize exemplar institutions that have identified and implemented strategies that have been proven to be successful over time. We do this through the designation of Leader College status that indicates that every person who is affiliated with the institution is committed to ensuring student success for all of its students.

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