William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Grant Helps ATD Strengthen Support for Equity at Network Colleges

A grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation will enable Achieving the Dream to increase our coaches’ knowledge of best practices in building community colleges’ diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Organizational Effectiveness (OE) grant will support ATD in developing curriculum for its cadre of approximately 80 coaches to strengthen their work with colleges to build their DEI capacity.

Nearly all colleges in the ATD Network struggle to address equity, even though many are aware of equity challenges and would like to take action. More than 170 colleges have now taken ATD’s Institutional Capacity Assessment Tool (ICAT), and the results indicate that equity is capacity that needs the most attention. The ICAT defines equity as the commitment, capabilities, and experiences of an institution to equitably serve low-income students, students of color and other at-risk student populations with respect to access, success, and campus climate.

Colleges mostly can disaggregate their data, but they find the next steps difficult: having conversations about the results, determining action steps, and scaling interventions to provide all students with the supports they need to be successful. Writing equity statements that reflect colleges’ unique context and challenges also proves difficult. Thanks to the ICAT and to the principles articulated in ATD’s equity statement, colleges are increasingly aware that they need to direct more attention to this issue and are reaching out to their ATD coaches for guidance.

The training curriculum and supplemental resources will be created as modules that can be adapted for online, hybrid and face-to-face delivery and customized for various stakeholder needs, will address:


  • A common understanding of and vocabulary for DEI

  • Frameworks for an equity and inclusion growth mindset

  • Active and collaborative learning techniques

  • Integrating DEI competencies with effective coaching strategies

  • The impact of various approaches to equity on student success

  • Supporting a college in developing an equity scorecard as a management tool to reduce equity gaps

ATD anticipates that the grant will begin a multi-year path ultimately resulting in measurable decreases in equity gaps on ATD college campuses.

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