From the Field: Musings on Work to Achieve the Dream

Getting the Most from your DREAM Experience

It’s DREAM time inside Achieving the Dream. Our team is now fully focused on the fine details of creating a valuable experience for every attendee who is participating in our annual convening, DREAM.

As you and your teams organize for your participation in DREAM, I am excited to share a few new features and some tips, based on my experience on the “other side” of the convening. I hope this helps  maximize your time at DREAM.

What’s new this year...

  • We have eliminated the exhibit hall to give you more time for networking.
  • We have added an area across from the registration desk where you can recharge (literally) and talk informally  with experts from our team to learn about the range of our work and how we might support your goals. Our ATD booth area will also have a new ATD Library where you can pick up the latest reports, guidebooks, toolkits, and other resources to take back to your campus.
  • We have identified sessions that might appeal to Trustees. Many of our colleges are bringing Trustees as part of their teams.
  • We transitioned one plenary slot into a Recognition Luncheon to honor Leader Colleges, Leader Colleges of Distinction, and colleges receiving special recognition for their progress.
  • We have fresh programming on K-12 connections bolstered by our new ATD colleagues from Gateway to College.
  • We will have special (and now embargoed) announcements on new ATD Network opportunities around equity, #CCWomenSucceed, and OER, including the release of the final research study on the first phase of our OER degree work.
  • We have special sessions for our Tribal Colleges and Universities colleagues.
  • We have expanded participation by international colleagues from South Africa and New Zealand including South Africa’s participation in our coaching training.

Here’s how to make DREAM an intentional part of your student success journey:

  • Build out your specific goals for learning in advance of your travel both as a team and as individual participants.
  • Carefully review the DREAM pre-conference offerings and full conference sessions in the DREAM 2020 App, and make assignments so that your team can cover the topics that align best with your institution’s student success goals.
  • Find a way for your team to de-brief at the end of each DREAM day and to plan for the next day.
  • Use the ATD DREAM App to connect with colleagues, build a personalized schedule, and win prizes.
  • Share your learning and insights via social media using #ATD_DREAM and follow us on Twitter @achievethedream to contribute to the conversation.
  • Use the built in networking time wisely. Find ways to connect with expertise within ATD by visiting our booth area. Think about planning a meeting, in advance of your arrival, with a team from another college to share learning.
  • Maximize your team time with your ATD coach at DREAM. Work in advance to develop an agenda with clear goals/desired outcomes for the conversation including thinking about what your student success work will look like in the coming academic year and how Achieving the Dream might support that work.
  • Make time for our Industry Insight sessions. These sessions give you an opportunity to learn from our partners about how they are working with colleges to improve student success.
  • Attend our evening receptions. They have something for everyone. Meet our DREAM Scholars. Network with our new Gateway to College team, and members of our  equity, teaching and learning, and holistic student supports teams, as well as other ATD colleagues.
  • Before you leave, develop a plan for sharing your learning when you return to campus.
  • Find me and say hello and share a thought about what you appreciate about Achieving the Dream and what we might improve. Like you, we are evolving as we work to support your ever challenging student success journeys.

I look forward to seeing you at DREAM.

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