More Than 200 Colleagues From 20 Colleges Convene to Begin Their ATD Work

The energy was high during the week as teams from each of the 20 colleges met for the first time as a cohort to being their work as Achieving the Dream Network colleges.

Twenty institutions from the West, South, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast have joined our national growing Network. The 2018 group is unique and among the largest in ATD’s history, including a cohort of eight colleges from Tennessee and two colleges funded by The Woodward Hines Education Foundation. The 2018 colleges increase the ATD Network to more than 200 institutions from 41 states and the District of Columbia.

The annual Kickoff Institute is a three-day experience that included an introduction to ATD’s approach, a capacity-building framework and companion self-assessment tool that enables colleges to pinpoint their strengths and areas for improvement across seven institutional capacities that are needed to facilitate change. This framework integrates and aligns efforts that the colleges may have already begun to implement, such as integrated planning and advising or development education redesign. And for the first time, the cohort was introduced to the framework as a way of thinking about and preparing for pathways.

Keynote speakers included ATD President and CEO Dr. Karen A. Stout, who opened the event with a presentation on building institutional capacity to develop a student-focused culture; MDC President David Dodson on the power of a postsecondary credential to propel economic mobility; Dr. Joanne Bashford, ATD Leadership Coach, on engaging the campus community in using data to identify and tear down barriers to student success; ATD Board members Cuyahoga Community College President Dr. Alex Johnson and Odessa College President Dr. Gregory Williams discussing how to begin the ATD journey to leverage its impact from the start; and Tim Dunne, CIO, and Rachel Guthrie, Assistant Professor, both at Southern Maine Community College, sharing advice and strategies on how to organize the first year in ATD.

Much of the teams’ time was devoted to organizing their student success work for the year, including preparing for their on-campus launch in the fall. They received an in-depth orientation to ATD, including how to leverage the power of the national Network. The teams alternated between attending Workshop sessions and meeting within their own teams during Team Times. During Team Times, the colleges met with their assigned Leadership Coach and Data Coach, community college leaders who are carefully matched with each institution to provide personalized advice and guidance to build needed capacities, align student success efforts, and to support change where it is needed.

Workshop sessions, facilitated by ATD staff, Leadership and Data Coaches, and leaders from ATD colleges, covered topics such as leading transformative change, having courageous conversations, including the student voice in ATD work, integrating ATD to enable pathways and other large-scale reforms.

2018 Cohort Colleges:

  • Coahoma Community College (MS)

  • Columbia State Community College (TN)

  • County College of Morris (NJ)

  • Delaware Technical Community College (DE)

  • Dyersburg State Community College (TN)

  • Gateway Community College (CT)

  • Harford Community College (MD)

  • Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MS)

  • Motlow State Community College (TN)

  • Nashville State Community College (TN)

  • Northeast State Community College (TN)

  • North Central Texas College (TX)

  • Olympic College (WA)

  • Palm Beach State College (FL)

  • Pellissippi State Community College (TN)

  • Rogue Community College (OR)

  • Vance-Granville Community College (NC)

  • Volunteer State Community College (TN)

  • Walters State Community College (TN)

  • West Hills College Coalinga (CA)

View photos from ATD Kickoff 2018 here.

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