ATD Data & Analytics Summit guides Community College leaders to use data through an equity lens.

Achieving the Dream’s (ATD) sixth annual Data & Analytics Summit provided more than 260 community college leaders the opportunity to take a deeper dive into their data and drive change at their individual institutions. The three-day event titled, “Data and Analytics Through an Equity Lens,” focused on practical solutions for applying an equity lens to building institutional capacity to use data to improve student outcomes, implementing high impact practices in institutional effectiveness, and using technology as a learning tool to improve student success.

In her opening remarks, Achieving the Dream President and CEO, Dr. Karen Stout, called on the attendees to focus on creating equitable learning environments for their students.
“Achieving the Dream believes you are all here because you want to dismantle the barriers facing underserved students. And that you are committed to routinely scrutinizing structural barriers to equity and invest in equity-minded policies, practices, and behaviors that lead to success for all students,” she said.

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Through plenaries, panel discussions, and breakout sessions attendees had the opportunity to gain insight into how to improve student outcomes using new practices and guided pathways Following the session, representatives from 21 of the Tribal Colleges and Universities in the ATD Network, participated in an accreditation discussion on implementing processes in the TCU context.  This focused session guided attendees to define institutional effectiveness, identify the tools to facilitate effective learning outcomes, and develop planning teams. Following the session, Tribal Colleges participated in an accreditation discussion on implementing processes in the TCU context.

During the Wednesday afternoon plenary, Chancellor Mike Flores from Alamo College District, an ATD Leader College and a 2019 Aspen Prize Rising Star Winner, shared the Alamo College District’s ongoing journey to achieve the highest level of student success.

“The data we’ve attained is so particularly significant and it tells a story. You all see it daily, and we discuss it in meetings, but at the end it’s about being able to effectively change because each of us plays a critical role and each of us have agency, even our students,” he said. “And we all want to be able to exercise that agency.”

The second afternoon plenary presented by Nathan Grawe, author of Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education examined how demographic shifts impact demand for higher education. Attendees learned how to explore practical guidance on how community college leaders can respond to meeting enrollment changes.

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The final plenary on Friday allowed attendees to participate in a panel discussion with ATD staff who shared examples of the how the event tracks align and how to apply the concepts learned when participants returned to their campuses. It was a unique opportunity to gain deeper understanding into how to use key takeaways to maximize their strategic role in this important work. Examples included understanding how to track, disaggregate, and apply the data findings at their institutions.  

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