ATD Network News: September Edition

September 2019



(Dr. Daria Willis speaking on Capitol Hill)

ATD and Key Partners Make Case for Supports for Student Parents in Capitol Hill Briefing  

Achieving the Dream (ATD) joined national partners for a Capitol Hill briefing last week highlighting key findings from a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, Higher Education: More Information Could Help Student Parents Access Additional Federal Student Aid. In compelling remarks, Dr. Daria Willis, president of ATD Leader College of Distinction Everett (WA) Community College, referenced her own journey as a student parent. Student parents are far less likely to complete college than students without children and GAO recommends that colleges can and should do more to inform student parents about available financial aid for child care. Read more about the Capitol Hill Briefing.

Apply now for Leah Meyer Austin Award, ATD’s Signature National Award  

Annually, ATD recognizes a college that employs a holistic approach to reducing equity gaps between student groups and increasing success for all. The Leah Meyer Austin Award recognizes institutional strength, aligned policies and procedures, a student-focused culture, and notable increases in student outcomes. Many past LMA winners have advanced to become finalists for the prestigious Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, recognizing outstanding achievement in student success at America’s community colleges. The application deadline for the award is October 22, and eligible colleges have received an email from ATD. Full details on the award, including eligibility requirements, can be found on our website.

Is Your College Helping First-generation Students Succeed? ATD and NASPA Want to Hear From you  

One-third of today’s higher education students are the first in their families to attend college, and the U.S. Department of Education estimates the percentage of first-generation community college students to approach 50 percent. Many ATD Network colleges are engaged in deep work to ensure first-generation student success. NASPA’s Center for First-generation Student Success is launching a study into the first-generation identity and how community colleges across the country are serving and supporting these students. The study will culminate with a report to be released later in the fall. We encourage ATD Network colleges to share their work with NASPA by September 30 to ensure that this report becomes a valuable resource for everyone. Learn more about how to participate in this important study.

ATD President and CEO Dr. Karen A. Stout Presents her 20th Anniversary Reading List

For 20 years, ATD President and CEO Dr. Karen A. Stout has shared her annual reading list, a tradition she continued as president at Montgomery County Community College by sharing at fall convocations and as president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. As she speaks at convocations around the country this fall, Dr. Stout shares the 20th version of her reading list, which includes books focused on higher education and beyond that remind us of the value of learning about the perspectives and experiences in the broader world. See Dr. Stout's 2019 Summer Reading List.

Join the National Conversation to Address Critical Issues to Improve Success for all Students

DREAM is the country’s premier convening for learning and sharing about practice, research, and trends in strategies that address system inequities within higher education to increase social and economic mobility for all students and families. ATD’s 2020 event in National Harbor, MD, features the second annual ATD Equity Institute on February 18 and hundreds of opportunities to hear from and meet with the nation’s top leaders in higher education reform. Read more about DREAM 2020.

Start Your Work to Improve Student and Institutional Success: Join the ATD Network

Hundreds of colleges have worked with Achieving the Dream to build key institutional capacities to address the crucial challenges that confront them in their commitment to better serve students. They benefit from the collective learning of the national ATD Network of institutions and partners and from our 15 years of experience innovating and anticipating future needs and issues in the face of continual change. ATD’s model uses three pillars of support: innovation, coaching, and connections. The application window for the 2020 Achieving the Dream (ATD) cohort is now open, and we encourage colleges looking to advance student success on their campuses to apply. Learn more about joining the ATD Network!

Aspen Invites Applications for Two Leadership Fellowships: For Sitting Presidents and for Aspiring Presidents

The College Excellence Program at The Aspen Institute is accepting nominations and applications for the fifth cohort of aspiring community college presidents for the Rising Presidents Fellowship (formerly called the Aspen Presidents Fellowship). In addition, presidents with five or fewer cumulative years as a president are invited to apply for a new fellowship –The New Presidents Fellowship. Read more about the fellowships and deadlines here.

For ongoing news, updates, and blogs, visit us at   


2019 ATD Holistic Student Supports Institute
October 1-4, 2019

Join over 300 colleagues from across the country at the premier working institute for holistic student supports. Whether your college is just beginning conversations on how to more holistically support your students or is deep into the implementation of addressing all student needs, this institute is your opportunity to harness the expertise of Achieving the Dream's diverse network of colleges and national leaders working to design, implement, and assess a whole college approach to improving student outcomes. Register today

February 18-21, 2020

Connect with more than 2,000 of the nation's thought leaders, policy makers, and investors at DREAM 2020, Achieving the Dream's flagship conference. Share your knowledge and learn how your colleagues across the country are advancing student success. Registration is now open.


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