Dr. Karen A. Stout Selected to Lead Achieving the Dream


Baltimore, MD (February 17, 2015) – Robert G. Templin, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Achieving the Dream, Inc. (ATD), today announced the selection of Karen A. Stout, current president of Montgomery County Community College (PA), as the next president & CEO of ATD, the national non-profit leader in championing evidence-based institutional improvement across U.S. community colleges.

“Karen Stout is the right person at the right time,” Templin said. “The Board and I are delighted that she will lead ATD and its network of exceptional community colleges toward institutional transformation and greater student success. Dr. Stout is particularly committed to seeing low-income students and students of color achieve their full potential and receive the support they need to do so. She has demonstrated that she has the stature and experience to enable ATD and its colleges to meet the challenges and realize their potential at this pivotal time in higher education.”

“I’m thrilled to become Achieving the Dream’s next president & CEO,” said Stout. “Montgomery County Community College’s participation in ATD made all the difference in our approach to student success. I’m looking forward to bringing my experience and commitment to the network as a whole.”

Stout succeeds Dr. William E. Trueheart, ATD’s founding President & CEO, who announced on November 5, 2014 his retirement from the national community college reform organization he has led since it became an independent non-profit in 2010. Dr. Stout will assume the leadership of ATD on July 1, 2015.

“The Board and staff at Achieving the Dream are indebted to Bill for establishing ATD as an independent organization,” Templin said. “He gave ATD the best possible start and now is handing the baton to a leader equally prepared to move the next generation forward.”

Trueheart, the ATD Board, and key staff leadership with substantial input from thought leaders throughout the ATD reform network recently completed a comprehensive planning process that establishes the organization’s five strategic directions through 2019. The priorities build on ATD’s strengths in guiding institutional change, developing colleges’ capacities to use data to inform decision-making, and forging strategic partnerships. They also introduce new strategic directions in strengthening pedagogy and curricula across the student experience and informing the national conversation on issues of importance to community colleges.

“ATD helps build capacity one college and one community at a time,” Stout said. “I am inspired by ATD’s new strategic plan and the focus on teaching and learning, equity, data, and technology. These focus areas match my values and my strengths.”

Stout has proven her mettle on the national stage since taking the helm at Montgomery County Community College in 2001. In February 2014, the College was one of two institutions presented with the sixth annual Leah Meyer Austin Award, ATD’s highest honor. The College was commended specifically for its work to improve student outcomes in developmental courses, the launch of a Minority Male Mentoring Program, and its use of data to make informed decisions about teaching and learning. In 2011, the College earned special recognition from ATD for its use of data in setting policies and practices that lead to student success and the College was named an ATD Leader College. In addition Montgomery County Community College’s system-wide approach to sustainability earned it an Award for Institutional Excellence in Climate Leadership from Second Nature twice, in 2011 and 2014.

Stout serves as Chair of the President’s Advisory Board to the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teacher’s College, Commissioner on the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC)from 2011-2014. She was a major contributor to the development of AACC’s Voluntary Framework of Accountability (VFA).

Stout’s 14-year tenure at Montgomery County Community College has been remarkable for the broad initiatives that both expanded the college’s footprint and strengthened student success. She has led the development and implementation of three strategic plans and two facilities master plans that led to the expansion of the West campus in Pottstown, the expansion and near re-making of the Central campus, a new Virtual Campus, a Culinary Arts Institute, new occupational and transfer programs, strong relationships with community partners and new relationships with school districts and colleges and universities. In addition, the College’s 50th Anniversary, $9 million fully private College Foundation campaign for scholarship support is on track to exceed its goal. Yet it is the College’s work around student success that she is most proud of.

“I’m eager to extend the learning from this work to help community colleges across the country help citizens in our communities gain access to affordable post-secondary education and to complete an experience that leads to successful employment and citizenry,” Stout said.

“We’re all eager to have Dr. Stout join us,” Templin said. “There’s lots to be done, and we’re ready to start ATD’s next chapter.”

Media Contact

Lynn Reddy, (240) 450-3830, lreddy@achievingthedream.org​

Alana J. Mauger, (215) 692-3789, amauger@mc3.edu

Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads a growing network of more than 300 community colleges committed to helping their students, particularly low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity. ATD is making progress in closing equity gaps and accelerating student success through a unique change process that builds each college’s institutional capacities in seven essential areas. ATD, along with nearly 75 experienced coaches and advisors, works closely with Network colleges in 45 states and the District of Columbia to reach more than 4 million community college students. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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