New Partnership Between Achieving the Dream and Hobsons to Tackle Student Success Early in Education Pipeline


Atlanta, GA (February 24, 2016) – Achieving the Dream (ATD) announced today that it will partner with Hobsons to bring leaders from community colleges and K-12 institutions together to develop strategies to ensure that students stay on track throughout their academic journey and achieve their postsecondary and career goals.

Although more students are receiving their high-school diplomas than ever before, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center recently reported that the number of students enrolling in college has been declining over the past four years, particularly among low-income students.

“We need bold approaches if we are to see the changes in student outcomes on the scale our communities and our country need,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, ATD President and CEO. “Student success begins long before students enroll in college, so we must ensure that leaders throughout the education pipeline are working together to keep students moving forward on their education journeys. We know we are stronger together, and we’re committed to taking action to help students reach their goals.”

Achieving the Dream will partner with Hobsons, a leading provider of college readiness, admissions, and advising solutions, to develop a comprehensive approach to student success. Together, they will convene educators and experts from primary, secondary and post-secondary institutions, as well as workforce development and industry partners, to develop plans that help students connect their learning to life goals, from elementary school to employment.

“ATD and Hobsons share a vision for the future in which K-12 institutions, community colleges, 4 year institutions, employers, and other community organizations work together to assure our young people receive the guidance and support they need to realize their dreams,” said Dr. Stout. “Our work will benefit from Hobsons’ experience throughout the P-20 pipeline, helping K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities expand opportunities for students, and guiding them to success.”

This initiative is part of ATD’s next-generation approach to student success, which was revealed at ATD’s annual student success conference, DREAM 2016, this week. Achieving the Dream seeks to build community colleges’ institutional capacity in seven essential areas including: leadership and vision, teaching and learning, engagement and communication, equity, data and technology, strategy and planning and policies and practices.

Colleges must be strong in each capacity area in order to successfully undertake the comprehensive student success efforts such as pathways within community colleges and integrated planning and advising systems that are expected to improve student outcomes significantly.

“Student success begins with connecting the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ for students, and requires engaging students throughout all parts of their academic journey,” said Stephen M. Smith, president of Advising and Admissions Solutions at Hobsons. “We look forward to working with Achieving the Dream to convene some of the nation’s most inspirational education leaders to try to tackle this challenge.”

Achieving the Dream and Hobsons are co-hosting two Learning to Life Pathway Workshops to bring together as many as 100 representatives of K-12 systems, community colleges, and four-year institutions to explore practices in synchronizing enrollment, advising, curriculum, career and workforce development between the institutions and employers that allow for students to better persist, complete, and attain living-wage jobs.

The first workshop is expected to take place in fall 2016 in California.

Following the two workshops, Achieving the Dream and Hobsons will publish a synthesis of promising practices, lessons learned and next steps.


Media Contacts:

For Achieving the Dream:

Lynn Reddy,, 301-520-9940

For Hobsons:

Jenna Schuette Talbot,, 760-390-6978


Hobsons helps students identify their strengths, explore careers, create academic plans, match to best-fit educational opportunities, and reach their education and life goals. Through our solutions, we enable thousands of educational institutions to improve college and career planning, admissions and enrollment management, and student success and advising for millions of students around the globe.

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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