Twenty Colleges Strengthen Their Commitment to Student Success as Part of Achieving the Dream National Network

SILVER SPRING, MD (June 5, 2018) – Twenty colleges from 11 states have strengthened their commitment to improving student success by becoming part of the Achieving the Dream (ATD) National Network. ATD, the national nonprofit leading a movement to ensure student success for colleges that champion educational equity, continues to expand its Network with the addition of these community colleges. The 2018 group is unique and among the largest in the organization’s 14-year 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, including the District of Columbia.

“The College System of Tennessee shares the ATD vision of community colleges highly valued for preserving access and ensuring success for all students, especially low-income students and students of color.  We want to achieve that vision for Tennessee and we understand the value and benefits of collaboration, so it makes sense for us to establish a systemwide Achieving the Dream network,” said Dr. Flora W. Tydings, Chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents. “Having led the first college in Georgia and one of the first in Tennessee into the program, I know the value of Achieving the Dream and I believe in its mission of achievement and equity, its data-driven approach and the results that can be achieved. I am pleased that eight of our community colleges and the system office have been selected to join Achieving the Dream’s 2018 cohort, bringing to 12 the number of “Dream” colleges in our system.”

Teams from each of the 20 colleges are convening later this month in Cleveland, OH, to set the stage for their work as ATD Network institutions. Their three-day experience at the Kickoff Institute will include 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 guided pathways, integrated planning and advising, development education redesign, and assesses readiness for other large-scale change work. During the Kickoff event, college teams will begin to organize their student success work for the year, including preparing for their on-campus launch in the fall. They will receive an in-depth orientation to ATD, including how to leverage the power of the national Network.

Each college team will also meet for the first time with their 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.

“The strength of local and regional economies, our ability to rebuild the middle class, and the possibility that a new generation will achieve their goals depends on community colleges,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “Colleges that join the ATD Network show an exceptional commitment to becoming the kind of institution that will lead the nation into the future.”

Colleges joining the ATD Network include:

  • 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)


Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads a growing network of more than 277 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 44 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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