Gateway to College National Network Will Become Part of Achieving the Dream: Move Will Help More Underrepresented Students Succeed in College

Merger will link high school/college student success networks to improve college readiness, expand personalized student supports, and broaden services to help colleges graduate more students from vulnerable populations.

SILVER SPRING, MD (April 1, 2019)—In a move aimed to strengthen the pipeline of nontraditional students into and through college, the national community college reform network Achieving the Dream (ATD) and Gateway to College National Network, which helps off-track and out-of-school youth find pathways to a high school diploma and a meaningful college credential, announced today that Gateway to College will become an initiative within Achieving the Dream.

The merger will allow ATD to bridge secondary and postsecondary education and will help institutions and their communities establish a continuum of services that better position low-income youth and young adults to earn needed credentials and degrees to succeed in the workforce.

The merger will allow ATD to further expand its focus on equity and leverage tools, coaching, expertise, and relationships to strengthen its support for its network of colleges. ATD will help colleges expand K-12/community college partnerships, dual enrollment programs, and innovations in customized delivery of holistic services for nontraditional student populations. The organization also will expand the reach of the Gateway to College initiative, which partners with over 30 colleges and nearly 200 school districts, by connecting its work with the more than 220 colleges in the ATD network. Gateway to College currently serves 24 colleges outside of ATD and 12 institutions in the ATD Network.

“The Gateway to College initiative enables us to help colleges create a robust pipeline from K-12 through community college and into a four-year degree program that students successfully complete,” said ATD President and CEO Dr. Karen A. Stout. “This work will especially ease the transition for historically disadvantaged groups, leading to more equitable outcomes in the long run. By joining our organizations, we have the opportunity to advance new approaches and build innovative personalized supports to help a larger portion of our population to achieve their educational goals and dreams.” 
“Nearly a third of high school students take courses for college credit,” said Gateway to College National Network president Emily Froimson, who will become executive vice president at Achieving the Dream. “However, low-income students and students of color, while more likely to benefit from these experiences, are less likely to participate in dual-enrollment courses and benefit form holistic supports they need to be successful. In merging with Achieving the Dream, we will ensure that more young people are prepared to be successful at the community college level and beyond.”

The merger will help accelerate the replication of Gateway to College programs. Achieving the Dream will also continue GtCNN’s work to develop new programs for rural and foster youth, homeless and adjudicated youth.

“Our vision is to take these programs from incubation to scale to serve tens of thousands of more students and continue to transform the work and success metrics of ATD from not just whole college transformation but whole community transformation,” Dr. Stout said.

As part of the arrangement, the Gateway to College office in Portland, Oregon, will become the west coast office of Achieving the Dream.

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About Gateway to College programs
Gateway to College programs, at 32 colleges around the country, reengage students who have dropped out of high school, or are significantly off track, enabling them to complete their high school diplomas at college-based programs while simultaneously earning credits toward a postsecondary credential.

Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads a growing network of more than 220 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 academic achievement 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 41 states and the District of Columbia to reach more than 4 million community college students. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Wakelet.

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