Sixteen Community Colleges Begin Their Work to Strengthen Student Success as Part of Achieving the Dream National Network

SILVER SPRING, MD (May 8, 2019) – Sixteen colleges from seven 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, has continuously expanded its Network over the course of the organization’s 15-year history. The 2019 cohort includes eight community colleges from the state of Connecticut, and brings all 12 institutions from the state into the ATD Network. The new cohort of colleges comes as ATD celebrates its 15th anniversary, and they increase the ATD Network to more than 277 institutions from 44 states and the District of Columbia.

“As we celebrate the 15th anniversary of Achieving the Dream, we are extremely pleased to welcome these 16 institutions into our Network. Colleges that join the ATD Network show an exceptional commitment to becoming the kind of institution that will lead the nation into the future,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “We look forward to working with these colleges on building their capacity for change over the next three years and are excited to welcome them to the Network next month.”

Teams from each of the 16 colleges will convene in June in Phoenix 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 meet with their ATD coaches and 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 a national network.

The Kickoff Institute cohort is announced at a time when Achieving the Dream network colleges are being recognized for their unprecedented success. In April, two network colleges, Indian River State College and Miami Dade College, were named the co-winners of the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges.

“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.”

The Achieving the Dream 2019 Cohort includes:

  • Asnuntuck Community College (CT)
  • College of Lake County (IL)
  • College of Southern Maryland (MD)
  • Eastfield College (TX)
  • Forsyth Technical Community College (NC)
  • Hudson County Community College (NJ)
  • Manchester Community College (CT)
  • Middlesex Community College (CT)
  • Naugatuck Community College (CT)
  • Northwestern Connecticut Community College (CT)
  • Pitt Community College (NC)
  • Quinebaug Valley Community College (CT)
  • Sacramento City College (CA)
  • San Joaquin Delta College (CA)
  • Three Rivers Community College (CT)
  • Tunxis Community College (CT)


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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