Achieving the Dream and USC Race and Equity Center Announce Launch of The Racial Equity Leadership Academy

Achieving the Dream and the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center have announced a new opportunity for ATD Network colleges to participate in the Racial Equity Leadership Academy, an intensive equity-focused institute in Los Angeles in July. ATD will lead the selection of the ten colleges, all of whom must be active in the ATD Network.  Each participating team will be composed of the president or chancellor, a faculty member, a cabinet-level student affairs officer/diversity officer, and a senior academic leader.

Academy content will be based on Achieving the Dream’s Institutional Capacity Framework and tailored to community college’s working to overcome equity-focused challenges. College teams will work together to develop a strategic racial equity change effort that will be launched at their institution during the Fall 2020 semester.

Strategic racial equity change efforts may range from closing gaps in transfer rates to diversifying the faculty to better reflect the racial composition of the student body, addressing campus racial climate problems, increasing the skill of part-time and adjunct instructors to teach in culturally responsive ways, and creating ethnically diverse pipelines to senior-level administrative leadership.

For nine months following the summer experience, coaches will virtually convene each individual team to check in on the progress of their change effort to help solve problems the teams have encountered and to facilitate learning across the teams they are each supporting, focusing on their date and intended outcomes. To provide support for institution-wide change, presidents will also form a special virtual affinity group, with peer exchange facilitated by ATD over this same timeframe.

Teams will come together again at ATD’s annual convening, DREAM, in Orlando, FL, in February 2021, to share their achievements and to disseminate lessons learned.

“We are pleased to partner with the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center to offer this important opportunity for our colleges to center equity, specifically racial equity, in their institutional reform work,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, Achieving the Dream president and CEO. “The Kresge Foundation’s investment in this partnership will help the selected ATD colleges move into action to achieve their racial equity goals and help build ATD’s capacity to bring racial equity action planning to all our network colleges.”

Achieving the Dream colleges in good standing are invited to apply to participate in the Institute. The application submission deadline is March 18, 2020. Selected colleges will be notified March 27, 2020.

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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