Achieving the Dream Recognizes 2019 Leader Colleges

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD (February 20, 2020) –Four community colleges from across the country in Achieving the Dream’s Network have earned Leader College status, having shown steady improvement in outcomes in student success. They join six Leader Colleges who were recertified this year.

“Becoming a Leader College requires institutions to have data that show concrete progress toward building a student-centered culture that drives gains in student success,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, President and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “To achieve this, colleges must to be willing to work differently to improve the educational journeys of all of their students. I’m proud to recognize these colleges that are living their commitment to change and are achieving stronger results.”

Gains in student success outcomes accomplished by the 2019 Leader Colleges include the following:
• Increasing fall-to-fall retention for first-generation students
• Opening a Center for Campus Inclusion and Diversity
• Increasing college level math and English completion for Pell student, by 6 to 14 percent
• Appointing academic affairs personnel to promote equity and inclusion across the college

The 2019 class of new Leader Colleges are:
• Chattanooga State Community College (TN)
• MiraCosta College (CA)
• Oakton Community College (IL)
• Southwest Tennessee Community College (TN)

The 2019 class of Recertified Leader Colleges include:
• Danville Area Community College (IL)
• Indian River State College (FL)
• Macomb Community College (MI)
• Odessa College (TX)
• Sinclair Community College (OH)
• Zane State College (OH)

Leader Colleges certified for three-year terms play an important role in accelerating adoption of effective practices within the ATD Network and across higher education. Leader Colleges are recognized for the quality of their work in whole-college reform, resulting in increased completion rates for all students. Leader Colleges develop innovative ways to work with other colleges to share knowledge and facilitate an exchange of ideas about evidence-based reform strategies.


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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