Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology Commit to Student Success as Part of Achieving the Dream National Network

SILVER SPRING, MD—Achieving the Dream is pleased to welcome the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) to the Achieving the Dream (ATD) National Network of community colleges. The 27 public technical colleges in Tennessee are joining the ATD Network with a clear commitment to student success and educational equity, commitment which is shared by ATD’s National Network of community colleges and which ATD has championed throughout its 16-year history. ATD will work closely with the TCAT teams by developing seamless, stacking career ladders from K-12 through the technical colleges to the community colleges, and then baccalaureate degrees.

The Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology are part of the public College System of Tennessee, governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents. All 13 community colleges in the system have previously joined Achieving the Dream.

“During such a challenging time, it’s more important than ever to meet uncertainty with resilience, innovation, and a deepened commitment to student success and equity. We are extremely pleased to welcome TCAT into our Network, whose members hold student success at the core of their work,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “We look forward to working with the TCATs on building their capacity for transformational change over the next three years, and we are excited to welcome them to the Network later this month.”

In the coming weeks, representatives from the individual TCATs, as well as Tennessee Board of Regents staff, will convene at a Virtual Kickoff Institute, a program designed to prepare TCAT teams to begin or intensify the process of transformative institutional improvement. The weeklong Kickoff Institute will include an introduction to ATD’s approach, a capacity-building framework and companion self-assessment tool that enables TCAT teams to pinpoint their strengths and areas for improvement across institutional capacities that are needed to facilitate change.

“Achieving the Dream’s focus is helping all students succeed. The Tennessee Board of Regents community colleges joined the ATD Network during the last five years and the work has transformed campus culture to focus on student success and closing achievement gaps. Now it’s time to extend that critical work to our Colleges of Applied Technology,” said Dr. Flora W. Tydings, chancellor of TBR – the College System of Tennessee.

During the Kickoff event, TCAT teams will receive an in-depth orientation to ATD, including how to leverage the power of a national network. Attendees will work with their ATD coaches to begin planning for the integration and alignment of their student success, and will return to campus with a roadmap for moving forward.

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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