Achieving the Dream Recognizes 2021 Leader Colleges of Distinction

SILVER SPRING, MD — Achieving the Dream (ATD) today announced six community colleges in the ATD Network have earned Leader College of Distinction status for demonstrating sustained and significant outcomes in the advancement of student success and narrowing equity gaps at their institutions.

“In the past two years, we have seen extraordinary resilience and innovation from our nation’s community colleges as they have worked to support their students during a continuing pandemic and to increase equity, access, and inclusion on their campuses. The institutions certified as ATD Leader Colleges of Distinction have not only demonstrated that they have risen to recent challenges, but have shown that their long-term efforts to center equity and increase student success have resulted in remarkable outcomes for their communities,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream.

The 2022 cohort of Leader Colleges of Distinction are:

  • Anne Arundel Community College (MD)
  • Davidson-Davie Community College (NC)
  • Elgin Community College (IL)
  • Texarkana College (TX)
  • Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas  (AR)
  • Tallahassee Community College (winner of the 2022 Leah Meyer Austin Award) (TN)

In addition, 15 colleges recertified their Leader College of Distinction status or were granted a three-year extension to their current term:

  • Amarillo College (TX)
  • Bay College (MI)
  • College of Southern Nevada (NV)
  • Cuyahoga Community College (OH)
  • Everett Community College (WA)
  • Grayson College (Special Recognition awardee) (TX)
  • Kingsborough Community College (NY)
  • Lee College (TX)
  • Lorain County Community College (OH)
  • North Central State College (Special Recognition awardee) (OH)
  • Passaic County Community College (NJ)
  • Pierce College (WA)
  • Porterville College (CA)
  • Roane State Community College (TN)
  • Sinclair Community College (OH)

ATD created the Leader College of Distinction award in 2018 to recognize colleges that have pursued and met challenging student success goals, often earning Leader College status several times. Leader Colleges of Distinction must show improvement in three or more student outcome metrics, including at least one lagging indicator such as completion or transfer with an earned baccalaureate. Leader Colleges of Distinction are also required to show they have reduced equity gaps in at least two metrics for at least two student groups. These requirements recognize and motivate sustained and proactive reform efforts that result in greater improvements in student success and equity.

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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