2018 New Leader College of Distinction Application

Achieving the Dream believes that colleges should continue to strive for higher goals and we want to do more to recognize institutions that have sustained and improved their frame work. As a result, we created a second level of designation for Leader Colleges. This year, we are pleased to introduce the Leader College of Distinction recognition to honor those colleges who have gone above and beyond in maintaining and even increasing their success in closing the gaps and student success. Application due date: November 30, 2018.

Leader College of Distinction Certification


The metrics for Leader College of Distinction are challenging. Colleges that choose to apply for the Leader College of Distinction must show improvement on three student outcome metrics including at least one lagging indicator such as completion or transfer. In addition, they must show the narrowing of equity gaps on at least two metrics. These more rigorous requirements are meant to motivate sustained and aggressive reform efforts that result in far greater student success and equity. Colleges that meet these new, higher student outcomes criteria will be given the title of Leader College of Distinction. Only colleges that have been Leader Colleges for three or more years may apply for this status. The benefits of being a Leader College of Distinction are nearly identical to that of Leader College, however, Leader College of Distinction will be identified by a new LCD logo that will be unveiled at the end of the application process and will receive first priority to participate in ATD’s innovation initiatives. 

The Leader College of Distinction application can be found here.

View a recording of the application process webinar



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