Toolkit for Actionable Decision Making in Times of Disruption

These tools and resources were designed by Achieving the Dream to support colleges document what they are learning from the transition to remote instruction and supports so that they can continue to improve.

Data-informed decision making in times of disruption: a guide

During this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, Achieving the Dream's coaches along with members of the Gateway to College, Holistic Student Supports, Teaching and Learning, Tribal Colleges and Equity teams produced this companion piece to the May 19, 2020 in-Network webinar: Data-Informed Decision in Times of Crisis.

This guide was developed to provide decision-support to institutional leaders to build stronger adaptive and resilient organizations in three of the areas impacted most by COVID-19:

  •     Student learning
  •     Student supports and
  •     Enrollment management

View Data-Informed Decision Making in Times of Disruption: A Guide.

building adaptive capacity for resiliency and agility: a guide

As we move into a “new normal” where digital and virtual models are playing a larger role in the delivery of instruction and student supports, it’s increasingly important for us to deliver holistic, resilient, equitable, and student-centric systems.  This requires transitioning to an adaptive culture that focuses on long-term sustainability through the generation of alternate paths, ideas, modes of operating, and behavioral norms.

ATD Colleges are leveraging their organizational strengths to respond to emerging needs and new financial constraints, to move from strategic planning to scenario planning, to allocate resources more strategically, to adapt and respond to change, and to prepare for multiple possible futures.

These organizational strengths create Adaptive Capacity.  Adaptive Capacity is defined as the ability to generate or initiate changes in the way we do business that drives improved performance, relevance and impact.

View Building Adaptive Capacities for Resiliency and Agility: A Guide.


Many of the colleges in the Achieving the Dream (ATD) network are changing practices and processes as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams at the colleges are identifying practices they can “leave behind” and processes that they want to leverage sustainably in the future.

ATD coaches have expressed interest in helping colleges reflect on their COVID-19 experiences, focusing on what they learned that can be applied and scaled in what is likely to be a time of ongoing uncertainty and disruption. We believe this reflective tool, either by itself or together with other ATD resources, will help colleges prioritize near-to-medium term actions, allocate resources strategically and scenario plan for ongoing operations.

View COVID 19 Reflection Exercise.

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