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Five Community Colleges Begin Their Work to Strengthen Student Success

Contact: Glenn Fee (303) 249-3271,

Five Community Colleges Begin Their Work to Strengthen Student Success 

SILVER SPRING, MD (June 2, 2020) – Five colleges from five states across the country have strengthened their commitment to improving student success by becoming part of the Achieving the Dream (ATD) National Network. These colleges are joining ATD at a time when COVID-19 has caused unimaginable disruptions that can only be met with resilience, innovation, and a deepened commitment to student success and equity, a response seen across the nation by ATD’s Network of community colleges.

“Transformational change is difficult under normal circumstances, and it’s particularly pronounced during such a challenging time. We are encouraged by the commitment of these five institutions who have shown that student success is at the core of their work,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “We look forward to working with these colleges on building their capacity for change over the next three years, and we are excited to welcome them to the Network this summer.”

Teams from each of the five colleges will convene at a Virtual Kickoff Institute in July, which will set the stage for their work as ATD Network institutions. During Kickoff, college teams will meet virtually with their ATD coaches and begin to organize their student success work for the year, including preparing for campus-based Kickoff work in the fall. Their Kickoff experience will include an introduction to ATD’s approach, a capacity-building framework and companion self-assessment Institutional Capacity Assessment Tool, that enables colleges to pinpoint their strengths and areas for improvement across seven institutional capacities that are needed to facilitate change. This framework integrates and aligns efforts that the colleges may have already begun to implement, such as guided pathways, integrated planning and advising, developmental education redesign, and assesses readiness for other large-scale change work.

“COVID-19 has further exposed equity gaps for many of the students served by community colleges, and student success work is now more important than ever,” said Dr. Stout. “The institutions that built a strong student success foundation are doing better during COVID-19, and we’re excited to work with this exceptional cohort as they build a post-COVID future at their institutions.”

The Achieving the Dream 2020 Cohort includes:

Central Arizona College (AZ)

Compton College (CA)

Milwaukee Area Technical College (WI)

Northwest State Community College (OH)

Wake Technical Community College (NC)


Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads a growing network of 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 academic achievement gaps and accelerating student success through a unique change process that builds each college’s institutional capacities in seven essential areas. ATD, along with 75 experienced coaches and advisors, works closely with Network colleges in 44 states and the District of Columbia.