ATD’s national footprint continued to grow in 2018, as we welcomed a group of 21 new colleges, the second largest cohort in ATD’s history, including eight colleges from Tennessee and two colleges funded by The Woodward Hines Education Foundation.
Teams from the new colleges spent three days in June 2018 at the ATD Kickoff Institute, which we redesigned around pathways with new metrics aligned with pathways. At the event in Cleveland, colleges learned about ATD’s approach, a capacity-building framework and companion self-assessment tool that enables colleges to pinpoint their strengths and areas for improvement across seven institutional capacities that are needed to facilitate change.
Colleges that joined ATD over the last two years have been organizing their success work using seven functional areas that colleges need to develop to foster a culture of student success that leads to improved outcomes. The framework helps colleges integrate and align change efforts that already may be underway. A companion assessment tool enables colleges to pinpoint their strengths and areas for improvement across the capacities.
For colleges that have been a part of the ATD Network, 2018 saw the introduction of a full suite of options to use professional coaching to meet changing needs, leverage strengths identified on Institutional Capacity Assessment Tool results, and bolster capacity to implement reforms and guide continuous improvement. A grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation will enable us to increase our coaches’ knowledge of best practices in building community colleges’ diversity, equity, and inclusion.
LEADERS AMONG PEERS
One of the benefits of participating in the Achieving the Dream Network is the opportunity to learn and grow from strong peer institutions. We recognize these institutions through the designation of Leader College status and the Leader College of Distinction introduced to the Network in 2018. The new Leader College of Distinction designation indicates that every person who is affiliated with the institution is committed to ensuring student success for all of its students and will be awarded in 2019.
The following colleges have earned Leader
College status for the first time in 2018:
Anne Arundel Community College (MD)
Central Alabama Community College (AL)
Grayson College (TX)
Roane State Community College (TN)
Western Technical College (WI)
West Hills Lemoore (CA)
The Leah Meyer Austin Award is presented annually and recognizes ATD Network colleges that have demonstrated outstanding progress in designing a student-focused culture and aligning institutional strategies to promote student success. This year, two outstanding institutions, Odessa College and Texarkana College, received ATD’s highest recognition for their exceptional progress in creating a student-focused culture.
ATD NETWORK COLLEGES EARN NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR EXCEPTIONAL WORK
The exceptional work of colleges in the Network has been increasingly recognized nationally and in May, eight ATD Network colleges were named Finalists for the prestigious Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. These colleges included Alamo College District – Palo Alto College (TX), Broward College (FL), CUNY Kingsborough Community College (NY), Indian River State College (FL), Miami Dade College (FL), Odessa College (TX), Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom (WA), and San Jacinto College (TX). A number of these institutions are also winners of the Leah Meyer Austin Award, ATD’s top national award.
The Aspen Prize, awarded every two years, recognizes outstanding student outcomes in four categories that include student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and access and success for minority and low-income students.