Student success is at the core of Achieving the Dream’s work. We’re committed to incorporating student voice in our work, and to honoring students at ATD Network colleges who have succeeded in spite of the odds.
Our seven-person 2018 DREAM Scholar class (pictured on the homepage) included two students from Tribal colleges in the Network. At the DREAM Conference in Nashville, ATD was pleased to award each DREAM Scholar a $1,000 scholarship, sponsored by the community college honor society Phi Theta Kappa.
The 2018 DREAM Scholar class (pictured on the homepage) comprised students from seven colleges in five states including, for the first time, two students from Tribal colleges.
During DREAM, the students engage with ATD Network college leaders, share their educational experiences, and attend sessions on improving student success, institutional governance, teaching and learning, administration, and more. The DREAM Scholars’ presentation allows them to share what they have learned about Network colleges’ efforts to improve their students’ success and completion and close achievement gaps for historically underserved student populations. The participation of DREAM Scholars is often cited as a highlight of the DREAM Conference. We will continue to find new ways to introduce student voice in an effort to further inform our work.
In Supporting Students, ATD Creates a New Scholarship
RaShayla Walker, a nursing student at Oklahoma’s Rose State College, is the inaugural recipient of the Harvey Lincoln Scholarship Fund. Ms. Walker, an active community volunteer and campus leader, worked part-time as a clinical care specialist as she studied at Rose State. Like nearly 40 percent of community college parents, Ms. Walker persevered despite being a single mother.
An adult student, Ms. Walker started her college career in 2009 at Oklahoma City Community College but stopped out of college because of financial struggles. She returned to Oklahoma City Community College in 2012 and in 2013 was robbed at gunpoint. Ms. Walker continued to care for her two children, but made a promise to her younger brother who passed away in 2016. She said that her brother “would always tell me how he was so proud of me continuing to go to school and that he knew I would be an excellent nurse.” Honoring this promise, Ms. Walker enrolled at Rose State in August 2017.
Ms. Walker continues to face financial hardship, but she expects to be the first person in her family to graduate from college. Her educational and career goals are to complete bachelor’s and master’s degrees so she can become a nurse practitioner. The Harvey Lincoln Scholarship Fund provides need-based scholarships for community college students who have persisted in their studies despite educational, personal, or financial obstacles and are attending Achieving the Dream Network colleges.