Achieving the Dream (ATD) is a national community college reform network dedicated to helping community colleges improve the academic performance and graduation rates of their students, especially students of color and low-income students. ATD offers coaching services to its 200+ member community colleges to help them examine their internal policies, practices and institutional culture and reduce barriers to student success. ATD's efforts have a wide reaching impact, as their members include community colleges across the country. See a list of ATD's member colleges here.


ATD is using grant funds to customize their coaching approach to help them better understand where colleges are in their reform work and then more directly address specific areas for improvement. Using a new assessment tool, each college can evaluate their institutional performance according to seven essential capacities: Leadership and Vision, Data and Technology, Equity, Teaching and Learning, Engagement and Communication, Strategy and Planning, and Policies and Practices. The tool helps colleges identify their specific needs, allowing ATD to connect each school with solutions and coaches that will provide the right kind of help. 

With support from this grant, ATD has also designed a new strategic plan and offered its reform work on a larger scale. The organization’s increased capacity to deliver high quality coaching has enabled Ascendium to partner with ATD to provide historically underserved colleges with evidence-based support programs. We’re excited to follow ATD’s growth as they continue to help more community colleges promote student success.


Contact Senior Program Officer Sue Cui at scui@ascendiumeducation.org.