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About Achieving the Dream

Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count (ATD) is a bold national effort to help more community college students succeed, with a special focus on students of color and low-income students.

Our approach uses ground-level strategies to accomplish big-picture outcomes. Achieving the Dream proceeds from the premise that success begets success - and every incremental milestone for every student can be positively affected by community college leaders and educators. We also work with state teams to create a policy environment that promotes innovation and moves more students to degrees and credentials. Community colleges can help deliver on the promise of the American dream - in fact, no educational enterprise is better positioned to do so.


Achieving the Dream: Five Principles

  • Committed Leadership
  • Use of Evidence to Improve Programs and Services
  • Broad Engagement
  • Systemic Institutional Improvement
  • Equity

Achieving the Dream: Five Steps

  • Commit to Improving Student Outcomes
  • Use Data to Prioritize Actions
  • Engage Stakeholders to Help Develop a Plan
  • Implement, Evaluate and Improve Strategies
  • Establish a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Achieving the Dream: Indicators of Success

  • Successfully complete remedial or developmental instruction to credit-bearing courses
  • Enroll in and successfully complete the initial college-level or gatekeeper courses in subjects such as math and English
  • Complete the courses they (students) take with a grade of “C” or better
  • Persistence from one term to the next
  • Attain a credential