Pensacola State College has joined Achieving the Dream (ATD), a network of more than 220 colleges in 39 states dedicated to improving student success. As a network institution, Pensacola State will innovate to implement, align, and scale cutting-edge reforms, work with ATD coaches to build institutional capacity, and connect with peers to foster learning and share information.
“We at Pensacola State are excited to be a part of the Achieving the Dream Network, and we expect to accelerate our present momentum in student retention and completion,” said PSC President Edward Meadows. “The Northwest Florida region is heavily dependent upon our ability to successfully train our students to fill the workforce needs of business and industry, and our participation in Achieving the Dream will certainly help to increase our capacity to do so.”
Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream, added, “The strength of local and regional economies, our ability to rebuild the middle class, and the possibility that a new generation will achieve their goals depends on community colleges. Colleges that join the ATD Network show an exceptional commitment to becoming the kind of institution that will lead the nation into the future.”
ATD offers a capacity-building framework and companion self-assessment that allow colleges to pinpoint strengths and areas for improvement across seven institutional capacities in areas such as leadership and vision, teaching and learning, and data and technology. With the capacity framework as a guide, ATD’s approach integrates and aligns existing college success efforts and offers valuable support in preparing for accreditation, fostering conversation about goals, and making bold, holistic institution-wide changes because initiatives that don’t reach most of a college’s student body have not shown strong results.
A team from Pensacola State and teams from the other colleges now joining ATD met in April and June to prepare to launch their ATD work.
ATD Network colleges report data using metrics that answer critical questions about who attends college, who succeeds in and after college, and how college is financed. To advance goals of social mobility and equity, the metrics provide information on how low income and other underserved students fare. These metrics are categorized into performance metrics, efficiency metrics and equity metrics at points during the student experience from access through post-college outcomes.
As colleges in the new cohort progress, they may apply to participate in initiatives supported by philanthropic funding and managed by ATD. These initiatives help incubate new ideas that help colleges refine practices based on evidence of what works and allow ATD to disseminate knowledge to the broader network and the field. New initiatives address the challenge of engaging adjunct faculty more deeply as key members of colleges’ workforces and implementing degree programs using only open educational resources.
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About Achieving the Dream, Inc.
Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads a growing network of more than 220 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 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 more than 100 experienced coaches and advisors, works closely with Network colleges in 39 states and the District of Columbia to reach more than 4 million community college students.