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In a move aimed to strengthen the pipeline of students from K-12 to and through college, Gateway to College National Network became part of Achieving the Dream in April 2019.
. The core Gateway to College program helps off-track and out-of-school youth find pathways to a high school diploma and a meaningful college credential. More than 34 colleges, including 12 ATD Network colleges, have Gateway to College programs in partnership with 200 school districts around the nation. Achieving the Dream will look to expand the Gateway to College program nationally, including to more of the 277 colleges across the ATD network.
“Our vision is to take these programs to scale to serve tens of thousands more students and continue to transform the work and success metrics of ATD from not just whole college transformation but whole community transformation,” Dr. Stout said.
By joining organizations, ATD is able to bridge secondary and postsecondary education and will help institutions and their communities establish a continuum of services that better position low-income youth and young adults to earn needed credentials and degrees to succeed in the workforce. With our expanded in-house capacity, ATD will be able to help colleges design more strategically focused K-12 pipeline partnerships, dual enrollment programs, and innovations in customized delivery of holistic services.
“Gateway to College enables us to help colleges create a robust pipeline from K-12 through community college and into a four-year degree program that students successfully complete”. “This work will especially ease the transition for historically disadvantaged groups, leading to more equitable outcomes in the long run. By joining our organizations, we are able to advance new approaches and build innovative personalized supports to help a larger portion of our population to achieve their educational goals and dreams.”
The merger also gave ATD a significant west coast presence and a second office, located in Portland, OR.
Developing a Culture of Teaching and Learning Excellence Based on our 15 years of experience working with community colleges on student-centered and equity-based systems design, we created a new offering that helps colleges develop a culture of teaching and learning excellence by engaging full-time and adjunct faculty in leadership and professional learning roles that advance pedagogy; implementing inclusive, evidence-based, high-impact, culturally responsive practices; and providing opportunities for action research, reflection, and renewal. ATD’s new Teaching and Learning Capacity Building Services helps colleges organize and go beyond narrow programmatic reforms to transforming teaching and learning in every classroom.
Southwest Tennessee Community College enrolls many students who require academic and other supports to complete credentials that lead to good jobs and economic mobility. Like many community colleges, Southwest identified significant achievement gaps among its students. The college bolstered its work to close the gaps by joining the Achieving the Dream Network in 2016 and has systematically redesigned academic and student programs to support students more equitably from the time they decide to attend college until they complete a degree or credential. Now, just three years after beginning to institute significant changes at the college, Southwest has been awarded a $2.1 million grant from the federal Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) to institute IDEAS, Inclusive Design for Equity in Academic Success. .
Four million student parents attend college each year, and one in four community college students are parents. Of the student parents attending college, 70 percent are women. ATD’s Community College Women Succeed initiative helps adult women learners, including parents, who are attending community college succeed and complete certificates and degrees on time. Dr. Jill Biden, lifelong community college educator, supported Achieving the Dream in the announcement of the initiative. Learn more about the initiative and updates.
At the Achieving the Dream 2019 national convening, ATD and a network of 11 other higher education and digital learning groups announced a new national effort to address a root cause of college dropouts – high failure rates in foundational courses – through the provision of scalable, high-quality support to colleges and universities seeking to implement adaptive courseware for foundational courses on their campuses. Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and with oversight and coordination by national educational technology organization WICHE, Every Learner Everywhere aims to increase the number of institutions taking advantage of adaptive learning in order to improve course outcomes and boost retention and graduation levels while eliminating the equity gap for low-income students, students of color, and first-generation students.
Jenae Parker, a 2018 ATD DREAM Scholar, was given the rare opportunity to share on a national stage her experience and her struggles as a college student. On March 13, 2019, she spoke to the House Committee on Education and Labor about her struggles as a lower-income, black, single parent student while pursuing her dream of a college education. Jenae’s testimony focused on her struggles in finding child-care, housing and food insecurity, mental health care, and being a working student. She told the Committee the story of her journey.
Seventeen colleges from eight states strengthened their commitment to improving student success by becoming part of the 2019 cohort of new ATD Network colleges. The 2019 cohort included eight community colleges from Connecticut, bringing all 12 institutions from the state into the ATD Network. The 2019 cohort joins 20 colleges from the 2018 cohort, and marks consecutive years when entire state systems have supported their community colleges in joining Achieving the Dream.