Northwest State Community College is one of five colleges from five states across the country to strengthen their commitment to improving student success by becoming part of the Achieving the Dream (ATD) National Network. These colleges are joining ATD at a time when COVID-19 has caused unimaginable disruptions that can only be met with resilience, innovation, and a deepened commitment to student success and equity, a response seen across the nation by ATD’s Network of community colleges.
“Transformational change is difficult under normal circumstances, and it’s particularly pronounced during such a challenging time. We are encouraged by the commitment of these five institutions who have shown that student success is at the core of their work,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “We look forward to working with these colleges on building their capacity for change over the next three years, and we are excited to welcome them to the Network this summer.”
Teams from each of the five colleges will convene at a Virtual Kickoff Institute in July, which will set the stage for their work as ATD Network institutions. During Kickoff, college teams will meet virtually with their ATD coaches and begin to organize their student success work for the year, including preparing for campus-based Kickoff work in the fall.
Their Kickoff experience will include an introduction to ATD’s approach, a capacity-building framework and companion self-assessment Institutional Capacity Assessment Tool, that enables colleges to pinpoint their strengths and areas for improvement across seven institutional capacities that are needed to facilitate change. This framework integrates and aligns efforts that the colleges may have already begun to implement, such as guided pathways, integrated planning and advising, developmental education redesign, and assesses readiness for other large-scale change work.
NSCC President Dr. Michael Thomson added, “NSCC is proud to join the 277 community colleges in the Achieving the Dream movement. We share a common commitment to increase student success and completion. While we are very accessible, many Northwest Ohio learners face incredible barriers to reach our life-transforming educational environments. ATD will help us identify and close equity gaps that exist in all six counties in our service area.”
Also new to the 227 school network this year are Central Arizona College, Compton College in California, Milwaukee Area Techinical College, and Wake Technical Community College in North Carolina.
“ATD will help use a data-informed decisional method to identify and reduce gaps so that every one of our 77,000 families can access our services,” said Thomson. “In today’s interconnected world, high-performing organizations adapt proven best practices to the culture and history of the area they serve. We have a strong track record adapting best practice as evidenced by our recent work in custom training and RAPIDS.”