Community Engagement

Building a common understanding of barriers to student success and a forged commitment to a shared agenda.

When community colleges succeed, so do the communities they serve and support.

The best colleges respond to the immediate and emerging needs of their community through actions that reflect a deep understanding of those whom they serve. Presidents, administrators, and faculty embrace cultural and ethnic diversity, creating a welcoming environment for students. Students and their families populate and enliven neighborhoods and businesses, working and living more harmoniously. Local government and residents galvanize champions around education reform that drives student success.

As the community collectively builds a common understanding of and passion for student success, their engagement shifts. The passive observer becomes an active participant, advocating the vision of the college and forging a commitment to a shared community-wide agenda. Local economies are strengthened, civic life is improved, and community colleges become recognized leaders of strategic neighborhood and regional partnerships.

Achieving the Dream’s Network advocates for community engagement by mobilizing the nation’s most comprehensive network of community college reformers dedicated to sustainable student success and improved student outcomes. Our team includes leaders from higher education, philanthropy, government, business, and academia, as well as community college faculty, staff, students, and local community members. Through the collective wisdom of partners like Public Agenda—a leader in public opinion and civic engagement for over 30 years—we also provide comprehensive assessment tools and planning guides that drive robust campus and community conversations.

Across a spectrum of strategic partnerships and initiatives, Achieving the Dream is helping create more ways for more individuals to play a deeper role in the continuum of educational opportunities that make a difference in the lives of community college students nationwide.

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