How to Join the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network

For over 12 years, Achieving the Dream (ATD) colleges have led the national student success reform conversation, focusing the field on improving pathways through developmental education, building a culture of evidence throughout the campus, designing all interventions with equity and scale in mind from the beginning, and engaging all internal and external stakeholders in this work. Together, we are pushing the conversation forward towards developing an integrated, student-focused strategy to increase completion of high quality degrees and certificates.

Achieving the Dream serves as a catalyst helping community colleges bolster student success. We guide institutions committed to improving student outcomes through an institutional change process designed to enable all students to achieve their educational and career dreams.  Learn more about how we do this by downloading this information packet.

Join us at the forefront of the student success reform movement and leverage our services to build your institution’s capacity to serve your students.  Applications are now open to join the 2017 Cohort. Learn more about the application process, timeline and eligibility below.

Learn about the 2016 Cohort.

applications for the 2017 cohort are now open Apply Today! (Application available below)




Each year, Achieving the Dream invites colleges interested in integrating their students success efforts into one cohesive strategy and build capacity to serve their students to join the Network and begin or intensify their student success reform efforts. Institutions interested in joining the Achieving the Dream Network for the 2017 Cohort should download and review the Achieving the Dream information packet and application guidelines.

Download the 2017 Cohort Application below.

To learn more about how Achieving the Dream can help your institution achieve its student success goals, contact Ashley McDonald at



October 10, 2016 – Application period opens.  

December 9, 2016 – Early Bird deadline (early applicants receive two complimentary registrations to DREAM 2017)

February 21 – 23, 2017 – DREAM 2017 – institutions interested in joining the Achieving the Dream Network are strongly encouraged to attend DREAM to learn more about the Network first-hand from our colleges and coaches

April 30, 2017 – Final application deadline to join the 2017 cohort


Application Instructions

Watch this video to learn more about the application process, including guidance on what ATD is looking for and how you can submit the application.



Who Can Apply?

All accredited, degree-granting technical and two-year institutions in the United States are eligible to apply. For a list of participating institutions, please visit

State systems or groups of colleges interested in joining the Achieving the Dream Network as a consortium should contact us to learn more about how we can create a customized service package to suit your needs. 


Ways to Learn About Achieving the Dream

1.    Download the Achieving the Dream information packet to learn more about the lessons our Network has learned over the last 12 years and how that has informed the development of our new Institutional Capacity Framework and service options. Review this information packet to learn more about:
a.    The Institutional Capacity Framework that informs how we work with our colleges
b.    Services available to Network colleges
c.    The standard Achieving the Dream service package 
d.    The accomplishments of the Achieving the Dream Network in 2015-2016

2.    Review the webinar recordings to hear ATD’s President & CEO, Dr. Karen A. Stout, talk about what we have learned over the last 12 years of leading the student success reform movement and how this has informed our new Institutional Capacity Framework and the services we provide to our colleges. Click here to view the Institutional Capacity Framework webinar (*Note: this webinar experienced a technical issue for the first minute where video displays a black screen. Slides become visible after that.)  

3.    Contact ATD Leader Colleges: We encourage the presidents of applicant institutions to consult with ATD Leader Colleges to learn about their experiences with Achieving the Dream. Please contact  Ashley McDonald at for the Leader College Contact List to identify a college you would like to speak to.  Our Leader Colleges are happy to assist you! 

Still have questions?

Contact Ashley McDonald, Assistant Director of Recruitment and Retention at or by calling (240) 450–3849 .

2016 Cohort of Colleges

Twelve community colleges from eight states comprise the 2016 cohort of new Achieving the Dream Network colleges. Members of each institution’s leadership team convened in Phoenix in mid June to start their work as a member of the national network of colleges working together to improve student success across the country. As members of the Achieving the Dream Network, these colleges will work with individual Leadership and Data Coaches and will receive guidance and support from the ATD team to help them strengthen and build their capacity to ensure that more students complete postsecondary education and have greater opportunity for economic success. 


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