Achieving the Dream President Appointed to NASPA Center for First-generation Student Success Advisory Board

SILVER SPRING, MD (January 30, 2018) - Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream, has been appointed to the Advisory Board of the Center for First-generation Student Success, a newly formed partnership of NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation. The focus of the Center is to increase the research, scholarship, and effective practice around first-generation student success and to increase both awareness and presence of evidence-based programs.

According to the announcement of the Center, early plans include a comprehensive landscape analysis to better understand the current state of first-generation student services and programming across institutions of differing types and establishment of an advisory board of institution leaders, scholars, and practitioners to shape the direction of the Center. Opportunities for scholarly and professional development related to first-generation student success through conferences, online learning, convenings, learning communities, and the NASPA Annual Conference will also be a priority for the Center.

“I am driven to serve on this Board to further support first-generation college student success, sharing what we are learning from ATD colleges about the systemic changes our colleges are adopting to support first generation student college success. Community colleges are the first entry point to higher education for a large percentage of first generation students,” said Dr. Stout.  “Supporting first gen student journeys into and through community colleges and into and through four-year colleges and universities, then into their first careers is important work for our country,” she said.

The Advisory Board is composed of invited leaders across institutions of higher education, professional associations, national student success programs, postsecondary research entities, and grant agencies. These leaders will engage in short-term visioning and planning for the Center and long-term planning and strategy to meet ever-changing industry, institutional, and first-generation student needs. Members of the Advisory Board will use their experience and expertise to share opportunities to broaden reach and raise the profile of the Center throughout the higher education community and will provide overviews of major trends and opportunities of which NASPA should be aware.


Achieving the Dream, Inc. is a national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. Evidence-based, student-centered, and built on the values of equity and excellence, Achieving the Dream is closing achievement gaps and accelerating student success nationwide by: 1) guiding evidence-based institutional improvement, 2) leading policy change, 3) generating knowledge, and 4) engaging the public. Conceived as an initiative in 2004 by Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations, today, Achieving the Dream is leading the most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. With over 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams - working throughout 35 states and the District of Columbia – the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network helps more than 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

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