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Achieving the Dream selects 7 community colleges as cohort for rural-serving initiative

News & Updates
April 9, 2024

Achieving the Dream announced today that it has selected seven community colleges to participate in the second cohort of its Accelerating Equitable Outcomes initiative. Composed solely of rural community colleges, this year’s cohort will focus on transforming students’ experiences and outcomes at rural-serving institutions. 

As Accelerating Equitable Outcomes colleges, these institutions will join the ATD Network of more than 300 community colleges nationwide. They will actively engage in the cohort as a community of practice, sharing their strategies and learning as they seek to serve rural communities in innovative, evidence-based ways. 

“America’s rural communities are integral to our nation’s economic and fiscal well-being. Yet, they are frequently under-resourced and struggle to gain the attention of policymakers and investors,” said ATD President and CEO Dr. Karen A. Stout. “This next iteration of the Accelerating Equitable Outcomes cohort will bring these seven colleges together with ATD coaches and subject matter experts in a three-year engagement to focus on deepening their analyses of data to better understand their students’ needs, increasing institutional capacity, deploying dynamic student supports for both inside and outside the classroom, and developing an action plan to continue and sustain their student success work.” 

According to Stout, the work of the rural-serving cohort will advance themes around which ATD has already made substantial efforts through its Building Resiliency in Rural Communities for the Future of Work initiative, launched in 2021. The themes include advising reform, closing equity gaps using disaggregated data, and reimagining community partnerships. 

The colleges chosen to be part of the 2024 Accelerating Equitable Outcomes cohort are as follows: 

  • Arkansas State University-Newport, Arkansas
  • Chippewa Valley Technical College, Wisconsin 
  • Coconino Community College, Arizona 
  • Eastern Shore Community College, Virginia 
  • Isothermal Community College, North Carolina
  • Riverland Community College, Minnesota 
  • Wor-Wic Community College, Maryland 

Cohort colleges will join other colleges new to ATD at the ATD Kickoff Institute, an annual event to welcome incoming Network colleges, which will be held this year from June 12 to 14 in New Orleans. The Kickoff will set the stage for the colleges’ partnerships with ATD and introduce them to the organization’s Institutional Capacity Framework, a comprehensive assessment built on essential capacities that help colleges develop a student-centered culture and enhance student success. 

The Accelerating Equitable Outcomes initiative is funded in part by ATD using the donation it received from MacKenzie Scott in 2021. Last year’s cohort aims to implement comprehensive strategies to help more students, especially Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and students of color and from economically marginalized backgrounds, earn postsecondary credentials to achieve upward economic and social mobility.

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