Equity is at the center of what we do.
With the nationwide call for racial justice, colleges now — more than ever — are taking action. Community Colleges realize they must examine and redesign structures, processes, and attitudes that fuel inequities in order to create spaces where every student can thrive.
Achieving the Dream’s equity services offer community college leaders the insights, foundational skills, and transformational strategies necessary to improve equity at their institution. We work with college leaders, faculty, and staff to drive more equitable outcomes, with a focus on improving student success and completion rates of historically underserved populations.
Achieving the Dream’s Equity Toolkit brings together lessons from research and Achieving the Dream’s two decades of experience working with community colleges to create more equitable institutions and help more students complete college and find careers that pay family-sustaining wages. The toolkit provides comprehensive research, tools, and resources to help college teams design and operationalize equity-centered approaches to all aspects of the college’s work as well as provides lessons learned from ATD Network colleges that have successfully increased student outcomes and eliminated equity gaps.
Achieving the Dream works with over 300 Network colleges across the country, helping them to identify and address equity issues on their campuses. Our staff, coaches, and subject matter experts act as partners to design and deliver solution-oriented consulting and coaching services customized to the context and needs of each institution.
This in-depth assessment performed by ATD equity coaches identifies structural, process, policy, and attitudinal changes needed to facilitate the growth and development of a college’s culture to better support the educational and personal needs of students, faculty, and staff in an equitable manner. Coaches focus on identifying challenges and opportunities at the college, engaging leadership around the conditions necessary for impactful campus climate and equity-focused strategic actions, examining the core conditions necessary for addressing equity in teaching and learning and student support, and identifying the foundation for building momentum for sustainable efforts. The service includes a foundational presentation on building an equitable campus climate, focus groups with college stakeholders (including faculty, student services professionals, front-line administrative professionals, college administrators, business office and support professionals, and students), a review of college data on student outcomes, a strategic working session with college leadership, and a presentation and report on findings and both short-term and long-term recommendations for closing equity gaps.
As the result of the assessment, participants will:
- Develop a clearer understanding of equity, including the application of equity to college policy and practice and how this approach should align with existing student success strategies and priorities
- Increase awareness of who their college’s students are and the ways in which they may experience inequity throughout the college journey
- Become more knowledgeable of research-based best practices around equity in higher education
- Grow more cognizant of campus culture and recognize the positive impact of inclusivity and acceptance.
- More fully understand their college’s strengths and limitations with equity
- Be empowered to act on specific short-term and long-term recommendations for closing equity gaps among minoritized, marginalized, and otherwise underserved segments of the student population, including racially minoritized, low-income, and part-time students and student-caretakers
ATD coaches specializing in equity perform a critical review of a given set of institutional policies (and their resulting institutional practices) to discover any systematic barriers, discriminatory practices, or limitations to accessibility that the policies may encourage or perpetuate. Coaches then give participants the tools to interrogate their other policies — current and future — to uncover inequities and disparities in who the policies serve or do not serve and how they may contribute to inequities that harm historically marginalized populations within the college’s community. To conclude the service, the coaches conduct a virtual one-hour debrief with the college or selected individuals.
Through their participation in the Equity Policy Inventory, participants will be empowered to:
- Center equity in policy formation and evaluation
- Assess a policy’s purpose and inclusiveness
- Uncover a policy’s assumptions
- Disrupt barriers to equitable access to student success that are reinforced or codified in policy
- Invite reflection on the ways policy can advance equity
This customizable workshop led by ATD expert coaches, provides colleges an opportunity to dig deeper into an equity issue that they have previously explored through their work with ATD or to receive coaching on another equity-related issue that is of particular interest. Depending on a college’s needs, this service can be designed to support a college’s DEI officers and leaders, an equity and diversity committee/council, or an entire college leadership team (president’s cabinet). The workshops can be taken individually or as a series. Possible topics include equity-minded leadership practices, foundational understanding of equity, key components of effective DEI practices, equity-focused strategic planning, equity case making, facilitating racial equity conversations on campus, identifying inequities in policy and practice, and using data to make equity-focused decisions.
The Equity Professional Development Mini-Workshop will enable participants to:
- Gain knowledge through a highly customized coaching experience about an equity-related topic that is relevant to their college
- Receive step-by-step guidance on creating an action plan to turn new knowledge into practice
- Utilize monthly coach check-ins to sustain momentum, receive ongoing support, and ensure that progress toward the goal is on track
"We are making marked changes toward creating a college-wide equity mindset thanks to our work with ATD’s expert equity coaches."
Teresa Leyba Ruiz, Ed.D., President, Glendale Community College
Equity coaches and consultants
ATD’s team of expert coaches and consultants have multiple years of experience working with higher education leaders, administrators, faculty, and staff to advance equity, access, and inclusion at their institutions.Meet the Team Contact Us