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Leah Meyer Austin Award

The highest distinction a college in the ATD Network can earn, the LMA Award is given annually to a college that demonstrates outstanding long-term gains in student success and institutional equity.


to Sinclair Community College, winner of the 2022 Leah Meyer Austin Award!

Learn about Sinclair's story


The Leah Meyer Austin award is the highest distinction a college in the Achieving the Dream (ATD) Network can earn. ATD bestows this award annually to a college that employs a holistic approach to reducing equity gaps between student groups and increasing success for all. The award recognizes institutional strength, aligned policies and procedures, a student-focused culture, and notable increases in student outcomes.


Colleges eligible to apply for the award are Leader Colleges in good standing, participants in the ATD Network for at least three years, and have not won the Leah Meyer Austin Award in the last five years. In addition, eligible colleges have met one or more of the following data criteria by showing:

  • Four-year improvement in the IPEDS three-year graduation rate of at least three percentage points (first-time full-time students)
  • Four-year improvement in the National Student Clearinghouse three-year graduation rate of at least three percentage points (first time ever in college, degree seeking, both full-time and part-time)
  • Six-year transfer-out bachelor’s degree completion rate at or above the national level
  • Selection as one of the top 150 colleges in the competition for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence

Past Leah Meyer Austin Award winners:

  • 2022 — Tallahassee Community College
  • 2021 — Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
  • 2020 — Alamo Colleges District and Lorain County Community College
  • 2018 — Odessa College and Texarkana College
  • 2019 — Amarillo College and Columbus State Community College
  • 2017 — Miami Dade College and Pierce College District
  • 2016 — William Rainey Harper College
  • 2015 — Patrick & Henry Community College and The Community College of Baltimore County
  • 2014 — Bunker Hill Community College and Montgomery County Community College
  • 2013 — South Texas College
  • 2012 — Zane State College
  • 2011 — El Paso Community College
  • 2010 — Guilford Technical Community College
  • 2009 — Valencia Community College
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