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Proud To Dream Stories

You unapologetically celebrate your students. This week, we celebrate you. By being part of the ATD Network, you’re creating life-changing opportunities for students in your communities and across the nation. Whether your transformation journey started one month or one decade ago, equitable student success is possible because of the hard-won victories you work toward every day.

So look around to see the dreams your fellow ATD Network colleges are chasing. Then, share what you’ve achieved and the transformation you believe in for your community’s future.

We can’t wait to hear from you.

Tell Your Story, Share Your Pride

We want to know how your institution is working to eliminate systemic barriers, address student needs, and increase social justice and equity. No matter where you are in your journey, we applaud your commitment to college and community transformation!

Respond to one or both of the following prompts in writing:

  1. What dream are you proud of accomplishing with the ATD Network?
  2. With ATD Network support, what dream will you dare to tackle?

Take a look at these examples:

  1. At [College], we dreamed of reaching adult learners who left their programs, re-enrolling them, and sustaining them through completion. Supported by the PACCE Initiative, we launched a targeted campaign in 2021 with the goal of awarding post-secondary credentials to 50% of adult learners over 25 years old. We’ve worked with our ATD coach to identify 2500 leads and reach 70% of them! We’ve seen significantly increased interest in re-enrollment in our community.
  2. Right now, we’re working with our ATD coach on expanding our campaign to adult learners who have never enrolled in a class at our institution, creating financial incentives for enrollment, and developing non-academic supports like transportation and childcare access to improve retention.

  1. We’ve dreamed of developing pathways and programs that meet our learners’ specific needs, but reviewing the data has been arduous and slow. Our ATD coach helped our team join the Postsecondary Data Partnership, and it’s been a game changer for the students at [College]! We’re getting a clear picture of our learners and their needs. We can quickly dig into current and historical data and how that information compares to other institutions in our state and around the country.
  2. One of the insights we’ve gained relates to retention rates in our student groups, disaggregated by race, age, and gender. We’re excited to work with our ATD coach to strategize data-informed solutions that provide learner-centered supports.

  1. [College] is central to our rural community’s social and economic health, but we’re often left out of crucial decisions. We dreamed of building up and uniting our staff, faculty, community, and stakeholders to change that pattern. Working with the ATD Network through its Rural Resiliency initiative has helped us break down silos, improve morale, and shift our collective mindset – from our leadership to our student body – toward practicing and safeguarding equity in and out of the classroom.
  2. We’re eager to take what we’ve learned from the ATD Network and share it with other rural institutions in our state and around the country. That’s why we’re attending DREAM for the first time – so we can exchange inspiration and wisdom with our peers!

The above examples are illustrative only – we’re curious and excited about any accomplishment you’ve achieved or are working toward with the ATD Network.

Type or upload your Proud to Dream story here. Story submission guidelines:

  • Length: 200-word maximum
  • Format: Word Doc
Accepted file types: doc, docx, Max. file size: 50 MB.
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Find Inspiration From These Daring Institutions.

“At Tunxis Community College, we dreamed of closing the equity gaps in student success and retention through building community and enhancing existing institutional efforts to better serve our Black and Latino/a/x, first-generation, and other underrepresented student groups. Supported by our Achieving the Dream coaches, we launched a mentoring program in 2022, called SOARing Together: Mentoring Network. We are in year one of the program and already over 45 student mentees and 25 faculty/staff mentors are registered. We are well-positioned to create significant change in our institution’s equity goals and excited to see the impact the Mentoring Network will have on our students who need us the most!”

Tunxis Community College

“We’ve dreamed of creating professional learning opportunities for faculty centered around a core of culturally responsive pedagogy. Florida State College at Jacksonville’s participation in Achieving the Dream’s Building Capacity for Change Seminar was the catalyst that helped us strategically design active learning and culturally responsive pedagogical professional learning opportunities to support the advancement of student learning and success through an equity lens. The result is our Culturally Responsive Pedagogy Certificate, with five embedded micro-credentials awarded as faculty complete training in each of the five areas that comprise the certificate.”

Florida State College at Jacksonville

“At Louisiana State University at Eunice, we dreamed of increasing the number of non-traditional students (defined as age 21 and older) enrolling as new, returning, and transfer students. We set an ambitious goal to increase our non-traditional student enrollment by 10% from our 5-year baseline average. With the support of Achieving the Dream and SWIM Digital Group, we redesigned our communications strategies and focused on improving & streamlining the advising and registration process. At census date this fall semester, we saw a 22% increase in our non-traditional student enrollment, far exceeding our goal.

Louisiana State University at Eunice

“At Jackson College, we dreamed of propelling underserved students to success in their first year and beyond. Our Achieving the Dream work helps us disaggregate our data to identify our equity gaps and students in the greatest need of support. Through our Ready, Set, Jet! (RSJ) summer bridge program, students have an opportunity to jumpstart their college careers in the summer before their first fall semester. These students come from underserved communities who have not had strong success in high school. Through RSJ we are breaking down barriers and changing the narrative that students from these academic backgrounds CAN be successful in college, and they will be. Our Summer 2022 RSJ students can boast a 3.3 average GPA and 100% retention rate to Fall 2022!”

Jackson College (Leader College)

Other Ways to Engage

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Enter to Win

Submit a short form anytime before 5pm ET on 9/29 to enter our giveaway for a FREE registration to DREAM 2023.

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Hash It Out

Use #ATDNetworkWeek on social media to be a part of the conversation.

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Check Your Inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter in the footer below to learn more about the transformative work ATD Network participants are doing.

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Style Your Social

Download our social media toolkit to show your pride and celebrate ATD Network participation with us.

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Take Your Seat

Register for an illuminating webinar featuring ATD Network participants transforming their colleges and communities.

Registration to this webinar automatically enters you into the DREAM giveaway!

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