Achieving The Dream: Community Colleges Count (ATD) is a national nonprofit organization that helps more community college students succeed, particularly students of color and low-income students. The organization works on multiple fronts ” including efforts on campuses and in research, public engagement and public policy ” and emphasizes the use of data to drive change. Launched as an initiative in 2004 with funding provided by Lumina Foundation for Education, Achieving the Dream is built on the belief that broad institutional change, informed by student achievement data, is critical to significantly improving student success rates. Today, Achieving the Dream's network includes 130 institutions in 24 states and the District of Columbia, serving more than 1.6 million students.
About half the undergraduate students in the U.S. attend community colleges. Historically, less than half of community college students complete a degree or transfer to a four-year institution. Even more disturbing, statistics show that only 26% of African-American and 18% of Hispanic students earn degrees.
ATD strives to use available data to help community colleges analyze achievement gaps and then develop strategies that will help more students reach their goals of completing a degree or occupational certificate program, or successfully transfer to a 4-year program.
Mott Community College joined ATD in 2010. College representatives including Amy Fugate, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Scott Jenkins, Vice President of Student and Administraive Services, Steve Robinson, Executive Dean of Planning, Research & Quality Initiatives and Faculty Members Bill Reich and Parmis Johnson attended an Achieving the Dream Kickoff in Austin, Texas in June, 2010. Since that time MCCs Core and Data Teams have worked with ATD coaches to develop and define Mott's Achieving the Dream program strategy.
The Data Team has spent a great deal of time analyzing both historic and real-time data gaining insight into the achievement gaps experienced by Mott students.