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Harford Community College announced today it has joined Achieving the Dream (ATD), a network of more than 220 colleges in 39 states dedicated to improving student success. As an institution within the network, Harford Community College will implement cutting edge reforms, work with ATD coaches to build institutional capacity, and connect with peers to foster learning and share information.

“Harford Community College’s membership in the Achieving the Dream (ATD) network is integral to our future as an institution that can respond to the needs of all our students and support their success as 21st-century learners and leaders. As we look to becoming this ‘college of the future,’ ATD will allow us to systematically reflect on our current practices by providing a common lens to use across campus no matter the discipline or functional area. Engaging in this self-reflection around the seven Institutional Capacities will provide us guided opportunities to identify, celebrate and scale our successful programming while also uncovering areas where we can optimize the work that we do for the benefit of our students,” stated College President Dr. Dianna G. Phillips.

“The strength of local and regional economies, our ability to rebuild the middle class, and the possibility that a new generation will achieve their goals depends on community colleges,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “Colleges that join the ATD network show an exceptional commitment to becoming the kind of institution that will lead the nation into the future.”

ATD offers capacity-building framework and companion self-assessment that allow colleges to pinpoint strengths and areas for improvement across seven institutional capacities in areas such as leadership and vision, teaching and learning, and data and technology. With the capacity framework as a guide, ATD’s approach integrates and aligns existing college success efforts and offers valuable support in preparing for accreditation, fostering conversation about goals, and making bold, holistic, institution-wide changes.

A team from Harford Community College and teams from the other colleges joining ATD this year will meet in June to plan the launch of their ATD work, which will initially focus on:

  • a deep dive into Harford Community College’s current success initiatives and future goals, aspirations, and strategic plans
  • engaging the campus community in meaningful institutional assessment with the ultimate goal of scaling and developing transformative student success programming.

ATD network colleges report data using metrics that answer critical questions about who attends college, who succeeds in and after college, and how college is financed. To advance goals of social mobility and equity, the metrics provide information on how low income and other underserved students fare. These metrics are categorized into performance metrics, efficiency metrics and equity metrics at points during the student experience from access through post-college outcomes.

As colleges in the new cohort progress, they may apply to participate in initiatives supported by philanthropic funding and managed by ATD. These initiatives help incubate new ideas that help refine practices based on evidence of what works and allow ATD to disseminate knowledge to the broader network and the field. New initiatives address the challenge of engaging adjunct faculty more deeply as key members of colleges’ workforces and implementing degree programs using only open educational resources (OER).

Achieving the Dream

Follow Achieving the Dream on Twitter @AchieveTheDream
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Achieving the Dream, Inc.
Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads a growing network of more than 200 community colleges committed to helping their students, particularly low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity. ATD is making progress closing academic achievement gaps and accelerating student success through a unique change process that builds each college’s institutional capacities in seven essential areas. ATD, along with more than 100 experienced coaches and advisors, works closely with network colleges in 39 states and the District of Columbia to reach more than 4 million community college students.

Harford Community College
Harford Community College is celebrating its 60th anniversary as the anchor institution for higher education in Harford County. Located on 352 acres near Bel Air, Maryland, the College offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs of study. As an open-access institution, Harford Community College promotes graduation, transfer, individual goal attainment, and career and workforce development. The College fosters lifelong learning, global awareness, and social and cultural enrichment. HCC’s top priority is the quality of education it provides to students.


Pictured at top and on homepage (L to R): Richard D. Norling, Chair, Harford Community College Board of Trustees; Dr. Richard P. Streett, III, At Large Representative, Harford Community College Board of Trustees; Dr. Karen Stout, President and CEO, Achieving the Dream; and Dr. Dianna G. Phillips, President, Harford Community College.

Dr. Karen A. Stout, President and CEO, Achieving the Dream (ATD), spoke to employees at Harford Community College on February 9. HCC recently announced that it had joined ATD, a network of more than 220 colleges in 39 states dedicated to improving student success. Dr. Stout was invited as one of the speakers to address the College community as part of the 2018 President’s Speaker Series: The Change Imperative.

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