Two people working on a project

Achieving the Dream to Enhance Coaching Services with $1 Million Great Lakes Grant

Network Colleges to Receive More Customized Support for Reform Efforts to Increase Student Success

—During the past 12 years, Achieving the Dream (ATD) has grown to become the nation's largest non-governmental community college reform network, serving more than 200 colleges in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Through coaching and strategic planning services, ATD helps its network colleges build capacity for institutional transformation and implement policies and practices that improve success for all students, especially low-income students and students of color.

With a three-year, $1 million grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, ATD is now prepared for the next generation of reform work. ATD will restructure its coaching model to integrate a new assessment tool, update its coach training and development, and actively seek feedback from colleges evaluating ATD’s services. With these enhancements, ATD will deliver more personalized consulting to help community colleges across the country apply even more impactful reforms so greater numbers of their students earn degrees and credentials.

"The Great Lakes grant will allow for a more strategic and customized deployment of our coaching services, to meet colleges where they are in their reform work," said Karen A. Stout, President and Chief Executive Officer of Achieving the Dream.

ATD guides organizational change based on a comprehensive institutional capacity framework. The latest applied research and more than a decade of experience have informed the evolution of this framework to include seven essential capacities that must be in place for colleges to create and sustain a culture of student success. The areas are: Leadership and Vision, Data and Technology, Equity, Teaching and Learning, Engagement and Communication, Strategy and Planning, and Policies and Practices.

ATD will use the Great Lakes funds to restructure its coach training and development curricula to align with the seven capacities. Leadership and data coaches will focus on each capacity with a customized approach that meets the particular needs of an individual community college. Coaches will help colleges set goals and measure progress, connect to rich resources and subject matter experts, develop priorities and action plans, and leverage and analyze institutional data. ATD also will develop an evaluation process to solicit direct feedback from the colleges on the effectiveness of its new coaching model.

"Great Lakes and Achieving the Dream share a commitment to improving community college retention and completion rates, particularly for traditionally underserved students," said Richard D. George, Great Lakes' President and Chief Executive Officer. "We're pleased to support the evolution of ATD coaching to better serve colleges nationwide that are seeking to close achievement gaps and increase degree attainment."

News Releases

Great Lakes Funding Development of Online Support Community for College Freshman Women

Great Lakes Shares Lessons Learned from Summer Melt Texting Initiative

Great Lakes Awards $525,000 in Anniversary Grants in Nine Communities Where Employees Live and Work

Completion Grants Remove an Obstacle for At-Risk Students Nearing Graduation

New Initiative Connects Remediation Reforms and Guided Pathways to Boost Student Success

Great Lakes Awards $1,000 Scholarships to 200 Ohio Apprentices with Financial Need

Great Lakes Awards $7.2 Million to Launch Emergency Grant Programs at Four-Year Colleges

Great Lakes Sparking Change in Scholarship Delivery

Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program to Transfer Portfolio to Great Lakes

Statement from Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates Regarding Student Loan Collection Fee Policies

200 Wisconsin Apprentices with Financial Need Awarded $1,000 Scholarships from Great Lakes

Great Lakes Releases 2016 Philanthropy Report Highlighting $21.9 Million in Grants Awarded

Great Lakes Invites Four-Year Colleges to Apply for Successful Emergency Grant Program

USA Funds Transfers Ownership of Nation's Largest Guarantor to Great Lakes

Great Lakes Commits $2.1 Million to Help 16 Community Colleges Create Internship Programs for Low-Income Students

Great Lakes Commits $2.6 Million to Keep At-Risk Near-Completers on Track to Graduation

Blackhawk Technical College Students Borrow $700,000 Less, Regain Financial Aid Eligibility

Achieving the Dream to Enhance Coaching Services with $1 Million Great Lakes Grant

Great Lakes National Scholarship Awards Over $2 Million to Support College Access

Great Lakes Awards $1.5 Million to CCRC to Support Guided Pathways Reform in Ohio

Successful 'New Mathways Project' Expands into Arkansas to Increase Math Achievement

Great Lakes Career Ready Internship Grant Opportunity Now Open to
Two-Year Colleges


Study on Student-Faculty Interactions Finds Multi-Channel Communication is Key

Great Lakes Shares Lessons Learned from 2014-2015 Career Ready Internship Grant Partners

New Great Lakes Grant Opportunity Invites Applicants to Address Barriers Preventing Near-Completers from Earning Degrees

Student Loans of North Dakota to Transfer Portfolio to Great Lakes

Great Lakes Releases 2015 Philanthropy Report Detailing $28.5 Million in Commitments

200 Wisconsin Construction and Industrial Trade Apprentices Receive $1,000 Scholarships

Great Lakes Shares Best Practices from Three-Year Emergency Grant Program

Application Period for Great Lakes National Scholarship Begins February 15

Great Lakes Funds New Emergency Grants Shown to Boost Community and Technical College Completion

University of Pittsburgh Streamlines Private Student Loan Processing, Improves Student Service

Great Lakes' Free Tool Adds Early Engagement Outreach Campaigns for Schools

Great Lakes' Commitment to Producing More Undergraduate STEM Degrees Now Reaches $10.7 Million

Great Lakes Launches Updated Education Philanthropy Website

Great Lakes Commits Record $12 Million to Fund 7,000 New Paid Internships for College Students with Financial Need

Great Lakes CEO Accepts White House Invitation to Join the College Promise Campaign Advisory Board

200 Wisconsin Apprentices Will Earn $1,000 Scholarships to Purchase Tools for Their Trades

400 MPS Grads Eligible for $5 Million in College Scholarships from The Degree Project®

Great Lakes Introduces Newly Expanded Program to Increase Community College Graduation

Great Lakes Shares Results of Applicant and Grantee Perception Survey

100 Schools Using Great Lakes' Free Outreach Tool to Help Students by Connecting Them with Their Servicer

Great Lakes Commits $28.6 Million During 2014 to Promote College Access and Completion

Great Lakes Expands Grants for Colleges Committed to Making Internships More Equitable

Great Lakes Commits $4.2 Million to Prepare More Students for College Math & English

Great Lakes' Free Tool Helps Schools Improve Repayment Success for All Their Student Loan Borrowers