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Overview & Goals

Achieving the Dream is a non-governmentally funded multi-year national initiative to help more community college students succeed- particularly those students who traditionally face the most significant barriers to success including students of color and low-income.

Achieving the Dream helps community colleges develop and implement a student-centered model of institutional improvement. The initiative provides a frame-work for systematically and objectively reviewing college policies, programs and services with regard to their impact on student success.

Visit the Achieving the Dream National Site

Achieving the Dream aims to bring about change within community colleges and in state and federal policy. The initiative also seeks to augment knowledge about strategies that increase student success and to expand public support for raising postsecondary attainment levels.

At its core, the initiative seeks to help more students reach their individual goals, which may include earning a community college certificate or degree, attaining a bachelor's degree, and/or obtaining a better job. Achieving the Dream colleges will maintain a high degree of access for historically underrepresented groups while working to increase the percentage of students who accomplish the following:
   • Successfully complete the courses they take
   • Advance from remedial to credit-bearing courses
   • Enroll in and successfully complete gatekeeper courses;
   • Enroll from one semester to the next;
   • Earn degrees and/or certificates.

Click HERE for helpful student success resources.

After four to eight years, a substantially higher percentage of students at Achieving the Dream colleges—especially low-income students and students of color—will experience success, as measured by the list above, with no reduction in enrollment for these populations. Longer term, Achieving the Dream aims to influence national policy and practice in order to increase student success at colleges that do not have the opportunity to participate directly in the initiative.

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