ICC selected for Achieving the Dream’s rural-serving cohort

Published 11:24 am Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Isothermal Community College has been selected by Achieving the Dream (ATD), a national, leading higher education reform network of more than 300 community colleges across the country, to be part of its second Accelerating Equitable Outcomes initiative.

As one of seven Accelerating Equitable Outcomes colleges in this cohort, Isothermal will join the ATD Network of more than 300 community colleges nationwide. College leaders will actively engage in the cohort as a community of practice, sharing their strategies and learning as they seek to serve rural communities in innovative, evidence-based ways.

The other colleges selected for the initiative are Arkansas State University, Chippewa Valley Technical College, Coconino Community College, Eastern Shore Community College, Riverland Community College and Wor-Wic Community College.

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The cohort brings these colleges together with ATD coaches and subject matter experts in a three-year engagement to focus on deepening their analyses of data to better understand their students’ needs, increasing institutional capacity, deploying dynamic student support both inside and outside the classroom, and developing an action plan to continue and sustain their student success work.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this initiative that will help us build relevant strategies to better serve and reach everyone in our community,” said Dr. Margaret Annunziata, Isothermal’s president. “We, as a college, are well aware of the valuable opportunities we can provide to our residents. Our passion is to help every person in Polk County and Rutherford County attain whatever it takes from the training, skills, and learning standpoints to achieve their dreams.” 

Isothermal, along with fellow cohort colleges and eight other institutions new to the ATD Network, will convene for ATD’s Kickoff Institute, an annual event to welcome incoming Network colleges. This year, the Kickoff will be held from June 12 to 14 in New Orleans. The Kickoff will set the stage for the colleges’ partnerships with ATD and introduce them to the organization’s Institutional Capacity Framework, a comprehensive assessment built on essential capacities that help colleges develop a student-centered culture and enhance student success.

Achieving the Dream (ATD) is a partner and champion of more than 300 community colleges across the country. Drawing on expert coaches, groundbreaking programs, and a national peer network, the organization provides institutions with integrated, tailored support for every aspect of their work — from foundational capacities such as leadership, data, and equity to intentional strategies for supporting students holistically, building K–12 partnerships, and more. ATD calls this Whole College Transformation. Its vision is for every college to be a catalyst for equitable, antiracist, and economically vibrant communities. ATD knows that with the right partner and the right approach, colleges can drive access, completion rates, and employment outcomes — so that all students can access life-changing learning that propels them into community-changing careers.


Submitted by Mike Gavin