Achieving the Dream is a national network of more than 200 community colleges nationwide dedicated to improving student success. MVCC is the first SUNY community college to be invited to the network.
MVCC's goal as an ATD school is to use data to identify and implement evidence-based strategies for closing achievement gaps and increasing student retention, persistence, and completion rates.
ATD Colleges Operate on 7 Institutional Capacities:
- Leadership & Vision
- Data & Technology
- Teaching and Learning
- Engagement & Communication
- Strategy & Planning
- Policies & Practices
2015-16 is MVCC's first implementation year. The complete plan for activities this year is spelled out in the implementation plan.
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education requires colleges seeking accreditation to hold themselves to seven standards. ATD directly aligns with Standard III, Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience; Standard IV, Support of the Student Experience; Standard V, Educational Effectiveness Assessment; and Standard VI, Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement.
At the center of ATD is a Core Team which facilitates communication and strategic direction of all the other ATD groups, including the Data Team, implementation teams, and teams responsible for reviewing policies and procedures.
ATD provides MVCC with two coaches:
- A leadership coach who advises the Core Team and senior leadership on how to develop and implement our overall ATD plan; and
- A data coach who advises the Core Team and Data Team on how to develop, distribute, and understand the meaningful data that drives decisions about student success.
Both of MVCC's coaches have successfully led ATD implementations at their institutions and have prior experience as coaches to other ATD colleges.
Achieving the Dream uses a variety of acronyms as does MVCC. Their meanings (and how they will play into MVCC's activities) are spelled out in the College's implementation plan.
Gateway courses are significant determinants of student success because they have large enrollments and student success in these courses is required for students to move ahead in their chosen curricula.
Working with Institutional Research, the Data Team identified a list of gateway courses with large enrollments and large gaps in achievement between non-low-income and low-income students. The Core Team, Data Team, and deans reviewed this data and selected the courses listed in the ATD Implementation Plan for first-year efforts at intervention.
MVCC's participation in ATD is supported by a special appropriation from Oneida County, which is separate from MVCC's operating budget.