ATD FAQs | MVCC | Mohawk Valley Community College
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What is Achieving the Dream?

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.


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What is the ultimate goal of ATD?

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.

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What is it based on?

ATD Colleges Operate on 7 Institutional Capacities:

  1. Leadership & Vision
  2. Data & Technology
  3. Equity
  4. Teaching and Learning
  5. Engagement & Communication
  6. Strategy & Planning
  7. Policies & Practices
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What's the timeline for ATD implementation?

2015-16 is MVCC's first implementation year. The complete plan for activities this year is spelled out in the implementation plan.

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How does ATD fit with the College's Strategic Plan?

The number one priority in MVCC's Strategic Plan as adopted by the Board of Trustees is student completion. Strategic Plan metrics are being developed in alignment with the ATD implementation plan to ensure that data drives decisions and efforts are not duplicated.

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How does ATD fit with Middle States accreditation?

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.

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How do all the committees fit together?

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. 

For a look at how the teams fit together.

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What do ATD coaches do?

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.


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What are all these ATD acronyms?

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.

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What is a gateway course? How were they selected?

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.

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How is ATD funded?

MVCC's participation in ATD is supported by a special appropriation from Oneida County, which is separate from MVCC's operating budget.


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I have a suggestion or I want to help. How do I get involved?

Contact the Core Team Tri-Chairs:

Jill Heintz

Maria Ramos

Stephanie Reynolds

Please be sure to include your contact information.

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