Achieving the Dream is a national effort focused on closing achievement gaps and accelerating student success nationwide through efforts on four fronts:

  1. Guiding Evidence-Based Institutional Change
  2. Influencing Public Policy
  3. Generating Knowledge
  4. Engaging the Public


These four fronts function as integrated levers that advance ground-level and system-level strategies to accomplish big-picture outcomes.

Seven Pennsylvania community colleges have been designated as Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges.

This initiative was developed to help more community college students succeed by increasing the number of students who earn degrees, certificates or transfer to other institutions. Its multifaceted approach includes efforts at participating community colleges, research on effective practices, public policy work and public outreach. At the core of the ATD initiative is the use of data to drive changes that will improve student outcomes.