Contra Costa College Chosen for Achieving the Dream Program

After a competitive selection process, Contra Costa College (CCC), one of three colleges in the Contra Costa Community College District, was chosen as one of 10 US colleges to participate in Achieving the Dream (ATD), a program that uses high-level coaching and other resources to help community colleges collect and analyze data, then use those findings to help students succeed.

CCC has additionally been invited to join the inaugural three-year Accelerating Equitable Outcomes for Black, Latinx, Indigenous and People of Color Cohort.

ATD will work as a partner with CCC as a champion, utilizing expert coaches, groundbreaking programs, and a national peer network, providing 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 work Whole College Transformation, and aspires to a vision that every college can be a catalyst for equitable, antiracist, and economically vibrant communities. For individual students, they hope to drive access, completion rates, and employment outcomes — so that all students can access life-changing learning that propels them into community-changing careers. 

CCC plans to leverage this partnership to bolster student support and resources in the following areas:

  • Onboarding: To develop strategies and design outreach, enrollment, and onboarding activities tailored to Black, Latine, Indigenous, and students of color.
  • Transfer: To create and adopt culturally-relevant, high-impact practices that address the needs of students, particularly students of color. CCC has recently increased its capacity by hiring a Senior Program Coordinator to the Transfer Center earlier this month.
  • Data: To establish a CCC Data Team and expand its ability to train employees in usage, analysis, and reporting. This effort will be crucial in allowing CCC to maximize the benefit of its recently redesigned program review process, and coming Salesforce-based customer relationship management systems.

“In Fall 2022, CCC took the opportunity to fully ground its planning, policies, and practices in frameworks that explicitly require us to be race conscious and to promote culturally and linguistically relevant pedagogical strategies,” said Dr. Kimberly R. Rogers, Acting President, Contra Costa College. “We have now prioritized enrollment recovery, the rebuilding of trust, and a collaborative, creative, equity-minded campus climate. Our partnership with Achieving the Dream will help us close equity gaps, improve graduation and transfer rates, and increase our students’ sense of belonging.”

“ATD colleges choose transformation over tradition, curiosity over inaction, and innovation over the status quo,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “This partnership will help CCC meet their student success goals, transform their institutions, and normalize opportunities for racially minoritized students to make their way into lucrative careers that contribute to community economic growth.”

ATD network institutions are working to build momentum for graduation and further credentials and developing new strategies to demonstrate how community colleges — collaborating with employers and community organizations — can drive more equitable social and economic mobility.

 “ATD brings both a national perspective as well as the knowledge and resources to help colleges navigate a broad range of challenges,” said ATD board chairman Dr. Gregory D. Williams, president of Odessa College in Odessa, Texas. “There is so much that we learn and do through our collective work with ATD and the other network colleges and the diversity of experiences they bring to the table.”

Funding for the initiative comes, in part, from an unrestricted $20 million grant to Achieving the Dream from famous novelist and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, which ATD is using to support its focus on building vibrant communities by accelerating the economic and social mobility of community college students.

To learn more about Achieving the Dream, visit their website.