• Achieving the Dream National Reform Network
    Conceived as an initiative in 2004 by Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations, Achieving the Dream now leads the most comprehensive non-governmental reform movement for student success in higher education history. Together with our Network of over 200 institutions of higher education, 100 coaches and advisors, 15 state policy teams, and numerous investors and partners working throughout 34 states and the District of Columbia we are helping nearly 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

    Austin Community College District has earned the Achieving the Dream's Leader College designation for improving fall to spring persistence rates for students across all ethnic and socioeconomic groups over the past three years. The March 2013 Longitudinal Tracking report provides an analysis of student outcomes on five key metrics for first-time-in-college (FTIC) students beginning at Austin Community College in the fall semester (2007 through 2012). The report presents a synopsis of student background characteristics for each cohort and then compares student outcomes for each metric by ethnicity, gender, Pell status, and age. The goal is to illuminate areas for improvement, encourage courageous conversations, and improve student outcomes for all students. The April 2014 report was just published.

    The college is one of eight to receive the 2013 Leader College recognition, and one of only 81 Leader Colleges nationwide. As a Leader College, ACC will continue to help other member colleges develop strategies for increasing student persistence, retention, and completion rates.

    A national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. Evidence-based, student-centered, and built on the values of equity and excellence, Achieving the Dream is closing achievement gaps and accelerating student success nationwide by
  1. improving results at institutions,
  2. influencing public policy,
  3. generating knowledge, and
  4. engaging the public.

    Achieving the Dream Developmental Educational Initiative

    Achieving the Dream Implementation Proposal (Austin Community College, 2010)

    Turning The Tide: Five Years of Achieving the Dream in Community Colleges
    In 2004, Lumina Foundation for Education launched “Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count,” a national initiative aimed at improving success among community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color. Now encompassing more than 130 institutions in 24 states and the District of Columbia, Achieving the Dream helps community colleges build a “culture of evidence” by using student records and other data to examine students’ performance over time and to identify barriers to academic progress. From there, community colleges are expected to develop intervention strategies designed to improve student outcomes; conduct further research on student progress; and bring effective programs to scale. As a result, it is anticipated that colleges will see measurable improvements over time in student outcomes, including increased progress through developmental education and college-level “gatekeeper” (introductory) courses, grades, persistence, and completion of credentials.

    Field Guide for Improving Student Success 
    This guide provides an overview of Achieving the Dream’s institutional improvement framework for increasing student success. It includes examples of what Achieving the Dream institutions have done to transform themselves into more effective institutions. The guide is designed for college leaders who are considering having their colleges join Achieving the Dream, and thus making the necessary commitment to change college policies and practices in ways that enhance student success on a substantial scale.

    Equity (Achieving the Dream Focus Area)
    Achieving the Dream champions a college’s commitment to eliminating achievement gaps among all student groups. For more than a decade, we have been looking for ways to improve developmental education—the sequence of English, math, and reading courses intended to get students ready to succeed in college-level coursework—particularly among the 40% of low income students and students of color who place well below college readiness standards.
  • AAC&U Association of American Colleges and Universities
    AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,300 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

    Making Excellence Inclusive is AAC&U’s guiding principle for access, student success, and high-quality learning. It is designed to help colleges and universities integrate diversity, equity, and educational quality efforts into their missions and institutional operations.
  • A Framework for Embedding Diversity and Inclusion into Colleges and Universities’ Academic Excellence Mission
    A signature AAC&U initiative, Making Excellence Inclusive is designed to explore how colleges and universities can fully utilize the resources of diversity to achieve academic excellence for all students. This initiative builds upon decades of campus work to build more inclusive communities, established scholarship on diversity that has transformed disciplines, and extensive research on student learning that has altered the landscape of the academy. Over time, colleges have begun to understand that diversity, in all of its complexity, is about much more than a diversity program or having students of color on campus. Rather, incorporating diversity into campus life raises profound questions about higher education’s mission and values.
  • AACC American Association of Community Colleges
    The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is the primary advocacy organization for the nation’s community colleges. The association represents nearly 1,200 two-year, associate degree–granting institutions and more than 13 million students. AACC promotes community colleges through five strategic action areas: recognition and advocacy for community colleges; student access, learning, and success; community college leadership development; economic and workforce development; and global and intercultural education. 
  • AACC Competencies of Community College Leaders
    Community colleges, like many other American institutions, are experiencing a leadership gap as many current leaders retire. Moreover, the leadership skills now required have widened because of greater student diversity, advances in technology, accountability demands, and globalization. Based on its continuing support of the development of community college leaders, AACC has collaborated extensively with its many constituencies to identify and endorse a set of competencies for community college leaders.
  • Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
    Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered in 1906 by an act of Congress, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center. Improving teaching and learning has always been Carnegie’s motivation and heritage.Our current improvement research approach builds on the scholarship of teaching and learning, where we:
  • Learn from each other
  • Improve on what we know works
  • Continuously create new knowledge
  • Take what we learn and make it usable by others.
  • Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE)
    In 2008, The University of Texas' College of Education established the Center for Community College Student Engagement—formerly known as the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE)—as the umbrella organization for survey research, focus group work, and related services for community and technical colleges interested in improving educational quality through strengthened student engagement and student success. The Center operates as a research and service initiative of the Program for Higher Education Leadership (PHEL), which is in the Department of Educational Administration. Since 2001, major grants have supported the work.

    In August 2008, the Center moved to an off-campus building near The University of Texas to accommodate growing operational needs related to the large numbers of colleges participating in the work. CCSSE remains the Center's flagship survey as the Center continues quantitative and qualitative work with community colleges across the United States, Canada, and several island nations.

    The organization has grown to include a staff of professionals with a wide variety of skills, plus doctoral interns, doctoral research assistants, and undergraduate student workers, serving more than 800 different community colleges. Since 2002, the Center has surveyed more than 2 million community college students cumulatively representing a total credit enrollment of more than 6 million students. Member colleges represent an overwhelming majority of all accredited, public, associate-degree-granting institutions in the United States.
  • Change
    A magazine dealing with contemporary issues in higher learning. It is intended to stimulate and inform reflective practitioners in colleges, universities, corporations, government, and elsewhere. Using a magazine format rather than that of an academic journal, Changespotlights trends, provides new insights and ideas, and analyzes the implications of educational programs, policies, and
  • The Charles A. Dana Center
    How can we enable all students—especially those who are underserved—to achieve postsecondary success? This question guides our work to develop education tools and resources that are worthy of those we serve. It is why we collaborate with states and districts to provide sustained technical assistance, convene national networks, and create professional development programs and resources to help educators. It challenges us to identify stumbling blocks for students and develop innovative courses to encourage persistence, reshape academic identities, and build critical skills and knowledge. It drives us to advocate for rigorous academic standards and help education systems ensure that all students can master the content and practices described in these standards.

    Finally, it is why we strive to ensure that these efforts move beyond labs and pilots and into classrooms and campuses across the country. In all our work, we are dedicated to nurturing students’ intellectual passions and ensuring that the accident of where a student lives does not limit his or her access to an excellent education.
  • Complete College America
    Established in 2009, Complete College America is a national nonprofit with a single mission: to work with states to significantly increase the number of Americans with quality career certificates or college degrees and to close attainment gaps for traditionally underrepresented populations.

    The need for this work is compelling. Between 1970 and 2009, undergraduate enrollment in the United States more than doubled, while the completion rate has been virtually unchanged. We’ve made progress in giving students from all backgrounds access to college – but we haven’t finished the all-important job of helping them achieve a degree. Counting the success of all students is an essential first step. And then we must move with urgency to reinvent American higher education to meet the needs of the new majority of students on our campuses, delicately balancing the jobs they need with the education they desire.

    Complete College America believes there is great reason for optimism … and a clear path forward. With a little more support – and a lot of common sense – we can ensure that many more young people get the high-quality college education that will help them live productive and fulfilling lives. All Americans will share in the benefits of their success.
  • The Education Trust
    The Education Trust promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levels—pre-kindergarten through college. Our goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that consign far too many young people—especially those from low-income families or who are black, Latino, or American Indian—to lives on the margins of the American mainstream.

    Equity in Higher Education
    An overview of the racial and socioeconomic inequities in national higher education.
  • Lumina Foundation
    An independent, private foundation committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina’s outcomes-based approach focuses on helping to design and build an accessible, responsive and accountable higher education system while fostering a national sense of urgency for action to achieve Goal 2025.

    In 2012, Lumina Foundation made 70 grants for a total commitment of more than $30 million. The median amount for these 70 grants was $435,761 with the largest grant of $1,596,900. In 2013, Lumina Foundation made 96 grants for a total commitment of nearly $63 million.

    Starting in 2013, Lumina grants focus on two imperatives: Mobilizing to Reach Goal 2025 and Designing & Building a 21st Century Higher Education System. For more information about Lumina’s grant making, please visit:

    Lumina Foundation’s Equity Imperative
    While the face of America is changing, economic and social inequities among racial and ethnic groups persist. Historical and current patterns of discrimination, segregation and racism continue to foster disparities that make it increasingly difficult to achieve “the American dream.” Native American, African American and Latino students are disproportionately poor, have less access to quality education, and are underrepresented in positions of power. Without intentional and focused efforts to address inequality in our society, the gaps will only continue to grow.
  • mdrc Building Knowledge to Improve Social Policy
    MDRC is committed to finding solutions to some of the most difficult problems facing the nation — from reducing poverty and bolstering economic self-sufficiency to improving public education and college graduation rates. We design promising new interventions, evaluate existing programs using the highest research standards, and provide technical assistance to build better programs and deliver effective interventions at scale. We work as an intermediary, bringing together public and private funders to test new policy-relevant ideas, and communicate what we learn to policymakers and practitioners — all with the goal of improving the lives of low-income individuals, families, and children.
  • NADE National Association of Developmental Education
    NADE's motto ("Helping underprepared students prepare, prepared students advance, and advanced students excel") is intended to convey the fundamental belief that developmental education services enhance academic, personal, and professional achievement for all learners.
    MISSION/PURPOSE. NADE seeks to improve the theory and practice of developmental education at all levels of the educational spectrum, the professional capabilities of developmental educators, and the design of programs to prepare developmental educators. NADE focuses on the academic success of students by
  1. providing professional development,
  2. supporting student learning,
  3. providing public leadership,
  4. disseminating exemplary models of practice,
  5. coordinating efforts with other organizations,
  6. facilitating communication among developmental education professionals, and
  7. anticipating trends.
  • National Center for Postsecondary Research (NCPR)
    The National Center for Postsecondary Research focuses on measuring the effectiveness of programs designed to help students make the transition to college and master the basic skills needed to advance to a degree. NCPR is currently pursuing research in dual enrollment; postsecondary remediation, including learning communities; and financial aid. 

    NCPR is housed at the Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University, and is operated in collaboration with partners MDRC and the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, and with a professor at Harvard University. Established in 2006, the Center is funded by a grant of $9,813,619 from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education
  • SAGE journals – Community College Review (CCR)
    CCR has led the nation for 40 years in the publication of scholarly, peer-reviewed research and commentary on community colleges. CCR publishes articles on all aspects of community college administration, education, and policy, both within the American higher education system as well as within the higher education systems of other countries that have similar tertiary institutions.
  • The tertiary education research database
    VOCEDplus is a free research database for tertiary education, especially as it relates to workforce needs, skills development, and social inclusion.

    It encompasses vocational education and training (VET), higher education, adult and community education, informal learning, and VET in Schools. It is international in scope and contains over 55,000 English language records, many with links to full text documents.

    VOCEDplus is produced by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), based in Adelaide, Australia. VOCEDplus is funded by Australian Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments and is endorsed by the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre in Bonn, Germany.

    View Introducing VOCEDplus on YouTube.
  • Toward a Model of Inclusive Excellence and Change in Postsecondary Institutions
    The educational environment following the recent Supreme Court decisions on affirmative action calls for colleges and universities to connect their educational quality and inclusion efforts more fundamentally and comprehensively than ever before. This challenge, however, presents a set of difficult questions. What will the next generation of work on inclusionand excellence look like? How will both our thinking and our actions need to shift? Who will need to be involved? How will we know we are accomplishing our goals?
  • U.S. News and World Report Education
    Get the whole picture for each of the 1,600+ schools in the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings. More than 500,000 data points are available exclusively to College Compass subscribers.