Progress in the First Five Years: An Evaluation of Achieving the Dream in WA State

Davis Jenkins, John Wachen, Monica Reid Kerrigan, Alexander Mayer
December 21, 2012

In 2004, Lumina Foundation for Education launched an innovative national reform initiative, Achieving the Dream (ATD), with the purpose of increasing the persistence and completion rates of community college students, especially low-income students and students of color, through evidence-based institutional change. Originally consisting of 26 partner colleges in five states, today more than 150 colleges in 30 states and the District of Columbia participate in ATD, which in 2010 became a national nonprofit organization.

This report examines six community and technical colleges in Washington State that joined the initiative in 2006 (“Round 3”) and were provided with grant funding from College Spark Washington and the services of a leadership coach and data coach to facilitate their ATD efforts.

Key findings for the six Washington ATD colleges are:

  • Progress toward building a culture of evidence.
  • Development of student success strategies.
  • Student outcome trends after ATD implementation.

The report also examines lessons from the experiences of the Washington ATD colleges for other colleges seeking to improve student outcomes.