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DREAM 2019: Supporting Innovation across Community Colleges for All Learners

February 12, 2019

By Mai P. Tran, ECMC Foundation

Changing demographics of students enrolled in postsecondary education present unique challenges and opportunities for institutions, including community colleges.

Dream 2019

Today’s students, sometimes referred to as “nontraditional”, are increasingly diverse across race, age and life experiences.

According to findings from the American Association for Community Colleges, in 2018:

  • More than half of students enrolled for credit at community colleges were non-white;
  • The average age of students was 28;
  • 63% of students were enrolled on a part-time basis; and
  • 17% of students were single parents.

Similar to other postsecondary institutions, community colleges were not originally designed to serve students whose identities and life experiences differed from those of more privileged backgrounds. To see that all learners realize their fullest potential, many community colleges have risen to the challenge of adopting new structures, integrating best practices and being open to innovative solutions.

For the past 15 years, Achieving the Dream (ATD) has been committed to helping community colleges address challenges like these. As the largest national network of community colleges, ATD serves as an essential resource for members across the network, who come together to share best practices, ideas and solutions that help transform community colleges and help students pursue their educational and career goals. ECMC Foundation is a proud funder of ATD and sponsor of DREAM 2019 — ATD’s annual event brings together policymakers, investors thought leaders, funders and practitioners from colleges throughout the country to discuss emerging strategies and issues.

Recognizing the importance of supporting new ideas and spreading successful models to increase the success of all learners, ECMC Foundation supports institutions and organizations, like Achieving the Dream, at the forefront of driving change and implementing best practices.

Karen Stout

Dr. Karen Stout, President and CEO, Achieving the Dream

"Colleges must be intentional about providing non-academic student supports. This includes opportunities for faculty engagement, access to child care, transportation, attention to food and housing insecurity, and financial coaching" - Quote from ECMC Foundation. Q&A with Dr. Karen Stout.


ECMC Foundation At DREAM 2019

In addition to sponsoring DREAM 2019, representatives from ECMC Foundation will speak during three sessions. Attend these sessions to learn about our mission, grantees, and commitment to advancing postsecondary opportunities for all learners.

Saul Valdez

Program Officer Saúl Valdez Leads Session on Scaling Mentorship for Men of Color
Wednesday, February 20
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Peter Taylor

President Peter Taylor Opens Thursday's Morning Plenary Session
Thursday, February 21
8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m..


Program Officer Maggie Snyder Leads Session on Single Mothers in Community Colleges
Thursday, February 21
2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Grantees Working to Improve Community College for All Learners

The following organizations are ECMC Foundation grantee partners committed to transforming community colleges and supporting the students they serve through one or more of the following activities: piloting new initiatives, replicating direct service programs with successful student outcomes, conducting research, evaluating programs, and designing new systems and processes.

10,000 Degrees Jeremiah Program
Achieving the Dream Jobs for the Future
Active Minds John Jay College of Criminal Justice Prisoner Reentry Institute
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Just-A-Start Corporation
America Achieves LeadersUp
American & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund MDC
American Institutes for Research MDRC
Aspen Institute National Academy of Sciences
Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) National Council for Workforce Education
Butte Community College Foundation NORC at the University of Chicago
California Competes North Carolina State University
Campaign for College Opportunity On Point for College
Community College Resource Center One Million Degrees
Catholic Charities Fort Worth Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions
College Crusade of Rhode Island Project Self Sufficiency
College Forward Public Policy Institute of California
College Promise Campaign RAND Corporation
Complete College America Roadtrip Nation
Council for Adult and Experiential Learning Skills for Chicagoland’s Future
Credential Engine, Inc. Southern Scholarship Foundation
Education Design Lab The Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD)
Excelencia in Education The College and Community Fellowship
Foundation for California Community Colleges The Opportunity Institute
GradGuru The Vera Institute of Justice
Graduate NYC Triton College
Ilisagvik College WestED
Institute for Educational Leadership World Education, Inc.
Institute for Higher Education Policy Year Up, Inc.
Institute for Women’s Policy Research  

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