Call for Proposals 2019

DREAM 2019

Call for Session Proposals



Achieving the Dream (ATD) is pleased to issue this Call for Workshop Proposals for DREAM 2019, ATD’s 15th Anniversary, scheduled for February 19-22, 2019 in Long Beach, California.

Next year, Achieving the Dream commemorates 15 years of working with our Network Colleges to develop, implement, and individually customize evidence-based solutions that support student achievement.

Proposals for three types of learning sessions are invited:

  • Student Pathways Sessions: Sessions should focus on both progress and set-backs that colleges experienced in their student success and equity work. 
  • Tackling Tomorrow’s Challenges Sessions: These presentations will focus on areas that challenge the relevance of community colleges going forward, require our Network's innovative thought leadership to solve, and demonstrate promising solutions. 
  • 20 x 20 Presentations: Presentations that describe a particular institutional or pedagogical practice and its impact on student outcomes, using 20 slides that automatically advance every 20 seconds.

Pathways Session and Tackling Tomorrow's Challenges Session proposals are due October 5, 2018.

Proposals for the 20x20 Presentations are due November 16, 2018.

Download the complete Call for Session Proposals Guidelines now and find helpful information for submitting a successful proposal. 


Achieving the Dream leads America’s largest network of community colleges working to become strong engines of student and community growth. For fifteen years, ATD has been working with colleges across the country to redesign the student experience to increase credential attainment and close equity gaps.

DREAM is the annual convening of the Achieving the Dream Network. This flagship event brings together over 2,000 influential policy-makers, investors, thought-leaders, and practitioners from more than 220 colleges throughout the country to facilitate an exchange of ideas about evidence-based reform strategies.

DREAM provides participants with opportunities to engage with and learn from colleges that have achieved significant, sustainable improvements in student outcomes. This year, ATD is organizing these learning opportunities around the framework of the journey that students take from the time they decide to attend college until they earn a credential with labor market value (commonly known as a “pathway”). Community college students confront multiple academic, financial and personal hurdles along the journey, and too few of them make it to completion.

What We Have Learned

Collectively, we have learned that strategies and interventions to address these hurdles do not result in significant or sustainable improvement unless they are comprehensive, integrated, and implemented at scale. Bold, transformative actions are required to change institutional expectations and outcomes. Several years ago, ATD developed the Institutional Capacity Framework to support colleges to assess their level of strength in the seven capacity areas that are fundamental to successful reform in higher education. Using the Institutional Capacity Assessment Tool, college communities identify their strengths, address difficult organizational issues, reallocate resources to match strategic priorities, build additional capacity, and infuse equity-mindedness at the core of the work they do to support student success.

Over the past few years, hundreds of colleges nationwide also have adopted the pathways framework to guide their institutional change. Combined with the Institutional Capacity Framework, the pathways framework provides evidence-based, adaptive processes to redesign the student experience so that all students receive the support they need to be successful. The framework has four essential elements, or pillars: (1) clear educational paths that allow students to match career and educational goals with labor market needs; (2) holistic, integrated supports to help students choose and start strongly on a pathway and (3) stay on track to completion; and (4) structures, systems and policies to ensure that students master knowledge and skills.

What We’re Seeking

Building on strong cultures of evidence and inquiry, and leveraging their institutional capacities, ATD colleges have used the pathways framework to identify barriers to success, define individual student needs, and develop intentionally structured educational experiences that support students equitably to achieve their career and educational goals. The “Pathways Sessions” will recognize the contributions ATD colleges and other practitioners have made in these areas. Colleges submitting proposals are not required to have adopted the “pathways language” or refer to their work as “pathways;” rather, the goal is to highlight comprehensive, transformative approaches with demonstrable results.

ATD also is offering opportunities to share evolving practice in areas that challenge the relevance and flexibility of community colleges going forward. “Tackling Tomorrow’s Challenges” highlights difficult problems that haven’t been solved and emerging issues that require commitment and innovation to resolve.

Goals for DREAM 2019 include:

  • Celebrate the achievements and commitment of the Achieving the Dream Network over our first fifteen years together;
  • Facilitate peer learning about evidence-based policies and practices that improve student outcomes;
  • Introduce emerging strategies and innovations to community college leaders and practitioners;
  • Highlight actionable lessons from ATD’s national learning initiatives, Leader Colleges, and other high performing institutions;
  • Integrate student voices in reform discussions and decision making;
  • Build additional national and institutional capacity for whole-college reform;
  • Prepare for challenges and threats to our collective progress with improving student outcomes.

Successfully delivered session presentations will:

  • Incorporate instructional techniques with the purpose of engaging attendees in the content of the session, such as think-pair-share, facilitated whole-group discussions, mini-case studies, role-playing, collaborative problem-solving, concept application, and similar techniques to engage participants in active learning during the session.
  • Share data that describes the student success/equity gap problem the institution was attempting to resolve
  • Describe the student success strategy(ies) that was implemented
  • Explain how the student success strategy(ies) was implemented at scale, including communications and engagement strategies
  • Identify challenges faced in implementation or scaling and how they were mitigated
  • Provide results that demonstrate a clear link between the strategies implemented and student outcomes improvement, using relevant metrics with specific attention to equity gaps
  • Share lessons learned

Click below to start your proposal!

Session Proposals   20x20 Presentations



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