CHICAGO — (February 20, 2024) Richard J. Daley College and Harry S Truman College are pleased to announce that they  have joined more than 300 community colleges across the country that compose the network of Achieving the Dream (ATD), a leading reform organization committed to increasing student success.

Pictured from the left: One Million Degrees Chief Program Officer Monica Parrish Trent, Richard J. Daley College President Janine Janosky, Harry S Truman College President Shawn Jackson and Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff Veronica Herrero attend the Achieving the Dream (ATD) conference to welcome Daley and Truman colleges into the ATD family.

“Belonging to a network of stakeholders working for equitable outcomes is powerful and I thank Achieving the Dream for all the supports they offer that will help our students overcome challenges in their path to achieving their education goals,” said President Janine Janosky, Richard J. Daley College.

“Achieving the Dream is supporting us as, together, we change lives through education,” said Dr. Kimberly Hollingsworth, president of Olive-Harvey College. “Participating in Achieving the Dream isn’t just about improving educational outcomes; it’s about championing equity and transforming lives, one student at a time.”

Richard J. Daley College along with Harry S Truman College join the other five colleges from the City Colleges of Chicago system, which became part of the ATD Network in February of 2023. All seven colleges are part of the inaugural cohort for the Accelerating Equitable Outcomes (AEO) initiative, which implements comprehensive strategies to help more students, especially Black, Latinx, Indigenous, students of color, and economically marginalized students, earn postsecondary credentials, including occupational certificates and degrees, and create pathways to jobs with living-sustaining wages, benefits, and potential for upward mobility.

The two newcomer colleges were officially welcomed to the ATD Network at this year’s annual Achieving the Dream convening, DREAM 2024, occurring in Orlando, Florida, February 19–22, at a special kickoff event held yesterday.

At the event, Achieving the Dream President and CEO Dr. Karen A. Stout emphasized the importance of ATD’s efforts around achieving equitable student outcomes — particularly in America’s large urban centers, such as Chicago. “For 20 years ATD’s fundamental commitment has been to help our colleges build new capacities, systems, and processes to address institutional barriers that prevent students, especially racially and economically marginalized learners, from entering and leaving our institutions with a credential of value for themselves, their families, and their communities. Activating the talent and potential of all learners, through the partnership with all seven City Colleges of Chicago, is urgent work. This is especially critical in Chicago, a highly diverse community that is an economic powerhouse in our country but where structural inequities in access to and completion of a post-secondary credential of value put countless lives at risk,” she said.

Both City Colleges new to the ATD Network will begin the next phase of their student success journey with site visits from ATD coaches. The coaches will help the colleges to begin formulating action plans for crystallizing their efforts around a targeted student success agenda.

City Colleges of Chicago’s vision is to be the most accessible higher education engine of socioeconomic mobility and racial equity—empowering all Chicagoans to take part in building a stronger and more just city.​