Chattanooga State Recognized as One of Three Leader Colleges of Distinction in the Nation by Achieving the Dream

February 16, 2023 | Chris Lykins | Press Release

ChattState Logo ATD Leader College of Distinction Badge

Chattanooga State announced that it has been designated as one of three Leader Colleges of Distinction in the nation by Achieving the Dream (ATD), a national nonprofit dedicated to advancing community colleges as hubs of equity and mobility in their communities.

“I am incredibly proud of the faculty and staff who have boldly transformed the student learning experience to increase our student success outcomes. I am also proud of our students who have worked hard to achieve success. This recognition from Achieving the Dream is a testament to our commitment to our mission to deliver accessible, innovative learning opportunities that surpass expectations to empower everyone in our community to learn without limits. I am humbled to be part of the Chattanooga State team,” said Dr. Rebecca Ashford, Chattanooga State president.

ATD created the Leader College of Distinction award in 2018 to recognize colleges that have pursued and met challenging student success goals. Leader Colleges of Distinction must improve three or more student outcome metrics and reduce equity gaps in at least two metrics for at least two student groups. These requirements recognize and motivate sustained, proactive reform efforts that significantly improve student success and equity.

ChattState has implemented evidence-based best practices known to improve student success which has contributed to its transformation in progress. Over the last four years, the success rates of students completing Gateway English and Math courses at ChattState has increased from 48.7% to 59.9%, an 11-percentage point increase. During this same time, the equity gap between White and Black students in Gateway English and Math courses decreased from 24% to 9%, a 15 percentage-point improvement. In this time, the overall success rates of credits completed increased from 63% to 68%, an increase of 4.4 percentage points. ChattState’s implementation of 7-week courses in the fall of 2021 improved course success rates by six to 10 points for Black, Hispanic, and White students. In addition, low-income student success increased by 14% in this new semester format.

ChattState has been a part of the ATD Network since 2016; ATD comprises 300+ colleges committed to advancing equity and supporting student success at their institutions and throughout their communities. ChattState has been designated a Leader College by ATD since 2020.