ECC Recognized by Achieving the Dream as a 2021 Leader College of Distinction

  • Tags: Achievements | Announcement | General
Published 02/15/2022
A side view of Elgin Community College's Building A, with Building B in the background

A side view of Elgin Community College's Building A, with Building B in the background


Elgin Community College today announced that it has been designated a Leader College of Distinction by Achieving the Dream (ATD), a national nonprofit dedicated to advancing community colleges as hubs of equity and mobility in their communities.

“Being named a Leader College of Distinction is an honor and testament to the relentless and outstanding work of our faculty, staff, administrators, and the District 509 Board of Trustees on behalf of our students,” said ECC President David Sam, PhD, JD, LLM. “At the heart of this recognition is what our faculty members do daily in the classroom. This designation also comes as a result of our focused and strategic efforts to make it known that ECC is a place that values equity and where that commitment is lived and practiced at all levels of the institution,” said Sam.

ATD created the Leader College of Distinction award in 2018 to recognize colleges that have pursued and met challenging student success goals, often earning Leader College status several times. Leader Colleges of Distinction must show improvement in three or more student outcome metrics, including at least one lagging indicator such as completion or transfer with an earned baccalaureate. Leader Colleges of Distinction are also required to show they have reduced equity gaps in at least two metrics for at least two student groups. These requirements recognize and motivate sustained and proactive reform efforts that result in greater improvements in student success and equity.

ECC is part of the ATD Network, made up of 300+ colleges committed to advancing equity and supporting student success at their institutions and throughout their communities. ECC has been a member of the ATD Network since 2009 and has held Leader College status since 2012.

Read Achieving the Dream's full announcement here.

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About Achieving the DREAM

Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads a growing network of more than 300 community colleges committed to helping their students, particularly low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity. ATD is making progress in closing equity gaps and accelerating student success through a unique change process that builds each college’s institutional capacities in seven essential areas. ATD, along with nearly 75 experienced coaches and advisors, works closely with Network colleges in 45 states and the District of Columbia to reach more than 4 million community college students. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.