Achieving the Dream Scholarships

The 2018 Appli​​​cation Process is Closed



The development of institutional capacity to use data for decision-making is central to the mission of the Association for Institutional Research. The Data and Decisions Academy is a series of online, self-paced courses designed for community college institutional research (IR) professionals.  Cour​​ses are accessible without travel or special software, and are designed for busy employees who need on-the-job training. Within about 10 hours of study and exercises, participants will acquire the knowledge and skills to perform a critical IR function. With an investment of approximately 25 hours, participants can complete an entire course and obtain a broader knowledge base of IR competencies. Initial funding for the Data and Decisions Academy is made possible by a $1.92 million grant from Lumina Foundation for Education. The Academy is hosted by the Association for Institutional Research in Tallahassee, Florida.

In support of Achieving the Dream, the Data and Decisions Academy offers scholarships to members of Achieving the Dream institutions. Scholarships are awarded towards the completion of two Academy courses, selected by the participant, and cover $600 of tuition for enrollment, leaving a total institutional commitment of $800. Additionally, the committed leadership of the institution acknowledges that the participant may spend up to 50 hours of on-the-clock study time for the two courses. The courses available are:

  • Foundations of Data Management

  • Longitudinal Tracking for Institutional Research

  • Foundational Statistics for Decision Support

  • Introduction to Learning Outcomes

  • Designing IR Research

  • Overview of Survey Design 

Application Process

The application process for Achieving the Dream Scholarships includes two steps:

1. College President Nominates Staff Member. To begin an application, a college president first nominates a staff member by completing an online form and submitting a letter of support. The letter of support must acknowledge that the applicant may spend up to 50 hours of on-the-clock study time over three months to complete the two courses and  the institution will commit $800.

View a Sample Letter of Support

2. Staff Member Completes Scholarship Application. Once nominated, the applicant will receive an email with a unique link to the scholarship application. In addition to verifying personal and demographic information, the applicant will be required to submit a Letter of Intent (250-500 words). The letter should briefly describe their current work in IR and provide a summary review of their current skills and what outcomes they anticipate from participating in the two Academy courses.

Scholarship courses run from June through September 2018.

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