BRIDGEPORT — Housatonic Community College has been named one of eight “Dream Leader” colleges nationwide by the Achieving the Dream network.

The network is a consortium of 220 community colleges that provides advisory resources to some four million community college students nationwide.

Housatonic is one of just two colleges in the Northeast and the only New England institution to get the title which was announced by the Silver Spring, Maryland-based organization.

Evelyn Gard, a spokeswoman for the college said the designation will not be impacted by the proposed merger of the state’s 12 community college into a single accredited body.

“Each of the campuses will retain their unique identities even when the administration structure is merged.” Gard said.

Gard said the whole system stands to benefit because they can share best practices and look for ways to improve the entire system.

The distinction comes with no cash but the ability to apply for specific grant-funded initiatives.

To qualify, Housatonic needed three consecutive years of measurable improvement in outcomes that measure student success: graduation rates, increased enrollment in math courses and better outcomes in reading and writing courses.

Housatonic President Paul Broadie II said Housatonic’s three-year journey toward the designation has been demanding but rewarding as well for all involved.