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Dream Team Vision
All SAU Tech students will feel guided, supported, valued, and empowered to reach their personal, academic, and career goals.
In fall 2018, the SAU Tech leadership accepted the invitation from Arkansas Community Colleges (ACC) to participate in the Achieving the Dream (AtD) initiative. A group of employees were identified to serve on a team that would guide the work of the holistic student supports the initiative. Holistic student supports redesign aims to create a seamless, personalized, and holistic support experience for all students. A holistic student supports approach emphasizes the need for colleges to redefine the way they understand, design, and deliver the range of services that are critical for the success of every student. Holistic student supports provide the mechanism for institutions to operationalize their guided pathways work, particularly helping students get on and stay on their chosen path. The broader notion of holistic student supports builds on the foundation of student financial stability and integrates academic advising, career counseling, financial coaching, income/work supports, and wraparound services so that all students are (1) supported in creating intentional and early academic, financial, and career plans; (2) all students only have to tell their story once and are not bounced around campus to receive the supports they need; (3) are proactively connected to the supports they need before they reach a crisis point; and (4) believe that faculty, staff, and administrators are invested in their success.
This initiative was kicked off on November 14-16, 2018 at the Arkansas Holistic Student Supports (HSS) Institute. Over the last two years, this group of employees has been working on initiatives that support the holistic student supports the approach. We have received customized implementation coaching that included: 1) Three two-day on-site visits in which the coach provided a combination of facilitated planning sessions and hands-on training sessions and 2) Two virtual coaching hours per month for team check-ins, review of plans/material, webinars on specific implementation topics. Our AtD coach is John Grant, Dean of Student Development at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. John was an amazing coach and we will certainly miss his support and guidance that he provided over the last two years.
During this process, the group named itself the Dream Team. The Dream Team is a standing committee that meets on a regular basis to identify gaps in student supports and create action plans to address the gaps. Once the action is completed, the responsibility to continue the activity is handed off to the appropriate individual/department.
We will continue to share our work during regular convocation meetings. Visit this page often for updates on the work of this team.
First Coaching Visit Final Report
Second Coaching Visit Report
Dr. Valerie Wilson, Vice Chancellor for Academics & Planning/DT Co-Chair
Dr. Edward Rice, Vice Chancellor for Student Services/DT Co-Chair
Jodi Eppinette, Associate Vice Chancellor for Instruction
Marcus Copeland, Director of Student Success & Academic Engagement
Faith Brock, Student Resources Coordinator/WORC Grant
Lisa Holland, Assistant Controller
Jenny Sanders, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Services & Registrar
Sara Landaverde, English Instructor/Assessment Coordinator
Connie Riley, Financial Aid Director
Courtney Haygood, Dean of Student Life & Housing
Kimberly Coker, Dean of Communications & Development
Robyn Binns, Director of Student Records
Divesh Acharya, Computer Information Technology Instructor
Paulina Curbelo-Johnson, Graphic Design Instructor
Rita Givens, Director of Institutional Effectiveness & Research
Lauren Mitchell, Statistician