Customized Coaching

It can often be challenging for colleges to maintain and maximize the impact of their student success work. Working with a knowledgeable, experienced coach helps. We have developed a full suite of options for colleges in the ATD Network to use coaching to meet their changing needs, leverage strengths identified on their Institutional Capacity Assessment Tool (ICAT) results, and to bolster capacity where needed to implement reforms and guide continuous improvement.

Achieving the Dream coaches have expertise in a number of critical capacity areas needed for fostering a student-focused culture and holistic institutional change. These capacities are essential to foster a student-focused culture and optimizing the student experience. Coaches are skilled in using a pathways framework to help colleges: 

  • Create curricular pathways to employment and further education
  • Help students choose and enter their pathway
  • Help students stay on their path
  • Ensure that learning is happening with intentional student outcomes

Our 2017 Network Survey showed that 90 percent of our Network colleges are satisfied or highly satisfied with their Leadership Coach, and 91 percent are satisfied or highly satisfied with their Data Coach.

Some examples of how ATD custom coaching can advance your work in each of these areas

Leadership and Vision: Develop a clear and compelling vision for student success and use that vision to set priorities and direct action; build shared leadership for student success across all levels of the organization.

Data and Technology: Focus on metrics that matter across the entire student experience from connection to completion and in the labor market; adopt technology to support students throughout their entire college experience; democratize data to empower data-enabled leadership; support a data culture with usable and actionable data.

Equity: Craft an equity statement, develop and incorporate equity goals into your strategic plan and guided pathways, facilitate courageous conversations on equity with a broad group of stakeholders, disaggregate data to identify opportunity gaps, develop equity insight metrics, dismantle structural barriers and invest in equity-minded  policies, practices and  behaviors.

Teaching and Learning: Engage adjunct and full-time faculty in leading change; build textbook-free degree programs using open educational resources; develop a teaching and learning center; design pathways to ensure students are learning; undertake gateway course redesign; develop effective, research-based teaching practices to promote student success; devise holistic student supports to facilitate student learning and success.

Engagement and Communication:  Engage a cross-functional group of internal stakeholders in student success work; engage high school and university partners, community-based organizations and employers to develop cross-sector strategies for student success; communicate a sense of urgency for leading a proactive student success agenda; develop an effective communication plan with clear and compelling messages about student success.

Strategy and Planning: Develop a student success agenda that is aligned and integrated with planning, budgeting, and accreditation; identify a key set of student success measures to focus on to drive improved student success outcomes; create a cadence of accountability.

Policies and Practices: Conduct an enrollment pain point audit; improve the student experience through student-centered design; invest in equity-minded policies and practices that support students from connection to completion and as they transition to a four-year college and to the labor market.



For more information about our coaching services, contact Laurie T. Heacock, vice president of data, technology and analytics at

Not a Network college? Join us! We're building our 2019 Cohort now and invite you to become part of our growing national network of colleges that are committed to improving student success for their students. Contact Bonita Brown, Vice President of Network Engagement at

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