Chancellor visits PDCCC as part of ‘Listening Tour”

Chancellor Du Bois 2Dr. Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia Community Colleges addressed attendees at the end of the program.
College’s student success team presented best practices
Virginia Community College System Chancellor Dr. Glenn DuBois made a stop to the Paul D. Camp Community College Regional Workforce Development Center recently during his Listening Tour to gather input regarding best practices for student success. He is visiting all 23 community colleges in the system.
Traveling with the chancellor were Vice Chancellor for Academic Services and Research Dr. Sharon Morrissey, VCCS Internal Communications Manager Laura Osberger; and state board members Susan Gooden and Douglas Garcia- both community college graduates.
“Each community college will be presenting its strategy for student success,” said Morrissey. “We will be weaving a tapestry of best practices that will be shared across the VCCS.”
College Success Coaches Dr. Sandra Walker and Laura Clark, delivered the presentation, “Students Transitioning through Education Programs Successfully (STEPS): A Research-based, Evidence-driven Model for Effectively Serving Underserved Students.” The STEPS program is part of the Chancellor’s College Success Program and the team at PDCCC includes Jamie Dodd, college success coach Initiative program specialist. The program has earned several honors.
The STEPS team presentation was also highlighted by three students who shared how the program has helped them. Those students were: Cody Billups, recent recipient of the Valley Proteins Fellowship; Wanda Olden, past recipient of the Valley Proteins Fellowship; and Micah Thomas, who overcame many personal struggles to attain his associate’s from PDCCC and is still continuing his education while working for the college.
The chancellor was impressed with the success of the program, citing that he liked the components and the fact that it is research-based. “It proves that coaching works,” he said. “Your program is good for business.”
“Students need guidance in their first year,” said DuBois. “Every student who shows up needs to be college ready on Day 1. If not, they are already behind. If they can complete the first five courses successfully, their chance of completion goes north of 70 percent. If they only complete four, that number is cut to 35 percent.”
Dr. Morrissey also led a discussion regarding the identification of barriers to student success. Lack of transportation, personnel, finances and support groups for veterans were among the barriers noted by those in attendance, which included students, faculty, staff, administration, board and foundation board members.

STEPS Q and AThe STEPS team, right at table, fields questions from about the success program. From left are: Dr. Sandra Walker, Wanda Olden, Laura Clark and Cody Billups.

Tyler Wheeler studentStudent and veteran Tyler Wheeler expressed that the lack of programs for veterans is a barrier for student success at PDCCC.