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The New York State Student Success Center (NYSSSC) launched the first Student Success Coaching Academy in 2019/2020. The inaugural Student Success Coaching Academy features experienced, innovative leaders from within NYS who are committed to student success. Coaches support institutions in their journey to enhancing student success and completion. The first cohort includes 19 coaches: three senior coaches, five Guided Pathways Institute coaches, and 12 peer mentor coaches.

Click here to see the Coaching Academy Cohort I Announcement.

Cohort II is expected to begin soliciting nominees in Fall 2020 for a program launch in Spring 2021. 

Coaching Academy Overview (PDF)

Why Coaching?

There is a growing need within public colleges for leaders that have the knowledge, skills and expertise in change leadership strategies to support student success reform. Coaching strategies have been used nationally by Achieving the Dream, Completion by Design, and AACC to further support transformation student success reforms. By developing and supporting organizational coaches at a state level, the NYSSSC seeks to develop leaders who can help create and sustain institutional to ultimately enhance student success and completion at their home college and beyond.

Coaches provide facilitation of change management principles, content expertise around specific coaching topics, and strategic support to guided pathways colleges, as well as other colleges focused on student success reforms. Colleges can engage coaches in short or long-term support of student success projects. If a college is interested in working with a coach, they should reach out to Jennifer Miller, Executive Director, at jennifer(dot)miller(at)suny(dot)edu for more information.

Link to College Readiness Guide for Coaching (PDF)

Coaching Academy Overview

The New York State Student Success Center (NYSSSC) Coaching Academy  provides a professional development & training program for college leaders to support student success reforms at campuses across the state.

By using effective coaching practices and project management strategies within a student success and guided pathways context, the Coaching Academy seeks to:

  • Develop confident, skilled, thought leader peer mentor and institute coaches;
  • Build substantive student success reform capacity, innovation and leadership across the state;
  • Support evidence-based strategies to support student success reforms at scale for all students;
  • Identify structural and cultural practices and policies that positively impact campus-based student success and support closing equity gaps.

Overviews of Peer Mentor or Guided Pathways Institute Coaches

All coaches accepted to the Academy will become Peer Mentor Coaches. Coaches will receive training in coaching skills and project management, as well as student success reforms including guided pathways. A primary benefit to coaches is they will enhance skills to assist their own college with leading student success efforts across campus, as well as hone their coaching skills by engaging with other institutions on a project or topic. These outside institutional engagements will include a site visit and pre and post calls/webinars. Peer mentor coaches will be paired with a requesting college based expertise, availability, and location.

A coach may be selected to become a Guided Pathways Institute Coach. These coaches will support college teams during the Guided Pathways Institutes. The role of the institute coach includes facilitating team time at the institutes; a campus site visit; hosting phone calls and webinars, as well as participating in additional training. 

Coaching Academy Criteria and Nomination Process

The Coaching Academy will accept nominations for the program from SUNY or CUNY presidents and vice presidents. Nominees must complete an application form and then have their President, Vice President or Student Success Center Executive Director acknowledge support as a nominator. Nominee applications will be reviewed and selected by the Coaching Academy Leadership Team and national partners. Nominees with strong facilitation skills and exposure to guided pathways, and/or other student success reforms such as Achieving the Dream (ATD) are preferred. Coaches will be selected to reflect a diversity of background, demographics, and institution size. Nominees must have flexibility in their position to participate in person at off campus events and meetings during the semester.

Coaching Nominee Characteristics

Below are the characteristics the selection committee will be looking for in coaching nominees:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of and commitment to college and state student success goals and strategic priorities;
  • Demonstrated commitment to student success work in institutions, especially equity, diversity and inclusion;
  • Demonstrated experience as a change agent, especially championing and managing a project that resulted in improved student outcomes;
  • Demonstrated experience as a team leader and team player;
  • Demonstrated understanding of strategies that drive transformative change;
  • Excellent communication and listening skills;
  • Subject matter expertise in one or more of the following areas: accelerated developmental education/gateway course redesign; academic program mapping; advising system redesign, especially including career advising; teaching and learning innovation; student support services such as early alerts and interventions; policy development; strategic finance; and institutional effectiveness;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including ability to establish rapport and trust, ask powerful, probing questions and motivate and inspire; flexibility and tolerance for ambiguity; and high emotional intelligence;
  • Maintain confidentiality regarding information shared during visits and calls.

Coach Nominee Qualifications

  • At least five years of experience in higher education;
  • Master’s, other appropriate terminal degree, or ten years of experience;
  • Currently employed by or recently retired (within two years) from a SUNY or CUNY institution. 

Questions? Contact Jennifer Miller at jennifer dot miller at suny dot edu or call 518-320-1370.


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