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SGTC hosts ‘Achieving the Dream’ coaches

AMERICUS — South Georgia Technical College (SGTC), a member of the “Achieving the Dream” (ATD) National Reform Network, is entering its third year of partnering with ATD to help its college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and the ability to achieve their dreams.
SGTC officials met with its “Achieving the Dream” Leadership coach Dr. Larry Calderon, a former community college president in Florida and California, and ATD Data Coach Dr. Donna Jovanovich from John Tyler Community College in Virginia, recently to review strategies designed to help close achievement gaps and increase student retention, persistence, and completion rates.
The ATD coaches met with the SGTC Leadership and Core Team that consists of SGTC Acting President Janice Davis, Vice President of Academic Affairs John Watford, Ed.D., Vice President of Student Affairs/Institutional Support Karen Werling, Vice President of Institutional Advancement Su Ann Bird, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs David Kuipers, Assistant Vice President for Student Navigation Deborah Jones, Ed.D., and SGTC Academic Deans David Finley, Ed.D., and Andrea Ingram, Ed.D., as well as members of the college’s Reaching Every Academic Dream (READ) initiative team to review the present matrix of SGTC student success initiatives and discuss community partnerships. Members of the READ team that meet with the ATD coaches included READ Co-chairs Andrea Ingram and Raven Payne as well as Instructor Michele Seay, Special Services Disabilities Coordinator LaKenya Johnson, Marketing Coordinator Valerie Winheim, and Amanda Barrett from Administrative Services.
As an “Achieving the Dream” college, SGTC has adopted a five-step plan: 1.) Commit to change; 2.) Use data to prioritize actions; 3.) Engage stakeholders; 4.) Implement, evaluate, and improve; and 5.) Establish a culture of continuous improvement.
The Achieving the Dream National Reform Network leverages targeted focus areas to close achievement gaps and accelerate success among diverse student populations, particularly low-income students and students of color. These integrated building blocks in concert with the four approaches advance individual and system-wide strategies, ultimately providing measurable and sustainable outcomes for students and colleges alike.
The Achieving the Dream National Reform Network includes over 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams working throughout 35 states and the District of Columbia to help more than 4 million  community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.