LCC believes strongly in its mission to provide a high-quality education to anyone who wants to learn.
In 2021, the college furthered that mission by joining Achieving the Dream, a national network dedicated to increasing student success. This peer-driven community will provide LCC with access to the latest high-impact practices, technical conferences, and research staff who can extend our capacity. The network will help the college scale up efforts toward equity already begun by faculty and staff.
This is not LCC's first time engaging with Achieving the Dream. In 2010, the college was one of 26 community colleges nationwide chosen to participate. With the expertise of Achieving the Dream, LCC expanded its data-collection and distribution work, hosted collegewide summits that resulted in new strategies to enhance student success, and more.
Ten years later, it is time to reengage. Driven by the development of the 2021-2024 Strategic Plan and the 2020 Equity Action Plan, LCC is ready to review the resources and tools provided by Achieving the Dreams to help more of our students – particularly those who have been underserved by the traditional model of higher education – complete their goal.
The call to join a student success network was brought by the LCC president and leadership. The Academic Senate’s Senate Operations Advisory and Review Committee (SOAR) was tasked with recommending a national peer network we could join to help us with our efforts. The SOAR committee and full Academic Senate then voted to recommend we join Achieving the Dream.
In December 2020, the college opened applications to any employee interested in serving on a steering committee. The steering committee was selected in January 2021 and will guide our engagement with the national network and champion student success collegewide.
Steering committee members
- Sally Welch, Co-Chair, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs
- Stephanie Bogard Trapp, Co-Chair, Senior Director of Financial Aid and Title IV Compliance
- Kristen Buttigieg, Co-Chair, Center for Data Science's Director of Institutional Effectiveness
- Kevin Brown, History Faculty
- Stephanie Decator, Director of Admission/Registrar
- Paige Dunckel, Theatre Faculty
- Toni Glasscoe, Associate Vice President for External Affairs, Development & K-12 Operations
- Melinda Hernandez, Integrated English Faculty
- Lyndia Klasko, Kinesiology, Health and Wellness Faculty
- Eliza Lee, Mathematics Faculty and Secretary of the Academic Senate
- Barbara Line, Coordinator of the Livingston County Center
- Laura Medina, Administrative Assistant to the Provost
- Rafeeq McGiveron, Academic Affairs Project Manager
- Ronda Miller, Dean of Student Affairs
- Robin Moore, User Services Supervisor in the Library
- Kathy Smith, Trades Technical Services Administrator
- Jess Stevens, Academic Success Coach
- Jon Tenbrink, Music Program Faculty Chair and President of the Academic Senate
- Karen Tommasulo, Internal Communications Coordinator
- Greg Vondett, Student Affairs Senior Business Analyst
Lansing Community College joined Achieving the Dream (ATD) to provide a high-quality, accessible education in an inclusive environment by creating partnerships between academic and student affairs, and providing exceptional quality academic and student services to improve student success while focusing on removing barriers for low-income students and students of color.
Achieving the Dream coaches
Dr. Jacqueline Taylor
Dr. Jacqueline Taylor is the leadership coach for Lansing Community College. As our leadership coach, she focuses on teaching and learning excellence, professional development and learning, and the diversity, equity, inclusion and justice work that transforms lives.
She brings strong experience in both academic and student affairs. Until very recently, she was the associate vice president for Retention and Student Success at Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis, a college about the same size as LCC.
At Southwest, she was a key member of the Achieving the Dream student success team that completed a comprehensive redesign of student affairs processes and practices. These reforms led to a more than 10% increase in enrollment in the first year, as well as a significant increase in completion rates. She also was responsible for a Title III grant focused on improving student outcomes in gateway courses.
Dr. Taylor is a graduate of the Tennessee Higher Education Innovation & Leadership Fellows Program 2020 Inaugural Cohort for Enterprise Leadership, and a President's Round Table – Lakin Institute Fellow 2017 graduate. She holds a doctorate in educational leadership – higher education administration; a master's degree in education; and a bachelor's degree in English from Union University.
Nancy Finazzo is a data coach at Achieving the Dream. She also serves as the dean for Student Success for Northwood University, a new role designed to lead the university in the development and deployment of student success initiatives.
Prior to this position, she led the Adult Degree Program for Northwood University and served as the executive director of Planning, Quality and Accreditation at Oakland Community College. She previously directed the Institutional Research department, with an overarching goal of building a culture of evidence, while focusing on coordination and consistency of studies and data usage.
Nancy has been a volunteer examiner for the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program for several years, serving as examiner, senior examiner, team leader, technical editor and training facilitator. She also volunteered for the Michigan Quality Council in developing and delivering training materials for state-level examiners.
Nancy holds Bachelor of Applied Arts and Master of Science in Administration degrees, both from Central Michigan University. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Higher Education from the University of Toledo.
Achieving the Dream projects
LCC is in the process of developing our Achieving the Dream projects. Our coaches will visit to see campus and meet in-person during fall 2021, and we hope to gather more information that will inform our projects through that process.
Current project plans are divided into two phases.
- Student lifecycle
- Partnering with Lansing School District for a pathway project
- Achieving the Dream relaunch
- Teaching and learning
- Becoming a Student-Ready College, by Tia Brown McNair, Michelle Asha Cooper, Nicole McDonald and Thomas Major, Jr.
- From Equity Talk to Equity Walk, by Tia Brown McNair, Estela Mara Bensimon, Lindsey Malcom-Piqueux
- Shared Equity Leadership: Transforming Campus Communities Is a Collective Responsibility, by Darsella Vigil, Elizabeth Holcombe, and Adrianna Kezar
- Personal Statement documentary, depicting first-generation students' struggle to reach college
- Knowing Our Students: Understanding & Designing for Success, from Achieving the Dream
- Coaching for student success and educational equity, by Jennifer Dubin
- How to Achieve More Equitable Community College Student Outcomes: Lessons From Six Years of CCRC Research on Guided Pathways, by Davis Jenkins, Hana Lahr and Amy Mazzariello
- Community College Research Center's "Mixed Methods" Blog, by multiple authors