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Holistic Student Supports

Each student is unique, from the resources they need to their dreams and goals. Supporting students holistically involves designing student-centered operations that address the academic and personal needs of all students to ensure they can thrive.

Holistic student support is not just a program or initiative: It’s a way of applying student-centered design to college operations, envisioning the ideal student experience, and developing an action plan to get there.

ATD’s holistic student supports services can help your college:

  • Understand current challenges and opportunities for improving academic and nonacademic supports throughout the student journey
  • Envision and design the ideal student experience to build a student-ready institution
  • Develop a prioritized action plan to address core issues
  • Improve operational workflows and internal communication
  • Deepen your college’s understanding of students and their experiences connecting with academic and nonacademic supports.
  • Conduct student-focused research strategies
  • Create the structure and culture to support continuous improvement centered on the students you serve
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Transforming to Serve Today’s Students

Today’s students need colleges to meet them where they are. This series of interactive virtual seminars equips advising professionals and college teams with essential techniques to support their students in achieving success with college and career readiness.

Learn More



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Holistic Student Supports Coaching

The HSS team offers a one-year coaching engagement where we partner with you to design, plan, implement, and assess an equity-focused, student-centered support model. Participating colleges benefit from dedicated coaching and an ongoing partnership with ATD’s subject matter experts, who bring nearly two decades of experience and knowledge from the field and a strong commitment to building equity-centered institutional capacity. These expert coaches help colleges understand their student population, assess the impact of their current design, and redesign a holistic and equitable student experience.

Our ATD Holistic Student Supports coaching engagement provides your college with: 

  • A dedicated coach matched to your needs and access to subject matter experts to assist with specific topics
  • Three coaching visits per year to support planning and implementation
  • Ten hours of virtual coaching support per year, including strategic consultation, action plan check-ins, and professional development webinars
  • One comprehensive site visit feedback report per onsite engagement
  • Access to actionable reports, templates, tools, college examples, and peer learning community

Other engagement opportunities

Achieving the Dream offers even more opportunities to expand and enhance your institution’s holistic student supports, including:

We support two- and four-year colleges that want to examine their holistic support structures, processes, and culture and help identify priority areas for action. Service includes case making, mapping of the student experience, facilitation of multiple focus groups, touring the physical space, meeting with leadership, and presentation of recommendations to the senior leadership team.

Our experts can support two- and four-year colleges that want to examine their structures, processes, and culture with a focus on the equitable support of parenting students. Service includes case making, mapping of the student experience, facilitation of multiple focus groups, touring of the physical space, meeting with leadership, and presentation of recommendations to the senior leadership team.

We partner with colleges to examine their internal student-facing communication processes, with the goal of gaining a greater understanding of current practices and identifying strengths and opportunities for improvement.  The scope of the audit can be customized based on the needs of the college.

We support colleges in the examination of processes that shape and impact the student experience at their institution. Colleges will receive recommendations for creating holistically supported pathways through their institutions.

Our professional learning series, Transforming to Serve Today’s Students, is an opportunity for two- and four-year colleges looking to expand or implement professional learning for their advising staff that reflects best practices in equity-centered holistic advising

The Implementing Shortened Academic Terms Workshop is designed to assist two- and four-year colleges with strategic implementation of shortened academic terms as an equitable student success strategy on campus. Achieving the Dream also offers Half-Day Customized Workshops, four-hour engagements to help colleges with holistic student support implementation on their campus.

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Driving Toward Success

“We can’t design an experience that meets our students where they are unless we holistically understand who they are.”

The Knowing our Students guidebook is a resource for institutional leaders and student success teams who are ready to talk openly about the students they serve and who are eager to learn practical strategies from national experts and peer institutions.

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Partners in Student-Centered Design

Our coaches and subject matter experts have decades of combined experience supporting college leaders, educators, and administrators who are committed to designing holist academic and nonacademic supports that meet students where they are and help them succeed.

Meet Our Team

Contact Us

Reach out today to talk with our team about how we can support your Holistic Student Supports efforts.

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