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Holistic Student Supports

ATD launches parallel initiatives to support student-centered transformation at tribal colleges

News & Updates
December 6, 2022

Achieving the Dream (ATD) today announced the launch of two initiatives that will provide customized support to nine Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) that are working to increase institutional capacity and better meet students’ needs. Building on the successes and lessons learned form the original Serving Native American Students with Holistic Student Supports (SNASHSS) initiative, the parallel cohorts will focus on discrete elements of institutional capacity: holistic student supports for one cohort, and teaching and learning for the other.

Both initiatives have been developed in partnership with tribal college faculty and leaders, as well as ATD’s coordinating partners: The American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) and the American Indian College Fund. 

Holistic student supports

The second iteration of Serving Native American Students with Holistic Student Support aims to transform the student experience at six TCUs through a contextualized redesign of holistic student supports. Over a three-year period, participating colleges will receive intensive, customized coaching to strengthen their capacity, with the goal of making it easier for students to identify and use the support services available to them.

“Tribal Colleges and Universities have always been leaders in the ATD Network when it comes to building student-focused cultures on their campuses. They have leveraged implementing a holistic approach to address student needs in ways that enhance the student experience,” said Dr. Laurie Fladd, director of holistic student supports. “ATD coaches and staff continue to learn from TCU leaders and we look forward to evolving this program in collaboration with the tribal colleges and universities and their communities.”

Throughout the three-year holistic student supports initiative, with support from ATD and peer teams, participating colleges will embark on a collaborative journey that is tailored to each institution’s needs and goals. After being matched with two ATD coaches, TCU leaders and faculty will engage in intensive and customized in-person technical assistance through multiple site visits as well as in-depth programming at ATD’s annual conference, DREAM.

Colleges participating in the holistic student supports initiative:

  • Fort Peck Community College (MT)
  • Aaniiih Nakoda College (MT)
  • Red Lake Nation College (MN)
  • Salish Kootenai College (MT)*
  • College of Menominee Nation (WI)*
  • Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University (WI)*

* College is participating in both initiatives

Teaching and learning

Responding to an increased desire from colleges to develop teaching and learning practices that help students thrive, ATD has also launched Building Capacity for Transformation: Strengthening Faculty Professional Learning for Native American Student Success.

This one-year initiative will support TCU faculty in the creation of high-impact professional learning strategies that improve student outcomes. ATD coaches and experts will collaborate with TCU faculty to create opportunities for long-term professional development that supports continual growth, development, and innovation.

“Tribal college faculty know more about the students they serve than anyone else. We’re honored to collaborate with TCUs in the ATD Network as they expand capacities for professional learning and development,” said Dr. Tanya Scott, associate director of teaching and learning at ATD. “Coaches and staff at ATD are excited not just to work with these institutions, but to learn from them as they build on their strong commitments to support their students.”

Over the next year, colleges in the teaching and learning cohort will participate in seminars focused on topics such as culturally affirming pedagogy, creating a sense of belonging, and open educational resources.

The initiative will culminate in each college creating an action plan for professional learning impact. These action plans will serve to advance the goals that teams identified upon applying to join the cohort, such as faculty development for virtual pedagogy, expanding institutional capacities for data-informed decision-making, and increasing faculty engagement in continuous professional learning.

Colleges participating in the teaching and learning initiative:

  • Stone Child College (MT)
  • Iḷisaġvik College (AK)
  • Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College (ND)
  • Salish Kootenai College (MT)*
  • College of Menominee Nation (WI)*
  • Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University (WI)*

* College is participating in both initiatives

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