Holistic Student Support Professional Development Day

More than 250 NOVA faculty, staff, students, and administrators participated in the Achieving the Dream (ATD) Holistic Student Support Student Services Professional Development Day. Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Frances Villigran-Glover, Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and Student Success, Dr. George Gabriel, and Achieving the Dream consultants Laurie Fladd and Susan Mayer, hosted the event at the Regional Center for Workforce Education and Training Center (WRC) at the Woodbridge Campus.

Participants worked together as a community to develop a foundation understanding of holistic student supports, to develop an understanding of individual’s role in supporting students and to begin to build the ideal onboarding design for NOVA students.

Using the hashtag #letsdothisNOVA, this professional development experience encouraged participants to become solution-driven and focused on addressing barriers and challenges facing our students. Ignite Us! presentations inspired many while Best Practice vignettes highlighted successful holistic student supports. NOVA success T-shirts captured personal NOVA student success stories serving as a reminder of the impact Student Services has on our students.

Participant feedback showed the impact of the ATD Holistic Student Support Student Services Professional Development Day. Participants walked away equipped with a renewed spirit to forge forward or work differently within their roles to support students more holistically:

“Spend time researching student resources so I can keep a listing of ways that I can help a student. Since I do not work on campus, find a way to interact with each campus monthly.”

“Reach outside of my current position and spend more time with individual students, helping them to physically get where they need to go instead of just pointing them in the right direction or verbally giving them directions. I would also work harder to positively influence or inspire my coworkers as it seems many of them have a negative attitude toward holistic support because they have a negative point of view about their job.”

“Look at the bigger picture when making decisions by meeting with key players cross departments because a one size fit all approach to delivering support does not always meet the needs of the students. Moving from transactional to intentional support.”

“Increase my support to students outside of the classroom, stay on alert of students’ possible hardship, initiate a conversation about it, and point them to possible resources at NOVA.”

“I feel that I am much better equipped to direct a student to resources offered by NOVA and I feel I understand the role of each resource to a fuller extent. I am looking to move forward, providing better direction to students in need of resources and ensuring better follow-up because of the sessions.”

We hope that this day of sharing and learning further inspires NOVA colleagues in their roles at the College. Student Services will provide a follow-up opportunity to delve deeper into information and feedback collected to strategize an action plan for improved operational efficiency with holistic student supports. Summits to address closing equity gaps, basic student needs, and community partnerships are forthcoming. Also, cross-functional teams will be created to enhance collaboration and governance across the College. As a community, we will be well-equipped with the tools we need to help our students succeed!

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