ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS (May 15, 2024) — Augustana College announces the launch of Success Teams for every student beginning fall 2024. The innovative program builds upon the college’s track record of developing strong leaders, with a heightened focus on customized support.

Dr Kristin Douglas, Augustana’s associate vice president for retention and student success, said the addition of Success Teams is part of the launch of the college’s strategic plan, Bold and Boundless, which prioritizes engaged learning, maximizing student potential and connecting through community partnerships.

“Augustana has a long history of graduating students who go on to become transformative leaders in their chosen fields,” Dr Douglas said. “The Success Teams initiative is the college’s next step in ensuring our students have the resources and support they need to pursue their goals confidently.”

The initiative will pair every student with a multi-pronged team of experienced professionals and peer mentors who work together to support a student’s journey from before their arrival on campus to graduation day and beyond.

“Our central focus is and always has been student success,” said Dr Douglas. “By launching an individualized network of support for every student, we eliminate the guesswork of how students can get connected to resources that can help them shape their college experience and prepare them to achieve their life and career goals.”

Under the new plan, a Success Team for a first-year student will include a first-year advisor, a financial aid counselor, a career/vocation coach, and a well-being coach. In addition to professional staff members, the Success Team will also include student leaders by way of a peer mentor and a community advisor.

Success Teams will change over time to reflect a student’s growth and vocational interests. Some students, such as international students or participants in the federal TRIO-SSS Program that serves first-generation college students and students with disabilities, will have additional team members assigned to provide customized guidance and mentoring from the start.

President Andrea Talentino said launching this component of the strategic plan puts Augustana’s mission of developing students in mind, body and spirit in motion.

“Introducing Success Teams helps us meet incoming students and progressing students where they are in order to match our resources — whether that be knowledgeable staff members or unique programming opportunities — according to what each student needs to develop the qualities that are important to pursue the future they want.”

Augustana will continue to use the student-data platform Starfish to allow those on the Success Team and individual students to communicate and engage in coordinated support efforts. Augustana faculty and student advisors have used this student-centered online tool for the past decade to share insights, concerns, and advice.

President Talentino said the goal is to connect Augustana students with meaningful relationships.

“Success Teams formalize long-existing informal networks of care, encouragement, and inspiration that have been a cornerstone of the Augustana experience,” she said.  “We know an Augustana education goes beyond academics, and this coordinated support nurtures the entire student and helps each student understand how all the parts of their college experience work together.”

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