Dean of Students Office Rolls out Care, Conduct and Coaching Model, Plays More Visible Role in Student Successes
The Dean of Students Office (DOS) at the University of St. Thomas introduces a new approach – Care, Conduct and Coaching. Most students relate the DOS with conduct issues. However, this new approach helps to change that perception by putting student success and positive student engagement at the forefront.
David Hao, associate vice president of Student Affairs and dean of Students, said, “The Office wants to be known for more than conduct issues. They want to remove barriers to student success.”
When Hao joined UST in 2020 as dean of Students, he championed success coaching, which added the “care” element to the team’s approach to students. When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, UST’s success coaches sprang into action to check on the well-being of undergraduate and graduate students.
“The DOS truly wants to be known for more than conduct issues,” Amanda Villanueva, assistant dean of Students and Mendenhall Summer Institute director, said. “Our team provides a lot of support from assisting when students have holds on their student accounts and directing them to the right offices; to giving emergency financial assistance when students find themselves in a bind; to running our student app that helps our commuter campus feel a little less dispersed.”
The third piece the DOS team added to the mix is the peer success coach student leadership position.
“We had the 'care' piece, the 'conduct' piece, and now we will focus on 'coaching' our students, which is the proactive arm of our office,” Villanueva said. “We hope that with coaching we can be less reactive to an alert telling us that a student won’t be returning to campus due to some barrier. Instead, we can intervene before a crisis occurs."
Meet Temidayo Fasehun – Peer Success Coach
The new peer success coach student leadership role helps the DOS to better connect with students.
Villanueva said, “This past spring, we hired for a new position and selected a handful of students to serve.
“We are introducing Temidayo Fasehun as the new student conduct and success specialist. The Peer Success coaches will report to Fashun to get information directly from students."
Fasehun comes to UST from Florida Atlantic University where she served as a graduate assistant in residential conduct while earning her Masters of Education in Higher Education and Leadership.
The Peer Success Coaching program is in coordination with the Counseling and Wellness Department.
“Counseling and Wellness often find that there are issues that a well-trained student might be able to respond to more quickly, like testing anxiety, as well as helping with wellness initiatives, like healthy eating habits and building time for self-care and prayer life,” Villanueva said.
Meet Patty Amaya in New Role as Success Coach
Patty Amaya has served Student Affairs as office coordinator and now she adds success coach to her title. Her focus will be on supporting sophomores.
“Patty is amazing and helped create our foundation for our success coaching model and is really taking our outreach efforts in a new direction,” Villanueva said. “We are so glad to have her be part of our team.”
Amaya explains that sophomore students have had it rough since the beginning of COVID.
“Most ended their senior year of high school online and spent their first year of college online,” she said. Now, we are back on campus, and we have planned events for the months of September, October and April so far.”
Patty celebrates her role in the lives of students.
“I get to be their cheerleader and celebrate their joys and accomplishments and cheer them on through the tough stuff,” she said. “I really do have the best job on campus.”