ATD Kickoff November 2015

Dr. Smith
Dr. Laura Smith

Special thanks to the more than 280 members of the OCC community, including 50 students, who attended #DreamOCC,” the kick-off event to celebrate the beginning of the College’s participation with the Achieving the Dream Success Network (ATD). ATD Kickoff Video. Attendees were motivated by engaging talks provided by Dr. Steven Murray, Chancellor Emeritus of Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, and Dr. Laura Smith, Chief Student Affairs Officer at Jefferson Community College in Louisville, KY. Dr. Murray and Dr. Smith shared their experiences as successful ATD schools and discussed strategies at their institutions that had been successful. Following lunch, nearly 150 attendees – students, faculty and staff – participated in the Dream Cafe, providing participants with an opportunity to reflect on actual data on student success and persistence from OCC and to offer their thoughts on various factors affecting student success. Nearly 1,000 unique comments were captured, which are currently being organized to share with the campus community.

As part of #DreamOCC, Onondaga conducted Dream Café roundtable conversations, facilitated by volunteer table hosts. Five rounds of creative, meaningful dialog inspired participants to think critically and creatively about student success. Focus areas included:

CheckmarkStudent-Centered Supports

CheckmarkCollege Readiness

CheckmarkCulture of Evidence and Inquiry


CheckmarkStudents, Faculty & Staff Engagement

148 students, faculty and staff joined in the conversation. It was an overwhelmingly positive experience, with great energy and focus, new ideas and possibilities throughout the café discussions. Look for a “storybook” within the next few weeks to bring the results of this work to a larger audience.

ATD kickoff - Casey speaks
Image by Roger Mirabito.

Special thanks to our table hosts: Sophia Marku, Jessie Root, Jerry Farnett, Yvette Jenkins, Naomi Stewart, Shannon Patrie, Larry Weiskirch, Tim Stedman, Kelly Venturini, Mike Kaminski, Glenda Gross, Mike O’Connor, Marcus Watts, Sheriah Dixon, Anne DeLand, Jeanine Eckenrode, Kristen Costello, Cathy Dotterer, Russ Corbin, Mike Metzgar, and Alex Cole.