New student success coaching program at ECC aims to provide support, retain students

Elgin Community College now offers a new Student Success Coaching program, which will provide individualized, equitable, high-touch, holistic support to students. The primary goals of the program include increasing course success, course progression, and student retention.

ECC's Student Success Coaches are Bianca Diaz, Ashley Letteney, and Ben Scherr. Diaz is an Elgin native bringing a background in psychology and sociology. She previously taught at McHenry County College as a TRiO Advisor.

Letteney first joined ECC in May 2021 as a student readiness coordinator in the TRiO Talent Search Transition Program. She has a psychology and school counseling background and has worked in behavioral health hospitals and nonprofit organizations in the Northwest suburbs.

Scherr holds multiple years of experience helping students achieve their goals and has worked at Oakton Community College as a career and transfer Coach.

In addition to their previous roles in student success, each coach has served in AmeriCorps.

"Each Success Coach brings a variety of experiences in higher education assisting students in achieving their educational goals," said Peggy Gundrum, associate dean of student success/career development services. "This program will work to fill a gap in high-touch interaction and holistic support for students, and will significantly contribute to the college's efforts in student success and completion."

Success coaches' roles at the college include assisting students with online learning platforms and tools, access to and utilizing resources, college/departmental navigation, direct skill development (e.g., goal-setting, time management, study skills, test-taking strategies, self-advocacy, mindset, etc.), and serving as a general expert facilitator between the student and college.

For more information on ECC's Student Success Coaching program, contact Peggy Gundrum at (847) 214-7122 or

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