Wesleyan College welcomes Dr. KaShanda Ray to the position of assistant dean of retention and student success. An office within the Academic Resource Center (ARC) that focuses on increasing the retention rates for first- and second-year students. The ARC offers a range of academic activities including academic advising, counseling, and planning; peer assisted study sessions; the First Year Experience; exam proctoring; and academic success skill-building workshops.
Dr. Ray began her career in higher education as a retention advisor for the University of Louisiana at Monroe where she worked with students with undeclared majors, conducted workshops, and advised student organizations. With almost two decades of experience in higher education, her experience includes serving as an advisor and counselor in higher education and public schools and as counselor for Student Support Services at Graceland University. There she provided counseling to students, taught academic success, and created a winter term to study black culture and its influence on American society. She has also performed social service work as a foster care worker and a community-based mental health therapist. Most recently Dr. Ray was the director of advising at Isothermal Community College in Forest City, North Carolina. She is a licensed professional counselor and counselor supervisor in North Carolina and earned a doctorate degree in organizational leadership from Gardner-Webb University.
Dr. Ray said, “Our focus in the ARC is to get first-year students connected on campus in an effort to help reduce factors that could contribute to not completing their education at Wesleyan. When students are familiar with the resources available and feel there is someone on campus they can talk to, they are more likely to seek help when needed and have positive experiences.” The ARC works with students to increase involvement, help students become more successful in the classroom, and develop the necessary skills they need to study, manage their time, and most importantly, to graduate.
The assistant dean oversees the math specialist and the director of First Year Experience, tracks student progress, and works with other offices on campus to support Wesleyan's mission.