AVD grant supports The Dominican Experience

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations (AVD) has awarded Dominican University of California a $190,000 grant in support of The Dominican Experience, the University’s distinctive educational model that equips students with the ability to succeed at Dominican and beyond.

The Dominican Experience connects students with resources, opportunities, and support both on and off campus. The model is based on educational practices shown to improve gains for college students of all backgrounds: integrative coaching and mentorship; community engagement; student-directed signature work; and digital portfolios that showcase accomplishments.

“This game-changing grant comes at a critical juncture in our quest to achieve equity of outcomes and to nurture flourishing across our student body,” says Dr. Nicola Pitchford, Dominican’s Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty.

“It comes as our enrollment numbers climb and new students join our community, eager to meet their faculty advisors and coaches, embark on original research and creative work, participate in internships, and much more.”

In 2016, the University adopted Institutional Learning Outcomes to orient its ongoing implementation of the Dominican Experience. Since then, Dominican has launched a peer mentoring program for all first-year students, infused 50 syllabi with civic-minded outcomes, expanded an annual Creative and Scholarly Works Conference to showcase signature work, and provided all first-year students with support in crafting a digital portfolio.

As it continues to grow, the full potential of The Dominican Experience lies in the holistic integration of its components.

Integrative coaches oversee a student’s education and career plans. In addition to guidance provided by faculty advisors, coaches create a network of support by facilitating connections with peer mentors, career mentors, and academic advising staff.

Engagement with the community provides students with key experiences that deepen their learning and inform their signature work, all of which is captured in unique digital portfolios.

“The Dominican Experience reflects the University’s time-honored core values for today’s diverse, technologically savvy, globally-minded students,” Dr. Pitchford says.

The AVD grant allows Dominican to expand the integrative coaching team; invest in professional development for faculty and staff; enhance University data systems to integrate efforts in coaching and community engagement across the student experience; and establish a network of faculty and peer portfolio fellows to address school-specific issues and guide students in the creation of digital portfolios.

Since 1952, The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations have provided philanthropy to American higher education, medicine and health care, interfaith leadership, and to public educational media for children and for historical and scientific documentaries with national distribution.


August 28, 2018