Academic Success Coaching

Sometimes, students need a little extra help to achieve success in college. That’s where the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion comes in. Our Academic Success Coaches offer support and educational opportunities designed to increase the academic success, retention, graduation and transfer of students who may have barriers and challenges to overcome in order to realize their goals.

See a Success Coach image

Why I Should Meet with a Success Coach

Success coaches focus on helping students manage three major areas: academic success, life balance, and transformational leadership.

Meeting with a coach might be right for you if you want to

Improve your academic success by

  • Studying smarter, not harder, and improving your note taking, reading, and review strategies

  • Improving your performance on exams, including better managing test-induced anxiety

Better balance your life by

  • Setting a goal, designing an action plan, and measuring progress with support

  • Working through procrastination and harness your motivators

  • Setting priorities, establishing and maintaining new habits, and balancing commitments

  • Better following your weekly schedule and/or daily to-do list

  • Sharpening your focus and concentration and increase your productivity

Developing transformational leadership skills

  • Identifying ways of self-management of using school and community resources to address life issues such as help with rent, food, childcare, medical, or other issues

  • Collaborating with other students, faculty, staff, and other community members for course study, along with changing what serves as a barrier in your life within the institution and the local community

Benefits for Academic Success Coaching

Students are acclimated into the college environment so they may successfully navigate through their academic career. Specifics benefits include student empowerment, independence, self-accountability, networking, and a strong sense of confidence.

Link to benefits for coaching:

Contacting Academic Success Coaches

Meet the Academic Success Coaches

Appointment with an Academic Success Coach

For more information about Coaches, please click on the drop-down labeled: Academic Coaches: Pictures and Introductions

Appointment with an Accelerating Excellence Academic Associate Coach

For more information about Coaches, please click on the drop-down labeled: Accelerating Excellence Academic Associate Coach

Appointment with a Strengthening Institutions Academic Associate Coach

For more information about Coaches, please click on the drop-down labeled: Strengthening Institutions Academic Associate Coach

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (and Academic Success Coaching)

Dewayne Dickens Head Shot Dr. Dewayne Dickens, Ph.D., Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

I lead the Academic Success Coaching Office, along with providing college-wide support as Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. My work includes supporting students’ semester persistence toward attaining a degree or certificate through the office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Through the Academic Success Coaching Office, students are guided with research-based practices to enhance leadership, self–assessment, and goal-setting skills for students – with particular focus on first generation and underserved populations.

I have served as a Developmental English Associate Professor at Tulsa Community College for 17 years.  My doctorate is in Curriculum and Social Foundations (English emphasis) with a dissertation focus on college persistence for African American males. I have extensive experience in providing faculty professional development (having served several years as Tulsa Community College’s Coordinator for the Academy for Teaching Excellence, the three-year orientation and professional program for new full-time faculty). I also have a strong background in leadership, diversity and multicultural learning issues, implicit bias discussions, including national presentations on such topics as creative strategies for teaching and learning, race in education, technology in classroom instruction, and community involvement with education.

I am a member of the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation Board of Directors and lead the Curriculum Development Team. I also serve as a Board Member for the Oklahoma Humanities and serves as a Commissioner for the Mayor's African American Affairs Commission of Tulsa, along with serving on the Pastor’s Board for the Antioch Baptist Church.

Favorite pastimes: playing piano, singing, bicycling, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

Most important lesson learned about education:

Good writing (and expert skill for any subject) comes from practice, practice, practice – and revision!

Academic Coaches: Pictures and Introductions

Thesha Zeigler Head ShotThesha Zeigler, M.Ed., Academic Success Coach

I have a Master’s Degree in Urban Education, which focuses on educational improvements for under-served and under-represented students with diverse backgrounds and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Langston University.

I’ve been employed at Tulsa Community College for 14 years and have many areas of experience with different departments. My current position as an Academic Success Coach allows me to be an advocate for students, to put together strategies for student success by developing a plan of action, working with staff and faculty as a resource for improvement with the curriculum, life strategies, personal wellness, food insecurities, and communication skills. Other areas of expertise are; Academic Advisement which helps create a strategic degree plan for students through Pathway implementation, Career Services which provides career assessments, job preparatory and establish search job searches for employment, TRiO Student Support Services which provides students who are first-generation, low income, and/or have a documented disability with tools, resources, tutoring, and counseling. Last, but not least, I have a wealth of knowledge from working the private business for 20+ years in customer service, money management, team training and building.

What was the BEST piece of advice you were given as a college student?

The BEST advice I have received as a college student is to be really friendly with the frontline staff; Financial Aid, Advisement, Bursar, and Enrollment Services by knowing their names, and being kind to them with a “Hello (name)”, “How are you today?” Because if you are ever in a pickle, they’ll go the extra mile for you when you are in need of help! ; )

If you are in the following schools, Thesha Zeigler is your Academic Success Coach:

  • Allied Health
    • Cardiovascular Technology
    • Dental Hygiene
    • Diagnostic Medical Sonography
    • Health Information Technology
    • Medical Laboratory Technology & Phlebotomy
    • Occupational Therapy Assistant
    • Pharmacy Technology
    • Physical Therapist Assistant
    • Radiography
    • Respiratory Care
    • Veterinary Technology
  • Communications
    • English
  • Nursing
    • Nursing

Michael Singleton Head Shot Michael Singleton, M.Th., Academic Success Coach

Born and raised in Tulsa, a graduate of Central High School, I started my college studies at Northeastern State University and graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and minor in Biology. I began working for TCC in 2006 and I was given the awesome opportunity in 2007 to coordinate TCC’s African American male mentoring initiative. I then realized that I had found my passion for student academic success, especially for those students whose backs are against the wall. I completed my Master’s degree in Theology with the emphasis on Ministry and Culture in 2015.

I had the wonderful opportunity to teach 6th grade Math and Science at Walt Whitman Elementary for 2 years, which increased my passion to continue to establish effective processes to help students succeed in their education. The study of educational narratives along with analyzing and evaluating concepts, pedagogies and curricula as it relates to urban education, history and social foundations are areas of research and study that I am intimately involved. Using this information to generate increased retention rates, maximizing student performance in the classroom and in career fields are just a few of the abilities I possess. I look forward to contributing to the life changing work being done by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Tulsa Community College.

What was the BEST piece of advice given to me as a college student?

I like to advise students on being persistent towards accomplishing their goals. There will be some tough and rough times whenever they are pursuing worth-while goals, so they must “think about” the opportunity that the completed goal brings and not the obligation of trying to complete the goal. I always say, “it is good to start, but better to finish.”

If you are in the following schools, Michael Singleton is your Academic Success Coach:

  • Engineering, Aviation, & Public Service
    • Aviation
    • Child Development
    • Criminal Justice
    • Electronics
    • Engineering
    • Engineering Technology
    • Fire and Emergency Medical Services
    • Human Services
  • Engaged Learning
    • First Year Experience (or Academic Success)
    • Honors designated
  • Liberal Arts
  • Communication (but not the English)
    • Humanities
    • History & Political Science
    • Social Science
    • ASLE & World Languages (like Spanish, French, and Mandarin)

Joy Betz Head Shot Joy Betz, M.Ed., Academic Success Coach

Prior to my role as the Academic Success Coach, I have over 30 years of combined higher education teaching experiences both in the U.S. and overseas. I served as the president of the Oklahoma Chinese Teachers’ Association and was on the Board of Directors for Tulsa Global Alliance. I have been employed at Tulsa Community College for over 20 years. I know students sometimes need extra help outside the classroom. In my role as an Academic Success Coach, I guide students through goal setting, student involvement, and academic engagement while fostering student development through clarification of academic, professional, and personal goals using strategies that contribute to successful degree completion and to building students' leadership skills. It is very fulfilling for me to help these students transition to personally responsible adults who are empowered to pursue motivation and accountability for their own academic and personal success.  

Due to my personal and professional background, I’m committed to serve the underrepresented diverse students. The Academic Success Coach role fits it all. It gives me the opportunity to advocate and help position diverse and underrepresented students on a path to lifelong learning and success through equity and inclusive practices.

What was the BEST piece of advice you were given as a college student?

When I was studying for my undergraduate degree, my advisor asked me to join a student organization on campus to gain leadership skills. I served as a student officer during my undergraduate years which proves to be the most valuable learning experience in my life.

If you are in the following schools, Joy Betz is your Academic Success Coach:

  • Business & Information Technology
    • Accounting & Economics
    • Business Administration
    • Information Technology
  • Science & Math
    • Chemistry
    • Life Sciences
    • Physical Sciences
    • Mathematics
  • Visual & Performing Arts
    • Art
    • Digital Media
    • Interior Design
    • Journalism
    • Music
    • Theater
  • Community Programs
  • Intensive English Program

  • English as a Second Language

Accelerating Excellence Academic Associate Coach

Sandy Samuels Head Shot Sandy Samuel

I grew up in California and moved to Oklahoma for school. I am currently doing my doctorate in Health. I am relatively new to TCC and love working with this team, which is an invaluable resource for students at TCC. I feel like we are truly making a difference in people’s lives and that’s awesome! I worked as a mentor and Peer Leader in undergrad, so helping fellow students is right up my alley and I enjoy it! I have a strong, yet developing, background in Leadership, Advocacy for under-represented students - having taken part in multiple such programs in undergrad, such as being the Student Director for Project SPEAK- an advocacy group to prevent domestic violence, and the President of the only multicultural Honors Society on the UCO campus – diversity and inclusion organizations, and community involvement.

I sincerely hope I can make a difference in many students’ lives, whether that be in maximizing student performance in classes, helping them gain access to available resources, helping them get more involved on campus and/or in leadership, tutoring them, mentoring them, or simply helping them navigate life. That being said, I hope you can reach out if you need help and I will do my best to help you, and remember, you are not alone! I look forward to contributing to the life changing work being done by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Tulsa Community College.

In my spare time, I like to dance, sing karaoke, go camping and hiking, traveling, biking, sky-diving, spending time with friends and family, among other things.

What was the BEST piece of advice given to me as a college student?

I am still a college student, and the best piece of advice given to me thus far, is to keep persisting and to get out of my comfort zone sometimes, because that will inevitably lead to the accomplishment of goals and to the pursuit of learning new things in the process! I like to call it, “Persist in the no-fly zone!”

Most important lesson learned about education:

For that, I will leave you with one of my quotes,

“You are not what you learn; rather you learn who you are and use that knowledge to do!”

~Sandy Samuel

Mary P. Walker Head Shot Mary P. Walker

I am excited to be a part-time Academic Success Coach. I think I have been coaching most of my life. I believe that everyone wants to do his or her best; however, sometimes life interferes what that concept. I am committed to working with some solid, effective methods of studying, teaching, learning, encouraging, and applying techniques that help students navigate college and life more effectively.

I had the distinct privilege of working at Tulsa Community College for 38 ½ years and retired in 2011. I have served as a part-time instructor, full-time faculty, instructor/coordinator, and associate dean. In all of those capacities, I continued to teach, coach, and encourage. I retired in 2011, and I am excited to be working again, part-time of course, with Dr. Dickens and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team.

I have a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education from Langston University, a M.S. Degree in Reading Education from Northeastern State University, and post master’s work from the University of Tulsa and Oklahoma State University in counseling and administration.

I am actively involved in Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., the community, and church in several capacities. My grandchildren are my joy! I love playing bid whist cards, cooking, and fishing.

Strengthening Institutions Academic Associate Coach

Andrea Clark Head Shot Andrea Clark Chambers

As a native of Tulsa and proud graduate of Booker T. Washington High School, I am excited to have this wonderful opportunity to work closely with students to help them be successful and achieve their educational and career goals. The importance of education was instilled in me and my brother at a very young age, so we have both worked hard to pursue our educational goals. Though I wasn’t sure how it would take shape, I recognized early in life that I wanted to help people in our community to manage many of the barriers and challenges that they face in their daily lives. So after high school, I went to Northeastern State University where I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication and later received a Master of Divinity Degree at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. There, the seeds of lifelong learning were planted as I worked as a Research Assistant for several faculty members, completed work study in the school library, and served in student government to advocate for the underrepresented students and connect them to a variety of resources for their success on campus and beyond. But my love for Tulsa and deep passion for helping people drove me back home to serve the people in my community for the past 20 years.

Prior to becoming an Academic Associate Success Coach, I worked in both church and nonprofit organizations for over two decades and taught religious courses as an Adjunct professor. After completing a Doctor of Ministry degree in Transformational Leadership at Phillips Theological Seminary, I added the teaching of several TCC College Success courses in 2021 to my list of preferred courses in which I help students.

I look forward to working with all students at TCC through the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion office by helping them realize their full potential and achieve their goals. I believe that my particular life path has allowed me to gain the knowledge, experience, and tools necessary to encourage and support students as they pursue their educational, career, and long-term life goals.

Marguerite Allen Head Shot Marguerite Allen

I am a native Tulsan that is a graduate of Tulsa Community College (called Tulsa Junior College back in the day!) with an Associate of Arts degree in Foreign Language (French). I then attended Oklahoma State University in Stillwater and obtained my Bachelor of Science in Sociology and a Master of Science in Corrections. I worked for many years in various courthouses and for a variety of non-profits.

Eleven years ago I made a big shift and became an Adjunct Professor of Sociology at Rogers State University. I taught there for 7 years and then progressed over to Tulsa Community College. I have been an Adjunct at Tulsa Community College for 4 years and recently accepted a part-time position in the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Department, as an Academic Associate Coach. I bring a great deal of real life experience to this new position and look forward to assisting students in meeting their academic goals.

In my free time I enjoy gardening with my boyfriend on our 2 and ½ acres, reading, watching movies, and sewing. I am currently writing a book about domestic violence with 2 other people also.

What is the BEST piece of advice you were given as a college student?

Probably the best advice I’ve ever received is to remember that all things are temporary. If you’re in a class that the subject matter is difficult, or if the professor is boring, or maybe the class meets at 8am and you’re not a morning person try to remember that this situation won’t last forever. Power through it, get to the other side and then move on. Nothing in life is forever and soon the difficult class, the boring professor or the 8am class will be over and done with.

Emily Kilburg Head Shot Emily Kilburg

I started my college career at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, IA. Like a lot of college students, I changed my major a lot my first year and eventually found a home in Sociology. During my time as an undergraduate student, I was actively involved on campus through our Campus Activities Board and as a Resident Assistant. It was from my time in those organizations that I decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration in order to best support all types of college students through their education. I completed my Masters of Education in Higher Education Administration from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA and then moved to Dallas to work at Southern Methodist University as a Residential Community Director.

As an Academic Coach, I hope to take my wide range of experiences on other campus and support and empower the students to TCC to accomplish their goals and be successful in all of their academic, personal, and professional pursuits.

Programs and Services

Programs and services offered are accessible to all TCC students and aimed at providing reasonable and appropriate accommodations to meet all their learning and evaluation needs.


Work with an Academic Success Coach for research-based approaches to balancing school, work, and life. Academic Success Coaches will help you take assessment surveys to measure your strengths and challenges, focusing on how your strengths can be leveraged to help you deal with life encounters. Coaches will also help you set up SMART Goals, manage your time, and create a success plan.


Tips and tools for student success brought to classrooms, student organizations, and other arranged forums.

Study Groups

Student peers provide the best student-to-student support, and the research supports that having peers as mentors creates stronger support for success in college. Join a study group at the following link:

Common Services

  • Student Advocacy
  • Communicating with Faculty
  • Diversity Conversations
  • Cultural Enrichment Activities
  • Individual Coaching
  • SMART Goal Setting (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely goals)
  • Holistic Resource Referrals
  • Academic Skills Assessment
  • Forums and Workshops
  • Leadership Training
  • Mentorship Opportunities
  • College Transfer Planning

Blackboard Site for Academic Success Resources

Impact Report for Academic Success Coaching