By Brian Kleemann
As the new Assistant Provost of Student Affairs and Assistant Provost of Instruction at College of DuPage, Diana Del Rosario, Ed.D., and Kirk Overstreet, Ph.D., are working together to facilitate academic and student initiatives at College of DuPage.
COD Provost Mark Curtis-Chávez, Ph.D., said the new positions bring together two entities under one umbrella in order to maximize student success.
“When we talk about helping students achieve their goals, it starts when they first come through our doors,” Curtis-Chávez said. “This means providing the best resources in everything from registration and advising to academic instruction. By merging student affairs and academic affairs into the same division, Dr. Del Rosario and Dr. Overstreet together can build upon the many fine resources that we already have in place.”
Del Rosario (Winfield) holds a doctorate degree in Community College Leadership from National American University and an MBA in Management and Leadership from Baldwin Wallace University. She comes to COD from Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, where she worked as Associate Vice President for College-Wide Accreditation and Healthcare Initiatives, Dean of Learning and Engagement for Academic Affairs, and Dean of Access and Completion for Student Affairs. She also was nominated and selected as part of the inaugural class of the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence in 2016.
Del Rosario was drawn to College of DuPage because of the strong community support and the potential for growth and enrichment.
“College of DuPage already has a good track record in terms of student completion and graduation,” she said. “This is an opportunity to build a new entity in order to align student success and give academic and student affairs staff a chance to work side by side. I’ve been on both sides and feel I can contribute and unify.”
One initiative currently underway at COD is Guided Pathways, in which programs, support services and instructional approaches are redesigned and re-aligned to help students clarify goals and choose the correct path. Del Rosario, who has previously worked on the many facets of Guided Pathways, will bring that experience to COD.
Above all, Del Rosario wants students to achieve their goals.
“We are transforming student lives, and my passion is to make this institution the right environment for each student,” she said.
Overstreet (La Grange) is no stranger to COD, where since 2012 he has served as Assistant Dean for Adjunct Faculty Support, Interim Associate Dean for Learning Technologies, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs. He holds a Ph.D. in Organization Development from Benedictine University, a Master of Arts degree in History from Ball State University and a bachelor’s degree in History from North Central College. He also served as an adjunct instructor of History at Lewis University for more than 13 years.
In his new position, Overstreet sees his primary roles as advocate for faculty, providing direction to the academic deans, helping develop the vision for the provost office, and working closely with Del Rosario, thus providing a synergistic and holistic experience for students.
“With a college our size and complexity, it became clear to Dr. Curtis-Chávez that both academic and student affairs needed to be more attuned toward working together as a team by creating a new provost office that is a one-stop shop for all that we do for student success,” he said. “By better aligning our areas, we can strategically focus on our major initiatives that address persistence, completion and increasing graduation rates.”
Because of his prior experience at COD, Overstreet can draw on his varied perspectives to best move forward.
“Instead of starting initiatives in silos, Mark, Diana and I can brainstorm on ideas that will have maximum impact,” he said. “This is an opportunity to know our students in a more synergistic and holistic way and really address their needs.”