Pioneer Success Coach

Lara Dungan

College of Language, Arts, and Social Sciences


Coaching Mindset:

Student opinions matter to me.  I’m here to ask questions and give options.  Sometimes there will be difficult moments along the way, but there is always a pathway not yet discovered.  Stay hopeful, put in the effort and truly listen to your own voice to get you where you need to be.

Higher Education Background:

  • Bachelor of Science, UC Davis, Conservation Biology
  • Master of Arts, Simmons College, Teaching

Interests and Hobbies:

  • Reading Fantasy/Supernatural Books
  • Visiting the ocean
  • Taking walks around the neighborhood with my family

Top Defining Moments in Higher Education:

  • Connecting with my professors to volunteer on wildlife-related research projects
  • Becoming a lab assistant for a class I took the previous year
  • A professor announced “You’re a science major that can write!”
  • Surviving physics and organic chemistry

While in college, I experienced:

  • Uncertainty about my major
  • Financial concerns, working while going to school
  • Learning what matters most to me, being proud of my choices
  • How to be independent



Who refers me to a Success Coach?

Professors and other advisors make referrals, or the Success Coach may reach out directly 

What can we talk about?

  • Short and long term academic and personal goals, academic and personal hardships you are experiencing
  • Success tips to assist you with completing your degree - study habits, time management, tutoring, communicating with your professors
  • Campus resources - Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS), Tutoring (SCAA), Accessibility Services, Pioneers for Hope (Food pantry, CalFresh), Transfer Student Programs
  • Understanding your Degree Audit Report (DAR), University Catalog, MyCompass
  • University Paperwork and Procedures -  SAP Appeals, Withdrawal forms
  • How to connect with your other advisors for GE and major advice

How often do I  meet with my coach?

Typically, every two weeks throughout the semester

How long is a coaching session?

30-60 minutes