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Student Success Coaches

Student Success Coaches provide essential learning support through one on one communication with our students, developing campus events, sharing knowledge of CCAC and collaborating with other college departments to promote academic and personal success thus encouraging the retention of students by helping them achieve their goals at CCAC.

Student Success Coaches Are Here to Help You!

  • Develop an educational plan and set goals
  • Provide individual and group coaching that supports academic success
  • Facilitate workshops on time management, note-taking, test prep, and study skills
  • Refer students to on- and off-campus resources for additional support services

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Student Success Coach

Specialized Student Populations: Developmental/Student Athletics

Marshall (Mark) Ellison began his career in 2002 at Community College of Allegheny County Boyce Campus as a Perkins Career Support Specialist. In that role, Mark developed his passion for mentoring and counseling students and assisting them with their academic success. In 2010, Mark accepted his current position of Student Success Coach. He continues to be a student advocate. One of his most notable achievements was developing one of the strongest Men of Merit Programs at the Boyce Campus. Prior to coming to CCAC, Mark worked in Real Estate Management and for the Pittsburgh Job Corps’ College Program as a residential advisor. He was instrumental in bridging the gap for Pittsburgh Job Corps students transitioning to the CCAC college program. He continues to be a student advocate in developing strong relationships resulting in numerous success stories of retention and graduation. 

Mark’s formal education was at the University of Dayton and his with a concentration on secondary education in urban studies. Mark’s community service includes the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Pittsburgh, Board of Directors for the YMCA, and is a current member of the Churchill-Wilkins Rotary which sponsors the interact club at the Woodland Hills High School.   

Something people might not know:

In January 1971, Mark was drafted by the New York Giants to play professional football. He played as an Offensive Guard in the NFL from 1971-1974.

Favorite Quote: “Attitude is your altitude” and “Start something, finish something.” Unknown

Student Success Coach

Specialized Student Populations: Pittsburgh Promise Students

Miles Hines received his Bachelor of Arts in Business Management & Finance from LaRoche College.  He has been with Community College of Allegheny County since 2008. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Hines has maintained a strong presence in supporting, inspiring, and uplifting the Pittsburgh community for over a decade via community outreach programs, faith-based initiative programs, youth development programs, and serving as an educational coach/facilitator. Also, during Hines' tenure, he has assumed several Administrative positions related to Financial Aid, Registration, Advising, and Pittsburgh Promise.

Additionally, Hines' career in higher education includes experience in working under grant-funded as well hard money positions. More, specially, throughout the years, Hines has both assisted and directed initiative Programs for both male and females of all ages, gender, race, ethnicity, income status, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, and several other ideologies. Miles believes that it is the supportive and caring learning environment that sets the stage for student excellence and academic program completion. Guiding students includes regular monitoring of academic rigor, including live tutoring referrals, Learning Center referrals, and online Computer tutorials referrals.

Currently, as a Student Success Coach and Program Liaison for Pittsburgh Promise, Miles applies and posts the Financial Promise Awards to all students' accounts campus wide that cover the Total Cost of Attendance. Promise eligible students receive payment towards any remaining balance up to the students' maximum annual award amount for each of the four years of post-secondary education. He is honored to be able to mentor students along their academic journey to achieve their goals. He monitors students' success, makes recommendations to increase academic success.

Something people might not know: I play golf.

Favorite Quote: “The most important goal in your life should be self-manifestation.” 

Student Success Coach

Specialized Student Populations: Developmental Students, Athletes at South Campus

Darren graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and is currently studying for his Master of Education in Higher Education Management at Pitt and Master of Business Administration at the California University of Pennsylvania. In addition to his role as Student Success Coach, Darren is the South Campus Athletic Coordinator, providing support to student-athletes and helping to manage the Bowling and Softball programs.  

One of Darren’s biggest professional passions is helping students secure their basic needs (food, housing, transportation, etc.) so they can focus on academic success and achievement. He oversees the Campus Cupboard which provides free groceries to students once per month and the Campus Closet which provides free formal attire once per semester. In his other work to help students secure their basic needs, Darren serves on a steering committee for the Southwestern Pennsylvania Collegiate Basic Needs Dialogue, a one-day conference entering its third year of convening to focus on strategies that alleviate basic needs barriers to success for college students.

Something people might not know: Darren is a huge Philadelphia sports fan and has been following the Eagles and Phillies particularly close since he was six years old.

Student Success Coach


Specialized Student Populations: Developmental Students, Students with Disabilities

Jennifer received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from St. Vincent College and her Master’s degree on Occupational Therapy from Chatham University. She is a registered and state licensed Occupational Therapist. Jennifer also received a certificate in Paralegal Studies with a specialty in Civil Litigation from Duquesne University.

Jennifer has worked for the Community College of Allegheny County for over two years. Her experience working in the Supportive Services Office at CCAC has helped her understand the demands and rewards of working with and mentoring students who need extra support. In addition, for CCAC, Jennifer taught SDS-102-BPAS1, a class for high school students with disabilities that are preparing for college. She also worked with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit 3, encouraging and helping young people who faced unique challenges that combined physical, academic and socio-economic factors. She is passionate about education and helping every student grow and reach his or her full potential.

Something people might not know: Jennifer played sports in high school and is a sports enthusiast. She is a big fan of hockey and the Pittsburgh Penguins. She attends their games and practices as much as her schedule allows. Over the years, she has met many of the Pittsburgh Penguins players and received their autographs.

Favorite Quote: "As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has - or ever will have - something inside that is unique to all time. It's our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression." Mr. Rogers.

Student Success Coach/ Student Development Specialist

Specialized Student Populations: Developmental Students, Single Point of Contact, Student Organizations

Sean Thomas received his Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Master’s Degree in Student Affairs and Higher Education from Slippery Rock University. While working at Slippery Rock, he gained experience working in the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, the Office of Multicultural Development, the President Office, the Admissions department and Residence Life. Sean’s desire for working with students stem from his own experience as a student activist, class officer, and representation of the student population (Graduate Assistant).

Something people might not know: I am a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers Fan. Regardless of our record we are still the best team.

Favorite Quote: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” - Nelson Mandela