Case Study: Gateway Technical College

August 2019


To help a new financial aid director become a confident team leader.


Pamela Lowrey, the school's new financial aid director, is learning to manage a team of 10 staff. Lowrey, who had not previously supervised staff, had been in the aid office for almost 30 years and was recently promoted into her leadership position.


Blue Icon Advisors provided a comprehensive one-on-one coaching experience. The first part of the engagement was spent learning about the new director's current leadership style, office operations and structure, and reviewing existing reports and data. We also administered a staff survey and conducted focus groups with staff to obtain a comprehensive picture of the office environment. The second part of the engagement included weekly coaching sessions, which were conducted entirely by video conference.


Through dialogue, observation, and feedback, the consultant was able to recommend actions that would provide a pathway for the director to be a fully engaged member of the campus community. "I got everything I needed out of this engagement, and then some," Lowrey said. By the end of the engagement, the director had prepared a presentation that demonstrated knowledge of her office operations with an assessment of compliance, and a recommendation for a comprehensive staff training and organizational plan. Lowrey recently shared information about her positive coaching experience at a college leadership meeting where her colleagues were discussing ineffective experiences with other consultants who, they felt, provided preconceived ideas and plans. Lowrey explained to her colleagues, "The work I did with the Blue Icon consultant was so customized, it had great value to me."

We visited with Lowrey in February and she was “happy to share that we have accomplished much thanks to the assistance from Blue Icon.” She reclassified two employees - one to an assistant director role to support the director and another to fill in the functions vacated by the new assistant director, identified compliance issues that she is currently working to resolve with her team, and is nearly finished cross-training her entire team.


Do you need a personal advocacy plan? Do you need a custom training solution? Are your financial aid operations efficient? Are you serving your students well? Complete this no obligation online form to start the conversation with Blue Icon Advisors.

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Publication Date: 2/28/2020

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