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Staff Spotlight: Carly Boal

A Message From Carly Boal

Program Coordinator

Hi there, I’m Carly and I am proudly from Massachusetts and a graduate from the University of Maine. I studied English and Psychology and jumped into working in education after graduating. I’ve gained experience in different non profits as well as from my time at ACC and am excited to use all that information while working with my BT students. In my free time I enjoy mountain biking (on the easy trails), reading fiction and playing puzzle based or open world/RPG video games.

More about Carly: Carly Boal, a native New Englander, joins us after 6 years of serving Austin Community College students as an ACC staff member in multiple positions, such as enrollment advising and most recently, academic advising. Prior to working with Austin Community College, Carly served as an AmeriCorps member at 2 different educational non-profits, City Year Miami and College Forward, which brought her to Austin. Carly holds a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and English from the University of Maine and is excited to begin working with Breakthrough’s ACC students!

 

Tell us about your previous work/experience at Austin Community College. 

I started at Austin Community College (ACC) working part-time, in the Health Sciences Admissions office helping students navigate the specific requirements for the health science program. It was this position that led me to look for more full-time work at ACC. I found my first full-time position with the Admission and Records office printing, folding, sending official ACC transcripts per request, and helping students update their information, etc. It was a lot of paperwork and not as much student-facing interaction. However, I learned so much that has helped me work with my current Breakthrough college students. After working in that role for 9 months, I was offered two positions. It was a really difficult decision because while one offered me the student interaction I wanted, I didn’t feel I had enough confidence in the inner workings of ACC. So, I decided to work with enrollment, here I’d be helping students with their applications and as well as behind-the-scenes, processing applications. This allowed me to learn more about the resources at ACC available to students and the different programs they offer. I stayed in that position for 2 years until I decided I was ready for a position that was primarily student-facing and student support. That’s when I found Breakthrough.

What is your role at Breakthrough? 

My primary role as a Program Coordinator at Breakthrough is supporting our students with their educational pathways. Not every educational journey is straightforward, and my role is to help students see how they can help clear up any little hiccups to make their journey a little clearer. I also work with ACC, to discuss ways we can partner together, and share information and campus updates to advisors o better support our Breakthrough students on campus or those interested in enrolling.  We have a little over 150 students attending ACC. so it’s important to understand their systems and who to turn to in each individual situation.

 

What do you like most about working at Breakthrough (so far)? What excites you most about working here?

After several years of serving the varied student body at ACC., I’m taking on a role at Breakthrough to spread my joy and knowledge of the community college system, specifically  ACC, to a different, diverse, but smaller student population. I love working with students overall, but the thing I enjoy must about working at Breakthrough is the real conversations I get to have with my students. Also, the opportunities to build trust and watch them grow on their own- which in just 1 year I have already started to see in some of my students.

Describe Breakthrough’s work and partnership with Austin Community College. 

One thing I’m excited about is for Breakthrough students who are attending ACC to get an assigned student advocate who will work closely with them in supporting our students and ensuring they have what they need for success. We’ve also been working with ACC’s Welcome Center Director David Zuniga’s who’s been opening up the brand-new Welcome Center at ACC Highland to us and some of our events. The space is beautiful and he opened it up to many of our first-time ACC students to help them get registered and ready for fall! This event was a huge success and we are looking forward to doing more in this space in the future!

Describe Breakthrough’s College and Career Success Team. How Does it work? What are the goals? 

The College and Career Success team, with each adviser handling around 50 students, is dedicated to supporting students on their postsecondary journey. This means if you are taking classes or not taking classes but want to, our team is here to help support students getting into, (or back into) a program, and to get through their program. This doesn’t just mean we meet to get you registered and say good luck, but we are there with you checking in around 6-7 times a year to see how the student is doing as a person, and as a student.

What do you hope for the future of our College and Career Success Teamwork at Breakthrough? 

I’m excited about the partnership development we’ve initiated at ACC and what it may hold for the future of our students. I’m also enthusiastic about working to create a stronger Breakthrough Community at ACC. We’re looking forward to hosting events not only for ACC students but also for those who are not currently attending school or other programs, such as trades, but aspire to. They might be unsure about where to start, and we’re here to help. Myself, along with other Program Coordinators on our team, JaNica, and a new staff member, Bere, are all working diligently to spread the word about the various options available for students to explore.

About Breakthrough’s College & Career Team

The College & Career Success Team (CCST) supports all students in their pursuit of a post-secondary degree, certificate, license, or trade. Students can benefit from having a CCST advisor assigned to them who will support their studies for up to 6 years beyond their high school graduation and will continually walk alongside them as they navigate admissions, enrollment processes, tuition payments, and multiple other program components.

Learn more about The College & Career Success Team!