Norman Coley, Jr. has been named Western Nebraska Community College’s dean of students.
Coley, who served as the interim dean of students for WNCC since January, was approved to the position by the Western Community College Area (WCCA) Board of Governors at its regular meeting on Wednesday.
“To be named dean of students is truly and honestly an honor,” Coley said.
“I have a mantra that says be the difference in people’s lives. With that, I want to really try to utilize leadership opportunities and student engagement to make people really feel like they belong.”
Coley has dedicated his career getting to know students, working in nearly every corner of the student services field.
Most recently, Coley served as TRIO program director and assistant dean of students at WNCC. He has also served as the student life director for WNCC.
Before his time in Scottsbluff, Coley was an enrollment services director and Native American multicultural student support specialist at Dickinson State University in North Dakota, and was the director of residential life at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, North Dakota. He also has experience as a campus life specialist at Colorado Technical University – Huron Campus.
“We are thrilled to have Norman accept this new role as dean of students at WNCC, as he has been a valued staff member for the past four years in various key positions,” said Nina Grant, vice president of student services at WNCC. “He not only knows our college, he understands the unique needs of our students, and has a passion for providing access and support on their path to success.”
At each stop during his career, Coley has noticed one similarity of all students he has encountered – they want to feel needed.
In that sense, Coley’s job as dean of students becomes quite simple, he said.
“It’s relatively straight forward to me,” he said. “Take care of your students. You take care of your students, they are going to pay it forward, and they are going to remember you. They’re going to confirm and solidify how amazing Western Nebraska Community College really is.”
To meet those needs, one of Coley’s main objectives in his new role is to provide more opportunities for students to have a voice at the table.
For Coley, that means more than just listening to a student’s concern. It means bringing the student perspective in front of the faculty, administration, and community to ensure the student’s success is at the forefront on every level.
“That student needs to feel like they are the most quintessential aspect to what we’re doing,” Coley said.
Coley and his family reside in Mitchell.