Interim Dean of the Dougherty Family College Buffy Smith speaks to students during the Dougherty Family College commencement ceremony. Liam James Doyle/University of St. Thomas

How Dougherty Family College Support of Scholars Equals Success

Dr. Buffy Smith, interim dean of Dougherty Family College, spoke with the Longfellow-Nokomis Messenger about how the supports the college provides its students, coupled with the one-on-one mentoring and high expectations the faculty has for the scholars, will help them reach their fullest potential.

From the article: "At DFC, we encourage scholars to ask a lot of questions and seek support early and often. We empower scholars to bring their authentic selves, cultural backgrounds, social backgrounds, and unique perspectives to college.”

DFC scholars take the same courses as all other University of St. Thomas students, and those courses are taught with the same academic rigor. Within DFC however, professors select textbooks and readings that reflect the rich and diverse cultural backgrounds of the scholars. Dr. Smith said, “We know that college is not only possible – but that with structured, culturally affirming supports – graduation is inevitable.

"We want our scholars to see themselves as being future public intellectuals. Almost 50% of DFC staff and faculty identify as being members of the BIPOC community, as do 90% of our scholars. Young people must be able to see themselves not just as consumers of knowledge, but as soon-to-be authors and producers of knowledge."