Dr. Jeffrey Coats has been named interim director of the Reich College of Education’s (RCOE) James Center for Student Success and Advising. His appointment began February 2019.
The James Center, located on the first floor of the RCOE, strives to help students connect with peers, discover resources, participate in professional development, serve the campus and community, and more. The center’s mission is to support and retain education majors during their tenure at Appalachian State University and beyond.
“I am thrilled to be in this position because I am a student advocate at heart. My professional career has been at a variety of institutions across the country where I have been able to engage students and foster an environment of holistic learning. I hope to do the same at Appalachian.”
Coats earned an Ed.D. in administration of higher education, an M.Ed. in administration of higher education, and a B.A. in history from Auburn University.
Before coming to Appalachian, he served in numerous leadership positions, including Associate Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Eureka College, Dean of Students at Enterprise State Community College, and Associate Dean of Students at Bowling Green State University. In all, he has more than 20 years of experience as a leader in higher education.
Coats has chaired and served on several system state-wide committees including scholarship, athletics, and student engagement, and he has served on the state board of NASPA (Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education) and on the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) Education Advisory Board.
He is a sought after presenter at local, state and regional conferences and consultant on a wide variety of higher education topics including:
- Student risk management;
- Recruitment and retention initiatives;
- Student engagement;
- Counseling/students in crisis;
- Title IX;
- Behavioral Intervention Teams;
- Academic advising.
A Social Justice Champion
Coats aims to be a social justice champion. He feels that educators should teach and practice diversity and inclusive excellence; therefore, he has incorporated initiatives focused on these topics into his previous work and will continue to do so at Appalachian.
He is especially interested in working with faculty and student affairs professionals to ensure that students have a holistic learning experience both inside and outside of the classroom. In addition, Coats strives to collaborate closely with faculty on retention initiatives. He is a strong believer that students must not only be retained but also re-recruited every day to ensure their well-being, happiness, and success.
Coats also serves as an adjunct instructor at Appalachian; he teaches a first-year seminar course focused on servant leadership. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Dr. Rebecca Coats, and their two dogs, Beau and Bella. They enjoy hiking the beautiful Appalachian mountains, travel and spending time with their family. He is a native of the Gulf Coast of Alabama.