Tyson Dean

Tyson Dean
Member of the BLACK Student Success Program and the Emory Williams Academy for Black Men

Back after COVID
After taking some time off during the pandemic, Tyson Dean decided to come back to Oakton to earn an associate degree.

“My number one motivation to get back into school was to get an education that could push me forward. My advisors helped me explore my interests and create a plan, so I could graduate in a timely manner. I knew it would be challenging to work and go to school, but the support I found on campus was exactly what I needed.”

Joining BSSP and the Academy
Dean credits his involvement with the BLACK Student Success Program (BSSP) and the Emory Williams Academy for Black Men for the amazing experience he had going back to school. Through these programs Dean connected with his peers on a deeper, cultural level.

“I was sitting alone on campus when a member of BSSP came up to me to tell me about the program. I felt BSSP could be the support system I needed. After joining, I had people who would check on me, make sure I was doing well in my classes, and personally. I was also encouraged to join the Emory WIlliams Academy for Black Men, which provided more support and helped me tap into more resources on campus.”

“Before I joined BSSP and the Academy, I was always by myself on campus. I would just go home after class. I learned a lot in the classroom and found direction as far as my interests, but I also wanted to connect with someone. I’m the type of person that feeds off of others’ positive energy, so finding good people around campus was important to me.”

Leaving a Legacy at Oakton
Dean plans to transfer to a four-year institution and eventually become a business owner, but hopes to leave a legacy for the next student looking for more at Oakton.

“After joining BSSP and the Academy, I didn’t feel like Oakton was just a building where I go to class. The people inside the building meant a lot to me and that’s what I want for other Oakton students. Through these programs I was able to try new things like star in a commercial, have my voice heard at a Board of Trustees meeting, and add to a program and a community that will continue after I graduate. Now that I’m looking to transfer, I’m considering schools that are very different from one another, but like Oakton, value a close-knit community. My education at Oakton has made me realize how important it is that I get help from my professors outside of the classroom, stay involved through Student Life and access resources available to me on campus.”