Blog: Teacher Feature: Daniel Pittaway, Faculty and Student Success Coordinator

Learn how Coastline faculty and Student Success Coordinator creates a sense of community for students.

Tell us about yourself.

I am Tenured Faculty for Reading and Education and the Student Success Coordinator. If you’re a student who recently received tutoring, the Student Success Center was responsible for that connection. The Student Success Center provides a study space and tutoring across a variety of disciplines – we like to empower students through our services!

What do you love about working at Coastline College?

I believe I’ve always enjoyed being a liaison for student success, but my love for learning sparked while I was in high school. I received my Bachelor’s degree in History from Pitzer College and Masters in Education, with a concentration in teaching English as a Second Language, from California State University, Fullerton.

If I could describe myself in three words, I would like to say I am: Inspirational, dedicated, and kind.

What do you love about working at Coastline College?

I love working at Coastline because it feels like home. All my colleagues have been supportive and encouraging ever since I arrived at Coastline. My ideas and concepts for the college were positively embraced and encouraged, which allowed me to move forward in my career. More importantly, I appreciate the opportunity to try new things and expand the capacity and capabilities of the college to serve all students.

What makes your teaching unique and fun?

All interested candidates/tutors are required to take a class with me. I create a sense of community in my classes so that learning is always fun and inclusive. If the community I build with the tutors/students is fun, then the students will pass down that spirit in the work they will do as a Coastline tutor.

When I am training the students for them to become tutors, I focus on strategies to make students feel comfortable and keeping equity and diversity in mind. It’s rewarding to see the future tutors feel excited and happy that they are being trained to assist Coastline students.

I thoroughly enjoy interacting with my students (future tutors) and learning from them. Learning is always a two-way street!

What is something most students or co-workers do not know about you?

In my spare time, I enjoy historic home preservation/restoration as I continue to learn more about how to preserve. Currently, my passion project is restoring my 1931 Arts & Crafts bungalow in Anaheim, CA. My goal is to restore the bungalow to its original state.

Some of my favorite projects is making furniture. Most recently I finished a breakfast table, breadbox, and vegetable bin combo – it was the first cabinet I ever crafted.

In fact, I love it so much that I turned our garage into a workshop, where I created a cabinet for my wife.

I am mostly self-taught – I learned through YouTube and various books, which helped develop my now hobby.

Favorite author and why?

My favorite author is James Joyce because of the layers of meaning in his more abstract works (e.g., Ulysses) that seem to mirror actual life.

Tell us about your most memorable student success story.

The definition of success is different for every student. Our students succeed in whichever their journey is. We see many adult students come in anxious and nervous about their abilities in Math or another course but once they engage with our tutors, they feel confident. Our encouragement and support fuels them to move forward in their classes and graduate.

What do you envision for the future of the Student Success Center?

We would like to continuously expand the center to meet the needs for the changing student population and serve all Coastline students.

Our hope is that our services will go further than the standard tutoring assistance, but a conversation about their goals and empower them to believe in themselves. Our services hope to exceed the expectations of a perceived belief from a community college.

What study music would you suggest for students to add to their “study playlist”?

Classical music baroque era, including Mozart. Personally, I think it’s very conducive to reading, learning, and writing.

Share your 3 best tips for our Coastline students.

  1. Never give up.
  2. Discipline, discipline, discipline. Anything you do in life, you will need to put in time and practice to get better at. As students, you should have consistency in studying. Do not allow yourself to be distracted.
  3. Create goals – Always be active and work towards them.

About the Teacher Feature Series

Coastline College proudly highlights their renowned faculty through the Teacher Feature blog series. This week’s feature showcases Daniel Pittaway, Tenured Faculty and Student Success Coordinator. He can be reached through the Student Success Center. Feeling inspired to take a class with Daniel Pittaway? See course offerings through our class schedule. Enroll today!

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