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How Do You Design a College Success Course that Engages Faculty and Promotes Full-Scale Implementation? Durham Technical Community College D.R.E.A.M. Institute.

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Presentation on theme: "How Do You Design a College Success Course that Engages Faculty and Promotes Full-Scale Implementation? Durham Technical Community College D.R.E.A.M. Institute."— Presentation transcript:

1 How Do You Design a College Success Course that Engages Faculty and Promotes Full-Scale Implementation? Durham Technical Community College D.R.E.A.M. Institute February 2012, Dallas

2 Durham Tech: Who We Are Durham Tech is one of the 58 NC community colleges. Our service area includes Durham, Research Triangle Park, and Chapel Hill; local universities include Duke, NC Central, UNC-Chapel Hill, and NC State. The college employs 162 full-time faculty, 168 full-time staff, and 500 part-time faculty and staff members. We serve ~25,000 students each year (~8,200 curriculum). Here is a profile of our curriculum students: 40% African American; 37% Caucasian; 7% Hispanic; 60% female; average age is 30.

3 First-Year Experience Transformation College Success Course: Require a college success course for students during their first semester of enrollment. Early and Academic Alert: Create a system for identifying and providing support to at-risk students within the first weeks of the term. Mentoring Programs: Provide peer mentoring support for developmental education and minority male students. Align with other strategies.

4 First-Year Experience Transformation Pre-Enrollment Orientation: Provide students with critical information for a successful transition prior to registration. Advising: Transform the culture of advising into a system of support and engagement of students. Student Activities: Foster student-led initiatives including new organizations for minority students.

5 First-Year Experience Transformation Emergency Financial Support: Establish emergency funds to provide support to students with unexpected financial barriers to persistence. Textbooks: Implement new textbook support options for low-income students. Marketing: Change our marketing tools to emphasize career decisions and program completion rather than just taking a course.

6 College Success Course: Initial ATD Data There were 564 students in the original Fall 2002 AtD cohort. 391 (69%) of these students re-enrolled in spring There were 2,338 students in the first three years of implementation (2002 – 2005 cohorts). 1,653 (71%) of these students re-enrolled in spring terms. There were 623 students in our Fall 2010 AtD cohort. 463 (74%) of these students re-enrolled in spring 2011.

7 College Success Course: Our Idea Implement a required, inescapable college success course for entering students with fewer than one semester of transferable credits.

8 College Success Course: History Prior to Spring 2006, the college offered elective college success courses, optional success workshops, and non-mandatory new- student orientations. Students who chose to participate were generally not the students who needed the most support. Despite positive evaluations from participating students, attendance was sparse unless linked to an academic requirement. Our data focused only on student satisfaction and enrollment. There were no measures of effectiveness.

9 College Success Course: National Data Colleges can improve graduation rates by offering a course that teaches how to navigate college. Fain, P. (Feb. 21, 2012). Success Begets Success. Inside Higher Ed. slowly-community-colleges#ixzz1nE3a3Sph slowly-community-colleges#ixzz1nE3a3Sph Study skills instruction in the first year of college is positively linked to student persistence. Tobolowsky, B.F. (2005). The 2003 national survey on first-year seminars: Continuing innovations in the collegiate curriculum (Monograph 41). Columbia, SC: Univ. of SC, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.

10 College Success Course: National Data First year seminar courses are important for community colleges because we share three characteristics: (1) the open door policy (rather than admissions selectivity) (2) student-centered teaching and learning (rather than discipline-specific research) (3) a focus on institutional innovation (rather than a restrictive emphasis on tradition) Hankin, J.N. (Ed.). (1996). The Community College: Opportunity and Access for Americas First-Year Students (Monograph No. 19). Columbia, SC: National Resource Center for The Freshman Year Experience, Univ. of SC.

11 College Success Course: Our Latest Data Of the 220 students who successfully completed the course, 196 (89%) returned the following semester. Of the 293 students who took the course regardless of outcome, 241 (82%) returned the following semester. Of the 856 students who did not take the course, 501 (59%) returned the following semester. This trend has been consistent for five cohort years of implementation, with increasing student participation.

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13 Initial Questions and Answers

14 How would you foster faculty engagement? Train and hire highly-skilled, highly-engaged faculty Faculty who teach the course have masters degrees or higher and are generally full-time faculty. Faculty who teach this course are required to complete a 15-hour training workshop that simulates the course. These faculty meet at various times throughout the semester to discuss student engagement and course effectiveness.

15 Fostering Faculty Engagement How will you ensure quality of instruction? How will you train instructors? How will you create and sustain a highly-engaged community of instructors?

16 How can you scale up this intervention? Develop institutional commitment We started by offering 3 sections and now offer 85 sections annually. Three new faculty positions (Chair of FYE and two instructors) have been created to provide supervision and to teach the course. Other full-time faculty and some professional staff teach the course as part of their academic load or on an overload contract. Our course meets for 1 c0ntact hour, yet we compensate faculty for 2 contact hours.

17 Scaling Up Your Intervention How will you demonstrate an institutional commitment to this intervention? How will you make this course inescapable? What significant barriers exist that keep full-scale implementation from happening on your campus?

18 College Success Course: Our Next Steps Continue to assess course effectiveness Advocate for expanding our course section offerings Continue to prioritize enrollment of our target population in the course Revise curriculum to include financial literacy instruction

19 Final Questions and Answers

20 Given the multiple commitments [of community college] students and the challenges they bring with them to college, engagement does not happen by accident. It must happen by design. McClenney, K. & Greene, T. (2005). A tale of two students: Building a culture of engagement in the community college. About Campus, 10(3), 2-7.

21 Our Contact Information Ms. Gabby McCutchen Chair/Instructor, First-Year Experience Mr. Tom Jaynes Executive Dean, Student Development and Support Dr. Christine Kelly-Kleese Dean, Student Engagement and Transitions


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