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Developing and Assessing a Community College First-Year Experience Program David Ross Director, First-Year Experience Raritan Valley Community College.

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Presentation on theme: "Developing and Assessing a Community College First-Year Experience Program David Ross Director, First-Year Experience Raritan Valley Community College."— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing and Assessing a Community College First-Year Experience Program David Ross Director, First-Year Experience Raritan Valley Community College

2 Today’s Outline Overview of RVCC Development of the First-Year Experience Program ▫Title III  Transition of activities ▫Campus-Wide Involvement First-Year Experience Program Components Assessment Activities Questions and Answers

3 Overview of Raritan Valley Community College Located in Branchburg, NJ Fall 2010 Enrollment – 8,308 27.9% increase in enrollment (3 years) Mean age decrease from 28 to 25 (3 years) 41.2% increase in full-time student population (3 years)

4 Development of the FYE Program Initial components were developed under the RVCC Title III Grant (2005-2009) ▫Early Alert and Intervention ▫Student Tracking ▫Re-designing Orientation Programs Activities were transitioned as a foundation for FYE Program Program launched – October 2009

5 Development of Program continued Established campus-wide committee to help develop program components Offices represented on the committee include: ▫Admissions, Records and Registration ▫Advising and Counseling Services ▫Dean of Student Services ▫Disability Services ▫Educational Opportunity Fund Program ▫Financial Aid ▫First-Year Experience ▫Student Life ▫Testing Center ▫Transfer and Career Services

6 Development of Program continued Best Practices and Research used: ▫Tinto ▫Kuh ▫Valencia ▫Montclair State University ▫Seidman ▫Grand Rapids Community College

7 FYE Program Mission The mission of the First Year Experience Office is to aid first-year, degree-seeking students in their transition to Raritan Valley Community College, to expose students to the broad range of educational opportunities, and to integrate new students into the college community in order to enrich their first year experience. The First-Year Experience works to: ▫Provide an environment that is welcoming to students ▫Identify and overcome obstacles that impede the success of first-year students ▫Provide developmental activities and essential support programs for first-year students ▫Create and implement innovative programming that meets the needs of entering students ▫Support student learning and integrate students into the learning community ▫Collaborate with the campus community to assist first-year students in achieving academic and personal success.

8 First-Year Experience Program Components New Student Orientation New Student Welcome/BBQ First-Year Advising Weeks of Welcome Success Partner Program Early Alert and Intervention Student Programming First-Year Seminar Course

9 New Student Orientation ROARS (Raritan Orientation, Advising and Registration Session) ▫Required of all first-time, full-time students  Fall 2010 – 1500 students completed program ▫Separate parent and family orientation ▫Approximately 4 hours in length ▫Students complete orientation, register for classes, receive their College ID and receive a free RVCC t- shirt.

10 New Student Welcome/BBQ Late August event Designed to help answer last/ minute questions and get students excited about their first semester Expose students to campus life Student Handbooks are distributed

11 First-Year Advising All first-time students are assigned a first-year advisor Students meet their advisor at the orientation session Each advisor is required to keep in contact with their students First-Year Advising Weeks

12 Weeks of Welcome Campus Welcome Stations President’s Welcome Programs ▫Convocation (Fall only) ▫Non-traditional student dinner ▫First-time and new transfer student luncheon Free Shows at the RVCC Planetarium Campus Picnic (Fall only) All Club Recruitment Day

13 Success Partner Program Volunteers around campus (faculty and staff) Students are matched with a Success Partner Success Partners are encouraged to meet with their students at least 2 times a semester Limited Success

14 Early Alert and Intervention Takes place in the first few weeks of each part of term Secure web-based form accessed via the Campus Portal First-Year Advisors reach out to students based on alert information Information is tracked in Student Information System

15 Success Programming Themed Months initially ▫September/January - Weeks of Welcome (WOW) ▫October - Student Success Month ▫November - Health & Wellness Month Campus-wide calendar with components of each month New Student Get Togethers

16 First-Year Seminar Course STDV 100 – The College Experience ▫2 college-level credit course ▫Currently not-required ▫Specialized sections offered:  Educational Opportunity Fund Program  Athletes

17 Assessment (The Fun Stuff) Two components of the program have been assessed: ▫New Student Orientation/ROARS ▫STDV 100 – The College Experience (partially) Additional assessment measures

18 New Student Orientation Assessment Program Assessment – CAS Retention and Success Data

19 New Student Orientation CAS Assessment Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) ▫14 Standards of Excellence ▫ 3-person Assessment Committee ▫Faculty Advisor (participated in ROARS) ▫Student (completed ROARS) ▫Staff member

20 CAS Characteristics of Excellence Mission Program Leadership Human Resources Ethics Legal Responsibilities Equity and Access Diversity Organization and Management Campus and External Relations Financial Resources Technology Facilities and Equipment Assessment and Evaluation CAS website:

21 New Student Orientation CAS Assessment Assessment Process Steps ▫Reviewed and Revised CAS Self-Assessment Guide ▫Compiled Evidence for Assessment ▫Selected Committee Members ▫Assessment Kick-Off Meeting ▫Committee Members Completed Assessment Individually ▫Reviewed and Compiled Completed Assessments ▫Completed Work Forms Sample of Assessment Guide

22 Examples of Evidence Outlines of program sessions Program video Retention data Feedback from session evaluations Department information (resume/CV, job descriptions) Budget information

23 Assessment Guide Sample Committee completed individually Compiled ratings Discrepancies and Work Forms

24 CAS Work Forms


26 Follow-up Actions

27 CAS Work Forms Summary Action Plan

28 Budget Process and Assessment CAS assessment & Strategic Plan linked to budget requests Separate form

29 New Student Orientation Comparative data on retention between previous format, pilot groups and new orientation format SemesterOne-SemesterOne-Year Fall 200881.0%67.1% Fall 200979.4%66.3% Fall 2009 Pilot*85.6%72.6% Fall 201087.3%--

30 STDV100 – The College Experience Assessment Different process Select 2-3 learning objectives to assess Direct and indirect evidence Embed questions in quizzes to measure student learning Specific assignments to measure student learning Course outcomes

31 STDV100 – The College Experience Assessment Will be conducted during Fall 2011 semester

32 STDV100 – Assessment - Planned Review specific journal assignment on time management across all sections Embed questions in select quizzes throughout each section offered Committee of faculty who teach will review journals to assess based on course rubric

33 STDV100 – Course Outcomes SemesterSectionsNPassed*Passed DV English* Passed DV Math* Passed Credit* Fall 200733363.6%81.5%74.5%78.5% Fall 200834864.4%71.4%56.8%73.7% Fall 2009611181.1%64.2%57.9%68.5% Fall 20101019259.8%77.2%39.5%78.4% *Rates include students who withdrew


35 Retention First-time Full-time Student Retention Rates One-SemesterOne-Year Fall 200781.8%65.3% Fall 200883.9%70.6% Fall 200982.5%71.5% Fall 201087.6%--

36 Early Alert and Intervention SemesterNPassed 1 Withdrew 2 Fall 200931762.2%34.7% Spring 201027567.3%35.3% Fall 201036364.4%34.2% 1 Students who earned grades of A, B or C; excludes withdrawals 2 Includes administrative withdrawals

37 First-Year Student Survey Administered to Fall 2009 cohort 245 students completed survey Based on questions from SENSE 11 Questions

38 First-Year Student Survey Positive results for for most questions

39 Final Thoughts on Assessment Assessments are tied to budget requests and annual report ▫CAS helped to provide evidence for need to increase FYE program budget ▫Personnel increases, including hourly employees, tied to CAS process Making assessment meaningful CAS Assessment was coupled with on-going assessment measures.

40 Questions and Answers

41 Thank You! David Ross Director, First-Year Experience Raritan Valley Community College 908-526-1200 x8921

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