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Practical and Workable Ideas for Learning Communities Julie Phelps, Achieving the Dream (AtD) Project Director & Professor, Mathematics Christy Cheney,

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Presentation on theme: "Practical and Workable Ideas for Learning Communities Julie Phelps, Achieving the Dream (AtD) Project Director & Professor, Mathematics Christy Cheney,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Practical and Workable Ideas for Learning Communities Julie Phelps, Achieving the Dream (AtD) Project Director & Professor, Mathematics Christy Cheney, College-wide Coordinator of Learning in Communities (LinC) & Professor, Student Success

2 East Campus Winter Park Campus Criminal Justice Institute Sand Lake Center Osceola Campus West Campus Valencia Community College now has four major campuses, two academic and administrative centers, and two more major campuses in the planning stages.

3 Overview of Presentation Strategic Planning  Initial Data analysis  3 Gaps Indentified in Success Rates  Targeted Courses, Implementation Timeline & Participation #s  Closing the Gaps Research Plans  1) Supplemental Learning (SL)  2) Learning in Communities (LinC)  3) Student Success (SLS) Wrap-up

4 Gaps in Student Achievement as Identified by Valencia for AtD Gap 1. Between under prepared and college- ready students Gap 2. Between racial and ethnic groups Gap 3. Between success rates in math courses and success rates in other discipline courses

5 Gap 1: Progression and Completion rates are lower for under prepared students (Fall 2000) Fall 2000 FTIC Students n = 3741 n = 966 n = 2775

6 Gap 1: Progression and Completion rates are lower for under prepared students (Fall 2006) Fall 2006 FTIC Students n = 4011 n = 758 n = 2575

7 Gap 2: Hispanics and African Americans fall below other groups; Asians lead

8 Progression Rates by Ethnicity FTIC Under Prepared Students – Fall 2006

9 Gap 3: Math courses dominate the list of 10 courses with lowest success rates

10 Gap 3: Math has high enrollment and low success rates

11 AtD Targeted Courses Developmental Pre-Algebra Beginning Algebra Intermediate Algebra Gateway College Algebra Freshman Comp I U.S. Government

12 Strategy Implementation Timeline Phase I Supplemental Learning Phase II Linked SLS Course (LinC) Phase III Linked Interdisciplinary Courses (LinC) ENC1101, POS2041,MAC1105 w/ Other Courses SLSLinC SLS LinC w/ MAT 0012, 0024, 1033 & w/ ENC 1101, POS 2041, MAC1105 as option Phase IV Required SLS Enrollment 3 3 Prep Course Mandates MAT 0012, 0024, 1033 ENC 1101, POS 2041, MAC Prep Course Mandate Under Review

13 Participants: Spring  34, 223 students (Goal was 25,285)  1,497 class sections  820 faculty and staff (duplicated headcount)

14 Annual Student Participation FTIC Degree-Seeking **Yr 05-06Yr 06-07Yr07-08**Yr08-09 SL LinC SLS Any (unduplicated) Total Students Enrolled **Note: Year includes Spring and Summer only. Year includes Fall and Spring only.

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16 Closing the Gaps Overall, success in the 6 Gateway courses increased by 3% from 2004 to Success gaps between African American and Caucasian students closed from 13.4% in 2004 to 3.6% in Success gaps between Hispanic students and Caucasian students closed from 1.8% in 2004 to Hispanic students having higher success rates than Caucasian students by 4% in 2008.

17 AFRICAN AMERICAN – CAUCASIAN SUCCESS RATE GAP Gateway Course Gap Analysis 17

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19 HISPANIC – CAUCASIAN SUCCESS RATE GAP Gateway Course Gap Analysis 19

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21 AtD Research Reports Supplemental Learning (SL) Learning in Community (LinC) Student Success (SLS1122) Mandate (for students in 3-prep)

22 Meaningful Improvement Statistically significant improvement in target quantitative measures Reflection on the human impact in terms of the goals of the initiative and the mission of the institution Economic efficiency in relationship to difficulty of the task at hand A consideration of faculty perception as it relates to benefit versus cost A consideration of student perception as it relates to benefit versus cost

23 Supplemental Learning (SL) SL assisted courses provide students with a trained peer mentor. The SL leader acts as a model student in class and leads group study sessions outside of class.

24 SL Organization Coordination  Collegewide Coordinator  4 Campus Coordinators  2 Campuses have student leaders assisting coordination Recruitment  Recruiting SL Faculty  Recruiting and Training SL Leaders  Recruiting Students Growth  Spring 2006 – 35 sections collegewide  Today, Spring 2009 – over 100 sections collegewide

25 Supplemental Learning (SL) Course Success In each comparison, Fall, Spring and Summer:  Success (A, B, or C) was higher for SL sections  Unsuccess (D, F, or WF) and Withdrawal (W, or WP) were lower for SL sections Fall Success rates were significantly different for SL sections (*p<.10) for all ethnicities (N = 65 Instructors, N = 5157 students)  African American students All courses: 10.36% higher (p=0.029) Developmental: 8.53% higher (*p=0.167) Gateway: 15.65% higher (p=0.019)  Hispanic students All courses: 7.07% higher (p=0.007) Developmental: 7.59% higher (p=0.025) Gateway: 6.65% higher (p=0.099) *With one exception.

26 Supplemental Learning Research Persistence On average, students enrolled in the SL sections had higher persistence rates As the size of the cohorts increase, this effect appears to lessen The difference in persistence rates between SL and non-SL students decreases over time  This analysis, however, does not account for graduation

27 Supplemental Learning Research Student Focus Groups Overall, students described the SL experience as positive, and felt that attending SL sessions helped their academic performance Students who did not attend SL sessions gave two major reasons: –time of session conflicted with work or other courses –felt confident in their own ability and did not need the help The following benefits of SL were reported: –learning study skill strategies –awareness of additional resources (CompHouse, SPA, etc.) –increased comfort with in-class participation and instructor interaction

28 Supplemental Learning Research Summary and Recommendations Supplemental Learning appears to have the most significant effect during the fall semester Information about the scheduling of SL sessions at the time of registration may increase student participation in the sessions Additional research is necessary to determine how to implement SL more effectively in Gateway College courses

29 Learning in Community (LinC) Two professors and a success coach collaborate to combine the content of two courses with integrated learning outcomes and activities. Students enroll in both courses at the same time.

30 LinC Organization Coordination  Collegewide Coordinator  3 Campus Coordinators  Success Coach Coordinator Recruiting and Training Faculty/Success Coach  LinC Mixers  Destination Recruiting Students  Student Services Staff  Orientations Business Process Analysis (BPA) Timeline Research Proposal

31 Atd Strategies: LinC courses LinC courses: Students enrolled in LinC courses complete the courses with a grade of C or better at higher rates compared to non- Linc courses.  This effect is greater for Hispanic and African American students.

32 Learning in Community (LinC) Research Report Students who enrolled in LinC courses successfully completed the courses at higher rates than students in the same courses that were not LinC’d (10.4%) This effect was even greater for Hispanic (11.9%) and African-American (11.6%) students The greatest effect was in math courses, particularly developmental courses

33 LinC Research Report Persistence On average, students in LinC courses showed higher persistence in the next term which diminished the term after that and increased over the next 2 terms Each cohort has a different pattern of persistence (needs more time to study)

34 LinC Research Report Student Focus Groups Expressed enthusiasm for relationship building with faculty and peers Described the courses as engaging, good pace and interesting and found it was easier to ask questions Cited specific academic and life skills they gained Developed connections with college resources

35 LinC Research Report Faculty Discussion Groups Changes in teaching practice included increased confidence, more flexibility in delivering course content, incorporating success skills, more attention to student overall development, involving students in more group work Comparatively, LinC courses were more interactive, challenging, students are more positive, open, engaged and loud

36 LinC Recommendations Continuation of LinC courses, particularly in the four math courses studied LinC coordination required

37 Student Success Expansion An initiative to increase the number of students who benefit from the Student Success Course (SLS credit hours), SLS is part of the LinC offerings, and the course is now required for students who test into all three college prep areas.

38 Student Success Organization History – before AtD  1988 – Started on a Title III Grant  Centralized Program 4 Campuses 1 Director Student Success Course Guidelines AtD Years  Growth Fall 2006 Mandate LinC Involvement Bridges Cohort Experience

39 Student Success Recruiting and Training Faculty  Masters Degree in Any Discipline  Step by Step Training —required for credentials  Monthly Trainings—Adjunct Associate Status  Adjunct Mentoring

40 Student Success Course Mandate Research Summary Fall to Spring persistence increased, particularly for Hispanic and African American students Fall to Fall persistence did not increase, except for Hispanic students Course success rates increased for Hispanic and African American students

41 SLS Mandate Research Report Student Focus Groups The SLS Mandate did not interfere with students’ decisions to come to Valencia or to continue on at the college When discussing requirements, most students tended to focus on preparatory course requirements rather than the SLS1122 requirement When asked if everyone should take the course:  For students that did not successfully complete the course – the course should not be mandated  For students that did successfully complete the course – everyone should take the course

42 SLS Mandate Research Report Cost Efficiency Analysis Return on investment analysis is particularly challenging endeavor in higher education  Valencia participated in a special study called “Making Opportunity Affordable” conducted by Jobs for the Future The cost template revealed that the expansion SLS Mandate would not, in itself, be a financial strain on the institution because much of the cost is absorbed by student tuition and the institution benefits from economies of scale.

43 SLS Mandate Research Report Facilitated Discussion on the Data Reactions to the data were generally positive and translated into support for the continued use and study of the SLS Mandate in its current form Fall to Fall persistence data is still incomplete but there is good conversation concerning the meaning and solution to the perceived problem  Expansion of Strategies to Spring / Summer There is continued concern about the long term impact of demographic changes to SLS1122 brought on by the mandate

44 SLS Mandate Research Report Recommendations for the Transition There is general consensus to continue the mandate for 3-prep students and study of its effects. There is general consensus about the value of the content of the SLS1122 course. There is general consensus about the value of embedding “success skills” into other courses.

45 Contact Information Julie Phelps  Christy Cheney  National AtD web site:


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