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Strategies for Accelerating Student Success: Thomas Bailey Community College Research Center Teachers College/Columbia University RP Group Conference April.

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Presentation on theme: "Strategies for Accelerating Student Success: Thomas Bailey Community College Research Center Teachers College/Columbia University RP Group Conference April."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategies for Accelerating Student Success: Thomas Bailey Community College Research Center Teachers College/Columbia University RP Group Conference April 14, 2011 Findings & Recommendations from the Assessment of the Evidence Series

2 Assessment of Evidence Series Focused on: –Developmental education (assessment & placement, acceleration programs, contextualization of basic skills instruction, innovative math pedagogy) –Non-academic supports –Program & institutional structures –Online learning –Organizational improvement Impacts: Best-quality quantitative research Implications: Qualitative research, theoretical literature, practitioner input

3 Findings & Implications AreaFindings / ImplicationsAuthor(s) Developmental Placement Testing Tests weakly predictive; little connection between student need & treatment. Kathy Hughes and Judith Scott- Clayton Developmental AccelerationMany promising models; for which students? Role of (improved?) pedagogy unclear. Nikki Edgecombe Contextualization & Innovative Math Pedagogy Very promising but not widely used... why not?Michelle Hodara and Dolores Perin Non-Academic Support Mechanisms: creating social relationships, clarifying aspirations & commitment, developing college know-how, and addressing conflicting life demands. Melinda Karp Program & Inst. StructureInstitutional complexity may adversely affect student decision-making. Judith Scott- Clayton Online learningCompletion is lower (after controlling for just about everything). Shanna Jaggars Organizational ImprovementCCs tend to be weak in organizational practices that promote high performance Davis Jenkins Organizational Improvement (establishment in programs of study) To improve completion rates, ccs need to ensure that students get into a college-level program of study as quickly as possible. Most ccs not well organized to do that. Davis Jenkins

4 An overarching theme Organizational improvement was a stand-alone topic. Over time, realized it was integral to all the topics To substantially improve: –developmental education –online & face-to-face pedagogy –support provision... the whole institution needs to be engaged and focused on improving student outcomes.

5 Four Broad Findings & Recommendations #1: Complexity & Structure #2: Faculty Engagement #3: Academic Alignment & Assessment #4: Continuous Improvement

6 Complexity & Structure All humans make bad choices in unduly complex environments. College can seem complex and confusing to students, due to: –A bewildering array of options –Lack of information integration –Unnecessary bureaucracy –Tools convenient / inexpensive to the college

7 E3, no C3, exit R=3 3 2 1 GK Exit without ever enrolling C3, exit C3, E2, no C2, exit C3, C2, exit C3, C2, E1, no C1, exit C3, C2, C1, exit C3, C2, C1 E GK, exit No E3, skip to 2 No E3, skip to 1 No E3, skip to GK E2, no C2, skip to 1 E1, no C1, skip to GK C2, skip to GK E2, no C2, skip to GK E3, no C3, E2 E3, no C3, E GK E3, no C3, E1 C3, skip to 1 C3, skip to GK C GK Not enroll, skip Enroll, then skip Complete, then skip

8 Timing of Entry into a Program of Study

9 Complexity & Structure Recommendation: Simplify the structures and bureaucracies that students must navigate.

10 Complexity & Structure Recommendation: Simplify the structures and bureaucracies that students must navigate. –Does not require restricting choice

11 Complexity & Structure Recommendation: Simplify the structures and bureaucracies that students must navigate. –Does not require restricting choice –Re-examine policies, practices, programs, services: Why are they in place? Are they serving their intended function? Are they aligned with the goal of student success?

12 Complexity & Structure Re-examine policies, practices, services... –Form cross-functional teams of faculty, student services, staff administrators –Map out student’s experience from first contact; where & why are students encountering frustration and confusion? –Develop protocols of recommended practice to support student success at each stage of their experience in college

13 Faculty Engagement Substantial organizational improvement requires strong employee involvement. In CCs, student success goals can be hampered by: –lack of faculty/staff engagement –large part-time workforce –organizational silos

14 Faculty Engagement Organizations with strong employee involvement in reform: –Ensure employees have deep understanding of goals and methods of reform –Empower employees as part of reform –Encourage staff to work in cross-functional teams –Create challenging yet meaningful goals –Present evidence of successes

15 Faculty Engagement Student supports: –Resources are limited –Yet students underutilize Potential solution: integration of supports Would require deep and broad faculty & staff support

16 Faculty Engagement Previous attempts to broadly engage faculty have not always been successful Perhaps because reforms: –Often focus on student retention / completion (institutional effectiveness) –Not on student learning (instructional effectiveness)

17 Faculty Engagement Recommendation: Empower faculty to set challenging and meaningful student learning goals –Include not just content knowledge/skills –Create recommended protocols for challenging areas

18 Academic Alignment & Assessment In K-12, schools effective with disadvantaged students have “instructional program coherence:” –Well-coordinated, “rationalized” curriculum –Common instructional framework –Clearly defined learning outcomes –Integrated assessments & academic supports Colleges do not put strong emphasis on these.

19 Academic Alignment & Assessment Recommendation: Faculty work together to craft learning outcomes. Process would: –Help faculty from different disciplines communicate and align expectations for reading, writing, & math –Help part-time instructors understand course goals –Help students understand program goals & requirements –Help high schools understand expectations

20 Continuous Improvement Practices of high-performance organizations: –Strong leadership –Customer focus –Functional alignment –Process improvement –Use of measurement for improvement –Employee involvement –Training and professional development –External linkages

21 IMPROVED STUDENT LEARNING/COMPLETION Set learning outcomes/completion goals Targeted Faculty/ Staff Training, Prof Development Continuous Improvement Faculty/Staff Involvement Leadership Focused on Outcomes External Linkages Employers Universities K-12 Schools Adult Basic Skills Non-credit Workforce Programs Community Groups Process Measurement, Alignment, Improvement Set learning outcomes/completion goalsMeasure student learning/progressionIdentify learning/achievement gaps Align practices/policies to improve outcomesEvaluate and improve alignment efforts

22 Steps to Redesigning CCs for Completion 1)Engage faculty and staff to examine practices at key stages of students’ experience with the college 2)Redesign and align practices at scale, applying principles of effective practice, to increase rates at which students enter and then complete programs 3)Evaluate changes by comparing college’s past rates of program entry and, by program, rates of completion among concentrators 4)Repeat these steps, rethinking professional development practices, committee structure budgeting and incentives to institutionalize the process

23 Empower Faculty and Staff to Design/Implement Innovations at Scale CONNECTION From interest to enrollment ENTRY From enrollment to entry into program of study PROGRESS From program entry to 75% of program requirements completed COMPLETION From program completion to credential of value for further education and (for CTE) labor market advancement College readiness prep for hs students Early testing Strategic dual enrollment “Bridges” from ABE to college Recruitment materials with program streams clearly mapped out Program offerings / requirements clearly mapped out Consistent messages to new students Prescribed course sequence with required 3-credit college success course Dev ed contextualized to program streams Course learning outcomes/assessments tied to program outcomes Students required to declare major Students required to keep up-to-date program completion plan Revamped program review process to ensure that programs prepare for further education and career advancement Transfer agreements with universities that ensure junior standing Regular review of program learning outcomes by employers Survey of recent grads for suggestion of way to improve programs

24 Reports in the Series Edgecombe, N., Accelerating the academic achievement of students referred to developmental education: A review of the evidence. Hodara, M., Reforming mathematics classroom pedagogy: Evidence-based findings and recommendations for the developmental math classroom. Hughes, K. & Scott-Clayton, J., Assessing developmental assessment in community colleges. Jaggars, S. S., Online learning: Does it help low-income and underprepared students? Jenkins, D., Redesigning community colleges for completion: Lessons from research on high-performance organizations. Karp, M. M., Toward a new understanding of non-academic student support: Four mechanisms encouraging positive student outcomes in the community college. Perin, D., Facilitating student achievement through contextualization. Scott-Clayton, J., The shapeless river: Does a lack of structure inhibit students’ progress at community colleges? Jenkins, D., Get with the program: Accelerating community college students' entry into and completion of programs of study.

25 For more information: Please visit us on the web at, where you can download presentations, reports, CCRC Briefs, and sign-up for news announcements. CCRC is funded in part by: Alfred P. Sloan foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Lumina Foundation for Education, The Ford Foundation, National Science Foundation (NSF), Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education Community College Research Center Institute on Education and the Economy, Teachers College, Columbia University 525 West 120th Street, Box 174, New York, NY 10027 E-mail: Telephone: 212.678.3091

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