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Review of National Best Practices: Redesigning Community Colleges For Completion Jim Jacobs Macomb Community College Colorado Community College Summit.

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Presentation on theme: "Review of National Best Practices: Redesigning Community Colleges For Completion Jim Jacobs Macomb Community College Colorado Community College Summit."— Presentation transcript:

1 Review of National Best Practices: Redesigning Community Colleges For Completion Jim Jacobs Macomb Community College Colorado Community College Summit October 24, 2011

2 Part One Why Is This Important: The National Context

3 The Community College Paradox  Never before have community colleges enjoyed such an important role as major institutions in American post-secondary education  Never before have community colleges been called up to deal with major American problems of competitiveness and economic security  Never before have community colleges been held accountable to the success of students who are often the hardest to serve

4 White House Summit October 5, 2010  Specific recognition of community colleges as important national institutions  Indicates the importance of community colleges in many parts of American society  Reflects the increasing role of foundations and private support of community colleges in advocating change  Reaffirms the mission of the community college as important to national economic future

5 Community Colleges Have New Supporters  Community colleges are viewed as fundamental to the solution of major problems of America  Increasing federal initiatives to promote the community college  Foundations are interested in supporting student success initiatives

6 Foundations Provide Leadership  Foundations are interested in supporting student success initiatives  Current Foundation initiatives to support community colleges student success: Achieving the Dream Breaking Through Complete College America Completion by Design Getting Past Go Shifting Gears

7 What is Achieving the Dream?  Multi-year national initiative  More than 100 institutions, in 22 states, serving 1 million students  Goal: Incremental improvement within, not compared to other institutions  Active involvement of faculty, staff and administrators as well as others within college community  Focus: Institution-wide commitment to student success  Special focus on students of color and low-income students  Success = 5 specific goals

8 Achieving the Dream Goals  Successful completion of remedial developmental instruction and advance to credit–bearing courses  Successful completion of initial college-level courses in subjects such as English and Math  Complete courses taken with a C or better  Term-to-term persistence  Completion of a certificate or associate’s degree

9 Breaking Through Initiative  Multi-year national initiative  32 colleges in 18 states  Two State-level networks of colleges  Michigan - connects dislocated workers to postsecondary education  North Carolina - connects out-of-school youth to GED’s and college  Goal: Strengthen the efforts of Community Colleges in helping low-literacy adults prepare for and succeed in occupational and technical degree programs  Focus: Concentrate on strategies that create more effective pathways through pre-college and degree-level programs

10 The Breaking Through Model  Four main strategies:  Reorganize and Realign Colleges  Accelerate Learning  Assure an Economic Payoff  Provide Comprehensive Support

11 Part II Redesigning For Completion: What Have We Learned?

12 Various Student Success Strategies  Placement testing  Developmental acceleration  Contextualization & innovative math pedagogy  Non-academic support  Program and instructional structure  Online learning  Organizational improvement (establishment in programs of study)

13 An overarching theme  When evaluated, these reforms generally have positive but modest effects:  Difficult to bring to scale  Not large enough to effect institutional performance  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

14 Completion By Design Areas of Opportunity  #1: Complexity & Structure  #2: Faculty Engagement  #3: Academic Alignment & Assessment  #4: Continuous Improvement

15 Complexity & Structure  People make bad choices in unduly complex environments  College can seem complex and confusing to students, due to:  A bewildering array of options  Unnecessary bureaucracy  Many students fail to get established in a program and are confused about requirements and prerequisites

16 Complexity & Structure  Recommendation: Simplify the structures and bureaucracies that students must navigate  Align developmental material, placement tests, & college-level curriculum  Streamline & contextualize developmental education with student’s program of choice (requires program-choice advisement)  Allow fast-track options

17 Faculty Engagement  Substantial organizational improvement requires strong employee involvement  In community colleges, student success goals can be hampered by:  lack of faculty/staff engagement  large part-time workforce  organizational silos

18 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

19 Alignment and 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

20 Academic Alignment and 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 clarify college readiness standards

21 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

22 Continuous Improvement  Recommendations:  Involve faculty & mid-level administrators in measuring outcomes, setting goals, identifying gaps, and making changes  To support process, re-think committee structures, professional development strategies, and incentives

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 Continuous Improvement  What is the capability of the college to answer these questions?  To what extent do faculty and administrators use data and information to guide their activities?  What is the strategy for professional development and what goals or principles guide that strategy?  Can you tell if efforts or reforms have been successful?

25 Conclusion  A completion agenda is more than process— content and goals, such as obtaining careers, matter  It does take effort and organizational resources on an institutional scale  Leadership and vision must guide the efforts

26 Questions

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