Achieving the Dream Implementation Proposal 2011
Data Analysis, Results, and Resulting Priorities
Quantitative Data Analyzed:
Four semesters of data (Fall 2008 to Spring 2010) show that success rates of developmental students is significantly lower than college level rates. Percent of A, B, and C grades are consistently 24% to 30% lower than grades of college level counterparts. Looking at a cohort of Fall 2008 new to El Centro students, we found that 52.6% of them take at least one developmental course in their first semester.
Data elements we reviewed included gender, ethnicity, full-part time status, first generation, and low income. When we disaggregated the data, we found that women, African American and Hispanic students, and low income students were disproportionately represented in developmental classes in their first semester. Success grades (As, Bs, and Cs) were quite low, ranging from 28.6% success in developmental writing courses, to 45.7% success in developmental reading, and 53.6% success in developmental math. Further analysis included looking at data from other colleges in our District from Spring 2010. We discovered that our success rates in developmental math and developmental reading were somewhat lower than the District average, and developmental writing success was substantially lower than average.
Qualitative Data Analyzed:
Focus groups of developmental and first year experience students were conducted in their classrooms by members of the Expanded Core Team in Fall 2010. Students were asked to discuss classroom experiences and college services that were most helpful to them. They were also asked to discuss barriers to success and things they would change or keep the same about their class.
Students found group work, engaging activities, online assignments and assistance from the instructors and service personnel to be the most helpful to their success. Barriers included issues with financial aid, advising, instructors, and exit testing (Reading and Writing).
Online surveys with similar questions were sent to faculty teaching developmental and first year experience courses in Spring 2011. Faculty agree with students about the elements that lead to success, including hands-on activities, group work, and classroom engagement. They list financial aid as an important service for student success, but they also rate issues with financial aid as the top barrier to student success. Additionally, faculty see poor student preparation, study skills, time management and personal issues as being barriers to their success.
A college wide survey is currently being administered to faculty, staff, and administrators. Focus groups will be held with community members in Spring 2011.
Major Findings of Data Analysis:
Over half of our students take a developmental course in their first semester, especially women, low income students, and students of color. Our success rates in those courses are very low. Qualitative analysis showed that students and faculty agree on the many things that contribute to success in their developmental courses. These include active learning strategies in the classroom, coupled with quality assistance from college service areas. However, students list barriers that are mainly external to themselves, whereas faculty identify both external and internal barriers to student success.
Other Information Regarding the Decision Making Process:
Achieving the Dream conferences gave us information related to student success in developmental courses. Our Coach and Data Facilitator came to campus twice to kick off El Centro College ATD Draft Implementation Proposal 2011 discussions. The Finish Line game was used in college wide groups to spur discussion related to student success and barriers.
Resulting Priority: Increase success rate of students new to El Centro in developmental courses.
Download the full Implementation Proposal Draft
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