Action Project 11. Project Detail

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1 Action Project 11 Title: "Ready, Set, College!" - GED Transition Program Version: 1 Institution: Blackhawk Technical College Status: Active Submitted: Category: 2 - Meeting Student and Other Key Stakeholder Needs Timeline Planned project kickoff date: Target completion date: Actual completion date: Project Detail PROJECT SUMMARY Briefly describe the project in less than 100 words. Be sure to identify the key organizational areas (departments, programs, divisions, units, etc.) and key organizational processes that this action project will affect, change, and/or improve Develop a transition program to increase the number of GED/HSED completers transitioning into college programs at Blackhawk Technical College through various pre-enrollment activities: mentor connections, workshops, group team building, campus visits, career exploration, etc. Activities will be designed to assist students in completing all steps required for admission to the College, and will provide a foundation for persistence in learning. In turn, both enrollment and retention will increase across the College. Twenty-five (25) GED/HSED completers will be recruited for each of the two cohort groups. Of the 25 students recruited, 20 (80%) will successfully complete the workshop series and enroll in credit or pre-college courses the following fall semester. PROJECT RATIONALE Describe your institutions reasons for initiating this action project now and for how long it should take to complete it. Why are this project and its goals high among your institutions current priorities? Also, explain how this project relates to any strategic initiatives or challenges described in the institutions recent or soon-to-be submitted systems portfolio This project aligns with the College s Strategic plan which includes the following strategies under the priority to Increase Student Recruitment, Retention and Success: Develop a model to recruit and retain students Identify and remove barriers to enrollment In addition, BTC s Academic Plan includes the following Action Step in support of the College priority to recruit and retain students: Establish a baseline and set a target for increasing the number of adult students transitioning from GED / ELL programs to BTC programs. Currently, a small percentage of students who complete a GED/HSED through Blackhawk Technical College also transition to postsecondary programming. The Ready, Set, College! model will recruit students from a pool of adult learners who may otherwise refrain from enrolling in credit 1

2 programming. Students will participate in Ready, Set, College! as a cohort initially and throughout the workshop series/summer activities. Project team members will promote a change from cohort to learning community once students begin different courses and programs fall semester. This project will positively impact retention by facilitating activities designed to build persistence. As a result, college-wide enrollment and retention will increase. PROJECT GOALS AND DELIVERABLES List the project goals, milestones, and deliverables along with corresponding metrics, due dates, and other measures for assessing the progress for each goal. Be sure to include formal evaluations when the project progress will be reviewed Student Services Counseling & Advising Admissions & Recruitment Testing (GED) Tutoring Instruction Academic Support (retention, completion, transition) Basic skills instructors (recruitment, promotion) General Education and Program instructors (planning, panel discussion) Administration Beloit Center administrative and support staff Office of Institutional Effectiveness INSTITUTIONAL INVOLVEMENT Describe how various members of the learning community will participate in this action project. Show the breadth of involvement by individuals and groups over the projects duration Recruitment process of GED/HSED completers Enhance existing GED/HSED transition process PROJECT CONTROL Describe how the institution will monitor project progress/success during, and at the completion of this project. Be sure to specifically state the measures that will be evaluated and when Program development and implementation will be completed by January, 2015 for the FY15 GED transition group. Student Services and Academic Support instructors/staff will recruit students through classroom visits, word of mouth, press releases and targeted mailings. The first series of program workshops will begin in March, 2015 with students completing the FAFSA before April 1, Workshops and meetings will continue through the summer to keep students engaged and provide this cohort with continuity of services. Ongoing meetings between transition students and project staff will be scheduled through the first half of fall semester as peer mentors begin to engage students in campus activities and provide additional support services. A second cohort will be recruited during fall, 2015 to begin the Ready, Set, College! program spring, Review and evaluation for continuous improvement purposes will be ongoing. The time from kickoff to target completion is required to plan and implement this project at the pilot level; evaluate and assess results for continuous improvement purposes; incorporate changes/adjustments; and, 2

3 institutionalize. The proposed timeline is as follows: Tasks Start Date Duration Responsible Person(s) Establish benchmark data Office of Institutional Effectiveness Research best practices related to GED transition activities July, 2014 July, 2014 Academic Support Instructors General Education Instructors Interview instructors July, 2014 August, 2014 Develop workshop series based on research and instructor insight and to include: Program Instructors FAFSA Completion & Financial Literacy Career Exploration Compass Completion Computer essentials for College College readiness September October, 2014 with continuous improvement based on student and staff feedback. Develop plans for summer activities Ongoing and during team meetings Meet your Mentor & campus tour Division/program specific success strategies Conduct Information Sessions November, 2014 During team meetings Administer college readiness inventory Enroll students in workshops January, scheduled sessions based on numbers February, month Beloit Center Administrative Assistants 3

4 Deliver and evaluate workshops Students register for College or Pre- College courses including Student Success Deliver summer activities cohort sessions and mailings Exit interviews with non-completers; Evaluation/feedback gathered from completers Revise workshops based on feedback for continuous improvement March, 2015 May, 2015 (for fall, 2015) November, 2015 (for spring, 2016) May, 2015 through Bi-weekly workshops During established registration times Students General Education Instructors Meet with cohort group and individual students as needed June-July, months November, 2015 during monthly cohort or peer meetings Program Instructors Expand recruitment and promotion efforts for FY16 cohort Project Team Members Analysis of Program Effectiveness (tracking outcomes) Completion of fall semester classes including Student Success Mailings and other contact for FY16 cohort information sessions August, 2015 Student Services Personnel Peer Mentors Project Leaders Students Repeat activities and timeline above from January start point December, 2015 Ongoing Beloit Center Administrative Assistants Office of Institutional Effectiveness January, 2016 July 1, 2016 Students 4

5 Institutionalize Ready, Set, College! July, 2016 Ongoing ANTICIPATED CHALLENGES TO PROJECT SUCCESS Describe the challenges that may be encountered in successfully completing the project or for institutionalizing the learning from the projects goals Internal and external marketing assistance from the College s Marketing and Communication Management Department College Counselors, Career and College Specialists, Coordinators, and Basic Skills Instructors will aid in the marketing of this project in various ways such as distribution of flyers, presentation to internal and external advisory committees, and presentation to students (entire classes and/or individually). With assistance from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, action project team members will develop an internal tracking system to monitor efforts and progress toward outcomes. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Provide any additional information that the institution wishes for reviewers to understand regarding this action project Enrollment in project Workshop series completion Admission to BTC program Registration into Fall 2015 courses Completion of Student Success course Mid-term grades Completion of fall courses (grades) Registration into Spring 2016 courses Student evaluations Benchmark data will be established in July, 2014 using GED/HSED completion data from fiscal years Data will include number of students who completed, as well as the number of GED/HSED completers who transitioned to postsecondary education. Once the baseline data has been determined, an increased transition target will be set. Annual Update CURRENT PROJECT STATUS SUMMARY (Please answer the following questions in the text box below) General Project Status: Completed In-progress Suspended Reopened Original Project Start Date: / / Originally Projected End Date: / / Anticipated Completion Date If Not Completed: / / Briefly describe the current status of the project. Explain how this project relates to any strategic initiatives or challenges described in the institutions most recent or soon-to-be submitted systems portfolio, if applicable General Project Status: Completed X In-progress Suspended Reopened Original Project Start Date: 7 / _1 / 14 Originally Projected End Date: _6 / 30 / 16 5

6 Anticipated Completion Date If Not Completed: _6 / _30_/ _16 Briefly describe the current status of the project. Action project 8 is currently in the beginning stages of implementation. The project team has recently developed and collected baseline data with assistance from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness. Team members are gathering instructor input related to student readiness for success in credit courses and programming, as well as researching best practices that promote transition to, and persistence in, postsecondary programming for GED completers. Explain how this project relates to any strategic initiatives or challenges described in the institution s most recent or soon-to-be submitted systems portfolio, if applicable: In addressing the changing needs of students transitioning from GED programming to postsecondary, this project aligns with Blackhawk Technical College s strategic priority: Increase Student Recruitment, Retention, and Success and the organizational objective: Monitor and Improve Student Retention. Strategies that fall under this college priority include developing a model to recruit and retain students, and identifying and removing barriers to enrollment. The Ready, Set, College project will identify the needs of an underserved student population, front-loading information that will aid in persistence and completion of credit courses and programming. Participating students will: complete a readiness survey; take the COMPASS exam to determine placement into credit or pre-college courses; explore career options with Student Services personnel from the Career and Professional Development Office (students will complete a career interest inventory and participate in a follow-up activity which Student Services personnel will facilitate); complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid); apply to BTC; receive additional needs-based information; and, connect with BTC staff/faculty and academically successful peer mentors. Blackhawk Technical College staff and faculty will acquire knowledge and gain experience working more closely with students of this underserved population. Effective strategies, delivered through tailored workshops and related to student persistence, will assist both student and staff/faculty populations in recognizing success through increased course and program completion. Community businesses and organizations served by Blackhawk Technical College are also stakeholders in this project as they require educated and skilled workers to fill positions in their companies. Identifying the needs of the GED population specific to entry and persistence in postsecondary education will address this community need by increasing the area s skilled worker pool. Finally, in addressing students and other stakeholders needs through this project, the overall college recruitment, retention and completion rate will be positively impacted. ORIGINAL PROJECT GOALS AND DELIVERABLES List the project goals as stated in the original project declaration along with the metrics/measures for assessing the progress for each goal Develop a transition program to increase the number of GED/HSED completers transitioning into college programs at Blackhawk Technical College through various pre-enrollment activities: mentor connections, workshops, group team building, campus visits, career exploration, etc. Activities will be designed to assist students in completing all steps required for admission to the College, and will provide a foundation for persistence in learning. In turn, both 6

7 enrollment and retention will increase across the College. Twenty-five (25) GED/HSED completers will be recruited for each of the two cohort groups. Of the 25 students recruited, 20 (80%) will successfully complete the workshop series and enroll in credit or pre-college courses the following fall semester. Metrics 80% of students who enroll in the Ready, Set, College project will successfully complete the workshop series - Workshop attendance; COMPASS completion; FAFSA completion; and completion of a career inventory will be used as evidence of successful workshop completion. 80% of students who successfully complete the workshop series will enroll in college or pre-college courses fall semester, Registration in credit or pre-college courses will serve as documentation of enrollment. 80% of those students who registered for college or pre-college courses fall semester, 2015 will successfully complete and register for spring semester, 2016 college or pre-college courses Fall, 2015 to spring, 2016 registration and the College s client reporting system will be used to collect this data. 70% of those students who registered for college or pre-college courses fall semester, 2015 will successfully complete and register for fall semester, 2016 college or pre-college courses - Fall to fall retention FY16 and FY17 will be measured through registration records, the Client Reporting System, and QRP (Quality Review Process). 65% of the student group that enrolled full-time in college or pre-college courses fall semester, 2015 will complete their program by June, 2016 if enrolled in one-year programs and June, 2017 if enrolled in two-year programs; 65% of those students who enrolled part-time will have accumulated 50% of the credits required to complete the program by June, 2016 if enrolled in one-year programs and June, 2017 if enrolled in two-year programs - FY16 and FY17 college client reporting system data and other course and program completion information will be used as evidence. The percentage of students who completed their GED through Blackhawk Technical College and transitioned to credit or pre-college courses/programming at BTC will increase from 36% to 41% by fall, 2016 (some data will be collected after the action project has ended). ACCOMPLISHMENTS OVER THE PAST YEAR Describe what has been accomplished with this project over the past year, specifically referring to quantifiable results that show progress. You may need to include a discussion clarifying how the original goals and anticipated outcomes may have shifted during the year Since this project began on July 1, 2014, baseline data has been established as follows: Using the past three years in which complete data exists (2011, 2012, and 2013), 638 students have completed a GED through Blackhawk Technical College. Of those 638 GED completers, 36% have enrolled in credit or precollege courses at BTC. While the national average of GED completers who transition to postsecondary has been documented as low as 31% (National Center for Education Statistics, November, 2011) and as high as 44% (GED Testing Service Research Studies, ), the majority of GED transition students in these two studies enrolled in postsecondary programming for just one semester. The GED population is one that Blackhawk Technical College has targeted for improved recruitment and retention/completion success. 7

8 INSTITUTIONAL INVOLVEMENT Describe how various members of the learning community have participated in this action project. Show the breadth of involvement by individuals and groups over the projects duration, particularly during the past year Yet early in this project, action project team members consisting of a cross-representation within the college community have been identified. The Office of Institutional Effectiveness has assisted in establishing baseline data, and instructors from various programs throughout the college have provided insight as to the preparedness required of students upon entry into credit courses/programming. As the project develops, it is anticipated that additional college personnel whose area of expertise aligns with project activities, will participate as needed. Student Services staff will provide first-hand employer information relevant to expectations and potential shadowing opportunities and/or internships. Academically successful BTC students will be identified and participate as peer mentors. EFFECTIVE PRACTICES Describe the effect that this project has had on the institution, students, and others in the learning community. What has the institution learned that can be identified as a good practice to use in other aspects of its quality work or from which other institutions might benefit? Not applicable at this time. ANTICIPATED CHALLENGES TO PROJECT SUCCESS Describe the anticipated challenges that may be encountered in successfully completing the project or for institutionalizing the learning from the projects goals Anticipated challenges to the success of this project include retention of historically at-risk students (short-term within the project and long-term to mid-point of fall semester, semester-to-semester, and year-to-year to completion); and, funding to provide stronger programming. PLANNED NEXT STEPS AND TIMELINE In light of the project goals, current circumstances, institutional learning from this project, and anticipated barriers to success, list the next steps to be taken over the course of the next months in order to complete or institutionalize the results of this action project. Provide a timeline for completing each next step Tasks Start Date Duration Responsible Person(s) Establish benchmark data Office of Institutional Effectiveness Research best practices related to GED transition activities July, 2014 July, 2014 Academic Support Instructors General Education Instructors Interview instructors July, 2014 August, 2014 Develop workshop series based on research and instructor insight and to include: September October, FAFSA Completion & Financial 2014 with continuous Literacy improvement based on Career Exploration student and staff feedback. Compass Completion Computer essentials for College Ongoing and during team Program Instructors 8

9 College readiness meetings Develop plans for summer activities Meet your Mentor & campus tour Division/program specific success strategies November, 2014 During team meetings Conduct Information Sessions Administer college readiness inventory Enroll students in workshops January, scheduled sessions based on numbers Deliver and evaluate workshops February, month May, 2015 through Beloit Center Administrative Assistants March, 2015 Students register for College or Pre- College courses including Student Success May, 2015 (for fall, 2015) Bi-weekly workshops Deliver summer activities cohort sessions and mailings November, 2015 (for spring, 2016) During established registration times Students Exit interviews with non-completers; Evaluation/feedback gathered from completers Revise workshops based on feedback for continuous improvement General Education Instructors Meet with cohort group and individual students as needed June-July, 2015 Expand recruitment and promotion efforts for FY16 cohort August, months November, 2015 during monthly cohort or peer meetings Program Instructors 9

10 Student Services Personnel Analysis of Program Effectiveness (tracking outcomes) Peer Mentors Completion of fall semester classes including Student Success Mailings and other contact for FY16 cohort information sessions Project Leaders Students Repeat activities and timeline above from January start point December, 2015 Ongoing Beloit Center Administrative Assistants Office of Institutional Effectiveness Institutionalize Ready, Set, College! January, 2016 July 1, 2016 Students July, 2016 Ongoing ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, QUESTIONS, OR CONCERNS Provide any additional information, inquires, or concerns that the institution wishes for reviewers to understand regarding this action project None at this time. 10

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