To achieve this aim, UDC-CC committed staff and resources to implement the following priorities: (Priority Update Document Feb.

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1 Retention Initiatives at UDC-CC In an effort to ensure that students complete their degree programs, UDC-CC has engaged in a number of initiatives and employed various strategies to help students persist to graduation. In 2010 the College joined the Achieving the Dream (ATD). Achieving the Dream is a national movement to help more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. This movement aims to help 3.5 million community college students achieve their dreams as the most comprehensive non-governmental reform movement for student success in higher education history (http://achievingthedream.org/about-us). In 2012, the College joined Complete College America (CCA). Established in 2009, Complete College America is a national nonprofit with a single mission: to work with states to significantly increase the number of Americans with quality career certificates or college degrees and to close attainment gaps for traditionally underrepresented populations (http://www.completecollege.org/about.html). Participation in ATD and CCA has helped the College focus on those programs that will help our students be retained and persist to graduation. Below is a summary of some of these activities and what we learned. Achieving the Dream: The aim of the ATD initiative is to engage faculty, staff, administrators, community members, our P-12 school partners and students, to work in concert to improve the rates at which students: Successfully complete remedial or developmental instruction and advance to credit-bearing courses Enroll in and successfully complete the initial college-level or gatekeeper courses in subjects such as math and English Complete the courses they take with a grade of C or better Persist from one term to the next Earn a certificate or associate degree To achieve this aim, UDC-CC committed staff and resources to implement the following priorities: (Priority Update Document Feb. 2013)) Priority #1: Improving College Readiness among High School Students. This priority has enhanced the development of the College Access and Readiness for Everyone (CARE) programming. The UDC Community College CARE Dual Enrollment Program is a special undergraduate program that provides pre-college students with the opportunity to earn college credits early, at no cost to students. Our students prepare for college by experiencing it firsthand, and participate in additional support services provided to assist with their transition to college. CARE Dual Enrollment Program Features: 1. Location of classes: College campus 2. Type of instructor: College faculty 3. Course offerings: Academic 4. Mix of students: College and high school students 5. Type of credit: College credit only and dual credit option (college and high school credit, via signed partnership agreements with LEAs) 6. Timing of courses: During and after school, Monday through Saturday Number of students: Over 900 students served (Spring 2012 Fall 2015), earning over 1,300 college credits

2 The UDC-CC s CARE Program partners with 15 secondary school LEAs across DC, both public and public charter school districts. Through this program, over 900 students have been served from across DC. Enrollment from has grown by 500%. CARE Dual Enrollment Program has maintained a 70% or above passing rate since CARE provides the following student services to assist students transition to the college environment: Mandatory CARE orientations College advisors Office hours and tutoring Tuition, fees, textbooks and fare cards Special advising and registration periods, including pre-advising and co-advising with school partners CARE lab workshops on socio-emotional skills Interventions like tutoring and supplemental instruction to improve English, Math, and or organizational skills Faculty ambassadors Early alerts ACCUPLACER testing at multiple sites Other UDC student services CARE Program Enrollment and Success Semester # DCPS and DCPCSB school partners % Passing (with A, B, or C) # Students enrolled Spring % Summer % Fall % Spring % Summer % Fall % Spring % Summer % Fall % Spring % Summer Fall

3 3 Courses CARE Program students take college-level courses in the following pathways: STEM, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Humanities, and Business. The most popular courses are: First Year Seminar, English Composition I, College Math I, Psychology, Logic, and Biology. Students motivation to enroll in particular courses includes but is not limited to: an area of interest for a future college major, area of career interest, for dual credit, to explore a new area, and/or to earn transferrable credit. Website: Priority #2: Improving English College-Readiness for Incoming UDC-CC Students. The goal of this priority was to scale alternative blended learning methods of avoiding placement of students in developmental non-credit courses by supporting them in blended learning environments at four colleges led by the Community College of the District of Columbia (CCDC) and Portland State University s online SCORM compliant portal Learner Web. The strategy for implementing this project included the evaluation of different blended strategies focused initially on developmental writing. The primary intervention identified students who fell below the college Accuplacer Tests reading and sentence skills cut scores and would have traditionally enrolled in non-credit developmental courses. Research from the Achieving the Dream Initiative had found that this approach only succeeded in graduating students in eight years 28 percent of the time. Customized writing modules developed by the team at Portland State University, that created the Learner Web, were used to support students as part of a Directed Self Placement (DSP Plus) process. Students once assessed through DSP Plus, who scored below the cut score, were then given a choice of selecting a developmental writing course or going into a credit bearing writing class with online and in person blended learning writing support customized to the student s assessed weaknesses. It was hoped that the online blended interventions would be most effective in supporting student s goals of improved completion, persistence, content mastery, and mastery of deeper learning outcomes. Fall Semester 2011 Students recruited for fall semester 2011 rollout in August students tested 19 enrolled DSP students were in six different English Fundamentals classes; instructors did not know which students were DSP. About 6 students used tutoring regularly. 72 percent of students passed with a C or better Spring Semester 2012 Recruiting started much earlier, in early October through November Numbers were not coming in so decision was made to enroll students who had completed the developmental writing course. 172 students enrolled o About 60 of these students had passed the developmental writing course and were placed in the English Fundamentals course

4 4 o About 63 percent passed the course Fall Semester students in ten different English Fundamentals classes About 64 percent passed the course At the end of the grant period, the American Institutes for Research (AIR), who was hired as the external evaluator of the grant concluded as follows: The original conception for the Learner Web/DSP project was indeed an ambitious one. It was ambitious in terms of what would be developed and implemented, the speed at which it would be developed, and the project s overall reach. The initial proposal stated: Once this proposal to address writing barriers is scaled to 5,000 post secondary students and 800 secondary students in the first year, the next step will be to incorporate math and reading modules already in development to allow for the implementation of the DSP Plus process for all developmental areas. By doing this the consortium believes this approach will positively change developmental education and ultimately lead to higher graduation rates, especially among low income and minority students. In its first year, the three community colleges served perhaps 325 students. The directed self placement component lost some of its significance, at least in one of the partner community colleges, and the use of Learner Web, while it picked up somewhat, never really became a critical component of the project. The project essentially reinforced a number of findings and observations from other studies and community college experts: Placement assessments are not particularly relevant for a significant segment of the community college population. Many students whose scores are not extremely low can pass credit-bearing academic courses. This saves the student both time and money. Community college students don t do optional. The Learner Web component initially began as a support feature for students, providing extra material on key writing elements. But the optional component was only used by a small number of students. Community college students aren t particularly engaged. Through focus groups with students on two of the campuses and the failure of any students to show up for a focus group at a third campus, it is clear that students tend to see their coursework, particularly in areas that don t relate to their specific goals, as a requirement and not much more. The project also reinforced a number of things that we know about implementing new projects in higher education environments:

5 5 Individuals who will be responsible for implementing a project need to be involved to some degree in its planning. Top down approaches to higher education innovation are typically unsuccessful, or are at least slowed down by reluctant participants. Change doesn t occur over night. Despite frustrations about the performance of higher education institutions and the impatience, at times, of outside funders, changing how higher education operates can take time. Technology is not a cure all for what ails higher education. It became obvious fairly quickly that students on all three campuses were not necessarily comfortable using technology for learning purposes. Indeed, many of the students did not have access to computers in their homes and were both dependent on using them while at school and unsure of how to actually access information and programs when they did have access. The Learner Web/DSP project moved in directions not anticipated and certainly did not expand as initially suggested. The regression discontinuity evaluation approach proposed in the grant application quickly became an inappropriate method for assessing the Learner Web/DSP initiative. This overview of the rollout of the project and the challenges faced will hopefully help both funders and grantees think more carefully about what is feasible, in what timeframe, and with what participants Priority #2a: Since most of the incoming students scored low in mathematics, it was decided to provide students with a refresher program that will increase the mathematics knowledge and skills by having them self-select to participate in Math Boost-Up. The College began to run these refresher programs in summer 2012 until summer The results of the last Math Boost-Up program were reflective of previous summers. A total of 136 students participated in the mathematics intensive refresher program, Math Boost-Up. The program was offered from June to August A total of 44 students participated in the face-to-face session, and 92 students chose to participate in participate in the online only sessions. In the two week face-to-face sessions with faculty, students were engaged in activities that reflected the knowledge and skills that needed to be refreshed (as determined by the diagnostics in MyFoundationsLab. In the online only sections of Math Boost-Up, students covered the content in the MyFoundationsLab program based on the diagnostics they completed in the program. In arithmetic, face-toface students (M = 17.51) had significantly larger gains (p =.004) than did the online students (M = 8.12). In addition, in algebra, face-to-face students (M = 14.38) tended to have larger gains (p =.07) than did the online students (M = 9.06).

6 6 Of the 113 students who took the posttest in arithmetic, 27 students (23.9%) tested into a higher-level remedial course. Of the 122 students who retested in algebra, 10 students (8.2%) tested into a college-level mathematics course (Attachment results of Math Boost-Up program). The results indicated that although students in the Math Boost-Up program were successful in increasing their mathematics knowledge and skills, however these results were dismal given the investment of time and money. The investment of money, time, and effort yielded little return on investment. In conclusion the Math Boost-Up program would not be repeated. Instead the faculty decided to implement the corequisite model. In the corequisite model, students are placed in a college level course along with a developmental course. The developmental course provides the supplemental instruction needed to complete the tasks in the college level course. Participation was dismal and results did not meet the goal of increasing the number of students who would either test out of remedial mathematics or into a level of remedial mathematics that was closest to the college level course. Priority #3: Increasing Student Success in Developmental Math. In this priority, the College, combined a remedial and college level mathematics course in one semester, Introductory Algebra and General College Math I, that meets four days a week, for liberal arts majors and Introductory Algebra and Intermediate Algebra with Supplemental Instruction, that meets two days a week, for business and STEM majors; and increased tutoring support for students. (See report attached). In order to increase student success in college level mathematics courses, instructors provide supplemental instruction to include Mathstarters and peer-to-peer tutoring in class daily. Through the Mathstarters, instructors are able to foster engagement and academic dialogue between student and instructor as well as student and student. To increase student success in developmental math, students are also taught study skills, note-taking and time management skills. This semester, we are offering seven Introductory Algebra and General College Math I and Introductory Algebra and Intermediate Algebra with Supplemental Instruction courses. Both course are functioning at full capacity (more than 100% enrollment) this semester. We are still collecting data to date to support this intiative. Priority #4: Providing Comprehensive and Intentional Supports for Student Through the First Year Seminar Course. The analysis of data from academic year and indicated that more than 80% of students entering UDC CC require at least one developmental level course. After the first semester the retention rate was approximately 50%. Approximately 40% of the students received a grade of C or better in developmental math Approximately 60% of students received a grade of C of better in developmental English. To improve performance in these courses, a focus on the first year experience at UDC CC will have to be emphasized beginning with the first year seminar course. While the course will be the focus of this intervention, UDC CC will also engage in other activities that will support the student during their first year at UDC CC. Some of the activities just getting started are:

7 7 1. Minority Male Initiative - An evaluation of the OSSE-funded Men of Color Initiative (MOCI) at the University of the District of Columbia Community College (UDC-CC) was conducted to analyze whether learning leadership skills could improve student s academic outcomes, primarily for minority men of Black and Latino descent. Forty students were targeted to begin the program in fall 2013, 25 enrolled initially, and 8 completed the First Year Seminar course in May The primary assessment tools used for evaluating programming effectiveness were: MOCI students ACCUPLACER scores (August 2013 and May 2014), course evaluation surveys, focus groups, logic modeling, and direct student s observation. This report analyzes the student s Accuplacer grades prior to and following the MOCI program as well as the Final Evaluation provided to the students at the end of the semester. Based on the analyzed data of the student s individual Accuplacer scores, 50% of the students tested out of one of their remedial courses after their first year at UDC-CC. Though the MOCI student s aggregate Reading and Arithmetic scores show an 11-point decline (points lost); students display an increase of 11-points in their Sentence and Algebra scores (points gained). According to the student s survey responses, 85% of the students plan to participate in summer and/or fall classes at UDC-CC, which meets the goal of increasing student retention of the MOCI students. In tandem with retention, every MOCI student reported feeling encouraged to practice self-expression and critical thinking throughout the duration of the program. Students also report an increase in the subject of leadership as presented through the Social Change Model and their desire to serve as student leaders for the next upcoming semester. For program effectiveness, these responses meant the desired outcome was accomplished, which sought at least 85% of the students to show a positive experience in the MOCI program. Regarding the experience of the MOCI instructors, though data was not collected on the experiences of the MOCI instructors directly, every student reports having positive relationships with the MOCI Instructors.

8 8 2. Assignment of Advisor and Ongoing Advising All UDC-CC students are assigned Student Success Specialists (SSS) on an alphabetical basis as the advisors are trained on every major at the Community College. These relationships are initiated at Pre-Orientation, sessions open to all students who have applied to the college. At Pre-Orientation, students meet with SSS to cover outstanding issues with the enrollment process and engage in pre-advising. Student then have a single contact point after that for additional questions. At UDC-CC New Student Orientation, which is conducted by the SSS team, students officially meet with advisors for class selection and registration assistance. Then, SSS visit each of the First Year Seminar classes twice a semester: first by the end of the second week of classes to reinforce the availability of the Student Success Center and second the week before registration opens for the next semester to remind students about seeing an SSS before the end of the semester. Continuing students meet with their SSS on an ongoing basis, but holds require at least one meeting per semester before a student can register for the next. Additionally, SSS conduct audits of all students nearing graduation each semester (i.e., those with more than 45 completed credit hours) to prepare continuing student for advising for the next semester and conduct proactive outreach for probationary students during the semester. 3. Implementation of Early Alerts through the GradesFirst system - GradesFirst is the advising system employed by the Student Success Center. In addition to managing the scheduling of student appointments and acting as the database for student advising notes, GradesFirst allows instructors to identify students who are struggling in class and the reason for the status (e.g., poor attendance, missing assignments). Once an instructor identifies a student as at risk in GradesFirst, an electronic alert is sent to the student and the advisor assigned to him or her, who then follows up with the student to see what services may be needed. This system is available throughout the semester to instructors, but the first campaign to identify at-risk students is initiated by the second week of classes and the second campaign is at mid-term. Complete College America The College joined the Complete College America Initiative in By participating in CCA and learning from our work on the Achieving the Dream priorities, we decided to dramatically revamp the way we enrolled students in developmental courses and implemented the corequisite model of remedial education. Faculty in English and Mathematics voted to implement this model. In the fall 2015 semester, the College no longer offers any stand-alone remedial courses. This is a real game changer for the College. (This section will be updated with data at the end of the semester).

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