Dialogue on the basic skills initiative at fullerton college
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Dialogue on the Basic Skills Initiative at Fullerton College. Where We Have Been, and Where We Are Going. Meet Your Presenters. Dan Willoughby , Dean of Humanities and the dean overseeing the BSI budget

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Dialogue on the Basic Skills Initiative at Fullerton College

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Dialogue on the Basic Skills Initiative at Fullerton College

Where We Have Been,

and Where We Are Going

Meet Your Presenters

  • Dan Willoughby, Dean of Humanities and the dean overseeing the BSI budget

  • Mark Greenhalgh, Dean of Mathematics and Co-chair of the Basic Skills Student Success Steering Committee (BSSSSC)

  • Dani McLean, Basic Skills Special Projects Director

  • Jeanne Costello, English Faculty and Co-chair of the Basic Skills Student Success Steering Committee (BSSSSC)

  • Agi Horspool, Basic Skills Research Assistant

Index Cards

  • Please use the index cards on your tables to record questions as they come up. We will have a question and answer session at the end of the presentation.

Purpose of the Presentation

  • Background of the Basic Skills Student Success Steering Committee (BSSSSC)

  • Current areas of focus with some preliminary program feedback/data

  • Discussion of future directions/trends for Basic Skills

Basic Skills Awareness

Ask a partner:

What is the definition of basic skills?

Basic Skills Definition

  • According to the Basic Skills as a Foundation for Student Success in California Community Colleges (AKA “The Poppy Copy”):

    “Basic skills are those foundation skills in reading, writing, mathematics, and English as a Second Language, as well as learning skills and study skills which are necessary for students to succeed in college-level work.”

Placement Test Results

Basic Skills Allocations

Background of the BSSSSC

Purpose # 1

Voting Members

Faculty – English

Faculty – Reading

Faculty – Counseling

Faculty – At-Large

Faculty – Career Technical Education

Faculty – Math

Faculty – ESL

Dean, Humanities

Dean, Math & Computer Science

Dean, Library/Learning Resource Center

Dean, Counseling

Director, Academic Support Center

Special Projects Director, Basic Skills

Classified - Tutoring Center Coordinator

Classified – Academic Support Center

Classified – Math Lab

Student Representative

Resource Members

Vice President, Instruction

Vice President, Student Services

Budget Officer

Institutional Researcher

BSSSSC Members

Established Goals

  • Improve student retention success and persistence rates in basic skills courses

  • Increase participation of basic skills students in matriculation activities

  • Increase student awareness and participation of basic skills curriculum and related student support services

  • Increase all faculty knowledge of basic skills pedagogy in order to more effectively teach developmental, ESL, and transfer level courses

  • Increase availability of resources, materials, and technology designed to support basic skills instruction and support services

Established Objectives

  • Enhance tutoring services for basic skills students

  • Support innovation in instructional methods

  • Develop alternative cohort models for first-year basic skills students

  • Increase the number of full-time faculty teaching basic skills courses

  • Recruit graduate student interns to:

    -- Support instruction in the classroom

    -- Provide workshops, tutoring, and mentoring

  • Develop innovative technological delivery methods for academic support

  • Develop a process for granting priority registration for basic skills students who attend required matriculation activities

  • Develop a cadre of designated counselors who specialize in the needs of basic skills students

  • Develop a means for basic skills students to interface with counselors and their instructors regarding academic success

  • Increase follow-up with students who receive substandard grades

  • Develop innovative ways to follow up with and retain incoming students

  • Develop a comprehensive faculty and staff development program, including conference attendance, which focuses on basic skills pedagogy

  • Continue to develop the Adjunct Training Program

  • Expand technological resources for classroom instruction

Criteria for Proposal Assessment

The committee is looking for proposals that:

  • Clearly address the goals and objectives outlined by the Basic Skills Committee

  • Build upon existing campus infrastructures in ways that would suggest a potential for sustainability

  • Create synergistic relationships or collaborations with other Basic Skills proposals

  • Demonstrate support from the key faculty and staff who would be involved in implementing the proposal

Proposal Solicitation Process

Proposal Solicitation Process, Cont’d.,

Statewide BSI Networks


Current Areas of Focus with Some Preliminary Program Feedback/data

Purpose # 2

Theme # 1: Tutoring and Student Support

Graduate Student Internship Program

Delivered by graduate students working to support basic skills in both developmental and content-area classes

  • In-class support

  • Out-of-class tutoring

  • Student success workshops, open to all students across campus

Graduate Student Internship Program

Spring 2010 GSI Enrollment, Retention and Success

Specialized ESL Tutoring

Delivered by graduate students specializing in second language learning

  • One-on-one tutoring

  • Group tutoring

  • Workshops

Mathematics Enhanced Tutoring Program

Delivered by peer tutors

  • Tutoring and support for students enrolled in basic skills mathematics courses

  • Math annex for additional math support

Use of In-class Math Tutoring Support

Support Received Compared to Other Classes

Academic Support for Student Athletes


Support student athlete academic success and retention in Basic Skills classes

The Academic Support Center partners with Counseling, Physical Education, and the Library

To provide a structured program involving:

  • Group study time

  • Tutoring

  • Educational planning

  • Academic accountability

Academic Support for Student Athletes

Spring 2010 Academic Success and Retention:

Academic Support for Student Athletes

Umoja Community

  • Creates a supportive campus community with special emphasis on the African-American student population

  • Includes counseling, mentoring and community events

Theme # 2:Staff Development

Graduate Student Internship Program

As part of the professional development portion of the program, interns:

  • Attend all class sessions

  • Meet with faculty weekly to discuss the course

  • Participate in three 2-hour training sessions

  • Attend at least one basic skills workshop

  • Read and present on one text chosen from a bibliography of readings on basic skills pedagogy

Adjunct Training Program (ATP)

The Adjunct Training Program is designed to increase adjunct instructors’ awareness of developmental education theory and best practices.

As part of the ATP, participants will:

  • Develop reflection responses concerning current instructional practices

  • Attend three 3-hour training workshops

  • Read prepared textbook and materials

  • Complete a capstone project

Adjunct Training Program (ATP)

Changes in instructional practice:

  • “…just the concept of metacognition and incorporating that into class has been a huge change.”

  • “…it was taking that kind of [activity] that I’ve built… that I do in the 6th week and saying, “Ok, how can I use that in the 1st week, in the very first class to get them up and get them active.”

    Excerpts taken from ATP Focus Group, Fall 2010

Adjunct Training Program (ATP)

Spring 2010 Faculty Survey

Teaching Excellence Program

Designed to develop a committed cadre of basic skills experts

  • Conference attendance

  • Teaching and Learning Certificate (TLC) Workshops

  • Faculty Inquiry Groups (FIGs)

Theme # 3:BSI Infused into Content-area Courses

Success Rates for Students Concurrently Enrolled in Basic Skills English, Math and Reading Courses 2001-2009

Social Sciences Survey Data

Large proportions of faculty report that students need support in basic writing, study skills, basic reading and vocabulary.

Strategic Literacy Initiative

  • Seven-day Reading Apprenticeship (RA) workshop trained approximately 40 faculty to incorporate reading instruction into content-area classes.

  • Mentioned in the Basic Skills as a Foundation for Student Success in California Community Colleges Handbook (Poppy Copy), as the leading research and development agency to provide basic skills students with effective tools for content-area reading improvement.

  • Planning group is currently working to disseminate RA techniques to colleagues

Graduate Student Internship Program

Graduate student interns have provided reading and study skills support in the following content-area courses:

  • ANTH 101 (Physical Anthropology)

  • ANTH 102 (Cultural Anthropology)

  • ENC 130 (Introduction to Oceanography)

  • SOC 101 (Intro to Sociology)

Theme # 4:First Year ExperienceEntering Scholars Program (ESP)

Background of FYE

  • “Fostering student success in the freshman year is the most significant intervention an institution can make in the name of student persistence…The freshman’s most critical transition period occurs during the first two to six weeks (half the students who dropped out their first year, dropped out in the first six weeks).”¹ The academic literature is clear: the early weeks on campus truly matter for students and affect their likelihood of progressing (Tinto 1988, 2006). Stated most simply, new students need to feel a part of their new institution and need to connect to each other, to faculty, and to the campus community.²

    ¹ Andi Levitz and Lee Noel. “Connecting Students to Institutions: Keys to Retention and Success.” M.L. Upcraft, J. Gardner, and Associates, The Freshman Year Experience. San Francisco: Jossey- Bass, 1989.

    ² Retention Theoretical Underpinnings.  www.sc.edu/fye/events/presentation/international/2...

Entering Scholars Program (ESP)

ESP Program Components

  • Student Services Professional

  • Tutor (in and out of class)

  • Counselor visit

  • Study skills infused into curriculum

  • Faculty and tutor training

  • Course pack with activities related to:

    • Library/ information competency

    • Career and Life Planning Center

    • Campus scavenger hunt

    • Time management

    • Learning styles

    • Memory building

    • Reading, note-taking and test-taking strategies

ESP Courses 2010


  • We will take a few minutes to answer some of the questions from your index cards

Discussion of Future Directions/trends for Basic Skills

Purpose # 3

Discussion Themes

  • Directed Learning Activities (DLAs)

  • Faculty Inquiry Groups (FIGs)

  • Acceleration in developmental sequences

  • Pre-requisites for content-area classes

Directed Learning Activities (DLAs)

DLAs are supplemental activities that support the basic skills that students need to achieve success in courses across the curriculum.

  • Designed by discipline faculty in collaboration with Academic Support Center (ASC) staff

  • Assigned by faculty as part of required coursework

  • Completed by students in the ASC

Faculty Inquiry Groups (FIGs)

“’Faculty inquiry’ is a term that encompasses a broad set of practices that engage teachers in looking closely and critically at student learning for the purpose of improving their own courses and programs ... It is easy for faculty working on their own to become discouraged by the narrow reach of their best efforts. When faculty inquire together about how to improve their own classrooms and their department’s courses and programs, space is opened for conversation and for hope.”

Huber, M.T. “The Promise of Faculty Inquiry for Teaching and Learning Basic Skills.” Strengthening Pre-collegiate Education in Community Colleges [SPECC]. Stanford, CA: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 2008.

  • Faculty-based

  • Collaborative

  • Research-based and outcome-driven

  • Focused on areas of challenge or success

Acceleration in Developmental Course Sequences

Exponential attrition in long developmental sequences (Math, English, ESL) means that even the most successful interventions at each level result in minimal increases in the numbers of students completing college-requirements.

Accelerating developmental coursework results in more students succeeding in college-level Math and English.

Perry, M.; Bahr, P.R.; Rosin, M.; & Woodward, K.M. (2010). Course-taking patterns, policies, and practices in developmental education in the California Community Colleges. Mountain View, CA: EdSource.

Acceleration in Developmental Course Sequences

The percent of developmental students completing college-level/ degree-applicable course:

If a student starts at 3 levels below college math (pre-algebra) or English,

the success rate would be:

If a student starts at 4 levels below college math (Arithmetic) or English,

the success rate would be:

Pre-requisites for Content-area Classes

Communication and Computation Prerequisite Validation Through Content Review

  • The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges recommend changes needed to Title 5 language on prerequisites that, instead of relying on statistical analysis, allow local faculty to base their determination for prerequisites of English, reading, or mathematics for collegiate level courses on content review

  • The resolution received a first read at the Board of Governors Meeting, May 2010

To Continue the Conversation…

Please contact the following presenters for more information concerning the Basic Skills Initiative at Fullerton College

Dan Willoughby dwilloughby@fullcoll.edu

Mark Greenhalghmgreenhalgh@fullcoll.edu

Dani McLean dmclean@fullcoll.edu

Jeanne Costello jcostello@fullcoll.edu

Agi Horspoolahorspool@fullcoll.edu

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