Strengthening Student Engagement in California: The Center for Community College Student Engagement • RP Group’s Strengthening Student Success Conference • October 7, 2009
Session Goals • Discussion on student engagement and success in California community colleges • Learn about promising practices from other institutions • Find out how faculty, staff, and administrators can use student engagement data to inform conversations around improving student success • Engage in practical group activities Your goals?
Session Agenda • Student Engagement and Success • National Perspective • Faculty & Staff Predictions Exercise • Our Students • What Makes California So Unique? Or is It? • Group Exercise • Learning from Our Students • CCSSE Benchmarks • Group Exercise
Test Your Community College IQ What percentage of first time U.S. freshmen in colleges and universities enroll in community colleges? Answer: 41% What percentage of all U.S. undergraduates attend community colleges? Answer: 46% Community College Survey of Student Engagement
Test Your Community College IQ What percentage of community college students attend part-time? Answer: 59% (<25% at 4-year colleges) What percentage of community college students work full-time? Answer: Part-time students – 50% Full-time students – 27% Community College Survey of Student Engagement
Test Your Community College IQ What percentage of community college students plan to earn a degree? Answer: 79% And more than 70% cite transferring to a baccalaureate institution as a primary or secondary goal Community College Survey of Student Engagement
Test Your Community College IQ! What percentage of community college students plan to earn a certificate? Answer: 48% Community College Survey of Student Engagement
Test Your Community College IQ! Yet…what percentage of community college students earn an associate degree or certificate 6 years after entering college? Answer: 25% Yet…what percentage of community college students actually transfer? Answer: 25% Community College Survey of Student Engagement
Test Your Community College IQ What’s the national dropout rate (freshmen not returning for sophomore year) for students attending public two-year colleges? Answer: 48% (compared to ~30% for public four-year colleges) Community College Survey of Student Engagement
Center for Community College Student Engagement • Quantitative • CCSSE • CCFSSE • SENSE • Qualitative • Initiative on Student Success / Starting Right Center for Community College Student Engagement
CCSSE: Listening to Students • 7 years • 713 colleges with a total enrollment exceeding 4.68 + million students. • 1 million+ student respondents • 49 states, British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Marshall Islands
CCSSE helps us: Assess quality in community college education Identify and learn from good educational practice Identify areas in which we can improve CCSSE data analyses include a three-year cohort of participating colleges. The 2009 CCSSE Cohort includes more than 400,000 community college students 663 community and technical colleges in 48 states. CCSSE: A Tool for Improvement Community College Survey of Student Engagement
CCSSE: A Tool for Accountability CCSSE: Provides reliable data on issues that matter Reports data publicly Is committed to using data for improvement CCSSE opposes using its data to rank colleges. ranking Community College Survey of Student Engagement
…Student Engagement Two decades of research on undergraduate student learning, persistence and success CCSSE Validation Study CCSSE’s Qualitative Focus Groups
…Student Engagement the amount of time and energy students invest in meaningful educational practices
…Student Engagement Institutional practices Student behaviors Highly correlated with student learning and retention
…Student Engagement …It’s unlikely to happen by accident. It has to happen by design.
Students are more likely to persist and learn if they… Navigate through college systems, processes and procedures Make a connection between now and their future (setting goals) Are active & engaged learners …Student Engagement
…Early Engagement • Community colleges typically lose about half of their students prior to the students’ second college year.
…Early Engagement • 2008 SENSE Field Test – 89 colleges from 29 states, plus Marshall Islands, with 57,547 usable surveys. • MetLife Foundation Initiative Starting Right Focus Groups
…Early Engagement Focus Group Findings: All entering students said they are confident they will remain in school and achieve their academic goals.
…Early Engagement Focus Group Findings: Most students said the only thing that might make it difficult to achieve their goals would be balancing their time among school, family and work commitments… Yet in the SENSE survey, only 35% reported taking a course where they are learning how to prioritize and manage their time.
…Early Engagement Entering and younger students are less likely to… Use academic advising/planning – Traditional age students – friends Non-traditional age students – faculty & advisors Go to a tutor Use skill labs Seek financial aid advising
…Relationships Students are more likely to persist and learn if they… Establish meaningful relationships with peers Establish meaningful relationships with faculty and staff Feel connected to the college
…Relationships • What is the single most important factor that keeps students in school? • YOU!
High Expectations and High Support You can’t have one without the other Students do best when expectations are high and they receive support that helps them achieve at high levels. Colleges must set the standard and do so deliberately, clearly, and consistently. They also must provide the support — financial aid, advising, academic support, and so on — that makes the high standard accessible to all students.
High Expectations and High Support You can’t have one without the other “There is no great secret to successful retention programs, no mystery which requires unraveling. Though successful retention programming does require some skill and not an inconsiderable amount of effort, it does not require sophisticated machinery.” * Tinto, V. (n.d.). Student Success and the Building of Involving Educational Communities. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University, School of Education.
Recap – What Matters Most? • Student Engagement • Early Engagement • Relationships • And in all of the above, High Expectations and High Support matter for student success!
What Makes California So Unique? Or is it?
Nation 40% full-time; 60% part-time 62% fathers and 62% mothers - first-generation 11% - ESL 69% have children living with them California 30% full-time; 70% part-time 59% fathers and 62% mothers - first-generation 32% - ESL 74% have children living with them Our Students – Who are They?
California 17% Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islander 6% African American 32% Hispanic/Latino 37% White Nation 4% Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islander 12% African American 10% Hispanic/Latino 67% White Our Students – Who are They? 47% of California students report that their college “quite a bit” or “very much” helps them understand people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds
Our Students – Who are They? • Approximately 19% of California students and 14% of students nationally report they have earned an Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or Master’s degree.
Nation Study skills course – 33% ESL course – 13% Developmental education Reading – 26% Writing – 32% Math – 55% California Study skills course – 40% ESL course – 19% Developmental education Reading – 33% Writing – 39% Math – 54% Our Students – Who are They? Recall: 32% of California students report that English is their second language.
Primary goal for attending this college: Associate’s Degree: 74% CA 81% Nation Transfer: 79% CA 71% Nation Job-related skills: 65% CA 70% Nation Frequency of use of services “often” or “very often” Academic Advising and Planning:51% often, 36% rarely/never - CA Transfer Credit Assistance: CA-29% often, 39% rarely/never - CA Career Counseling: CA-36% often and 45% rarely/never - CA Primary Goals and Uses of Services
Nation 67% personal income/savings 45% parent/spouse 22% loans 47% grants/scholarships California 79% personal income/savings 52% parent/spouse 11% loans 31% grants/scholarships Our Students – Investment in Education Major and Minor Sources that Students Use to Pay for Their College 37% of California students report that they “rarely” or “never” use financial aid services.
Our Students – Investment in Education • Financial Aid Survey Data • A Brief Exercise • What stands out to you from a brief review of the data? • Summarize the relationship between the responses to the various survey questions. What story might the data be telling you? • How might a college use these data to inform change? • Implications for Faculty? • Implications for Front-Line Staff? • Implications for Administrators?
CCSSE Benchmarks for Effective Educational Practice The five CCSSE benchmarks are: Active and Collaborative Learning Student Effort Academic Challenge Student-Faculty Interaction Support for Learners Community College Survey of Student Engagement
Active and Collaborative Learning • What percent of California students report that they “very often” or “often” worked with other students on projects during class? 50%; 13% reported “never” • What percent of California students report that they “very often” or “often” worked with other students on projects outside of class? 23%; 39% reported “never”
Active and Collaborative Learning • 4a) Asked questions in class or contributed to class discussions (“Often” or “Very Often”) • National (65.3 %) • California (56.3 %) • 4b) Made a class presentation • National (28.1 %) 31 % “Never” • California (27.7 %) 31 % “Never” • 4f) Worked with other students on projects during class • National (46. 2 %) • California (50 %)
Understand the Facts Part-time students are less likely to: Work with other students on projects during class Make class presentations Participate in a community-based project as part of a course
Increasing Active and Collaborative Learning • FCCJ - Creating Optimum Learning Environments (CREOLE) • 4-module online graduate credit course to help faculty understand and apply learning/motivation research and theory • Online, Hybrid/Blended, and Classroom Professor Certificates • Required for all faculty teaching online courses • Available to faculty outside FCCJ for a fee • Honorariums paid to both department and to adjuncts who complete certificates • Results – Both F/T and P/T faculty report: • Increased use of interactive learning strategies in BOTH online and classroom settings Community College Survey of Student Engagement
Student Effort • What percentage of full-time students report spending FIVE or FEWER per week preparing for class? • California – 32% • 2009 CCSSE Cohort – 36%
Student Effort – Promising Practice • The Writing Support Services (WSS) program at Bossier Parish Community College (LA) • Provides students with intensive support at all stages of the writing process; • Began as a pilot in 2007 – CCSSE/CCFSSE data showed that 79% of faculty said they referred students to skill labs sometimes or often, but only 40% of students used skill labs sometimes or often; • The College aims to increase students’ use of the WSS by building it into the curriculum – WSS staff visit classes to facilitate group discussions and address students’ concerns about major writing assignments; faculty members require students to receive feedback from a writing support specialist for a specified number of drafts each semester.
Academic Challenge • During the current school year, how often have you • 4p) Worked harder than you thought you could to meet an instructor’s standards or expectations? • Often or very often: 49.8 % (national cohort) / 47.8 % (California) • Never: 11% (national cohort) / 13% (California) • How much does your coursework at this college emphasize? • 5f) Using information you have read or heard to perform a new skill • Quite a bit or very much: 61% (national cohort) / 61% (California) • Very little: 9% (national cohort)/ 10% (California)
Increasing Academic Challenge/Student Effort Itawamba Community College – QEP “Raising the Bar: Improving Student Writing Through Early Intervention” Focused on increasing quality of student writing Increased amount of required writing across the curriculum Established three writing support centers (tutoring) to improve writing basics – grammar, mechanics, content, etc. 2008 CCCSE data show (2006 comparison) students spend: More time on writing papers integrating material (from 2.48 to 2.57) More time writing multiple drafts than in 2006 (from 2.37 to 2.55) Community College Survey of Student Engagement