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Learning Communities in the Community College Setting. EDUC 738 Assessment and Evaluation Dr. Jesunathadas, Dr. Hill. By Cynthia J. Spence. College of the Desert . College of the Desert received a 5-year federal Title V grant known as the HSI (Hispanic-Serving Institutions) Grant.

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learning communities in the community college setting

Learning Communities in the Community College Setting

EDUC 738 Assessment and Evaluation

Dr. Jesunathadas, Dr. Hill

By Cynthia J. Spence

college of the desert
College of the Desert
  • College of the Desert received a 5-year federal Title V grant known as the HSI (Hispanic-Serving Institutions) Grant.
  • This Title V grant was known as WRAAP (Writing and Reading Academic Advancement Program).
  • The funding supported basic skills (at-risk) students through integrated courses that were supported by student services, specifically counseling and tutoring.
college of the desert3
College of the Desert
  • Students were enrolled in pre-college level courses at one of two levels: Reading 50, English 50, Math 57; or Reading 51, English 51, and Math 50.
  • A full-time counselor was available to students in this program, and a full-time tutorial director was hired to direct tutoring for each of these courses.
  • The conclusions of empirical research conducted by faculty in the WRAAP program showed that students who enrolled in these learning communities were more likely to persist in their college studies and have higher GPAs than students in non-LC courses.
college of the desert4
College of the Desert
  • In January, 2005, College of the Desert was one of eleven California Community Colleges to be awarded a Carnegie/Hewlett grant to extend our LCs. This was a 3-year initiative, known at all 11 colleges as SPECC (Strengthening Pre-collegiate Education in Community Colleges).
colleges in specc
Colleges in SPECC
  • Cerritos College
  • Chabot College
  • City College of San Francisco
  • College of the Desert
  • College of the Sequoias
  • Glendale Community College
  • Laney College
  • Los Medanos College
  • Merced College
  • Pasadena City College
  • West Hills College District
cod fall schedule
COD Fall Schedule
  • Reading 50/English 50/STDV 60
    • M. Boyd, J. Murphy, .F Sangiorgio
  • Reading 50/English 50/STDV 60
    • V. Rossi, K. Enciso, J. Simo
  • Reading 51/English 51/STDV 13
    • M. Boyd, V. Rossi, A. Phillips
  • English 1A/Speech004
    • H. Benes, A. Jazan
interview where have you found success
Interview Where have you found success?

“We truly believe that our students succeed in learning communities because they learn to become students - in other words, they begin to understand the academic culture, sometimes for the first time in their lives, because they have a “posse” of professionals guiding and teaching them.”

Mary Boyd

Learning Center Director

interview have there been struggles
Interview Have there been struggles?

“We have learned that both recruitment and funding may continue to challenge our work with LCs…Though the counseling department here is spread very thin right now, the counselors who have participated in the SPECC learning communities have been invaluable to creating an ambience of family within each LC. One of our goals toward institutionalization will certainly include funding to hire a full-time counselor for LCs. We are currently exploring possibilities.”

Mary Boyd

Learning Center Director

interview have there been struggles9
Interview Have there been struggles?

“In Year Two, after a disappointing drop in Spring LC enrollments…we began tapping into student services such as our Upward Bound, EOPS, Care, and Work Experience Programs. We have begun dialog with these counselors so that as they begin their recruitment of students, they will be “armed” with LC flyers and schedules, as well as the ever-popular chocolates to lure students into LCs. Many of these students begin with the Summer Bridge programs that Upward Bound and EOPS offer which can only help them gain an early understanding of the academic culture they are attempting to assimilate into.”

Mary Boyd

Learning Center Director

interview how do you assess the program
InterviewHow do you assess the program?

“Both student and faculty surveys helped to give us a better picture of how well the students understood the connections between and among these courses. For example, many students in the SPECC 3 cohorts responded that the English 1-A courses paired with social science courses helped them to better understand the importance of the reading and writing processes in transfer level coursework. Our feedback and qualitative research in these communities instill in faculty a tremendous confidence and commitment to these LCs.”

Mary Boyd

Learning Center Director

interview how do you assess the program11
InterviewHow do you assess the program?

“Christen and other ESL faculty have begun another assessment project to better identify our target students using two objective tests, the Integrative Grammar Test and the CAWSE, as well as a writing sample with rubric.

Mary Boyd

Learning Center Director

what specc wanted monitored
What SPECC Wanted Monitored
  • Success – percentage of students in a given course who obtain a passing grade of C or better, or CR (Credit).
  • Retention- The percentage of students who “complete” a given course, even with a failing grade.
  • Persistence- The percentage of students in a given course who enroll in a course the following semester.