2009 Exemplary Program Award

2009 Award Winners

Bakersfield College — Academic Development Program Kimberly Van Horne Ed.D., Department Chair: Academic Development

Bakersfield College (BC) is a rural Hispanic-serving institution with only a single transfer institution nearby, California State University, Bakersfield. The Academic Development department provides pre-collegiate coursework and academic support services for students in a central location on the main campus and on our community campuses. The Bakersfield College Academic Development department (ACDV) provides quality developmental education in a supportive environment in order for students to achieve academic, personal, and occupational successes. The ACDV program addresses students’ needs through a variety of effective approaches. The program has built upon existing practices and incorporated new interventions and strategies. Implementation of these new approaches has accelerated students’ acquisition of basic college skills while allowing students to pursue their academic and vocational goals. The ACDV department at BC offers numerous programs and support services:

  • The Tutor Training Program supports student success across the curriculum for all students and provides International Level I and II Tutor Certification through the College Reading and Learning Association.
  • The Student Success Lab positively influences students through computer-assisted instruction; the lab offers a variety of activities on Plato, a self-paced, pre-programmed software program offering reading, writing, and math skill-building activities. The lab also provides a free proofreading service, which extends our services beyond the underprepared campus community by assisting students across the campus.
  • The First Year Experience course is a recent addition to our program. This summer bridge course introduces students to the college community. Students also work with a counselor to complete their student education plans. The Academic Development counselor also makes classroom presentations and works individually with students to guide them in scheduling and long-term educational planning.
  • Learning Communities have been an integral part of our program. The integration between an ACDV class and content classes is especially effective for developmental students.
  • Another new addition are the free Critical Academic Skills (CAS) workshops, which are designed to provide small group instruction on critical skills needed for college success, such as “Comma Crimes” and “Word Processing Basics.” The sessions are discrete and offer an alternative to semester-length courses by focusing on isolated skills review.
  • Technology: The Student Success Lab, document cameras in classrooms, projectors, and laptop carts are examples of our high tech and high touch philosophy. ACDV is especially committed to implementing the principles of Universal Design for Learning to ensure that all students’ learning needs are met and co-sponsors several courses with Disabled Student Programs and Services.
  • ACDV focuses on student success and retention by presenting Flex Workshops on campus in order to infuse the dynamic principles of Developmental Education across the curriculum. You can access the Bakersfield College Academic Development Website at http://bcacademicdevelopmentdepartment.weebly.com/

Santa Barbara City College — Partnership for Student Success Kathy Molloy, Basic Skills Coordinator

In Spring 2005, the President of Santa Barbara City College asked the local academic senate to assume responsibility for planning and implementing a Student Success Initiative. The goal of this Initiative was to address the needs of the large population of under-prepared students entering the College and to increase the academic success of all SBCC students. The senate accepted this responsibility and the following summer formed a task force to begin planning the Initiative. This task force included faculty representatives from all divisions, as well as students, deans, and directors of successful SBCC student support programs. In the fall, the task force issued a college-wide call for proposals for the Student Success Initiative and subsequently reviewed over 60 proposals submitted by faculty, departments, and administrators before forwarding them to the senate. These proposals offered a wide range of solutions, from departmental and cross-departmental projects to broad institutional initiatives. After reviewing these proposals, the senate made its recommendation for the Initiative: provide comprehensive tutoring in a variety of formats by expanding existing successful programs and making them even more effective and by creating new programs to address unmet student needs. The College approved funding for the Initiative in Fall 2006, and these Initiative programs became known collectively as the Partnership for Student Success (PSS). The Partnership consists of the following programs: the Writing Center, the Math Lab, the Academic Achievement Zone, and the Gateway to Success Program. The Writing Center provides tutors who are trained to work with students at every stage of the writing process and to assist these students in developing their writing skills. The Math Lab provides tutors who are trained to work with beginning through advanced math students to develop their math skills. The Academic Achievement Zone works closely with the Writing Center and the Math Lab and provides tutoring for all student athletes who assess at below college level in reading, writing, or math or who have GPAs at 2.3 or below. The Gateway Program provides in-class and outside-of-class tutoring for students in designated courses, from English as a Second Language (ESL) and basic skills through first-year content and career technical education (CTE) courses. Gateway faculty recruit students who have been successful in specific courses and train them to become Gateway tutors in those classes. Tutors in all Partnership programs must complete a required tutor training program before they begin working with students, and each program uses faculty-developed directed learning activities that enable students to further develop necessary skills by working independently and with tutors in guided activities. The Partnership Steering Committee meets regularly to assess the progress of each program, address challenges, solicit proposals and recommend them to the senate, and conduct regular evaluations of the Partnership programs. This senate subcommittee includes former task force members, leaders of each Partnership program, and representatives from counseling, CTE, and ESL. The Partnership for Student Success is in its fourth year at SBCC. As the evaluation data for the academic years 2006-09 indicate, the Partnership continues to demonstrate strong success rates, especially among basic skills students. It is clear that growing numbers of SBCC students are taking advantage of Partnership programs. Not only are our students benefiting from the support they receive, but the students who provide that support are benefiting as well. For example, in a study done by the College, tutors had much higher success rates in their own classes once they began working in the Gateway Program. Institutional research data show that students are taking advantage of the Partnership programs in growing numbers. As an example, over 5,000 tutoring sessions took place in the Gateway Center in Spring 2009, in addition to the Gateway tutoring that took place across the campus. The Writing Center tutoring sessions have doubled in the first two years of the Partnership, and the Math Lab has expanded its hours and added a well attended Saturday Lab to accommodate the growing number of students seeking math tutoring. The Academic Achievement Zone has continued to expand its hours and services to meet the special needs of student athletes, and the number of students participating in the Zone has increased as well. Each of these programs reports higher course completion rates for participating students when compared with non-participating students in the same courses, and the success rates continue to grow as the students take increasing advantage of the support services offered by these Partnership programs. The senate’s effort to change the culture of the campus has truly paid off. As our Accreditation Team recently observed, student success is at the forefront of everything we do, and the Partnership is largely responsible for creating and sustaining this emphasis on student success. Partnership for Student Success Website


Contra Costa College — Center for Science Excellence Seti Sidharta, Program Director

The Center for Science Excellence (CSE) is a 2001 Presidential Award winning program (White House) within the Natural Social and Applied Science Division at Contra Costa College. The program answers the national call for increasing the number of underrepresented students in the STEM fields. The goals are three fold: 1) to provide comprehensive academic support (faculty-led mentoring, science and math workshops and tutoring); 2) to ease the transfer process to university (via educational planning and counseling); and 3) to provide academic breadth activities (via seminars, trips and internships). The CSE program is an institutionalized program and receives full support from the administration; the college pays for its director and gives the program spaces within the Physical Science building (PS 107 and 109) for students and faculty to meet, interact and exchange ideas. These rooms are also the place where tutoring and cooperative studying take place. Now in its thirteenth year, CSE has received multimillion dollar grants from the Army Research Office, National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Education (DoEd) and University of California Office of President. The funding pays for a student assistant, student stipends, summer research internship pay, supplies and materials, and other academic activities. The program funding will continue through 2011. The CSE director and STEM faculty will continuously search for new funding opportunities. Successes Our college has achieved incredible success with our African American and Hispanic student transfers to four-year colleges and universities. CSE has helped our college retain underrepresented minorities in a science-based curriculum and transfer them to Bachelor’s-level institutions. Over the past 13 years, 514 students (94% of alumni) have transferred to baccalaureate degree institutions; 55.1% to UCs, 33.3% to CSUs and the rest to others. Of the 547 alumni, the ethnicity is comprised of 17.0% African Americans, 19.4%1.1% Native Americans, 5.7% Pacific Islanders, 36.4% Asians (including Southeast Asians), 17.4% Caucasians and 3.0% other. About half of the students are women. Almost all of the students are first-generation college students. There is a measurable improvement in student G.P.A. in the seminal math and science courses after entering CSE, and the number of units taken is higher as well. For freshman biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics courses, CSE students outperform their non-CSE peers by almost a whole letter grade on the average. Key Activities Building an educational process early that leads students to develop academic self-discipline, while emphasizing that math and science research is a social process through

  • selecting up 60 students each year and enrolling students in a full-time course of study in science, mathematics, English and engineering
  • providing academic advising through counseling office and weekly mentor meetings
  • providing academic support activities through workshops and tutoring Creating access to jobs, internships and cooperative education in science and technology through
  • Providing selected students work and research experience showing real practice of science and engineering. Communicating how science and technology impacts social and cultural change and enriching and modifying the curriculum to enhance the students experience of science and technology through
  • organizing scientifically relevant seminars and discussions twice a month
  • organizing academic trips to places with science, technology and engineering emphasis
  • encouraging participation of science faculty in all activities that will increase their knowledge and abilities in how students can learn how to do science.

El Camino College — First Year Experience Program Cynthia Mosqueda, Faculty Coordinator

The First Year Experience program started in Fall 2001 through a Title V Hispanic Serving Institution grant offered through the Department of Education. The program started with a cohort of 45 students enrolled in two learning community courses for one academic year. Today, the program has over 750 new students that participate in FYE learning communities and over 800 2nd year continuing students. The First Year Experience/Learning Communities and Supplemental Instruction Program (FYE/LC) is designed to assist new students in transitioning from high school to college to attain their educational goals. Academic and student services include first- year integrative learning communities (cohorts), linked developmental and transfer classes; supplemental Instruction, first year orientations, hands-on instruction utilizing El Camino College technology for students; intrusive academic, financial aid and career counseling, student leadership opportunities; community service learning, outreach and recruitment, faculty development activities, and major campus-wide events for El Camino students that promote recruitment, enrollment, graduation and transfer to universities. The Office of Institutional Research has continually provided the program with student data and consistently monitors persistence, retention, and student success. Overall, FYE students demonstrate high persistence rates. On average, FYE students persist to their 2nd semester at a rate of 81%. This is higher than the control groups’ persistence rate of 74%. The FYE students had a 3rd semester persistence rate of 72%. On the other hand, the control groups had an average persistence rate of 49%. FYE students demonstrated strong 4th semester persistence rates. The FYE cohorts had an average 4th semester persistence rate of 67%. This is 29 percentage points higher than the control groups’ persistence rate of 38%. During their first term in the program, FYE students were retained at an average rate of about 85%. Students in the control groups were retained at a rate of 76%. Term success rates remained relatively stable for all the FYE cohorts. FYE students had a 72% success rate which is higher than the control groups’ rate of 56%. The FYE cohorts demonstrate high persistence rates and healthy success and retention rates while in the program. The program also offers supplemental instruction services on campus. The main objective of the Supplemental Instruction (SI) Program is to help students successfully pass a targeted course, while learning critical life and learning skills. Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a series of weekly review sessions for students enrolled in selected courses. The SI method has been proven to help increase student understanding of course material and raise grades at El Camino College and other institutions. Students have an opportunity to compare notes, discuss important concepts, take mock tests, and develop strategies for studying and learning. Since its inception at the college, the SI program has proven successful, by data collected from El Camino College, to increase the success, completion, and persistence rates of students. To date, the SI Program at El Camino College has supported over 7500 students in various disciplines. First Year Experience Program Website

College of San Mateo — Writing in the End Zone James Carranza, English, Teeka James, English, Bret Pollack, Physical Education and Athletics, Head Football Coach

Writing in the End Zone (WEZ) began in 2003 and has grown in scope over the past four years. It is a three-semester learning community linking sequential English composition courses—basic, developmental, and transfer-level—with physical education courses that are linked to participation in CSM’s varsity football program. English faculty members and coaches collaborate to provide students the highest quality instruction, services, and support, with the primary goal being to facilitate success in students' transition through basic, developmental, and transfer-level composition and increased competence and confidence across the rest of their college courses. Students have enjoyed great success in the classroom and on the field while English faculty and coach participants have gained a deep sense of camaraderie. Both faculty and coaches have refined their skills in addressing the needs of traditionally under-prepared students from diverse backgrounds. WEZ students are young men enrolled in CSM’s football program and are predominantly low-income African-Americans and Pacific Islanders, the two lowest achieving groups of students at College of San Mateo. Because WEZ is organized as a learning community, it requires little administrative attention and zero general fund support. Participating full-time English faculty members and coaches share responsibilities in managing the project, and the Language Arts and PE/Athletic deans collaborate to accommodate faculty/course scheduling requirements. The WEZ interdisciplinary approach to curriculum and project design has enabled us to surpass any success we might have had in stand-alone English or Athletic programs. Together English faculty members and football coaches have created unique, highly engaging integrated reading/writing/critical thinking composition courses for use in the WEZ sequence—basic, developmental, and transfer-level (1A). These function individually and as a sequenced whole to remove traditional academic obstacles and to promote successful transition through transfer-level composition and completion of the AA degree. Since the project's inception, success and persistence rates of WEZ student-athletes have rivaled that of general population students, and WEZ student-athletes have substantially outperformed their non-WEZ peers. Writing in the End Zone Website

College of the Sequoias—Puente Project David Hurst and Teresa Guadiana, Coordinators

The Puente Project at College of the Sequoias is a case study in the value of collaboration as an effective intervention for underserved student populations. The Puente project methods were developed in 1981 on the campus of Chabot College when Assistant Dean Felix Galaviz and English instructor Patricia McGrath investigated the high failure and stop-out rates for their Latino/a students. Although initially designed to benefit these specific students, the program has long been open to all students planning to transfer to a four-year institution. The Puente model, supported by the UC Office of the President and the CCC Chancellor’s Office, teams an English instructor with a counselor and mandates the release time necessary for the two to confer, plan and organize curriculum and activities for cohorts of Puente students. Locally, College of the Sequoias (COS) has two such cohorts working through the program phases; thus there are two English instructors and two counselors—cross-collaboration is extensive. The goal of the project is to prepare students for transfer to four-year colleges through three points of intervention: 1) Intensive two-semester English instruction, 2) Extra counseling support (including a linked study skills course), and 3) Mentoring support from professionals in the community. Students experience cultural activities, assist the community, and develop leadership skills by participating in the Puente Club. They tour four-year colleges and universities to develop a broader sense of the educational opportunities available to them. Ultimately, the goal is that these students will return to their communities after attaining advanced degrees and become mentors themselves. The COS Puente Project, in its 14th year of service to the campus, has enjoyed success rates well above the college norm, according to figures from the state office. Between 1997 and 2005, about 83% of COS Puente students were retained for one year after entry into the program, and almost 71% were retained for two years. The average transfer rate for Puente students at COS from 1997 to 2003 was 54%, compared to 34% for the rest of the college. Consistently, an average of 64% of Puente students completed transfer-level English with a C or better compared to 56% of non-Puente students. In a county that ranks 54th out of the 58 California counties in Adult Literacy and 56th in the number of High School Graduates, this success is phenomenal. The key to Puente’s extraordinary success is the tight three-way (English instructor-Counselor-Mentor) support Puente students enjoy. There is tremendous pay-off from this sort of collaborative involvement both for student retention and for community involvement in the campus. Puente Project Website