In his All College Days address, American Association of Community Colleges CEO Dr. Walter Bumphus spoke about the AACC report “Empowering Community Colleges to Build the Nation’s Future.” In many ways, MCC is meeting and exceeding the recommendations in the report. Through October 15, members of the President’s Cabinet are using the Wednesday Message to highlight and celebrate those MCC initiatives that align with the report’s seven recommendations. This week's message comes from Jeff Bartkovich, Interim Provost and Vice President, Academic Services.The report’s second recommendation deals with dramatically improving college readiness. AACC’s standard is “By 2020, reduce by half the number of students entering college unprepared for rigorous college-level work, and double the number of students who complete developmental education programs and progress to successful completion of related freshman-level courses” (Empowering Community Colleges to Build the Nation’s Future, page 14).
A few data points to consider:
· In 2011, the Transitional Studies Department (without COS) generated 827 FTE students. This represented approximately 6% of the total FTE for 2011. It also represented a 16% increase since 2007.
· In 2013, approximately 55% of the students who completed a Transitional Studies course transferred to the next course level.
· In Fall 2013, 69% of students in TRS Math and TRS English earned a grade of C or better.
· Generally, the proportion of 12th-grade Dual Enrollment students who enroll at MCC is 42%.
· The percent of entering students who enroll in a Transitional Studies course(s) is 33%.
Improving students’ preparation for, awareness of, and success at MCC begins long before students are admitted to the College. Across all departments and divisions work with our public school partners includes aligning curricula, early use of Accuplacer for assessment and intervention, dual enrollment, Early College High School, and a variety of discipline and program-based efforts in career and technical education. MCC faculty and staff are helping to develop solutions to one of the region’s most pressing challenges -- preparing our youths to be college-ready learners.
AACC’s second recommendation to dramatically improve college readiness by reducing the number of unprepared students and increasing the number of students who successfully transition from developmental to college entry courses is a significant challenge. It is a challenge with no short-term solutions, which requires persevering, and must be addressed with equal parts of research and passion. Some of our efforts are described below.
1. Collaborate with K-12 Partners: The more prepared students begin college, the more likely they are to complete. To that end, MCC is engaged in College Readiness projects (in various forms and styles) with the following high schools: Monroe, East, and Edison in Rochester; Rush Henrietta; and East Irondequoit. Our partnerships are not limited to high schools, but extend into middle schools and elementary schools through ROC the Future.
2. Establish and Support Community Partnerships: MCC forges robust and innovative community partnerships that help students move through public schools purposefully. Working with the Rochester City School District and the United Way, MCC convened local organizations to create the community partnership ROC the Future. Built on the nationally renowned STRIVE framework for collective impact, ROC the Future’s goal is to improve the educational achievement of Rochester’s children; aligning resources and practices for cradle-to-career achievement.
3. Provide College Transition Support: Damon City Campus is a national leader in the use of learning communities to integrate developmental, credit-based, and service learning programs. The Law and Criminal Justice program keeps students on-track by combining prescribed CRJ prerequisites and TRS courses. Human Services has engaged current students to support incoming students with a series of workshops focusing on completion. The Education Department combines education and college orientation courses to allow students to begin career exploration early in their program.
4. Redesign Developmental Education: The ESOL/TRS Department has implemented two significant innovations based on effective practices and promising instructional models. The developmental languages program implemented an approach that integrates reading and writing pedagogy and curriculum to address the needs of students as they develop into collegiate learners. The Department also piloted flexible paced developmental math courses to allow students to progress through course content at the pace that is most appropriate for each student’s learning. Positive impacts on achievements and retention rates are being shown with both initiatives.
These four efforts are indicative of MCC’s efforts to intentionally respond to the academic preparation and college success of our students. In 2014-2015 we will focus on enhanced dual enrollment support, online support services, defining and measuring college readiness, and implementation of the Academies model.
We would encourage you to read “Empowering Community Colleges to Build the Nation’s Future.” It can be accessed at https://www.aacc21stcenturycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/EmpoweringCommunityColleges_final.pdf.
In the following weeks, look for additional articles addressing other recommendations within the AACC guide.
I invite you to share your thoughts via the President’s Blog.
Interim Provost and Vice President, Academic Services