Policies and Practices

 

Scroll down for:

  1. Mandatory Orientation
  2. First-year Experience
  3. Late Registration
  4. Diversity and Equity
  5. Faculty Development
  6. Faculty Use of Data
  7. Transfer
  8. Toward a New Understanding of Non-academic Student Support

1. Mandatory Orientation

  • Developing and Implementing a Mandatory Online Student Orientation
    A rural Community College evaluated their procedures for preparing students for online courses and determined they were not meeting the needs of the students. Through the use of the ADDIE Model of Instructional Design, a mandatory online orientation for first time online/hybrid students was developed and implemented. Results from the implementation indicate that after completing the orientation, students feel they are better prepared for their online courses. This result is backed up by an increase in online student retention.
  • Research in Developmental Education 
    National Study of Developmental Education II: Baseline Data for Community Colleges. By Katherine Gerlaugh, Lizette Thomson, Hunter Boylan, and Hildreth Davis. 

    Open access to higher education has been a priority for community colleges in the United States since the 1960s (Cohen & Brawer, 2003). According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), nearly all community colleges and many universities offer developmental education courses for the purpose of preparing students who would likely otherwise be unable to complete a higher education program of study (NCES, 2003). Developmental education is of particular concern to community colleges, where the majority of developmental students are enrolled (McCabe, 2002). Until the 1990s, however, there was little information available to describe the demographics of developmental education and evaluate the efficacy of its efforts.
  • Student Progress Toward Degree Completion: Lessons from the Research Literature
    There is a growing recognition of the need to increase the number of Americans earning college degrees as evidence mounts that the country’s economic competitiveness is declining. A telling indicator of declining fortunes is that the country is doing less well in educating new generations than are many other nations. While the U.S. is first among the 29 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations in the percent of its population ages 55 to 64 with an associate’s degree or higher, its ranking falls to 10th for the younger population ages 25 to 34.1
  • About Campus: Getting serious about institutional performance in student retention: Research-based Lessons on Effective Policies and Practices
    The Indiana Project on Academic Success and the College Board Pilot Study on Student Retention evaluated the effectiveness of a variety of approaches to student retention. The authors share empirically grounded insights gleaned from this research.
  • Redesigning Community Colleges for Completion: Lessons from Research on High-performance Organizations
    After examining the research from within and outside of higher education on organizational performance, this paper identifies eight practices common among high-performance organizations: leadership, focus on the customer, functional alignment, process improvement, use of measurement, employee involvement and professional development, and external linkages. Evidence suggests that these organizational practices have the greatest impact on performance when implemented in concert with one another. The paper assesses the extent to which community colleges generally are following these practices and evaluates current reform efforts in light of models of organizational effectiveness that emerge from the research literature.

    In order to bring about improvements in organizational performance, community colleges will need to involve faculty and staff in reform efforts. This paper reviews research on strategies for engaging faculty and staff in organizational innovation and describes particular challenges community colleges face on this front. The concluding section recommends concrete steps community college leaders can take to redesign how they manage programs and services to increase rates of student completion on a scale needed to help meet national goals for college attainment.
  • Networks for Transfer Success
    Building stronger networks for transfer student success involves both inter-institutional and intrainstitutional collaboration. This article explores successful efforts of the Office of Transfer Services at the University of Central Florida to address three critical components of transfer student success: 1) preparation, which involves the delivery of appropriate and timely information prior to a student's enrollment; 2) transition, which calls for collaborative use of a well-networked, decentralized advising structure, and 3) progression, which requires an advocacy system to refer students to campus-wide support services. A key factor to the success of the Office is the ability to develop relationships and collaborate with faculty and staff at the Florida community colleges. Assisting students in successful transfer requires intentional interventions that impact students' decision making. These interventions need to occur at the three critical stages noted above.

2. First-year Experience

  • Excerpt from “High-Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter”
    Kuh's (2008, p. 21) has noted: When I am asked, what one think we can do to enhance students engagement and increase student success? I now have an answer: make it possible for every student to participate in at least two high-impact activities during his or her undergraduate program, one in the first year, and one taken later in relation to the major field. The obvious choices for incoming students are first-year seminars, learning communities, and service learning."
  • Predictors of First-Year Student Retention in the Community College
    This study analyzed predictors of fall-to-spring and fall-to-fall retention for 9,200 first-time-in-college students who enrolled in a community college over a four-year period. Findings highlight the impact of developmental education programs and internet-based courses on student persistence. Additional predictors include financial aid, parents' education, the number of semester hours enrolled in and dropped during the first fall semester, and participation in the Student Support Services program.
  • On track to complete?: a taxonomy of beginning community college students and their outcomes 3 years after enrolling: 2003-04 through 2006
    This study uses a classification scheme, the Community College Taxonomy (CCT), to analyze outcomes for beginning community college students according to how 'directed' (strongly directed, moderately directed, or not directed) they are toward completing a program of study. Levels of direction are based on factors associated with student persistence and degree attainment, and outcomes examined included institutional retention, student persistence, 4-year transfer rates, enrollment continuity, and first-year attrition. The study is based on data from the 2004/06 Beginning ... 

3. Late Registration

4. Diversity and Equity

  • Diversity and Equity in the Classroom
    The face of society is rapidly changing in the United States and with it, the face of the college classroom. It is hoped that changes in the nation’s demographics will be reflected in the mix of cultures, colors and gender in our college science courses. With diversity comes a richness of learning; and with diversity come special challenges for the college science teacher. When culturally-determined norms conflict with instructional methods, the learning of science can be inhibited. Unless our introductory science courses are more responsive to diversity and equity issues, we will as a society lose the talents of the majority of our population.

5. Faculty Development

6. Faculty Use of Data

  • Community College Faculty and Developmental Education: An Opportunity for Growth and Investment
    Community colleges have long provided broad access to large numbers of Americans who seek opportunities in higher education. Indeed, for many the only entrée into postsecondary learning is through an affordable public institution that can offer an array of career choices andpossibilities for exploration or that can serve as a launching pad to a four-year institution. Yet many of these students arrive under-prepared for college-level work. Those adults who work with these hopeful youth in an effort to provide them with future opportunities experience multiple challenges. The circumstances that surround the majority of these students exert myriad social and economic pressures. Striving to promote excellence in this context requires a multi-faceted support system to help students achieve success.
  • A Growing Culture of Evidence?
    Findings from a Survey on Data Use at Achieving the Dream Colleges in Washington State. Achieving the Dream (ATD) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving outcomes among community college students, especially low-income students and students of color. A central ATD strategy is to promote a “culture of evidence,” in which colleges collect, analyze, and make decisions based on information about students in order to inform improvements in practice.

7. Transfer

8. Toward a New Understanding of Non-academic Student Support