Austin Community College (ACC) is starting to see the first wave of results from its Guided Pathways initiatives, which are available in the 2019 Student Success Report. Dr. Charles Cook, ACC provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, presented highlights of the annual report at the Board of Trustees' regular May meeting.
Data show while overall enrollment has been stable, it has steadily increased among target demographics — such as our Black, Hispanic, and Asian student populations and within distance education. Alternatively, enrollment has decreased in planned areas including developmental education.
Persistence and Course Completion
The student success course, EDU 1300, is closing equity gaps and boasts a higher persistence rate from fall to spring semester. According to the report, "Four years of data show that the average fall-to-spring persistence rate for students who successfully completed EDUC 1300 was 92 percent, while the average fall-to-spring persistence rate for students not enrolled in any success course was 73 percent."
Co-requisite courses in Developmental Education also promote student success. The college launched co-requisite courses in Developmental Math and Integrated Reading and Writing. In fall 2019, the success rate within the Algebra Express co-requisite course reached approximately five times the rate of the traditional three-course model in one-third of the time.
Data show open educational resources (OER) are also promoting higher levels of student success and saving students money. Students enrolled in OER courses have a higher GPA and lower withdrawal rate than students in non-OER courses. Additionally, they have saved more than $8 million in textbook costs.
Student affairs interventions are also having a positive effect, with Advising and Degree Mapping having the greatest impact on persistence (15.5 and 11.7 percentage increase, respectively).
High-touch support through campus Learning Labs improved student persistence rates. According to the report, persistence among students who attended Learning Labs five or more times was 4.8 percentage points higher compared to those who did not.
Child care support is closing equity gaps. The college provided 265 students with 347 children child care scholarships in order to attend ACC. 90 percent were women and 49.6 percent were either black or Latinx.
The full report is available here.