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RP Group Strengthening Student Success Conference * Session #37 * October 3, 2012

Introducing Equity Achievement as a Strategy for Strengthening Student Success

Los Angeles Harbor College
Kristi Vollmer Blackburn, Ph.D. Lisa Mednick Takami, M.B.A
Dean of Institutional Effectiveness Curriculum Specialist, Equity Team Co-Chair

Objectives: Improving Our Practice

Understanding the role cultural competence plays in the classroom
4 components:
Awareness cultural worldview Attitude toward differences in cultures Knowledge of other cultures worldviews/practices Develop cross cultural skills

Analyzing/Evaluating program effectiveness regarding cultural competence

Achieving the Dream

Joined AtD Summer 2011 (9 colleges in District) Lumina Foundation, AtD is a social justice movement to increase equity in success by minority students 5 Goals of AtD:
Students Successfully complete the courses they take Students Advance from remedial to credit-bearing courses Students Enroll in and successfully complete gatekeeper courses Students Enroll from one semester to the next Students Earn degrees and/or certificates

Commit to find out why there are gaps in attainment Examine how to eliminate barriers in order to achieve equity

Component One
Whats Wrong?
(Outcome Measures)

Component Two
(Underlying Factors)

Component Three
Intervention(s) Use data from Component Two to revise or design new interventions to effectively address the underlying factors impeding student success. Review and consider changes to existing college policies that impact the underlying factors impeding student success.

Component Four
Evaluation &

Use Longitudinal, Disaggregated, Cohort data to assess Student Success Outcomes (e.g., Persistence,
Course Completion rates, Degree comp. rates) to determine:

Collect, analyze, and use second set of LOCAL data to identify the underlying factors (barriers or challenges) impeding student success: Focus Groups Surveys Literature Reviews Learning Outcome Assessment
Many Colleges: (a) Skip (b) Loosely rely on national literature (Engagement) (c) Lack a local understanding based on qualitative data

Collect, analyze, and use evaluation data to answer: 1) To what extent did the interventions (or policy changes) effectively address the underlying factors impeding student success? 2) To what extent did the interventions increase student success? Make modifications based on evaluation results.

1) Which student groups are less successful than others (Equity Gaps in Student Success). 2) Which high enrollment courses have the lowest success rates.


Gonzalez, K. P. (2009). Using data to increase student success: A focus on diagnosis. Achieving the Dream Inc. www.achievingthedream.org

2011 Fact Book (hot off the presses!) Leakage Point Analysis Hand out (from Lumina) IPEDS Factsheets for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 LAHC readiness submission to Lumina for the grant Alignment of College/District Strategic Plan (presented to the Board June, 2011) Powerpoint of Aligning AtD with Accreditation activities Drop Survey results from Spring 2011 Financial Aid data Learning Assistance Center datawork in progress Powerpoint from Dr. RichardsWho are our Students? Article7 Myths of Student Retention

In the Beginning
LAHC Highest Enrollment Courses X demographic LAHC Highest failure courses X demographic Financial Aid guidelines provided and discussed Matriculation Committee Report/ Assessment Data Summary of Orientation data from E. Colocho Exit Point Analysis (aka Leakage Points or momentum points) Course availability based on placement data (Report) Articles: A Period of Adjustment? Raceadjusted Rates for a State Accountability; TrickleAcross Theory: Student Flow Into and Away from the California Community Colleges Multiple files on Qualitative data collection technique (Focus Groups) ARCC data report from LATTC which has all colleges in District comparison


What are our pain points? Retention, Completion, Success What additional data would be useful to know? What research questions should drive our data campaign? What data do we have versus what do we need? What approach do we want to take?



1. Students Successfully complete the courses they take

Factbook; exit point analysis; highest enrmt/lowest success data; lowest retention courses data; low success courses data; drop survey results Spring2011; in progress: dismissal/probation student analysis (which may have some spillover into the other 5 goals)

2. Students Advance from remedial to credit-bearing courses

Factbook; exit point analysis; learning center data (in progress); Course availability report (Matriculation)

3. Students Enroll in and successfully exit point analysis; Factbook; IPEDS; ARCC complete gatekeeper courses
4. Students Enroll from one semester exit point analysis; Factbook; IPEDS; ARCC to the next 5. Students Earn degrees and/or certificates Kick Off presentation data slides; exit point analysis; IPEDS data; Factbook; ARCC

Additional Data collected/analyzed

Pipeline Study (momentum points/exit points) Results of cohort analysis (2004, 6 yr grad in 2010): lowest persistence African American Males African American Females Hispanic Males White Males Results of cohort analysis (2005, 6 yr grad in 2011): lowest persistence African American Males African American Females Hispanic Males White Males

Course Completion in first year 32% (390) took an English course : 6% were African American 17% Asian 21% White 49% Hispanic. 19% (225) took a Math course 5% were African American, 15% Asian 20% White 53% Hispanic 2% of first time freshman took a Personal Development course

Focus Groups
Qualitative methodology-- more in depth understanding of a groups experiences Serves as a new source of inquiry for further quantitative analysis (triangulation) Focus Group Facilitators/Note-takers
Used Matching group characteristics between interviewers and participants for in-group communication (age/gender/race/ethnicity ) 2.5 hours/training including conducting Pilot Groups (2)
Pilot Groups were convenience participants. Self identified as AGS students, ASO student, 2- 4.0 students. None on probation or other sanction

Focus Groups: all were students on probation. Recruited by Retention Counselor. Received workshop credit for participating 2 Latino male groups: Jassiel Dominguez, Daniel Ruiz, Joaquin Arias, Andres 2 African American groups (one male, one female): Ralph Davis, Angela Sanders, LaShelle Daisy, Tungie

Advice about attending college

Focus Group Results Sources of advice Latino Males
Sisters, brothers, cousins, aunt, uncle, grandfather, parents and family, Counselor, high school teacher

African American Males

Counselors at high school the ones that actually care, parents, sports, Boys and Girls Club

African American Females

High school teachers, parents, Counselors at the college once I got here and was struggling

What do you do when your Academic Skills dont match current demands?
Focus Group Results Latino Males
Find help. Teacher/family member 1 occurrence Dont have time to seek out help 4 occurrences Take a personal day to clear my mind and focus 2 occurrences Get an extra resource book, use YouTube 1 occurrence

African American Males

Study groups, Read, Library, Study and dont go out too much, Ask the teacher. Talk to the teacher and get to know them. Establish some kind of relationship

African American Females

Ask a counselor or a teacher (both participants), go to the lab

Pilot groups
SPS program; see the Professor, go to office hours, ask peers

Equity Focus Group Results

Subtle issues of tension between Latino Males and African American males. Groups gave examples which reflected discomfort. Overall though, students indicated
everyone goes to class for the same reason never seen a fight here People are here only for class. Get in and get out.

Gender issues identified by Latino Male groups

one of my [male] professors is more helpful and friendly to the young, pretty female students. Its happened 3 times. Just because I am not a cute girl, you still need to help me I had a female teacher who wouldnt answer this girls questions. She would give [the questions] to me to ask for her

No feelings of haves versus have nots affects being able to afford things At times cannot purchase books [so] cant do homework Financial aid helps pay for school, insurance, gas, a lot, but it is tight

What would an Urban Center offer?

Focus Group results: It would help students connect. Would want to see concerts for a small fee. The big space up in Seahawk is a waste of space because it isnt used A better selection of activities and things to do at Seahawk would make me want to stay and spend time on campus Seahawk is a big place and yet people dont use it Nothing is open in the evenings, except the library, which is when I am here Computers would be beneficial Space like at CSU-DH where they have couches, chairs, tables, electronics A place to have a beer after class would be a draw for people to stick around (group laughed)

Work plan for the Equity Committee

Goal: building cultural competence into learning
Faculty attitudes and behavior change; student engagement improves

Retention improves among minority students; course completion Retention improves among minority students; course completion Retention improves among minority students; course completion


Students transfer; students complete A.A. or Certificate


Focus groups, surveys: Faculty/Staff development on equity and cultural competence Create Urban Center for student and faculty/staff support Develop diversity program for students

# workshops offered; # attendees


Space located and

Students increase cultural pride. Students recruit others student engagement improves Students increase cultural pride. Students recruit others

Students transfer; students complete A.A. or Certificate Students transfer; students complete A.A. or Certificate

IR Data

# workshops offered; # attendees

Administrative Support

Offer student support programs

# workshops offered; # attendees

student engagement improves Students increase cultural pride. Students recruit others

Retention improves among minority students; course completion

Students transfer; students complete A.A. or Certificate

5 year plan developed at D.R.E.A.M. conference

Year 1 (2011-12): Data Collection/baseline Year 2 (2012-13): Address the Culture of Poverty
Finish Line AtD board game Discussed having common reading: Pathway out of Poverty Workshops: cultural identification and pride Evaluation

Year 3 (2013-14): Multicultural College and Community Success Center

Professional development (teachers/staff) & Student development
Topics: Generational diversity; gender diversity; sexual orientation diversity Associates Degree in Multicultural Studies?

Student Support Programs Community involvement and outreach Evaluation

Years 4 & 5 (2014-2016) Continued Professional development/Student Development


Faculty & Staff Development completed & in progress

A Closed Mouth Doesnt Get Fed
Culture of Poverty Flex workshop 8/21/12 Demographics of 3 cities in our service area:
low rate of college degree attainment high number single-parent households approx. 40% students at or below poverty level

The Finish Line: ATD simulation game

players walk a mile in shoes of CC students facing obstacles to college grad (e.g. transportation, family, finances, health, etc.) 10 faculty members played at Flex workshops Faculty, observers, facilitators debriefed on lessons learned (e.g. greater awareness) Diverse faculty generated ideas for classroom use (e.g. students play then write own version of game)

Upcoming Faculty & Staff Development

Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment
College Hour workshop 10/24/12 Audience composition: faculty, staff, students? Strategies for building faculty-student and student-student rapport Role of students cultural as strength to build on curricularly Extending learning beyond the classroom

Black History month-- MLK Day of Service (Feb. 2013) Samoan Chief and choirs on campus (March 2013) LGBT topic (April, 2013) Cinco de Mayo (May 2013)

Faculty & Staff Development Evaluation

Very positive evaluations of Finish Line Opens opportunity to learn, understand each other better Student clubs will play during Oct. meetings similar measurement to follow up. Follow-up & measurement tool development currently underway

Applications submitted for Grants

NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities): Bridging Cultures MLK Service Day: Mini grant Kellogg Foundation: Racial Equity

Multicultural College & Community Success Center

Sample Activities:
Speaker series Workshops Cultural & culinary events Oral history project

Resource library for students & faculty UMOJA program Sample short-term outcomes: Increase cultural pride, enhancement, student engagement.

Curriculum Development
Bridging Cultures Conference Partner with CSUDH Visiting scholars Evaluation of current Humanities courses for inclusion of diversity content Creation of cultural survey course

Suggestions for interventions Suggestions for evaluation/measurement Feedback on Urban Center

How would you staff in ZERO budget environment? How to create a program in ZERO budget environment?

Improving our Practice