Student Services

October 2018
Historically, community colleges have lower completion and retention rates than their four-year counterparts. Hongwei (2015) suggested that this is in part due to the fact that leading retention models were designed for four-year institutions, not community colleges. Community college students often face unique nonacademic barriers which impact their retention and persistence rates (Goldrick-Rab, Broton, & Eisenberg, 2013; Goldrick-Rab, Broton, & Gates, 2015; Hongwei, 2015; Troester-Trate, 2017). Such barriers include, but are not limited to, a lack of resources such as food,...
September 2018
Only 25.9 percent of individuals residing in Aims Community College’s taxing district in Northern Colorado have earned a college degree or credential. In order to assist parents, families, and prospective students who are interested in college, but have no experience with the application process, Aims Community College hosts College 101 for anyone who would like to learn more about going to college. The free one-hour session is held at various locations, including the college campuses, local libraries, and community outreach centers. Dinner is provided. At College 101, attendees learn about...
August 2018
San Diego Miramar College is literally tearing down walls for student success. In October of 2017, a construction crew took a hammer to the plaster walls separating the college’s student computing lab—the Independent Learning Center (ILC)—from its tutoring center. The end result is a more encompassing Academic Success Center (ASC) dedicated to student success. “We knocked down the wall so that we could have a continuation of services,” said Donnie Tran, ASC faculty coordinator. Students can now move more freely between the Independent Learning Center and the area that was formerly known as...
July 2018
Higher education practitioners have long examined the challenges underrepresented student populations face within the postsecondary system. The factors that contribute to this problem are multifaceted and vary to some degree, but they are recognizable. For example, many underrepresented students begin their college careers academically unprepared, working full-time jobs to support families, and struggling with undiagnosed learning disabilities. The disparities are similar across some ethnic and racial underrepresented groups, but there are distinctions. Specifically, it is widely documented...
April 2018
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a virtual reality (VR) tour must be worth a million. Portage College has seven campus locations throughout northeastern Alberta, a vast rural region in which it is difficult to provide potential students an on-location experience. Since one of the primary ways an individual chooses a college is by visiting it, we decided if students can’t get to us due to distance and travel time, why not bring it to them? Portage College produced a 360 VR tour video to show potential students our campuses, program labs, and local areas. The Corporate...
February 2018
Student retention and persistence have become areas of intense focus for college administrators in recent years. The growing concern with student retention is in part due to the recently declining number of high school graduates nationwide (Mertes & Jakoviak, 2016; Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, 2012). A decreasing number of high school graduates often means fewer potential students eligible to enroll in an institution of higher education (Mertes & Jakoviak, 2016; Troester-Trate, 2017). Enrollment numbers for all types of higher education institutions have...
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December 2017
Every department at a community college has a responsibility to provide the type of customer experience that will contribute to student success. All too often, managers hear questions like, “How does my job really contribute to student success?” from employees who rarely, if ever, work directly with students. When these questions come from Information Technology (IT) personnel, what managers are sometimes hearing is a lack of understanding about how technology influences and impacts what instructors do in their classrooms, online, and after hours. In addition, many students are very...
August 2016
The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), Maryland, is one of 20 community colleges nationally selected by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to participate in the Right Signals Initiative designed “to identify and develop a national model for recognizable credentialing.” According to the AACC announcement release, The purpose of the Right Signals Initiative is to demonstrate a new credentialing model that recognizes multiple quality credentials to send “the right signals” to employers, students, and colleges about the meaning of these credentials. Key credentials...
May 2016
A number of promising interventions have potential to benefit previously incarcerated young men of color (Wimer & Bloom, 2014). Several studies have shown that proactive programs that help young men of color connect to and progress through postsecondary education and training, as well as interventions that focus on emotional well-being and interpersonal problem-solving, lead to lower rates of recidivism, higher completion rates, and greater levels of employment (Patel & Valenzuela, 2013; Scrivener & Weiss, 2013; Heller, Pollack, Ander, & Ludwig, 2013). Thus, in conceptualizing...
December 2015
The Maricopa Community Colleges has announced a new program that will help children who are aging out of the foster care system to get into and complete college. The Bridging Success Initiative, funded by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, was introduced at an event with partners from across the Valley. The initiative advisory board has representatives from Arizona State University (ASU), Children's Action Alliance, Arizona's Children Association, Arizona Friends of Foster Care, College Success Arizona, College Depot, Florence Crittendon, and the Arizona Department of Child Safety. The...
December 2015
In an historic meeting, Lake Land College and Eastern Illinois University trustees committed to building upon opportunities between the two institutions for the benefit of their students, communities, and state.  During the April 23, 2015, joint board meeting, trustees learned of the many partnerships the university and community college have developed over the past few decades. They also identified opportunities for future collaboration.  Located just 11 miles apart, the university, in Charleston, IL, and college, in Mattoon, IL, have a strong, supportive relationship. Students in East...
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August 2015
Many Norwalk Community College (NCC) students work full-time and care for their families while attending college. It's a constant juggling act with hurdles to overcome, including taking care of sick children, squeezing in study time between doctor's appointments, and coping with rising food costs. NCC realizes that having determination and a sterling work ethic aren't enough for some students to succeed. That's why, in addition to the requisite financial aid and career services, NCC offers two uncommon support services that provide students with free medical care and free groceries, right on...
July 2015
Every college campus has a feel, an atmosphere, that is all its own. Having spent the last 16 years working in metropolitan community colleges, I have had the opportunity to see all types of students interact with one another in that atmosphere, as well as with faculty and staff from all backgrounds. All students are on campus to learn, and when the learning mission is disrupted, it's important to know two things: why it was interrupted and how the college can stop the interference from reoccurring. One issue facing today's college campuses is how to comply with federal Title IX guidelines....
June 2015
Minnesota State Community and Technical College (M State) has announced an ambitious and exciting initiative that uses the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+) as a tool to identify student achievement. CLA+ is a performance-based assessment that measures critical thinking, complex reasoning, and written communication and mechanics. Up2U Up2U is an incentive-based program that supports student learning, increases persistence and motivation, and advances achievement in degree completion. Students who participate in Up2U are driven to finish school on time and with a high level of academic...
May 2015
When looking at national data about American students who are identified as English language learners (ELL), overlapping definitions from two prominent sources are important to note. The U.S. Census Bureau uses the American Community Survey (2013) to obtain information about factors that disproportionately affect ELL students and their families. The survey compares statistics between "native" and "foreign" households, definitions which are determined by where the householder was born. Not all children whose parents were born outside of the U.S. are identified as ELL. However, when...
March 2015
In fall 2012, I applied for a Learning Challenge Grant to develop and present a hands-on workshop that would introduce a counseling, assessment, and retention tool (CART) system to the Electronics Engineering Technology (EET) department faculty and staff at Sinclair Community College (SCC). After this workshop, the goal was to offer it to the Science, Mathematics, and Engineering (SME) division, then to all SCC faculty. The workshop was requested to: Develop teamwork within the EET department; Enhance the overall success rate of students and faculty by implementing a system to increase the...
January 2015
Tidewater Community College (TCC) became the first institution of higher learning to launch its associate of science in business administration as a textbook-free degree program in 2013. Known as the Z-Degree—z for zero textbook cost—the program eases the pain of soaring textbook costs for college students by allowing students to complete the degree and spend no funds on textbooks and course materials. Professor Linda Williams is the faculty lead for the Z-degree. Students in the program use high-quality open textbooks and other open educational resources (OER), which are freely accessible,...
December 2014
Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) recently celebrated the grand opening of the Coyote Center, a new multi-functional facility serving as the front door of CGCC's Pecos Campus. The new 74,859-square-foot center is one of just a few buildings in the nation to innovatively blend academics, athletics, enrollment services, and student affairs into one location. The building was designed around a new model of student service that eliminates inefficiencies, like waiting in multiple lines. By combining most administrative resources under one roof and training staff to handle a broader range...

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