Student Success

May 2018
Success rates in higher education among men of color are still lower than that of other groups, but African American and Hispanic/Latino male enrollment has been increasing in community colleges (Valliani, 2015). Between 1990 and 2013, Black enrollment more than doubled from 1.1 to 2.5 million and Hispanic enrollment quadrupled from 0.7 to 2.9 million. This is far lower compared to White enrollment, which increased 9.3 to 9.9 million (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2015). The goal for students in community colleges is typically to graduate with an associate degree or certificate...
May 2018
In agriculture, a silo is a vertical structure with a very important function: storing and protecting grain. In academia, a silo is also a vertical structure, but one which organizes support and resources for the individuals—faculty, staff, and students—within its domain. Resources in a school can be better managed in silos than if each individual faculty member had to, for instance, arrange for administrative support services, coordinate transfer patterns, and evaluate students for support services. Silos are not necessarily bad things. Although they serve a purpose, silos become problematic...
May 2018
The academic success outcomes of men of color remain deficient in community colleges compared to other student groups (Valliani, 2015). While many men begin their educational journey at community colleges, most African American and Latino men do not reach degree completion (Center for Community College Student Engagement, 2014). Men of color often report that they feel unwelcome in college environments because of negative stereotypes associated with their physical appearance and challenged by academic unpreparedness and financial stress (Gardenhire-Cooks, Collado, Martin, & Castro, 2010;...
March 2018
How can the Gateway Community and Technical College best support early childhood education (ECE) students who are balancing work, college, and parenthood? This was the question that the ECE program coordinator was attempting to answer when redesigning the program to boost enrollment, retention, and completion in fall 2015. Sarah Smith, ECE Program Coordinator and faculty member utilized the design thinking process that had been recently introduced to the college during its strategic planning development. The process incorporates an empathetic outlook that focuses on the end-users’ needs to...
August 2017
Since the launch of the American Graduation Initiative in 2009, the call to increase college graduation rates and to create a better educated workforce for the jobs of the future has become nearly universal. According to Former President Obama, speaking at the University of Texas on August 9, 2010, “in a single generation, [the U.S. has] fallen from first place to 12th place in college graduation rates for young adults" (as cited in de Nies, 2010, para. 3). He advocated for America to “once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world” by 2020 (as cited in Fry, 2017,...
April 2017
Midland College (MC) has been named as a Cadre 1 community college to participate in an integrated statewide approach to student success. For the past two years, MC has been designing and implementing a pathways model with clear, educationally coherent program maps that are aligned for program completion, quality credentials, workforce skills, and transferability for baccalaureate and graduate degrees. As a result of MC’s efforts, the college has been recognized as a leader in the Texas Success Center’s Texas Pathways initiative, and the MC developmental math program has been named as...
October 2016
The computer hacking of major corporations, government offices, and banks is a growing threat. Dozens of high profile cases in the news recently highlight the issue, but there is a solution: cyber defense. Companies across the world are expanding and refining their security systems. Volunteer State Community College (Vol State) in Gallatin, Tennessee, is responding to the need for cyber defense expertise with a new degree concentration as part of a rapidly growing realm of information technology education being offered at the college. The reason for the expansion is based on employment...