Institutional approach & buy-in to student success through standing committee that researches, plans and implements programs. Includes data-driven philosophy.
The Student Success Committee was suggested in a meeting of the President’s Council in the fall of 2009. Dr. Parkhill approved the suggestion, forming the committee in December and charging it with examining two aspects of student achievement: student progress in developmental coursework and overall first year student experience. She also suggested that as a committee, we may want to address only a single area of success. Dr. Parkhill further suggested that the committee review what the Achieving the Dream (ATD) colleges are doing and keep our eyes open for grants that will be forthcoming from the Gates Foundation. The President’s Office IEP also includes a goal which pertains to the Student Success Committee. The goal set a target date of February 2011 for the committee to present a proposal addressing improvement in student retention. The committee is made up of representatives from Student Services, Faculty, and Staff.
Our approach to achieving these goals is simple. The committee meets monthly, or more as necessary. Using a discussion-based, dialectical approach, we identify areas for possible improvement. Often, faculty and staff bring suggestions to the chair or another committee member as well. As necessary, BRCC’s Researcher, who is a member of the committee, provides the committee with data to assist in targeting these areas for improvement and tracking trends across specific student groups and/or courses. Once we agree upon a targeted area for improvement, committee members are given specific research topics and asked to report back with strategies for improvement. This research is primarily conducted through reviews of appropriate journals, investigation into the practice of other colleges, and interviews with faculty and staff at BRCC and other institutions. From this research, the committee reaches consensus for an appropriate course of action, recommending said action to the President, who then authorizes the appropriate individual(s) to follow through.
To my knowledge, there are no constraints on this project. Even the committee’s initial charge is viewed as a suggested direction, not a mandate to be unwaveringly followed. We are free to research any strategies we wish, as long as the overall goal of enhancing the success of BRCC’s students guides the decision; however, thus far our focus has been firmly fixed on developmental studies and the first year experience.
Since the Student Success Committee is a standing committee thus woven into the fabric of the college’s structure, the results and lessons will be ongoing. One immediately obvious result is that the committee provides a much needed voice for issues related to student success, which has raised the overall level of attention to student success at the college. The committee members have presented ideas and information to various groups: the President’s Council, the entire faculty and staff body at a bimonthly Campus Information Session, and the Board of Trustees at one of their meetings. Certainly, this level of advocacy is important. The committee has also helped to motivate much needed research and action in the areas currently identified as action items.
- Developmental Education
- Student Services
- About SuccessNC
- Guiding Goals
- Basic Skills Plus
- Career & College Promise
- Career & Technical HS to College Articulation
- Code Green Super CIP
- Common Core Alignment
- Completion by Design
- Comprehensive Articulation Agreement
- Data Initiative
- Developmental Education Initiative
- Financial Aid Simplification
- Integrated Teaching & Learning Gateway
- Math Pathways CIP
- Minority Male Mentoring
- Performance Measures & Funding
- Webinars & Videos