By Sergio Berrueta
The Adelante First-Year Program at East Los Angeles College has undergone a viability review in order to reshape the program and expand beyond the focus of first-year students.
The Adelante Program is known for being a program giving a number of first-year students a leg up on the college campus in order to transfer to a four-year university.
Adelante has worked on methods to reshape the program for fall 2014, including not limiting to recent graduated high school students, but rather newcomers coming in regardless of the age.
Another step in reshaping the program is to expand beyond first-year students and extending to second-year students.
Many students under Adelante are full-time, but Adelante may move forward focusing on part-time students that make up most of the enrollment at ELAC.
“All changes of the viability review go into effect in the next year,” Program Director of Adelante Jessica Cristo said, “As with all completed viability reviews”
Adelante’s current program has yet to reach the 50 percent enrollment rate. The enrollments are lower than the average rate and decline by 30 percent of students enrolling in the program.
The program has faced a decrease in degree and certificate attainment from students that struggle in courses not related to Adelante and the Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) pathway of classes. The number of students in the program earning a degree or certificate have decreased from 26 percent in 2007 to 12 percent as of 2009.
These issues stem from many students coming from the grade school atmosphere rather than the program focusing on a multigenerational group.
“Last year, we had the most issues with discipline and the larger population sees that we have had disciplinary issues,” Cristo said.
The program is also looking for a full-time faculty and counseling staff that is committed to the program, including a dean position, that can help regain the program’s momentum.