By Jane Fernandez & Jade Inglada
East Los Angeles College is one of three California community colleges recognized by Achieving the Dream (ATD) as a leading institution for 2014.
ATD is a network aimed increasing community college student success. Sixteen community colleges were added to the network this year.
The network consists of more than 200 participating colleges across the country sharing a commitment to use data and past program outcomes to determine which activities, services and courses are the most helpful toward student success.
The programs which served 150 students in 2009, have more than 600 students this year.
“These colleges have shown how data can inform policy and practice to help community college students achieve their goals, resulting in improved skills, better employability and economic growth for families, communities and the nation as a whole,” reports the ATD website.
ELAC’s first-year experience programs integrate counseling, student success courses, supplemental instruction and access to highly impacted courses.
The faculty has specifically focused on addressing the needs of new students in the subjects of mathematics and English.
ELAC joined the network in 2011 and has since created programs that have furthered student learning outcomes. The developmental English success rates for first time college students increased from about 22 percent in 2007 to 31 percent in 2010.
“Our entry into the ATD network coincided with the development of our college’s Educational Master Plan,” Dean of Academic Affairs Carol Kozeracki said.
Kozeracki said the network explicitly influenced the process the school followed to establish the objectives and action items in the institution’s six-year plan.
ELAC has seen improvement in students through improved math results and higher assessment test scores after participation in workshops.
School representatives have been attending ATD national conferences over the past three years.
The main purpose of the conference is to share ideas with other colleges about new programs that help students achieve their academic goals.
The implementation of one new program involved full-time and part-time English faculty working together to integrate technology into a developmental English course.
The course was for people who did not pass the assessment test, and consisted of online assignments, chat rooms and high interaction among faculty and students. Thirty percent of the students who passed the class retook the assessment test and were able to skip to a higher level English course.
“East Los Angeles College has put in place programs that are not only successful, but that also propel our overall college outcomes forward,” stated ELAC President Marvin Martinez. “We are proud of our efforts to date, but will not rest on them. The college is dedicated to continued efforts to improve the outcomes for all students.”
By keeping track of student outcomes, the college has added and modified projects that have been successful for students.
Kozeracki is excited about discovering additional approaches other leading colleges have found effective and hopes to expand the scope of the existing projects.