Title III Grant Update and Reminder of the need for ongoing College Wide Support:

 

“NWACC is proud of certain strengths, notably academic programs and support for college-level students and selected populations with special needs.  However, substantial growth masked two major concerns, the first of which is high rates of student failure and attrition.  NWACC’s Title III grant was funded in November 2009 to address STrengthening Academic Resources and Support (STARS) designed to improve students’ success. 

 

Below is an update of progress, and a reminder for what Title III is intended to support at NWACC in the remaining years of the grant.  The grant is in Year 4, and will begin Year 5 October 2013- concluding September 30th, 2014.

 

 

In order to support academic/learning resources, the grant proposed to:

·         Re-develop academic skills courses including providing technology-based, competency -based instruction and self-study resources (Math= Year 1-2- completed, Writing= Year 2-3 completed, Reading= Year 3-4 concluding this year)

·         Develop tutoring and more effective technology in ENGB instruction to serve increased enrollment, extending access at the Washington County Center to more non-native speakers.  (New ENGB grant position filled as of  Oct. 1, 2012)

·         Develop/re-develop Bridge programs  will jump-start success for returning students and academic skills students by reviewing academic and college success skills and building rapport among students in common situations.  (Piloted redesigned New Student Orientation Fall 2012 with Student Success Course)

·         Develop Learning Communities will link academic skills courses for common cohorts of students.  (Business developed LC’s and piloted Year 2, Academic Skills LC and Associate of Arts LC are currently under development)

·         Develop a Certificate of College Preparedness will recognize the achievement of students who have successfully completed an academic skills sequence.  (This program is under development.) 

·         Develop a Faculty Development program for full-time and adjunct faculty will help equip them to facilitate learning for increasingly diverse students.  (Year 1= Identifying Diverse Students Learning Styles, Year 2= Addressing Diverse Students’ Learning Styles In Class, Year 3= Addressing Diverse Students’ Learning Styles Out of Class, Year 4= CURRENT Reinforcing Academic Skills in College-Level Courses, Year 5= Evaluating Instructional Strategies to Improve Diverse Students’ Success)

 

In order to support learner/student support services, the grant proposed to:   

·         Increase assessment capacity and capability:  (Additional assessment capacity provided in Year 1)

·         Improve career / educational planning:  Year 3 : Career and Academic Discovery Certificate developed and initially piloted Spring of 2012, Degree Works purchased to support Educational Planning and Degree Evaluation is still under development.

·         Strengthen advising capability: Improve advisors access to assessment and planning data for prerequisite checking and updating of plans.  Systematize the advising process, including the use of faculty advisors, and provide advisor training that includes the use of technology.  (Advisor Trac was implemented in 2011 to provide improved data review and usage, and support an improved appointment system for advising. Advisor training that includes the use of technology-based advising tools to make the best use of facilities and personnel has been developed in Blackboard and all advisors and faculty members participating in the faculty advising pilot have completed it.  A faculty advising pilot was conducted Fall 2012.)

·         Implement an effective early alert / referral capability:  An early alert system is to be developed in Year 3 and piloted in Year 4.  (Starfish Retention Solutions- purchased in conjunction with other institutional funding, allows for technology-based faculty reporting, student contact, and follow-up mechanisms is currently being piloted.)  

·         Develop Mentoring : Connect academic skills students to successful students.  The Peer Association for Student Success (PASS) has been developed and is a certified by the College Reading and Learning Association.   Certified mentors can be paired with NWACC students with as role models for support in adapting to college life. These mentors are being used in a number of capacities.)

·         Automate progress tracking / degree audit:  Improve support for semester-end reporting and inquiry-based access to students and allow students, advisors, and faculty to monitor students’ steps toward goal completion.  (Degree Works and Starfish are available to support these efforts currently in development.) 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this information.  Your awareness, support, and initiative are valued and needed.  Should you have any questions or ideas as to how we can improve our optimization of Title III grant funds and personnel, please contact Patrice Whitley, Title III Grant Project and Activity Director, at 479-986-4022 or pwhitley@nwacc.edu