College’s work on redesigning developmental education and embedding academic supports seeing early progress

LCC is overhauling how we approach developmental education and use embedded academic supports to help students succeed in college-level coursework.

The goal is to help students while they are enrolled in college-level courses, rather than preparing students through non-college-level courses. The old model pushed more than two-thirds of our students through some sort of developmental education coursework, which provided no credits toward their intended degree or certificate and cost them time and money. Instead, LCC aims to get students into college-level coursework as soon as possible, and then provide extra support to help them succeed.

These supports will be specific to the program and the student, but can include co-required classes, required tutoring, required peer groups, additional meetings with academic success coaches, or other creative options. The key is making the supports a requirement for students.

The college will still offer some developmental education classes for students who need additional help to get college-ready. However, these courses will be greatly reduced in favor of placing students into college-level work with support.

While many components of this vision are in the planning stages, some work has already been implemented. Beginning this summer, LCC did not allow late enrollment. Data consistently showed students who joined a class after it began had lower success rates, and so the college made the decision to push students toward late-start classes rather than allowing them to sign up for classes already in progress.

Beginning in fall, every incoming student will be assigned to an academic success coach. This coach will provide them with individualized support and mentoring. The college will also implement a new student intake process that will allow students to use their high school transcripts or ACT or SAT scores in addition to traditional placement tests to place into classes. Students will also be connected with an academic success coach and academic advisor during the admission process to help prepare them for orientation, registration and classes.

Moving into the fall and beyond, the college is focused on four key next steps:

  • Charge the program areas with determining appropriate embedded academic supports for their gateway, or entry-level, courses. Depending on the area, implementation of these supports could begin as soon as spring 2019, with the goal of being fully integrated across the college by fall 2020.
  • Develop a comprehensive system for determining which students need what level of support by fully integrating information contained in Banner, DegreeWorks and our upcoming CRM system.
  • Focus the web refresh on updating the student self-help pages for easier navigation and better usability. This has been largely done for the external-facing sites, but still needs to be accomplished in the second phase of the web refresh for the internal pages students use after admission.
  • Develop wide-ranging professional development for all employees – and especially faculty – focused on how to work with and best utilize the embedded academic supports to further student success.

To accomplish this work, the college convened an embedded academic support team after the Board of Trustees in January passed a developmental education resolution. The team includes nearly 30 individuals representing diverse areas of the college involved in student success. Smaller work groups are focused on advising and coaching, math, reading/writing, registration, multiple measures/student assessment, psychology gateway course embedded support, and supplemental instruction.

In addition, program and support areas are being pulled into the work as necessary to create an inclusive, representative process that will serve our students well. The team has also sought input from the Academic Senate, a student panel, leaders of the academic divisions, and all employees through collegewide open forums.

For a full report of the embedded academic support team’s work, including a detailed timeline of projects, review the June 2018 Board of Trustees packet. The report begins on page 195.