ARC is currently engaged in a college redesign effort to improve the student experience as well as outcomes for all students. As part of this effort, ARC recently adopted its new Strategic Plan and a redesign of its governance process. We joined Achieving the Dream to assist the college in its efforts to improve efficiency, assess its capacity, and integrate efforts to improve outcomes and equity. We also are part of the California Guided Pathways project, which is assisting us in our efforts to implement Guided Pathways.
Foundational to this work was the ARC Student Equity Plan work group's participation in two Center for Urban Education Student Equity Implementation Institutes (Feb 2015 and October 2015). This team examined ARC's equity data which showed student populations that were disproportionately impacted, particularly African American, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native students. Also foundational was ARC's decision in fall 2016 to become an Achieving the Dream (ATD) college. ATD assisted the college with improving student outcomes through a redesign of the college. ARC held 3 college wide summits in the 2016-17 academic year to discuss ways to improve the ARC student experience and to gather input for the college strategic plan. In these conversations, equity emerged as a major theme, as reflected in the college's new strategic plan, adopted in spring 2017 (see below).
STUDENT EQUITY GOALS FOR REQUIRED GROUPS
For the overall student population, we have set our 2021-22 goals as follows: Access, Retention, and Transfer Math/English Completion each will increase by 20 percentage points; Transfer will increase by 35% or 2.9 percentage points to align with the Chancellor's Vision for Success and Award/Vision Goal Completion will increase by 20%, which reflects the Vision for Success goal for Award/Vision Goal Completion. The newly adopted strategic plan includes an equity statement to provide an equity lens through which to view the strategic goals and to emphasize the college's orientation toward reducing the achievement gap by 40% within 5 years and eliminating the achievement gap within 10 years, which is consistent with the Chancellor's Office Vision for Success. For SEA the college has set its aspirational goals as follows: The goals for DI groups for Access, Retention, and Completion (Percentage Point Gap methodology) were set at an increase of 20 percentage points over the baseline success rate; Transfer and Award (Proportionality Index methodology) goals were set to increase by 35% and 20%, respectively. For the first three, we increased the total group goal by 20 points and closed the equity gap by 40%. For the last two groups (Transfer and Award) we set a goal for each group to be in line with the Chancellor's Vision for Success. The college's local equity data shows that African American, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaskan Native students are experiencing disproportionate impact in course completion, degree and certificate completion, and transfer. The State Chancellor's Office equity data shows that ARC students from nearly all groups are experiencing disproportionate impact in at least one of the student success metrics, as illustrated in the chart below:
ACTIVITIES TO ACHIEVE GOALS
Governance Redesign. In Fall of 2015, conversations began based on a growing concern that despite the resources devoted to governance in terms of time and commitment of participants, the current committee structure at ARC had become unwieldy, siloed and was appearing inadequate when it came to responding in a timely and transparent way to new initiatives. Then, in Fall 2016 a group of faculty, classified staff, management, and student representatives were appointed to a governance task force. This task force was charged with affirming those aspects of our institutional processes and governance structures that are working effectively while creating an efficient structure that allows the College to work smarter and adapt to a continually and rapidly changing environment and increase student success. The task force was also committed to building on the strong institutional history of trust based relationships to preserve and further enhance a "participatory leadership culture".
Through a college governance task force, the college examined its governance and decision making structure, including its committee structure and functions, planning, reporting and action/implementation alignment with a goal of maximizing institutional effectiveness. The task force produced a proposal for a redesigned governance structure, which was adopted in 2017. The transition to this new governance structure was completed by January 2018.
As part of the new ARC governance structure, there are three councils: Student Success, Institutional Effectiveness, and Operations. Project teams for each council are chartered and created annually to achieve targeted goals from the ARC strategic plan to improve student outcomes. During the 18-19 academic year, seven project teams engaged in redesigning the student experience to improve outcomes. The project teams were: Enterprise Level Scheduling Solution (ELSS) Implementation, Clarify Program Paths, Integrated Planning Improvement, Institutional Equity Plan, ARC Online 2.0 (Distance Education Plan), Facilities Master Plan, Wellness Center. These project teams are aimed at improving ARC student success outcomes, including milestone achievement, first term course success rates, fall to spring persistence rates, reduction of unit accumulation, completion of degrees, certificates, and transfer, and closing equity gaps. ARC is actively engaged in redesigning the student experience, including the early "front door" experiences of our students, developing clear and supported pathways for them to achieve their educational and employment goals.
As part of the California Guided Pathways project, we are focused on creating clear pathways for students. In alignment with the California Guided Pathways project, our goal is to provide students with the following: 1) Programs that are fully mapped out and aligned; 2) Proactive academic and career advising; 3) Responsive student tracking systems; 4) Structured onboarding processes; 5) Instructional support and co-curricular activities; 6) Redesigned and integrated basic skills classes.
Below are the ARC project teams and activities related to the implementation of Guided Pathways.
Clarify Program Paths Project Team.
The Clarify Program Paths project team is creating clear and coherent academic and career pathways within established areas of interest that serve as a supportive foundation for Achieve@ARC (described below). The Clarify Program Paths team is responsible for creating and implementing areas of interest and establishing and implementing clear and coherent academic and career program paths in the form of program roadmaps. By the end of spring 2019 the college will have roadmaps for the top 10 programs in each area of interest, as well as all of its associate degrees for transfer (ADTs). The areas of interest and program roadmaps will be published on the college website in May 2019.
This program is designed to provide all new students with a comprehensive onboarding experience before starting college to help students "start right." Through dedicated success teams, all Achieve@ARC students are provided with case management support and interventions, targeted, "just in time" communications, and student engagement activities throughout their first year. In summer of 2018, ARC identified 1,489 students for Achieve Success Team case management. In total, 683 students participated in a new 2-day Achieve@ARC onboarding experience (5 sessions held), which included campus tours, academic workshops, connecting with their Success Team, and activities to connect them with ARC. An additional 806 students participated in the Achieve Canvas Site. A success case management model was used for Achieve@ARC students. Each success team (serving 500 students each) included 2 counselors, 1 Success Coach, and a Clerk. Achieve students included several disproportionately impacted populations (African American 6%; Pacific Islander 5%, Hispanic Latino 29%, Asian-American 6%, Multi-Race 7%, Filipino 5%, and White 33%).
Basic Skills Educational Redesign.
As a result of AB705 legislation, both the Mathematics and English departments at American River College redesigned their basic skills curriculum. In Mathematics, prior to Fall 2019, developmental students would have taken one, two, possibly even three, developmental mathematics courses prior to reaching a college-level course. The amount of time students spent learning new mathematical content, practicing mathematics problems, and receiving support from faculty before Fall 2019 will be reduced from 5-10 units (270-540 student learning hours) of prerequisite content to 2 units (108 student learning hours) of corequisite support from Fall 2019 on. Additionally, the ARC English Writing and Reading Departments radically overhauled their basic skills curricula and significantly reduced the length of the course sequence which kept so many students from achieving their stated goals. The faculty also created courses that included targeted, just-in-time support for those students who needed it. The English and Reading departments collaborated to restructure the sequence of classes so that all students were placed directly into transfer-level English. Students with a grade point average of 2.9 or above were placed directly into ENGWR 300 (college writing), and those with GPAs below 2.9 were placed into ENGWR 300 with 3 units of corequisite support. That support included a new 2-unit course attached to ENGWR 300 (ENGWR 94), and two half-unit courses from our Writing Across the Curriculum and Reading Across the Disciplines programs. Specifically, the departments reduced a course sequence that potentially required students to pass three classes before entering ENGWR 300 to placing them directly into the two versions of ENGWR 300 mentioned above. Previously, some students were required to pass ENGRD 14 or be placed in ENGRD 15 or higher in order to enter ENGWR 50 and then ENGWR 101, which led them to ENGWR 300.
Learning Communities and Student Support. Learning communities at ARC are another strategy aimed at supporting our disproportionately impacted populations.
Umoja-Sakhu Learning Community. Umoja-Sakhu is an Afro-centric learning and support community. The Umoja-Sakhu Learning Community (USLC) at ARC is specifically designed to increase the retention and success rate as well as the graduation and transfer rates of African ancestry students. With emphasis on topics relevant to the African American experience, the curriculum focuses on improving reading, writing, self-discipline and critical thinking skills. Program counselors also provide assistance with the personal issues that often hinder African American students in an educational setting.The Umoja-Sakhu motto is to be "intentional and deliberate" in providing students with a variety of tools and resources which help them in achieving their goals. Instructors, counselors and program staff also use community building strategies to enhance students' learning potential. Another learning community is the
Puente Project. The Puente Project's mission is to increase the number of educationally underrepresented students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities, earn degrees, and return to their communities as leaders and mentors to future generations.Puente combines culturally relevant accelerated instruction, intensive academic counseling, and mentoring by members of the community. Puente students (aka Puentistas) work closely with their counselor, English instructor, and mentor to prepare for transfer to four-year colleges and universities.
Native American Resource Center. The Native American Resource Center is an academic support program based on the Native American Principles of Balance. The program seeks to address the challenges inherent in "walking" in both the traditional tribal and western academic worlds. Four points of emphasis (inspiration, discipline, wisdom, and creation) include linked classes, classroom presence of elders/tribal leaders, and the integration of personal community study and social activities. Additionally, the Native American Resources Center offers retention activities for students.
ARC PRIDE Center. PRIDE is committed to serve the diverse LGBTQIA+ community on campus. The Pride Center is also dedicated to emphasizing intersectional LGBTQIA+ identities, especially those who have been historically underrepresented and disenfranchised. The Pride Center affirms the need for a space to share and disseminate information, challenge and dismantle negative stereotypes, and serves to facilitate dialogue about marginalized orientations, gender identities, and intersex people in a non-judgmental atmosphere. The center is committed to advocating for improvements in campus climate regarding trans and queer issues and student success. These goals will be accomplished through research, educational trainings, programs, and direct services to students.
U.N.I.T.E. (Universal Engaging Inclusive Transformative Education). U.N.I.T.E. creates collective spaces in which student, staff, faculty, and administrators share lived realities, stories, and histories as equity education for the campus community. Additionally, U.N.I.T.E. provides a welcoming and inclusive environment that engages in brave dialogue about diversity, social justice, and equity. We offer support, advocacy, and leadership opportunities for and about disproportionately impacted communities. All programs for U.N.I.T.E. focus on critical consciousness and analytical thought, social justice education within the community, student equity, seamless educational pathways, and cultural empowerment and enrichment for the ARC community. A major focus of U.N.I.T.E. is to promote a better understanding and awareness of the everyday student experience through collaborative partnerships across the campus community.
Professional Development. Professional development academies aimed at improving faculty knowledge about student equity and developing strategies to improve outcomes for disproportionately impacted student populations have been created and implemented.
New Faculty Academy (NFA). NFA is an inclusive first year experience that is required for all new faculty members. It introduces faculty to critical information, resources, and support for their teaching, professional development, campus service, research, outreach efforts and overall student success.
ARC Equity Action Institute (EAI). EAI is a two-semester cohort experience designed for full-time faculty members who want to improve disproportionately impacted student population success rates at American River College. In this institute faculty establish a foundation to understand equity and its intersections by focused development of individual equity, institutional equity, and educational equity. In collaboration with other faculty, faculty support each other as they engage in reading, reflection, dialogue, group work, and other transformative processes that deepens practitioner development around our racial and other identities and expands our ability to use their teaching and learning tool kits to address the needs of our underserved students. They also grow the skills necessary to be Equity Coaches and provide resources to faculty members.
Diversity in the Classroom: A Reaching and Learning Institute. Diversity in the Classroom is a professional development series created to address the professional development needs of ARC and Los Rios Community College District faculty. Because the ARC commitment to social justice and equity is affirmed in the ARC mission and vision statement, this Institute offers an opportunity to deepen all faculty's understanding of social justice and equity in the classroom and in the workplace.
STUDENT SUCCESS METRICS AT A GLANCE
|Fully Onboarded||Fall to Spring Persistence||Transfer English & Math||Degree, Certificate, Transfer||Avg. Units at Degree||Improved & Equitable Student Experience||Campus Climate||Governance Council & Project Team Evaluations|
|Basic Skills Redesign||x||x|
|Faculty Professional Development||x||x||x|
RESOURCES BUDGETED AND ASSESSMENT
BUDGET AT A GLANCE
|BSI ALLOCATION||SSSP ALLOCATION||SEP ALLOCATION||SEA INTEGRATED(BSI/SSSP/SEP)|
The integrated BSI, SSSP, and SEP allocations support our student success project teams, our redesign efforts, and our student success strategies and activities. The college is making significant progress toward achieving its student equity goals. A new strategic plan with a specific focus on equity was adopted and a new governance process was redesigned to implement our equity-focused strategic plan. The student success project teams are now established and a major redesign (in a scalable model) of the student experience was delivered to the first cohort of 1489 students in fall 2018 in our Achieve@ARC program. In Fall 2019, this cohort number will increase to 2500 Achieve students, and in Fall 2020 all new incoming students will be Achieve students (cohort of 3500). Additionally, 88 new full-time faculty (4 cohorts) participated in the New Faculty Academy, 50 faculty (3 cohorts) participated in the Equity Action Institute, and 51 faculty (3 cohorts) participated in the Diversity in the Classroom: A Reaching and Learning Institute. We have a project team focused on equity and another on professional development. These teams will lay the foundation for us to have a coordinated professional development program for faculty, staff, and administrators and will help us meet our student equity goals. Additionally, a project team on disproportionately impacted student groups is being formed and will provide its recommendations for improving outcomes for our disproportionately impacted groups in spring 2020.