Community College Week: Moving Towards Completion on Initial 2011 Projects
Beginning this spring, community college job searchers and recruiters are able to combine, or buy separately, print and online recruitment packages at Community College Week’s Career Connections. To complement our venerable Career Connections print version, we have revamped and launched our “Community College Jobs” board at ccweek.com. The new jobsite optimizes functionality and benefits for our online and print readers. The new platform offers features not available in basic recruitment packages on other higher education jobsites. It allows community college job recruiters to buy and place both print and web advertising online at ccweek.com. With an initial recruitment placement, job postings will continue to link directly to recruiter’s websites. In addition, ads will now be upgraded to keyword matching alongside editorial pages throughout ccweek.com. The basic online ad features will continue to be free with each print ad placed in Community College Career Connections.
We’ll close out May, in Austin, at NISOD’s Conference where we will meet the winner of the 2011 (third annual) Community College Week—NISOD Student Essay Contest and host a session of interest to all community college stakeholders.
Our session at NISOD, on May 30, affords attendees an opportunity to hear about and discuss two of the most popular and provocative editions published by Community College Week every year—the Top 100 Associate Degree Producers and the Fastest Growing Community Colleges. We’ll explore the data we report—but we’ll also remind our readers not to mistake it for the kind of qualitative rankings found in U.S. News & World Report. Attendees will meet Victor Borden from Indiana University, and Paul Bradley, CCWeek editor, to learn how Community College Week uses IPEDs as the foundation for these reports. Dr. Borden will develop content from his 2010-2011 analysis of enrollment and degree completion. Together, Borden and Bradley will provide some useful context. We’ll also share some tips on how to handle press inquiries that pour in after CCWeek’s Top 100 and Fastest-Growing Reports are published.
Look for the final Top 100 Associate Degree Producers Special Report on June 13, and go to BLOG on our home page at ccweek.com to let us know what you think.
LCCC and Monster.com Invite the Lehigh Valley Community to Celebrate High School Student Success
Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) (PA), in partnership with Monster.com, celebrated the achievements of 38 Allentown School District students who completed inaugural CareerLinking Academy pilot programs at Allen and Dieruff High Schools on April 11th. The accelerated career preparation programs aimed to give area high school students the skills and motivation to realize their goals.
Working toward high school graduation requirements, while preparing post-secondary and career plans, these remarkable students have devoted the past two months to an intensive career exploration program, showing their dedication to attaining future success. Meeting and networking with local business executives, collecting information for graduation projects, working with eMentors through icouldbe.org’s career exploration curriculum, and attending Monster.com’s Making Your Future Count workshops have prepared these students to engage fully in their current academic achievement and to pursue their future post-secondary and career trajectories seriously.
On April 11, 2011, these students, along with their parents, continued their work to reach their full potential at Monster.com’s Making Your Future Count workshops. LCCC and Monster.com invited the business community to join in the celebration and to meet these dedicated students.
“Monster is very excited about how well the students are engaging with the iSucceed program in the Lehigh Valley, and how the community is coming together to support their explorations. We look forward to expanding the program and making it a sustained offering into the future,” said Andy Vaughan, Director, Strategic Programs, Monster PSE. “By bringing together the offerings of Monster and icouldbe.org, we’re able to amplify the efforts of LCCC and the WIB to create a life-changing program for these students.”
This was an excellent opportunity for all of Lehigh Valley’s employers to learn more about how we all can support our local young people to ensure their success in life—as college students, future employees, and as members of our community. LCCC and Monster.com are working to expand the program to serve many more students beginning this September.
“This program has opened the doors to more opportunities for students to be exposed to activities at the College. For example, the College hosted a ‘Brain Awareness Week’ and gave a more in-depth view of psychology, and these students would have not had that opportunity without this program,” said Suzy Welliver, director of literacy and job training at LCCC.
‘Making Your Future Count’ is brought to the Allentown School District through a grant from the Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board, Inc. and is a collaborative effort of the Leadership and Workforce Development Center of LCCC, Monster.com, and icouldbe.org.
Early Intervention System Empowers Students While Freeing Up High-Touch Staff Resources
It is accepted gospel that early intervention improves retention. But how early is early? Metropolitan Community College (MCC) (NE) is piloting a software solution to determine whether a student is at risk of failing or withdrawing from a course as early as the second week of the semester or quarter. The solution pulls data from the college’s student information system and learning management system (LMS) into a predictive model that is driven by an algorithm specific to the courses in which it is used. Based on that data, it displays a signal—red for a high likelihood of failing, yellow for a potential problem, and green for a high likelihood of success. Students view the signal within the institution’s LMS and also receive e-mail notification, which may suggest resources and recommend actions. In a pilot of the system conducted at Purdue University (IN), 78% of students who were “red-lighted” improved their efforts and grades.
“We have many students who have demographics that indicate they might be at risk early on,” said Tuesday Stanley, Ph.D., vice chancellor of administrative services and student development at MCC. “Other solutions only consider grades when identifying at-risk students. The inclusion of demographics, as well as effort, is a critical piece of the equation in helping these students succeed. Also, this software makes it easier for faculty to reach out to students who need extra support. Other solutions require faculty to do considerable upfront work to set it up and are cumbersome to execute.”
The solution, Course Signals, is available from SunGard Higher Education. Its predictive model was developed at Purdue University.
MCC is a big proponent of taking a “high-tech, high-touch” approach to student success. “We continually build out the high-tech end of enrollment management to empower students to take care of themselves, while alleviating the workload of our staff who provide the quality high-touch interaction that is so important to retention,” said Stanley.
Top Ten Finalist of the Community College Week–NISOD Student Essay Contest
Congratulations to Kristina Parker, a student at Columbia Basin College (CBC) (WA), for writing one of the top ten essays for the Community College Week—NISOD Student Essay Contest. Kristina’s essay describes a most rewarding experience with Joe Montgomery, Dean for Institutional Effectiveness/Research, Planning & Assessment at Columbia Basin College. NISOD is proud to feature all of the Top Ten essays in upcoming editions of Hook’Em Up. For the month of May, please enjoy Kristina’s masterpiece!
Joe Montgomery—My Civilian Hero
My story starts years ago with a trip to an Army Recruiters office, where every red-blooded, 20-something American goes to start her rifle-toting, fatigue-wearing career. I loved it and thrived in the world of absolute organization, discipline, and hard work until one fateful day in the blistering winter of Fort Drum, NY. My world was painfully mangled, and it would be years before I would be awarded my disability rating.
Ten years, two surgeries, countless physical therapy sessions, and years of forging through government paper trails finally won me the right to bear the title, Disabled Veteran. After years of consistent determination, I received the news I had waited too long to hear; I had been accepted into the Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation Program and would be attending CBC as a full-time student. But, there was a catch.
I was given a questionnaire that required me to obtain information and statistics regarding the fields I was contemplating entering. The answers to these questions were going to need to be answered by someone within CBC. I emailed, called, and waited in lines; all to no avail. With the final days of registration approaching, I spun into a panic. Fearing governmental timelines and protocol, I decided to utilize the CBC search engine and entered two words, “research” and “statistics.” This search yielded a name and a title: Joe Montgomery, Dean for Institutional Effectiveness/Research, Planning and Assessment. I was elated and a bit nervous, but determined. I picked up the phone and dialed the number provided.
Mr. Montgomery was superb. He was receptive to my questions, informative in his answers, and unwavering in his determination to find the answers to questions he didn’t have on hand. Prior to ending our conversation, Mr. Montgomery thanked me for my service and offered future assistance with any issues that may arise. I never imagined that I would have to take him up on that offer, but thanked him and graciously hung up.
Fast forward to the Thursday before classes were scheduled to begin. I once again found myself in an unimaginable bind and not knowing where to turn, called on Mr. Montgomery and asked for his assistance. Again, he expressed gratitude towards me for my service and dove right into the Mr. Fix-it mode I had come to associate with his name. Within just a few hours, the unimaginable became a thing of the past, and I was, for the first time in too many years to admit, a full-time student!
Mr. Montgomery is my civilian hero, and there are no words to express my gratitude and appreciation of him, and his service to me. I am grateful beyond measure, and will never forget the support and respect he bestowed on this Veteran. Mr. Montgomery is one half of my twin pillars and deserves recognition for his devotion to Veterans and students alike.