Community College Investment Plan (CCIP)
Kingsborough Community College's students are increasingly diverse and non-traditional in nature. They enter with significant impediments to academic success. They are more likely to be older, educationally and economically disadvantage, have experienced academic failure at another post-secondary institution, have a significant commute to and from school, have frequently not gone directly from high school to college, are un-or under-employed, and are caring for children and/or aged parents.
- Only about 39% of students in two-year institutions will graduate (Tinto,1994). This rate has actually dropped in the last decade.
- At Kingsborough, the six year graduation rate in 34.0%. The first-to-second year retention rate of first-time, full-time students seeking an associate's degree is 64.8%, and the retention rate is year two is 67.4%.
Astin (1984) and Tinto (1975, 1987) as well as others, theorize that increased student involvement in campus and academic activities will lead to maximizing student learning and development. One of the best methods to involve students is to maximize the amount of personal contact between faculty and students. Satisfying and rewarding encounters with the formal and informal academic and social systems are presumed to lead to greater integrations in those systems and thus to retention.
In structuring our proposal for student support services, we have linked with and built upon our college's investment Plan for Academic Support and significantly invested in academic advisement, transfer and placement services, student engagement programs, and creative opportunities for faculty and student contact. We have used this unique opportunity to rebuild our instructional staff, and empower students and staff with the tools of technology.
The Plan's Objectives
- To increase first-to-second year retention of first-time, full-time students seeking the associate's degree by 2% in year one, and by 2% in year two.
- To develop, implement and assess current, new and supplemental intervention to retain students through graduation.
- To improve and increase opportunities for students to make positive connections with faculty and staff.
- To apply new and innovative technologies to learning.
- To increase student responsibility and independence.
- To improve the delivery of advisement, registration, transfer, and placement services to students.
- To support the college's core academic objectives of expanding academic advisement initiatives, program articulation, and transfer opportunities for our students.
Given the much needed increase in student support services, as well as the challenges of student attrition and the need to build and maintain satisfying and rewarding opportunities for students to have formal and informal encounters with academic and social systems at the College, there is significant need for additional resources to make student support improvements above baseline funding. This proposal is a necessary ingredient to the retention and success of students at Kingsborough Community College.
Community College Investment Plan (CCIP) for Student Support Service at Kingsborough Community College
Kingsborough Community College shares and extends a proud tradition of CUNY, which has served the educational, social, and vocational needs of the City of New York and continues to do so. It maintains an open admissions policy, which serves a culturally diverse community reflective of one of the most international cities in the world.
Our students are increasingly diverse and non-traditional in nature. They enter with significant impediments to academic and social success. They are more likely to be older, educationally and economically disadvantaged, have experienced academic failure at another post-secondary institution, have a significant commute to and from school, have frequently not gone directly from high school to college, are un-or-under-employed, and are caring for children and/or aged parents. They are, also, more likely to be international or immigrant students, with significant language and cultural barriers to education. Terence Hicks (2003) suggests that because first-generation college students may be perceived as having different expectations, poorer academic and social preparation, greater financial constraints, lower self-esteem, and insufficient parental support, it would seem logical to suggest that they do not perform as well as other college students.
Given these changes and the significant percentage of students who attrit, Anderson (2002) states, “more students leave college because of disillusionment, discouragement or reduced motivation that lack of ability or dismissal by school administrators.” To prevent this buildup of frustration, Astin's (1984) Theory of Involvement supports increased student involvement in campus and academic activities will lead to maximizing student learning and development. He continues on to suggest that one of the best methods to involve students in to “maximize the amount of personal contact between faculty members and students.”
Tinto (1975, 1987) theorizes that students enter a college with varying patterns of personal, family, and academic characteristics and skills, including initial dispositions and with respect to college attendance and personal goals. These intentions and commitments are subsequently modified and reformulated on a continuing basis through a series of interactions between the student and the structures and members of the academic and social systems of the College. Satisfying and rewarding encounters with the formal and informal academic and social systems are presumed to lead to greater integration in those systems and thus to student retention.
In surveying college freshmen, Astin and his colleagues discovered that one of the main reasons that students come to college is “to get at better job” (Astin, Parrott, Korn and Sax, 1997). To get that better job, they need a degree. A specific degree is required for some jobs, but for other positions, any degree is appropriate.
Student attrition from United States' colleges has been recognized as a significant social, economic, and educational problem (Umoh, Eddy, and Saulding, 1994). It is widely accepted that higher education is the cornerstone of an individual's future professional success. The number of employment opportunities for those who do not earn college degrees has decreased over the past 15 years and the trend seems to be consistent. Additionally, our culture generally emphasizes education as a source of pride and respect with few subcultures devaluing the pursuit of academic training. Still, only about 39% in two-year institutions will graduate (Tinto, 1994). At Kingsborough Community College, the six year graduation rate for students is %.
Given the much needed increase in student support services, as well as the challenges of student attrition and the need to build and maintain satisfying and rewarding opportunities for students to have formal and informal encounters with academic and social systems at the College, there is significant need for additional resources to make student support improvements above baseline funding. This proposal is a necessary ingredient to the retention and success of student at Kingsborough Community College.
The Plan's Objectives
- To develop, implement and assess current, new and supplemental interventions to retain students through graduation.
- To increase first-to-second year retention of first-time, full-time students seeking the associate's degree from % to % in year one and to % in year two.
- To increase student responsibility and independence in advisement and registration.
- To provide opportunities for faculty cross-training and program support through a series of planned, systematic, advisement activities.
- To provide accurate and consistent advisement which meets Federal and State financial aid guidelines as well as university academic standards policies.
- To improve the delivery of advisement, registration, and transfer, and placement services.
- To improve and increase opportunities for students to make positive connections with their faculty advisors.
- To apply new and innovative technologies to learning for atypical and special needs students.
To fulfill the objectives of this plan, it is critical that the college invest in student support services necessary to improve retention and increase academic success. The following positions have been identified to address improved and increased student support services above the baseline.
Personal Service (P.S.)
Academic Advisor (6 positions)
The importance of academic advising in increasing student persistence is well-documented. Habley (1983) presents a convincing argument for an advisement-retention model that underscores the critical link between academic advisement and student retention. He suggests that retention programs should focus on services that enable students to clarify their educational and career goals and relate those foals to academic offerings. Quality advising provides the most significant mechanism through which this can be accomplished. He concludes that the advisor is the key in assisting students to explore goals and choose appropriate educational offerings consistent with those goals.
The offices of the Vice-President for Student Development and the Vice-President and Provost collaboratively propose a new advisement model for Kingsborough. Six professional academic advisors will each be assigned to and specialize in providing advisement and general supportive services to a cluster of academic departments. An Advisor will serve each of the following discipline clusters:
- Allied Health - sports, fitness and recreation: pre-physical therapy; community health; nursing.
- Sciences - biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, physics. Computer information systems, computer science, engineering science.
- Behavioral Sciences - educational studies, mental health, education associate, alcohol and substance abuse counseling, early childhood education.
- Liberal and Fine Arts - liberal arts, fine arts, graphics and web-design, performing arts, broadcasting, journalism.
- Business - accounting, business administration, marketing management, tourism and hospitality, virtual enterprise, office administration.
- Generalist - supports all of the above, plus CPI, CPE, TAP eligibility issues.
Professional academic advisors hired under this proposal will team with, and otherwise support, the efforts of faculty advisors from specific academic departments. Each will provide a degree of specificity and expertise to a long list of issues and concerns. This model recognizes that the process of advisement begins with a holistic view of the student and then assists the student to develop life and career goals. The process continues as the student clarifies their major interests, selects classes and creates a schedule. The advisor is also responsible for providing the students with accurate information about meeting graduation and degree requirements, academic standards policies, TAP, CPI, CPE. Special emphasis will be made to provide early (new students) and consistent (continuing students) support and advisement.
Coordinator of Assistive Instruction
The Coordinator of Assistive Instruction will focus efforts on students most in need of developmental education. These students score lowest on the CUNY placement exams in reading and writing and, if they are to proceed towards earning a degree, they must complete at least three developmental English courses in reading and writing. This population of students is most in need academically, overall, and data identify them as the least likely to persist in college or earn a degree. These students are also likely to be atypical learners and, therefore, least likely to respond positively to traditional teaching modalities or the traditional classroom environment.
Assistive Instruction applies the use of software and adaptive equipment originally created for students with disabilities, which can also augment and enhance instruction and learning for the atypical learner. Based on a functional assessment by the coordinator and staff, specific instructional technology may be recommended. The concept of developmental counseling, i.e. highly individualized, integrated psycho-educational interventions, which augment existing instructional support services, will be introduced to developmental English instructors and tutors in the Reading and Writing Center.
Student Judicial Affairs Advisor
The College has an obligation to maintain good order and discipline, guarantee no disruption of the educational process, as well as assure the individual rights of each of its citizens. In those instances where a student has been accused of a breach of campus discipline, as defined by “the Henderson Rules”, followed by preliminary investigation, the chief student affairs officer (or designee) may refer the matter to conciliation, as one of his (her) options. The conciliation conference will be conducted by the Student Judicial Affairs Advisor.
Additionally, the Advisor will meet routinely and regularly with students placed on disciplinary probation to support their academic and social progress toward completion, serve as an advisor to student groups on conduct policy matters, and advise the chief student affairs officer on issues of student discipline and conduct.
The implementation of eSIMS, CUNY's electronic registration system, at Kingsborough has permitted the College to move to a long-desired stage in the administration of student course registration. It extends our range of options in providing a supportive registration process, tailored to the needs of specific college groups and programs. It improves and increases student responsibility and independence.
The introduction of eSIMS to the College has been accompanied by an increased need to familiarize and support the user community. The Assistant Registrar will provide primary support for this effort, as well as supervision of a Registration Center, the establishment and maintenance of a web-based hotline that provides remote assistance to student accessing eSIMS at home or in other locations.
Coordinator of Jobs Placement
Kingsborough serves a geographic area that Is largely defined by the realities of commutation (distance, time, and cost). Opportunities for employment in the vicinity of the College are limited by the same factors. Because many community college students are first-generation college students, they may be perceived as having greater financial constraints and insufficient connections to employment opportunities in their chosen fields. This would suggest a critical need for jobs development and placement to serve those students who complete their associate's degree and do not immediately intend to transfer on to a senior college. Special emphasis will be made to provide new students with the skills necessary to succeed in making the transition to the world of work.
The opportunities for efficiency and improved communication through the application of technology are significant. The Coordinator of Placement will supervise the development of a Web-based, eRecruiting system, which will provide for management of the jobs board, on campus recruitment, and communication with students and employers. Students and employers will be able to access the system online to post jobs, upload resumes, sign up for interviews, and produce a schedule for on-campus interviews. It will also include an events calendar where students can get information and sign up for meetings and events.
Approximately 75% of entering Kingsborough students indicate a plan to Transfer to a four-year college. 37.5% of students actually transferred to a CUNY senior college. Community College transfer students have a higher predictor rate of success in bachelor's degree attainment than their four-year college counterparts. Adelman (2000), reporting on data submitted by community colleges to the Integrated Post-secondary Education Data System, found that for 11 years (1982-1993), the bachelor's degree attainment rate for community college transfer students was 71%; 5 points higher than for students who started out in four-year college. Given the high number of Kingsborough students who intend or actually transfer to CUNY senior colleges each year, assuring their successful transfer and eventual degree attainment are high priorities for our institution and the University. Quality advising provides the most significant mechanism through which this can be accomplished.
The Transfer Advisor is key in assisting students to explore goals, choose appropriate educational offerings at the college which will lead to the most beneficial transfer of credits, understand the academic requirements for transfer, and provide assistance in applying for transfer. The Advisor will extend our current efforts from a series of one day events and programs, to one which is more intensive, coordinated, and which occurs throughout the academic year.
Other Than Personal Service (O.T.P.S.)
1. Academic Advisement, Registration, and Transfer Center
The College proposes to establish and operate a comprehensive academic advisement, registration and transfer activities center. The Center will integrate the efforts of academic department faculty and student services academic advisors. It will serve as the centralized location for:
- Individual sessions with students which assist them in their progress towards graduation, transfer and future goals.
- Small group sessions and workshops with students related to advisement issues (CUNY placement exams, CPI, CPE, major requirements, choices of majors, transfer).
- Professional development workshops for academic advisors and faculty, designed to encourage the building of strong relationships with students; encouraging student responsibility and independence; engaging students and developing an holistic, developmental advisement process.
- Assisted on-site web registration (e-SIMS).
- Transfer intake and on-the-spot transcript evaluation.
- Senior college transfer advisement.
Funds will be utilized to purchase supplemental assessment inventories, software, and presentation materials for workshops and individual sessions, such as Clifton and Andersons Strength Quest Strengths Finder. Also, funds will be use to purchase the necessary hardware and software to offer small group and large group presentations. Funds will be used to furnish, provide power and data communications, and make minor renovations to existing college spaces to accommodate this activity.
Total Cost : $168,000
2. Assistive Instructional Technology Center
The College will establish and operate a center to provide students access to technology specifically designed to augment instruction, particularly for atypical and diverse learners (e.g. the use of screen readers with ESL students and those in lower level, developmental English courses who might benefit from being able to hear their textbook as they read it, or speaking essays into a computer as a first draft for students with writing difficulties, etc.). Increasingly, this technology is employed to address instructional challenges posed by the learner diversity of our student population. Last year, over 50% of the 606 students with disabilities served by the Office of Special Services were those with attention and learning disabilities. The Center will be available to all students, particularly those non-disabled students with learning and attention concerns. Funds will be utilized to purchase the necessary assistive hardware and software, furniture, provide power and data communications, and make minor renovations to existing college spaces to accommodate this activity.
Total Cost : $ 60,000
3. Orientation Programs
The orientation of new students, and their early engagement with key supportive individuals at the College, establishes the foundation for the entire college experience. Success for all college students requires new students to adjust, socially and intellectually to the college setting (Tinto, 1993). Because of the under-preparedness and diversity of the Kingsborough Community College student population, attendance at orientation is crucial to their academic and personal success.
Orientation at the College is a year-long effort, beginning with pre-enrollment outreach to assist with navigating enrollment, financing of college, selection of academic major, and integration in student life activities. Through the Freshman Year Experience Program, students are encouraged to enroll for a 12 week, 1 credit, freshman seminar course taught by a counselor.
Involvement in orientation can have real benefits and impact on student retention. In tracking of students who attended the College = s Fall, 2002 orientation program, 65% of those students enrolled in the Fall, 2003 semester. However, only about 35% of an entering class attend orientation programs. The additional funds will support programs crucial to encouraging a greater number of students to attend orientation. We propose to offer workshops on such topics as human relations, and team dynamics, cooperation and community building. We will bring to the campus, motivational speakers on such topics as college success. We will expand our college enrichment fair and provide educational tools, such as orientation booklets and guides to college success.
Total Cost : $ 25,000
4. Student Enrichment and Engagement
- There are presently 63 active student participants in the Peer Advisor Program. These student volunteers are specially selected and trained over a six week period to provide service to college registrations, orientations, special events and staffing a Help Center. Additionally, the Peer Advisor Program serves as a breeding ground for responsible student leaders in student governance, clubs and campus life. The current 3' X 8' space provides occupancy for no more than 2 Peer Advisors. A more spacious Peer Advisor Help Center is needed to allow for participation by Peer Advisors and in turn to serve a larger number of students. Funds would be utilized to make minor renovations to existing space.
- With over 80 clubs and 5 student government councils, over 700 student sponsored events took place in our College Center facility. This volume of activity has placed a strain on equipment used by student groups. Replacement equipment is needed to help enrich the quality of student events and enable the successful achievement of student = s planned goals. These include riser platforms, portable stage lighting, and an audio system for events.
- The first few weeks of a new student = s experience on the college campus is crucial in determining whether the student will remain. Student engagement must begin as soon as students arrive. In order to ensure that the contact is made as early as possible, the College will sponsor a series of welcoming events for students. The additional funds will be used to provide entertainment and purchase program materials.
- The College Center Game Room was designed in the early 1970's for a different time and student population. Its = purpose was to provide a place for students to spend unstructured, free-time in leisure activities, and offer an alternative to A hanging out @ in corridors or even more negative pursuits. Minor renovations and new, leisure game equipment will lead to greater student utilization of the present facility.
- The International Student Affairs Office serves a large and diverse population of students from throughout the world. In addition to providing assistance with immigration concerns, the office provides various programs and events to serve that student population. The additional funds will be used to establish an International Cultural Event and New York City familiarization tour for students.
Total Cost: $100,000
5. Placement and Recruitment
Community Colleges are being asked to provide more services. The literature suggests that colleges must respond to this need by establishing a new paradigm of service delivery, i.e. one that facilitates the students = and employers = use of technology in accessing Career Resources.
- A comprehensive on-campus recruitment initiative will focus on preparing students for the job placement process. The additional funds will be utilized to purchase audio-visual equipment, such as TV/VCR = s, camcorders, blank video tapes for conducting A mock interviews @ . Additional funds will purchase career inventories and purchase furniture for redesign of existing college spaces for this new activity.
- A College Central Network Management System will manage the review of resumes and cover letters; allow students to apply for jobs on-line, allow for the management of the Jobs Board; and facilitate the tracking of student use of technology for future improvement of career services.
Total Cost: $ 30,000
6. Health Outreach
The Health Education and Lifestyle Management Center is a 15 year old health education and research project at Kingsborough Community College. Its mission is to empower the student population in matters of personal health. The Center proposes to expand direct service on fitness, nutrition, and the development and maintenance of healthy behaviors in regard to eating and exercise among overweight college students. Participants will be provided:
- A comprehensive approach to initiating a weight reduction or weight maintenance program,
- Guidance in improving dietary intake, and
- A daily exercise and fitness program.
Funds will be used to purchase materials, brochures and handouts, audiovisual aids, audio-visual equipment, health monitoring equipment transportation for group activities, and guest speakers.
Total Cost: $50, 000
Grand Total: $433,000