Achieving the Dream
Program Intervention College Plan
Beginning July 10, 2012, General Counseling initiated in-person orientations for new students. Students were introduced to paths to graduation, transfer, and certificates. Students were also instructed on how to read the college catalog, schedule of classes, and how to enroll into courses online and in-person. In-person orientations are held weekly in which the matriculation process is explained, exposure to college life is provided, on campus resources are reviewed and college success strategies are discussed. During the in-person orientation sessions, a one semester educational plan is developed, and students are encouraged to follow up with a counselor to continue to plan the rest of their academic experience at Los Angeles Mission College. As of January 25, 2013, 114 students were assisted via in-person orientations.
Online Counseling was initiated on September 13, 2010. A web form was developed for the Counseling website for students to submit queries. Students were assisted with general counseling questions. In select cases, more extensive counseling, such as educational plans and transcript evaluations were completed and transmitted to students via scanning and email. As of January 25, 2013, 1,662 students were assisted through the online counseling option. Online Counseling via CCCConfer.org is slated to be initiated in the near future. On October 24, 2012, counselors participated in a training webinar on the software.
Presently, group counseling for financial aid reinstatement appeals and counseling for students on academic and progress probation are some of the interventions that are being conducted to help close LAMC’s gaps.
Elementary Algebra Intervention proposal
A hallmark achievement of the last Title V Mathematics grant was the development and implementation of the Math 123 sequence. A single book is used for Math 123, courseware and computer aided instruction is required, common exams are required of all sections, and the pace of topics is uniform across sections. Scheduling of these courses also allows students to enroll at the same days and times and with the same instructor for the entire sequence. Math 123 has been a very successful program from which the department has gained valuable experience.
Many of the issues raised in the Elementary Algebra (Math 115) focus groups, both student and faculty groups, can be addressed using our experience with Math 123. While this will not shorten the path for Algebra remediation, it will shorten the trajectory of students through this curriculum by providing incentives to complete this curriculum in two semesters. What follows is an outline of the major components of this plan.
A customized combined textbook covering the Math 115 and Math 125 (Intermediate Algebra) curriculum. Topics will be arranged to minimize repetition (1, 5). A single book for two semesters will reduce textbook costs to students (2). Content specific to LAMC: study skills, Mathematics Department information, instruction on courseware, expectations of students and instructors, tutoring support, etc. (3). Students will also receive a standard email when they enroll in the course advising them of the requirements and benefits of the course as well as particulars of required textbooks, etc. (3). All students will be enrolled in the My Math Lab courseware.
Math 115 and Math 125 will be scheduled in two semester sequences. Instructors will teach this sequence at the same times and on the same days for both semesters. This along with the courseware and using the same book will provide a seamless transition from Math 115 to Math 125. Students passing Math 115 with a “C” or better at the 12 week of the semester will be given priority enrollment in the subsequent Math 125 class (4, 5, 6). This should provide a major incentive for students to continue with Math 125 and so complete their remedial work in two semesters. Being able to plan for both semesters should help students better manage their personal schedules, work, child care, etc. (9)
A standard My Lab Plus course will be developed and available to students and faculty containing standard homework, quizzes, practice exams, and a schedule of topics. This will standardize the content and set expectations for students across all Math 115 classes (3, 7, 8). Homework will be required and graded for all sections. Instructors may opt to do this using My Labs Plus or by collecting and grading homework by hand. The course administrator will insure that all sections are progressing through the material at a similar pace. This will assure that students understand the standard expectations of the course and allow them to collaborate with others when preparing for exams, taking quizzes and doing homework. This homogeneity of exams, quizzes, and homework will also enable tutors to better help students.
All instructors and tutors will receive training on the courseware. Instructors and tutors must be able to help students logon, navigate, and use My Labs Plus.
The official course documentation (COR) will be modified to require homework be assigned and graded as well as set standards for using My Labs Plus.
Data analysis and course evaluation:
Data describing persistence and success will be gathered and compared with traditional Math 115/Math 125 course sequences.
Accelerated English 28/101
English piloted an accelerated English 28/101 classes last fall. Students enjoyed and profited from the intensity of the curriculum and the comradeship which developed over the course of the semester. Students were interviewed at the end of the semester, and they gave testimony to how effective the program was. Overwhelmingly, they said that they were glad they had this opportunity. For the spring, we will be offering both a day and evening version of the accelerated program. Our hope is to institutionalize this practice.
An English assessment preparation video has been developed in collaboration with Title V. We are ready to test the video this spring and assess whether or not it will effectively help students to do better on the English placement exam. Our goal is enable the students to correctly assess into their English classes so that they can progress through the English sequence as quickly as possible. In other words, sometimes the actual test is a hindrance to true assessment. By preparing students for assessment, we should be seeing more accurate assessment results.