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Condensed 5 Pathways to Persistence Project

5 factors to overcome barriers to academic persistence

Frederick Parks

on 10 June 2012

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Transcript of Condensed 5 Pathways to Persistence Project

The Five Pathways to Persistence
Presented by Dr. Angela Long and Mr. Frederick Parks “An ever-expanding American Dream: this is the legacy – and the promise – of the community college system in America. It’s a system based on the principle that we all have a stake in one another’s success. When we invest in one another’s dreams, our communities benefit, our states benefit, and ultimately our entire nation is lifted up. We are in a moment when folks are finding it harder and harder to get ahead. You need new skills to compete, and everything – especially education – costs more. That’s why it’s time to call upon our community colleges once again. To make sure that the 21st century is just as much the American Century as the 20th. To put a little wind at the backs of the American people, and to put more of them on the pathway to their dreams.”

- President Barack Obama on preparing America for 21st Century Jobs - Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, March 9, 2009. The Heart of the Matter is this…

The dropout rate in our nation is growing at an exceeding number among both nontraditional and traditional aged students. In order for community colleges to increase persistence rates, they must take proactive actions to integrate both nontraditional AND traditional students into the campus environment before the end of their first month of enrollment!

What factors can we utilize to help increase the retention and completion rates of nontraditional GED students at an even higher level so as to help the workforce industry of our nation?

This proposal seeks to answer those questions and utilize a student and faculty-driven five factors model to show forth the Five Pathways to Persistence Project as a pilot program to the nation. Five Factors for Improving Student Retention Addressing the Needs of a “Drop-Out” Nation through Student Leadership and Engagement Introduction:
What is the Five Pathways to Persistence Project? What The Five Pathways to Persistence Program is a plan of action created by Dr. Angela Long and Mr. Frederick Parks in support of solving the problem of nontraditional student attrition. Who We have designed and hope to implement a retention policy related to nontraditional student retention among GED certificate holders at the national and local levels. How The proposed plan of action has been submitted to the U.S. Department of Education policy holders and implemented at Santa Fe College and contains a series of five key factors outlining a list of proposed methodologies and key elements. A Dropout Nation? According to a 2004 national study on student attrition at community colleges (Long, 2004) 5 Barriers to Persistence (1) Academic Barriers (2) Social Barriers
(3) Informational Barriers (4) Complexity Barriers (5) Financial Barriers Postsecondary Intervention:
What methods must be used to address this national and local crisis? Even so, with these data kept in mind:
What are community college campuses doing right? How can we involve the student leaders on campuses? Our Purpose The Functional Factor

Goal: Engage students both on and off campus by providing opportunities for service, leadership, committee roles, and teaching opportunities via means of a constructivist, hands-on approach.
Offer classes that provide students with tips on note-taking, test-taking, communication, leadership, decision-making, and stress management.
Create opportunities for the GED students to serve the college in some way that is important by placing them on committees, allowing participation in leadership events, displaying their committed role by wearing nametags across campus, give and take surveys on campus, speak at local high schools, and recruit potential students from the community.
Tap into students' "multiple intelligences." The Fondness Factor

Goal: Make the students "fall in love" with your college by celebrating the successes of individual students and giving evidence of your appreciation and love for them. Create opportunities for students that encourage an atmosphere of excitement, engagement, and involvement in the campus experience.
Communicate to the nontraditional GED student that he or she is being inducted into an elite organization that truly cares about the welfare of its members--an organization always there to lift up any member who stumbles and falls.
The college must give its GED or nontraditional students some kind of physical evidence that bears witness to their relationship with the college (e.g., lapel pins, necklaces, t-shirts, etc.).
Hold an Orientation Experience and Functions where students are welcomed and rewarded as Scholars to the program in order to incorporate them into the college atmosphere (Mentor Luncheon, Evening Reception, End-of-Year Banquet.)
During special events hold school based “parties” where students are able to bring family members and children to celebrate, such as a Game Night. The Freedom-to-Fail Factor

Goal: Encourage students academically, emotionally, and mentally by allowing them to make mistakes in the classroom environment provided it is used as a learning opportunity.
Use the First-Year Seminar experience to eliminate stereo-typed status barriers (e.g., GED graduates are "academically inferior" to high school graduates)
Within the classroom environment, instructors must convey the idea that failure is a necessary part of learning and is a stepping stone toward achievement of success. Provide examples.
Maximize the Cohort Model by allowing students to share openly of their failures and successes weekly.
Constructively critique the nontraditional students' academic performance with "caring," i.e., pointing out deficiencies needing improvement as helpful "coaches," not as uncaring "critics." The Friendship Factor

Goal: Create opportunities and experiences between students, faculty, and staff that promote positive, caring, and encouraging relationships for the emotional and academic well-being of students.
Register GED certificate holders together in a block of classes such as College Success, Critical Thinking, and Leadership courses.
Assign each nontraditional student a Peer Connector mentor for the year.
Assign each student a Campus Mentor to meet every other week for 30 min.
Establish Academic Advisement and Early Alert systems.
Create opportunities for students to connect with each other--both inside and outside of the classroom environment—example: Persistent Scholars Club. The Financial Factor

Goal: Develop and foster financial literacy skills in students for the purpose of navigating the college system while balancing life needs.
Assign a Financial Aid Mentor for each nontraditional student.
Target financial awareness by creating a Money Management Profile for each student.
Incorporate Financial Training Workshops as part of a “First-Year” Seminar series. = Them Us Her Him Some Many Few (cc) photo by twicepix on Flickr Nearly 53% of all first-time enrolled high school diploma holders drop-out after 5 months of enrollment 54.8% of all GED certificate holders at community colleges drop-out after 5 months of enrollment The significant findings of the study:
GED students drop out faster than their HS counterparts
GED students that were able to persist had a .2% higher GPA nationally than their HS diploma counterparts Why GED Completers? 1 in 7 Americans has a GED
1 in 20 students enrolled in their first year in college is GED diploma holder
1 in 10 students enrolled in the Florida college system is a GED diploma holder DATA Summary of Fall 2011 Data Findings Retention Analysis Significant Findings Pathways Cohort
N= 32 (sample size)
Male: 38%
Female: 62%
African-American: 22%
Caucasian: 75%
Hispanic: 3%
Age >30 = 41%
Age < 30 = 59%
Average GPA: 2.81 Whole School GED N=1,271
Male: 47%
Female: 53%
African-American: 19%
Caucasian: 68%
Hispanic: 8%
Age > 30 = 43%
Age < 30 = 57%
Average GPA: 1.91 Of the 32 Scholars who began in fall 2011:
88% stayed at Santa Fe College through the end of the fall semester.
Approximately 51% earned higher than a 3.0 grade point average
The average number of credits earned was 11.
The Fall 2011 to Spring 2012 retention rate was 73%. Pathways Fall cohort had an approximate .90 higher GPA than the whole school GED cohort.
Pathways fall cohort proved to be an excellent demographic representation of the whole school GED cohort.
With regard to the whole school GED, the fewer the credits taken, the lower the GPA. With regard to the Pathways cohort, the fewer the credits taken, no impact on GPA.
Pathways helps older students do better than if in the general student population alone.
Students at greatest risk of dropping out amongst this population are African-American females.
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