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Lone Star College System
The Lone Star College System (LSCS) seeks to facilitate the success of first-time students; those who complete the Student Success Course and Advising are retained through the Spring at a rate of over 90%, markedly higher than their peers.
At LSCS, first-year students completing the Student Success Course and Intrusive Advising are retained to the following semester at a higher rate than their peers. For the third year in a row, completing students have had a retention rate over 90%.
In order for students to complete the advising component, they meet with an advisor to discuss academic and career goals, their academic plan, financial aid, and campus resources.
Beginning in 2011, students who place into developmental education in two or more subjects will be required to enroll in the Success Course. Fall-to-spring retention for students who completed the Student Success Course and Advising in Fall 2010 is compared to those who did not complete the advising component.
The LSCS is made up of five community colleges and 10 centers located in the Houston metropolitan area. It is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and the fastest growing community college system in Texas.
LSCS enrolled nearly 46,000 undergraduate students in Fall 2009; 25% of students identified as Hispanic, 12% African American, and 7% Asian/Pacific Islander. It serves an area covering 1,400 square miles.
Participation in Achieving the Dream has given LSCS a framework for collecting and reporting data. The college system has centralized its databased work into the Office of Research and Institutional Effectiveness. The increased capability for generating data has led to an increase in the use of evidence and expectations for accountability.
In addition to the Success Course and Advising intervention, LSCS is promoting the use of data through three important strategies:
- Early Intervention helps faculty members refer students who are struggling to succeed; students are then provided with assistance such as tutoring, counseling, or financial aid
- Community Engagement allows many colleges in the system to hold community conversations to promote community engagement and identify strategies to increase matriculation and success rates for low-income students and students of color
- Professional Development is working with each campus to sponsor 10 faculty members to participate in a multi-step program to learn how to utilize data to design classroom activities and increase student engagement
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