This intervention is targeted towards all students who are enrolled in two or more developmental courses, particularly those (such as first-generation college students) who may lack study skills, a clear career goal, or knowledge of what is expected of college students.
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Springfield Technical Community College
In 2008, or the first time in Springfield Technical Community College’s (STCC) history, white students represented less than 50% of the incoming student population. This trend has continued through the fall semester of 2010, and is likely to maintain as the college becomes more diverse.
At the same time, the college identified serious achievement gaps among its black and Hispanic students, where these student populations were twice as likely to come to college needing developmental reading and English classes than their white counterparts; developmental math placement rates were 10 percentage points higher for Hispanics and 15 percentage points higher for blacks; two-year completion rates in developmental courses were 20 percentage points higher for whites than for their black and Hispanic classmates; fall-to-spring retention rates for white students average 10 percentage points higher than black and Hispanic students, with a widening of this gap in fall-to-fall retention rates to 20 percentage points. In addition, white students are twice as likely as black and Hispanic students to complete a credential.
These sobering, persistent achievement gaps have led the college to redouble its efforts toward student success through implementation and scaling of the following initiatives:
- Mandatory Intrusive Advising for students placing into and enrolled in at least one developmental course.
- Mandatory College Success Seminar for all incoming developmental students, particularly first-time-in-college students.
- Extended Math: Project-based, five-day-per-week versions of the college’s three developmental math courses designed to double time-on-task from three to six hours per week.
- “Blacks and Latinos Striving for Achievement” (BALSA) support and mentorship group for men of color.
STCC is the only technical community college in Massachusetts, offering 86 degrees and certificate programs, many of which lead to careers in technical fields.
Located on 35 acres of the Springfield Armory National Historic Site, STCC is a major resource for the economic vitality of Western Massachusetts. STCC serves the area’s urban population, while also drawing students from surrounding counties.
The college’s student body is diverse in age, educational background and cultural heritage, and includes nearly 34% minority students of color representing various ethnic backgrounds. STCC’s highly regarded transfer programs in business, engineering, liberal arts, and science and technology continue to provide the most economical options for students pursuing a four-year degree.
Student Success Strategies
Springfield Technical Community College is using the following strategies to impact student success:
Incoming students who enter the College with one or more developmental placements are the target audience for this intervention.
Based on the Community College of Baltimore County's Accelerated Learning Program (ALP), Open English pairs developmental writing with Freshman-level English Composition for any student who wishes to complete both courses in the same semester. The same faculty member teaches b
Project-based, five-day-per-week versions of the college’s three developmental math courses (Pre-Algebra, Algebra I and Algebra II) are offered to all students. Instructors use student-centered learning techniques, and incorporate group projects into the curriculum.
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