Sinclair tries ATD, DEI and CBD

Improving student success at Dayton’s Sinclair Community College began in 2005, when the college began to work with Achieving the Dream (ATD), writes Kathleen Cleary, associate provost for student success, on Accelerating Achievement. But that was just the first step.

. . . we approached improving student success, particularly for underserved populations, as a way of life at the college, rather than a program that would have a beginning and ending. With the Developmental Education Initiative (DEI), we . . . began to make bolder, more aggressive changes in our pedagogy, structures, and curriculum.

When we learned that we were granted funding for Completion by Design (CBD), we took a different approach and made the conscious decision to be high profile, even creating a statewide Completion by Design office on campus.

Achieving the Dream focused Sinclair on “use of data, policy changes, and a commitment to enhancing teaching and learning,” Cleary writes.

Faculty began tracking student success in gatekeeper courses in developmental and college-level English, reading, and math. When faculty saw their success rates, they began to experiment with new ways of teaching and structuring courses. Policy changes such as the no late registration policy were watershed moments for the college as we made a cultural shift from an access-centric institution to an access and success focus. Another hallmark of our ATD work was the creation of the Center for Teaching and Learning, which has provided professional development on topics including student engagement, diversity in the classroom, and increasing student success and completion.

DEI initiatives such as math modules, accelerated English and early support in high school helped accelerate students’ progress through developmental education.

With Completion by Design, Sinclair and other Ohio community colleges hope to “create a seamless pathway” to graduation for students.

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