Report from Working Group to Improve Student Academic Success

Report from Working Group to Improve Student Academic Success
BOUNDARIES FOR SUCCESS:
A REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE
WORKING GROUP TO IMPROVE STUDENT ACADEMIC SUCCESS
May 13, 2011
Working Group Members
Cathy Bonan-Hamada, Professor, Computer Science, Mathematics, & Statistics
Sonia Brandon, Director, Institutional Research and Assessment
Valerie Dobbs, Director, Teacher Education; Academic Department Head
Carol Futhey, Vice President, Academic Affairs; Working Group Chair
Kurt Haas, Professor, Languages, Literature, & Mass Communication; Academic
Department Head
Jessica Herrick, Professor, Social & Behavioral Sciences; Assessment Coordinator
Alaa Kassir, Assistant Technical Professor, Western Colorado Community
College; Developmental Education
Heather McKim, Senior Research Analyst, Institutional Research and Assessment
Lori Payne, Professor, Computer Science, Mathematics, & Statistics; Academic
Department Head
Kristy Reuss, Professor, Health Sciences; Academic Department Head
Pat Schutz, Associate Professor, Business; Academic Policies Representative
Sherry Schreiner, Western Colorado Community College; Developmental
Education, Technical Department Head
Wayne Smith, Assistant Technical Professor, Western Colorado Community
College Culinary Arts; Faculty Senate Representative
Brigitte Sundermann, Vice President, Community College Affairs, Western
Colorado Community College
Steve Werman, Assistant Vice President, Academic Affairs; Professor, Biological
Sciences
Bill Wright, Professor, Languages, Literature, & Mass Communication
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Section
Page
Introduction ................................................................................................................. 5
The Working Group on Student Academic Success .................................................8
Context ..........................................................................................................................9
A. Characteristics of Underprepared Students ........................................................9
B. Factors Associated with Academic Success in Postsecondary Education .......13
C. Relevant Statewide and Institutional Policies ..................................................16
1. CCHE Admissions Policy ..........................................................................16
2. Mesa State/WCCC Admissions Policies ...................................................17
3. CCHE Remedial Education Policy ............................................................22
D. A Profile of Mesa State/WCCC Underprepared Students ...............................22
Recommendations (Abbreviated Name) ..................................................................26
A. Admissions.......................................................................................................26
1. Change Admissions Index .........................................................................26
2. Expand Data Collection ............................................................................ 29
3. Monitor Provisional Baccalaureate ............................................................30
B. Assessment and Placement in Basic Skills ......................................................31
4. Implement ENGL 111L: English Laboratory Course...............................32
5. Expand Math Placement Procedures .........................................................37
6. Improve Communication about Placement ................................................42
C. Course Enrollment of Underprepared Students ...............................................43
7. Recommend Course List ............................................................................43
8. Develop SUPP 100 Course ........................................................................50
9. Limit Course Attempts ...............................................................................53
10. Complete Developmental Coursework ......................................................54
11. Ensure Consistency of Outcomes ..............................................................54
12. Faculty Members Motivating Students to Attend Class and Participate ...55
13. Place Advising Hold .................................................................................58
D. Academic Support for Underprepared Students ..............................................59
14. Implement Intensive Advising Strategies ..................................................59
15. Initiate LASSI ............................................................................................61
Concluding Remarks .................................................................................................63
Attachments ................................................................................................................65
A. CCHE Admissions Policy ................................................................................65
B. Mesa State College/WCCC Admissions Policies ............................................86
C. CCHE Remedial Education Policy ..................................................................88
D. Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) Scales ...............................96
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LIST OF FIGURES
Figure
Page
1. CCHE Admissions Index Calculation............................................................................... 18
2. CCHE Higher Education Admissions Requirements (HEAR) ..............................19
3. High School GPA and Test Scores of MSC Bachelor’s-Seeking First-Year
Students Entering Fall 2005 and 2006 ...................................................................20
4. High School GPA and Test Scores of MSC Bachelor’s-Seeking First-Year
Students Entering Fall 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 Including an
Index Score of 90 .............................................................................................................. 21
5. MSC Underprepared Student Profile, Fall 2008 – 2010 ........................................... 24 – 25
6. Index Scores of MSC Baccalaureate-Seeking First-Year Students
Entering AY 2004 – -05 and AY 2010 – 11 ..........................................................27
7. CCHE Index and MSC Student Success: Retention and First-Year GPA of
Baccalaureate-Seeking Freshmen, Fall 2005 through 2009 ..................................28
8. CCHE Index Score Distribution of MSC Entering Baccalaureate-Seeking
Undergraduates (Including Provisional Baccalaureates), Fall 2010 ......................30
9. English Placement vs First English Course Taken by Freshmen
Entering Fall 2007, 2008, 2009 After Matriculation .............................................33
10. Issues Reported through Early Alert System and Students’
Final Course Grades .......................................................................................35 – 36
11. Math Placement vs First Math Course Taken by Freshmen
Entering Fall 2007, 2008, and 2009 After Matriculation.......................................38
12. Grade Distribution of Selected Math Courses Fall 2008 – Fall 2010 ...................40
13. Grade Distribution of Selected English Courses Fall 2008 – Fall 2010 ...............41
14. Course Grades for Students Enrolled in a Course at the 030/060 Level
Compared with Students Enrolled Only in Collegiate Level Courses,
Fall 2008, 2009, and 2010.............................................................................. 44 - 49
15. Term GPA and Retention of New Freshmen Falls 2007 through 2010
Including Enrollees in SUPP 101 ..........................................................................51
16. Spring 2011 Enrollees by Number of Times They Most Repeated a Course ........53
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INTRODUCTION
If there is one point that all employed by Mesa State College (MSC) or Western
Colorado Community College (WCCC) – faculty, staff, administrators, and Trustees - care
about, it is student academic success. It is the institutions’ raison d’être. But achieving the
goal of greater student success is an exceedingly complex undertaking. A host of
interrelated elements come into play, not the least of which is an increasingly diverse makeup of the students who enroll; their academic preparation for college-level study; the
academic, vocational, and career goals they seek; and each individual’s expectations of and
fit with the College. On the one hand, some students enroll who are well-prepared to
undertake post-secondary education, have a specific goal identified, and have selected an
institutional environment in which they believe they can engage and ultimately succeed. By
contrast, another segment of students arrives who are weak in content preparation, not clear
about why they are attending college – let alone have specific goals to meet – and
uncomfortable connecting with the institution academically and/or socially.
The majority of students, however, falls somewhere in between those extremes.
Most of those in the “middle” subgroup have an adequate level of preparation, some notion
of career direction, and varying levels of self-confidence and motivation to ultimately be
successful. For some within that subgroup, however, at least one of those qualities – or
often some combination of them – is weak enough that a student is at risk of not succeeding.
In other words, they are underprepared by some measure(s), and therein lies the challenge.
What one student’s qualities are that contribute to their underpreparation can be quite a
different mix for the next undergraduate.
But even this simple characterization belies the challenge of identifying solutions for
improving student success at the collegiate level. As will be described in a later section of
this report, underprepared students are not easily characterized. Adding to the complexity,
new undergraduates often do not realize, or are unwilling to “accept” that they might not be
“college ready.” The assumption that ready-for-college equates to completion of a high
school diploma can be misleading, particularly in a local control state such as Colorado
where secondary graduation requirements vary by school district.
Complicating the issue even more is that risk levels not only are associated with
students, but also with some entry-level courses. Because a significant percentage of
enrollments in introductory courses (e.g., college algebra) have high failure rates, they are
identified as “high risk” classes. Again, the reasons for this are multi-faceted, but not
surprisingly, the coupling of at risk students with high risk courses often results in students
dropping out during their first year – if not their first semester – of college.
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Rouche succinctly summarizes the challenge in the following:
Not only are many students still alarmingly underprepared for
college, but they too often have developed an active aversion to
mathematics, English, and the educational process more
generally. This poses a double whammy challenge for instructors,
who must then address not only skill deficits but students’ lack of
confidence in themselves as learners and a pervasive sense that
what students are asked to learn — particularly in developmental
and introductory college courses — has little to do with what
really matters to them in their lives. 1
Bailey underscores similar points, more specifically in the context of students
enrolled in developmental education:
It is also the case that students referred to developmental classes,
most of whom are high school graduates, are often surprised and
discouraged when they learn that they must delay their college
education and in effect return to high school. A recent survey of
remedial students found that a majority believed that they were
prepared for college (Strong American Schools, 2008). This
unexpected gap between their understanding of their own skills and
the discouraging results of assessment tests can cause students to
become frustrated and to give up and leave college (Deil-Amen &
Rosenbaum, 2002). Student resistance to remediation requirements
may help explain the low enrollment rates and high attrition rates.
Faculty and advisors often collaborate with students in an effort to
avoid remediation, using loopholes and exceptions that can often be
found in regulations and guidelines (Perin, 2006). 2
Add to this Colorado’s policies on admissions and developmental (or remedial)
education, as well as a host of student factors from both the cognitive and affective domains,
and it is easy to understand why enhancing student success is so difficult to accomplish
locally and nationally.
1
Center for Community College Student Engagement, The Heart of Student Success:
Teaching, Learning, and College Completion (2010 CCCSE Findings). Austin, TX: The
University of Texas at Austin, Community College Leadership Program, 2010, p. 3.
2
Thomas Bailey, “Challenge and Opportunity: Rethinking the Role and Function of
Developmental Education in Community College,” CCRC Working Paper No. 14. 2008.
Retrieved December 20, 2010 from
http://www.therightstuff.amatyc.org/Role_of_Dev_Math_in_CC_CCRC.pdf.
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What also has become clear through this project, however, is that Mesa State and
WCCC have opportunities that they need to take fuller advantage of in order to enhance
student success. As one of only two Colorado public institutions with both a four- and twoyear role and mission, Mesa State formalized its community college division in 2005 with
responsibilities for career and technical education as well as the delivery of developmental
education. Thus, unlike most other four-year public institutions in Colorado, Mesa State can
offer developmental education within a single institution’s infrastructure rather than “hand
off” underprepared students to another two-year institution.
This combined role and mission also reduces some of the negative results due to
student swirling, an enrollment pattern where a student begins at Institution A, then moves
to Institution B, followed by movement between the two institutions for at least one more
cycle. In the absence of institutional relationships, such as that between MSC and WCCC,
changes for degree completion are diminished. Adelman’s research 3 found that “. . . multiinstitutional attendance evidenced no association with bachelor’s degree attainment; classic
community college transfer bore strong and positive fruit; but the more general phenomenon
of attending more than one institution and not returning to the first institution of enrollment
evidenced a strong negative relationship to degree completion.”
But this continuum also is a distinct advantage in lessening the likelihood that
students are lost when redirected to a community college for developmental needs.
Additionally, it aids in enhancing the possibility that students will transition from two- to
four-year degree programs through more coherent degree structures such as majors in the
Bachelor of Applied Science degree and various career ladders.
With five years having elapsed since the community college was created, the time
has come for these instructional relationships to be evaluated, using multi-year data to
examine what efforts are working and those which need refinement or change. In general,
many opportunities are afforded students through the current arrangement. The working
group found, however, that more boundaries, or greater structures, are needed to admit and
guide underprepared students successfully through their higher education experience.
Students need guidance and structure through information, policies, and processes that
support their academic pursuits. Too often, the College has been too flexible – often in the
name of being customer friendly – when, in fact, the outcomes are not what either the
student or the College expects or wants. Thus the recommendations presented in this report
– based on validated research, extensive data analysis, and experiences of faculty and staff
at MSC, WCCC, and other institutions– should be viewed as various means that should lead
to greater student success.
3
Adelman, C, The Toolbox Revisited: Paths to Degree Completion From High School
Through College. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, 2006, p. 65.
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Finally, student success can be measured many ways, but for much of this project’s
analysis, the working group relied upon evaluating success either in terms of 1) student
retention, including certificate/degree completion, and/or 2) student academic performance
as measured by metrics such as grades and grade point averages which serve as indicators
for student effort.
THE WORKING GROUP ON STUDENT ACADEMIC SUCCESS
With the above overview as a backdrop, the focus of this project was to begin a
campus-wide discussion on how to improve the academic success of MSC/WCCC students.
A working group was appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs in December
2010 and met weekly beginning in mid-January 2011. Its purposes were to 1) examine and
evaluate policies, procedures, and practices associated with the admission of entering
undergraduates through the College’s four- and two-year points of entry, the
assessment/placement of students in college- and/or developmental-level coursework, and
their subsequent enrollment in classes, and 2) make recommendations to the President on
improving student progress and success based on the group’s findings.
Perceptions and opinions abound across the College about the nature of the problems
associated with underprepared students and ways to enhance with their success. In
September 2010, MSC’s Faculty Senate sponsored a Round Table discussion on
underprepared students and offered ideas for success. The summary of that exchange
offered useful anecdotal information, but the working group needed to maximize its reliance
on in-depth analyses of institutional data as the foundation of this report. As is obvious
from the report’s figures and attachments, an extensive and complex dataset was reviewed
by members of the working group before making recommendations for improvement.
The data often represent all entering students – usually for multiple semesters so as
to minimize the potential effect of annual variations and idiosyncrasies – with special
attention given to those considered to be underprepared, and therefore, at greater risk of
being unsuccessful. For operational purposes, the underprepared students were then
discussed as members of two groups:
1) students who believed themselves to be college-ready but, in fact, were
underprepared for some entry-level classes. They often self-place in classes – at
times due to parental pressures – even though placement indicators show a
different level; and
2) those who clearly need varying levels of developmental coursework before
undertaking collegiate-level classes and enroll at the appropriate level.
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Because this project focused on how to help underprepared students achieve greater
academic success, the group did not explore affective elements that can undermine students’
success. Undoubtedly a more holistic approach that goes beyond academic deficiencies and
considers factors affecting students’ personal development – such as student motivation,
attitudes, perceptions and values – would likely yield a more robust set of insights and
enhance the likelihood of student success even more. For now, the group’s focus was
instruction-related. Future discussions are scheduled with representatives of academic and
student support services for their perspectives, but these conversations should not be seen as
an attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of the support services as they related to student
success.
Finally, the project had a few other limitations. This project was restricted to
students who began their postsecondary education at either Mesa State College or Western
Colorado Community College. This is not to imply that a review of students admitted by
transfer is unimportant, but rather, as will become obvious, the analyses were so complex
that there was a need to limit the student population to first-time, entering undergraduates.
Further, evaluations were restricted to lower division measures of success. No tracking was
conducted beyond students’ first two years of enrollment, nor was there a distinction
between those with a declared majors versus those classified as undeclared.
It should be noted that for most MSC/WCCC students, the instruction and services
offered by faculty and staff work well. The recommendations identified later in this report
often build on successful efforts and are so noted. That said, improvements always can be
made, so the working group often asked questions as: What efforts need to be fine-tuned,
reconfigured, or expanded? Do some functions need to be better integrated (e.g., instruction
with a support service)? Has the institution outgrown some practices that worked well
historically but now do not yield the same level of success? While being mindful of
resource considerations, what support needs to be added?
CONTEXT
A. Characteristics of Underprepared Students
If underprepared students would fit a simple profile, the identification of options for
improving their success would be infinitely easier. The obvious difficulty, though, is that
underprepared students are a highly diverse group whose varied academic and personal
characteristics can include, but are not limited to, preparation for college-level work, age,
socio-economic status, race/ethnicity, gender, marital status, geographic origin, parental
experience with postsecondary education, values, self-motivation, and/or attitudes toward
learning. Numerous studies, many done by faculty and staff at community colleges, have
attempted to characterize underprepared students. Excerpts from five are outlined below.
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One of the more useful summaries emerged from a faculty initiative at Paradise
4
Valley Community College. That research produced the following definition of
underprepared that spans four broad categories:
Underprepared students are those who are not ready for college level work because
of:
 General knowledge:
o Inadequate background knowledge in specific areas, i.e.,
history.
 Skills necessary for college work:
o Inability to read, write, compute at college level (in English);
o Inadequate computer skills and other technology
competencies.
 Inadequate study skills, including:
o time management;
o ability to organize and categorize information;
o ability to distinguish important from unimportant information;
o Inability to think logically and critically;
o Lack of common sense skills, navigational skills.
 Beliefs:
o Unrealistic expectations re: what is required in college
(Newton, 2000) 5;
o Unwillingness to take instructors’ advice re: how to improve;
o Inadequate motivation, lack of vision for future;
o Unrealistic beliefs about their preparedness for college;
o Belief that learning is passive; someone else is responsible for
their learning.
Wilmer 6 references a study by Grimes and David who surveyed 500 community
college students that revealed the following about underprepared students:
 No significant demographic differences existed between
underprepared and college-ready students.
 Underprepared students took fewer years of math, science, and
foreign language in high school.
4
Sally Rings, “The Underprepared Student Initiative at Paradise Valley Community
College,” 2001. Retrieved December 20, 2010 from
www.pvc.maricopa.edu/usi/old/usiResearch.doc.
5
F.B. Newton, “The New Student.” About Campus, 2000, pp. 8-15.
6
Elizabeth Wilmer, “Student Support Services for the Underprepared Student.” Inquiry.
Virginia Community College System, 2008. Retrieved December 20, 2010 from
http://www.vccaedu.org/inquiry/inquiry-spring-2008/i-13-Wilmer.html.
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 Underprepared students planned for fewer years of college, limiting
their goals to associate’s degrees, while college-ready students
aspired to bachelor’s and graduate degrees.
 Underprepared students rated their academic ability, intellectual selfconfidence, and emotional health lower than college-ready students,
while showing no significant difference in ratings of physical health,
competitiveness, leadership ability, social self-confidence, or artistic
ability.
 Underprepared students spent more time watching television and
partying, while college-ready students spent more time going to
religious services, discussing politics, and socializing with ethnically
diverse groups.
 Underprepared students indicated an expectation to fail one or more
courses, to need extra time finishing their degree, and to need tutoring
services.
King’s work on those "at-risk" reflects a diverse collection of underprepared student
characteristics 7:
 Are academically underprepared as a result of prior educational
experiences (e.g., academic failure, poor preparation, low
expectations);
 Manifest a group of individual risk factors such as neurological,
cognitive, health, or psychological factors that can contribute to
academic failure (e.g., traumatic brain injury, learning disabilities,
chronic illness, psychological problems, or student attitude toward
learning);
 Experience familial risk factors including disturbed family
functioning, dependent care issues, familial values concerning
education, and lack of financial resources;
 Possess social risk factors i.e., conflicting ethnic or cultural values or
stressful peer and social interactions.
Finally, given Mesa State’s large, rural service region, coupled with the fact that the
number of Pell Grant recipients reflected a 44% increase between FY 2009 and 2010, one
cannot ignore the impact of these two factors on student preparation and commitment to
pursing an education. Two studies, while focusing on high school students, offer some
insights into these subpopulations who often subsequently enroll in higher education. The
first research project focused on at-risk high school students from rural areas and how they
7
N. King, “Advising Underprepared Students.” Presentation: NACADA Summer Institute
on Advising, 2004.
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contrast from students living in metropolitan areas. 8 Among the differences were 1) the lack
of useful vocational training programs that lead to employment in their home region,
underscoring the questionable need for postsecondary education, and 2) the effects of
greater isolation associated with rural communities which lessens exposure to career
options.
A second body of research comes from working with students from generational
poverty by Ruby Payne. 9 Among the key points that Payne believes must be addressed to
work successfully with this student population is that:
Schools and businesses operate from middle-class norms and use the
hidden rules of the middle class. These norms and hidden rules are never
directly taught in schools or in businesses. For our students to be
successful, we must understand their hidden rules and teach them the
rules that will make them successful at school and at work. . . .
Mediation builds cognitive strategies for the mind. . . . When cognitive
strategies are only partially in place, the mind can only partially accept
the teaching. . . . Poverty forces more time to be spent on survival. Many
of the students from poverty are in single parent situations. If there is
only one parent, regardless of the gender, there is not time and energy to
both mediate the children and work to put food on the table. Additionally,
if the parent is still a child or was non-mediated, the ability to mediate
his/her own children will be significantly lessened as well. For students
from this situation, more time in school will need to be spent addressing
the cognitive structures necessary for learning. . . . For students from
generational poverty to learn, a significant relationship must be present.
When individuals who made it out of poverty are interviewed, virtually
all cite an individual who made a significant difference for them. Not
only must the relationships be present, but academic tasks need to be
referenced in terms of relationships. For example, rather than talk to
students from generational poverty about the future and going to college,
which has little motivation (although it is beneficial for them to hear), the
conversation needs to be about how the learning will impact
relationships.
Payne concludes with:
8
Richard Tompkins and Patricia Deloney, “Rural Students at Risk in Arkansas, Louisiana,
New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas: Policy and Program Implications for Rural At-Risk
Students.” 1995. Retrieved on February 16, 2011 from
http://www.sedl.org/rural/atrisk/policy.html.
9
Ruby Payne, “Understanding and Working with Students and Adults from Poverty.” n.d.
Retrieved on February 1, 2011 from http://homepages.wmich.edu/~ljohnson/Payne.pdf.
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First of all, students from generational poverty are going to need direct
teaching to build cognitive structures necessary for learning. Secondly,
the relationships that will motivate them to learn need to be established.
Third, hidden rules must be taught so they can choose the appropriate
response if they so desire. This is a beginning to address their learning. . .
. They simply have not been mediated in the strategies or hidden rules
that contribute so much to success in school and then at work.
Many of these issues and attitudes carry over into post-secondary education and
should not be overlooked, particularly in light of the fact that four of the College’s 14
counties in its service region have a 2010 population that is less than the enrollment of the
College (8,100 students), three others have less than 20,000 residents, and three more
counties have a population of 30,000 or fewer. Thus rurality, as well as relatively large
proportions of students with low family income, become additional complications in
assisting students who enroll in institutions of access such as Mesa State College and
Western Colorado Community College.
B. Factors Associated with Academic Success in Postsecondary Education
Within the extensive research on student success, the definitive work has been
conducted by Clifford Adelman, released as two reports: Answers in the Tool Box:
Academic Intensity, Attendance Patterns, and Bachelor’s Degree Attainment 10in 1999,
followed seven years later with The Toolbox Revisited: Paths to Degree Completion From
High School Through College. 11 Completing detailed analyses of high school transcripts
and then tracking student cohorts through postsecondary education, Adelman’s findings on
seven interrelated factors associated with student success are summarized in the following
excerpts from Toolbox Revisited.
 Low Credit Momentum. Earning less than 20 credits in the first
calendar year following postsecondary entry is a distinct drag on
degree completion. . . . [F]alling below the 20-credit threshold
lessens the probability of completing a bachelor’s degree by a third!
(p. 48)
 First-year GPA. If one’s first-year GPA falls in the top two quintiles,
the probability of earning a degree increases by nearly 22 percent (p.
48). However, this account also shows that, even when one confines
the universe to the group being followed in The Toolbox Revisited,
roughly one out of five entered the second year with low credit
momentum, and roughly one out of six carried low first year GPAs.
10
11
Adelman, C, Answers in the Tool Box: Academic Intensity, Attendance Patterns, and
Bachelor’s Degree Attainment. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, 1999.
Adelman, 2006.
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



The overlap, too, is considerable: 40 percent of those coming out of
their first year with fewer than 20 credits were also in the bottom
quintile of first year GPA.
Attendance Patterns. One set of "culprits" was attendance pattern
related: lower percentage full time, lower percentage continuously
enrolled, lower percentage getting to and beyond 20 credits in the first
calendar year. All these factors decrease the probability of
completion. Credit momentum is clearly in play. . . . It takes a lot of
work in the second calendar year for those whose additive credit
totals in the first year were less than 20. . . . But a second set of
negative vectors is clearly that of academic performance. . . . the
spread in mean grade point average between those who eventually
earned the degree and those who did not is substantial by the end of
the second year, and it is not surprising that nearly one in five of those
who never earned any credential had already become status dropouts.
. . . A measurable proportion of postsecondary students will not
perform well (for GPAs of status dropouts, by timing of permanent
departure from postsecondary education. . . . Higher education has
standards, and some students will, in fact, be placed on academic
probation or be formally dismissed for academic reasons, i.e., flunk
out (p. 55). . . And yet by the end of students’ second year, a
significant spread in credit generation, academic performance, and
curricular participation has opened up between those who eventually
completed bachelor’s degrees and those who did not (p. 61). . . .
Whether the student was ever part-time, [it is] a decidedly negative
influence on degree completion. [P]art-time status reduces the
probability of completion by over 35 percent.
Summer-term credits: The more, the better. That is, each step up the
short ladder of summer-term credits increases the probability of
completion by 14.4 percent.
Transfer Patterns. Four-year to four-year transfer: . . . In comparing
those who transferred to those who didn’t, one could say only that the
more selective the first institution attended, the less likely the student
would transfer. (p. 67)
Course Repeats. Withdrawing from or repeating 20 percent or more
of courses decreases the probability of earning a bachelor’s degree by
nearly half!!! . . . [N]early 60 percent of those who wound up
withdrawing from or repeating 20 percent or more of the courses for
which they registered were already withdrawing from and repeating
20 percent or more of their courses in the first year. When one
withdraws without penalty, one earns zero credits. When one repeats
a course, one earns credits only once (assuming one passes, of
course). [L]ow credit production in the first year is a logical
consequence of withdrawal and repeat behavior. If we allow negative
momentum to start early, the consequences will snowball. The
phenomenon argues for more intense academic advising and
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monitoring, more accurate placement, and (in some cases) more
sensible credit loads in the first calendar year of enrollment. (p. 74)
 Continuous Enrollment. Remaining continuously enrolled increases
the probability of degree completion by 43.4 percent. (p. 74)
 Investment Behaviors. Once the modest consequences of
socioeconomic status are accounted for, each step offers students a set
of decisions that require the commitment of time and effort likely to
yield a future benefit. These decisions move students, sometimes
smoothly and sometimes less so, toward the degree. The choices
made, beginning with high school curriculum (from the available
curriculum—which is an opportunity-to-learn issue) and quality of
effort in high school (reflected in class rank/GPA), allow subsequent
leverage. Entering a postsecondary institution directly from high
school, earning 20 or more credits in the first calendar year of
enrollment, and performing well enough in that first calendar year to
fall in the top 40 percent of a GPA distribution build on previous
investment, and are all signs of commitment. Subsequent choices that
may not be reflected in a bounded period of time, such as excessive
course withdrawals, prove to be poor decisions with negative returns,
breaking accumulated momentum. Other configurations of choice,
including summer-term credit generation, meeting the challenge of
college-level mathematics, effort that yields a rising GPA, and most
of all, remaining continuously enrolled, all reflect continuing leverage
of attainment. This is what academic momentum is all about.
Tinto’s (1987) 12 approach is just as direct: Students have
responsibilities, and are expected to invest time on behalf of their own
learning. Yes, in his words, students have the right “to refuse
education” (p. 135), but since the primary commerce of the institution
is education, those who refuse should not be surprised if (in his very
delicate phrasing) the institution exercises its “right . . . to be selective
in its judgments as to who should be further educated” (p. 135). One
begins to see why student choice (and the responsibility inherent in
student choice) emerges not only as a dominant theme of The Toolbox
Revisited as well, but as the principal challenge to academic advising
and counseling from secondary through postsecondary education. (p.
80)
Adelman closes with a series of recommendations that include, but are not limited
to:
 Indeed, the first year of postsecondary education has to begin in high
school, if not by AP then by the growing dual enrollment movement
or other, more structured current efforts (for examples, see Hughes,
12
Tinto, V, Leaving College: Rethinking the Causes and Cures of Student Attrition.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.
- 15 -
Karp, Fermin and Bailey 2005). If all traditional-age students entered
college or community college with a minimum of 6 credits of "real
stuff," not fluff, their adaptation in the critical first year will not be
short-circuited by either poor placement or credit overload. (p. 108)
 Academic advisers and counselors have to target every first-time
student for at least 20 additive credits by the end of the first calendar
year of enrollment. We saw the same consequences in the original
Tool Box, though now we understand better that the chances of
making up for anything less than 20 credits diminish rapidly in the
second year. Community colleges have some special challenges here,
given increasing rates of transfer among traditional-age students.
With 6 credits of dual-enrollment course work, even part-time
students can reach 20 credits in the first calendar year.
 Excessive no-penalty withdrawals and no-credit repeats appear to do
irreparable damage to the chances of completing degrees. This
phenomenon was also observed in the original Tool Box. Twice
advised, institutions might think very seriously about tightening up,
with bonuses of increased access and lower time to degree.
 More than incidental use of summer terms has proven to be a degreecompletion lever with convincing fulcrum. It’s part of the calendaryear frame in which students are increasingly participating. Four-year
and community colleges can entice students into fuller use of summer
terms with creative scheduling. (p. 108)
C. Relevant Statewide and Institutional Policies
The third context for the working group’s discussions was the set of interrelated
policies affecting student admission and course placement. Two statewide policies – the
Colorado Commission on Higher Education’s (CCHE) admissions and remedial education
policies – as well admissions policies specific to Mesa State and WCCC were most relevant
for this project.
1. CCHE Admissions Policy (Attachment A)
This policy defines general admissions criteria for Colorado’s public
four-year institutions of higher education, including the Higher Education
Admissions Requirements (HEAR) and institution-specific admission indices.
Currently, Mesa State is classified as a moderately selective institution with an
assigned admissions index of 85. 13 Figure 1 shows the calculated index based on
13
CCHE defines the admissions standards for four-year public institutions in the following
manner, with admissions index shown in parenthesis: Highly selective: Colorado School
of Mines (110); Selective: University of Colorado at Boulder (103), Colorado State
University (101), University of Northern Colorado (94), University of Colorado at
DHSC (93), Fort Lewis College (92), and University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
(92); Moderately Selective: Colorado State University – Pueblo (86), Mesa State College
- 16 -
a combination of standardized test score (either ACT or SAT) and high school
performance (either high school grade point average (GPA) or class rank).
CCHE allows for institutions to admit no more than 20% of its entering class
with an index below its cutoff, a concept commonly described as being admitted
“through the window.”
The HEAR, implemented in 2008, specifies that most entering students
must complete 15 units of high school coursework in English, mathematics,
natural sciences, and social sciences, for admission to Colorado four-year public
institutions. The requirements increased to 17 units beginning in 2010 and are
distributed according to academic areas shown in Figure 2. With some
exceptions, first-time undergraduates not meeting the HEAR are admitted
through the window.
2. MSC/WCCC Admissions Policies (Attachment B)
In 2005, MSC’s Board of Trustees raised the index from 80 to 85,
encompassing the two darkest sections of the diagrams, with the higher score
going into effect in Fall 2008. With the increase in the admissions index, the
Trustees also created a formal open admissions division of the college: Western
Colorado Community College.
At the time they acted in 2005, the Trustees requested that the score be
revisited following implementation to evaluate the impact of that change. Figure
3 is an adaptation of the index diagram, replacing the specific scores with the
number of students at each intersection for students entering MSC in Fall 2005
and 2006. Note the darker the color, the larger number of admitted students with
the same combination of test scores and high school performance. In contrast,
Figure 4 shows the same diagram, updated for students entering MSC in Fall
2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. While spanning twice the number of years, the
intensity of the students’ distribution across the index levels has moved markedly
towards higher index scores.
(85), Adams State College (80), and Western State College (80); Modified Open:
Metropolitan State College of Denver (76).
- 17 -
Figure 1. CCHE ADMISSIONS INDEX CALCULATION
SAT
ACT
% H.S.
Rank
0-1
2-3
4
5-6
7-8
9-10
11-12
13-15
16-18
19-22
23-26
27-30
31-34
35-38
39-43
44-48
49-53
54-58
59-62
63-67
68-72
73-76
77-81
82-85
86-89
90-92
93-100
H.S. GPA
0-1.3
1.4-1.5
1.6
1.7
1.8
1.9
2
2.1
2.2
2.3
2.4
2.5
2.6
2.7
2.8
2.9
3
3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4
3.5
3.6
3.7
3.8
3.9
4
400
490
<12
500
540
12
550
600
13
610
680
14
690
740
15
750
790
16
800
830
17
840
870
18
880
920
19
930
960
20
970
1000
21
1010
1040
22
1050
1070
23
1080
1110
24
1120
1150
25
1160
1190
26
1200
1230
27
1240
1270
28
1280
1300
29
1310
1340
30
1350
1390
31
1400
1430
32
1440
1480
33
1490
1540
34
1550
1590
35
1600
36
45
49
51
52
54
56
58
60
61
63
65
67
69
70
72
74
76
78
79
81
83
85
87
88
90
92
94
47
51
53
54
56
58
60
62
63
65
67
69
71
72
74
76
78
80
81
83
85
87
89
90
92
94
96
49
53
55
56
58
60
62
64
65
67
69
71
73
74
76
78
80
82
83
85
87
89
91
92
94
96
98
51
55
57
58
60
62
64
66
67
69
71
73
75
76
78
80
82
84
85
87
89
91
93
94
96
98
100
53
57
59
60
62
64
66
68
69
71
73
75
77
78
80
82
84
86
87
89
91
93
95
96
98
100
102
55
59
61
62
64
66
68
70
71
73
75
77
79
80
82
84
86
88
89
91
93
95
97
98
100
102
104
57
61
63
64
66
68
70
72
73
75
77
79
81
82
84
86
88
90
91
93
95
97
99
100
102
104
106
59
63
65
66
68
70
72
74
75
77
79
81
83
84
86
88
90
92
93
95
97
99
101
102
104
106
108
61
65
67
68
70
72
74
76
77
79
81
83
85
86
88
90
92
94
95
97
99
101
103
104
106
108
110
63
67
69
70
72
74
76
78
79
81
83
85
87
88
90
92
94
96
97
99
101
103
105
106
108
110
112
65
69
71
72
74
76
78
80
81
83
85
87
89
90
92
94
96
98
99
101
103
105
107
108
110
112
114
68
72
74
75
77
79
81
83
84
86
88
90
92
93
95
97
99
101
102
104
106
108
110
111
113
115
117
70
74
76
77
79
81
83
85
86
88
90
92
94
95
97
99
101
103
104
106
108
110
112
113
115
117
119
72
76
78
79
81
83
85
87
88
90
92
94
96
97
99
101
103
105
106
108
110
112
114
115
117
119
121
74
78
80
81
83
85
87
89
90
92
94
96
98
99
101
103
105
107
108
110
112
114
116
117
119
121
123
76
80
82
83
85
87
89
91
92
94
96
98
100
101
103
105
107
109
110
112
114
116
118
119
121
123
125
78
82
84
85
87
89
91
93
94
96
98
100
102
103
105
107
109
111
112
114
116
118
120
121
123
125
127
80
84
86
87
89
91
93
95
96
98
100
102
104
105
107
109
111
113
114
116
118
120
122
123
125
127
129
82
86
88
89
91
93
95
97
98
100
102
104
106
107
109
111
113
115
116
118
120
122
124
125
127
129
131
84
88
90
91
93
95
97
99
100
102
104
106
108
109
111
113
115
117
118
120
122
124
126
127
129
131
133
86
90
92
93
95
97
99
101
102
104
106
108
110
111
113
115
117
119
120
122
124
126
128
129
131
133
135
88
92
94
95
97
99
101
103
104
106
108
110
112
113
115
117
119
121
122
124
126
128
130
131
133
135
137
90
94
96
97
99
101
103
105
106
108
110
112
114
115
117
119
121
123
124
126
128
130
132
133
135
137
139
93
97
99
100
102
104
106
108
109
111
113
115
117
118
120
122
124
126
127
129
131
133
135
136
138
140
142
95
99
101
102
104
106
108
110
111
113
115
117
119
120
122
124
126
128
129
131
133
135
137
138
140
142
144
97
101
103
104
106
108
110
112
113
115
117
119
121
122
124
126
128
130
131
133
135
137
139
140
142
144
146
Eligible for WCCC Only
Eligible for WCCC or Provisional Baccalaureate (Institutional Policy)
Eligible for All Undergraduate Programs
- 18 -
Figure 2
CCHE HIGHER EDUCATION ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS (HEAR)
Academic Area
English
Mathematics
Natural Science
Social Science
Foreign Language
Academic Electives
TOTAL
Units Required for Fall
2008 & 2009 Admits
4
3
3
3
Not required
2
15
Units Required for Fall
2010 Admits
4
4
3
3
1
2
17
More recently, the MSC Trustees’ admissions policy was modified to
formalize a provisional baccalaureate admissions category. The 2010 policy
update provided that baccalaureate-seeking students with an index between 7584, known as provisional baccalaureates, be admitted fully into a four-year
degree major when they meet one of the criteria below:
•
Completion of 13-29 credit hours of college-level MSC coursework
with a 2.3 GPA or higher and meet the Colorado Higher Education
Admission Requirements.
•
Completion of 30 credit hours or more of college-level MSC
coursework with a 2.3 GPA or higher.
Until one of the above criteria are met, provisional baccalaureates with
fewer than 30 earned college-level credit hours must be advised by staff from the
Advising Center before registering each semester. Additionally,
baccalaureate‐seeking students with an index below 75 are redirected to Western
Colorado Community College program for admission until such time as they
meet the transfer criteria for moving into the baccalaureate division.
- 19 -
Figure 3. HIGH SCHOOL GPA AND TEST SCORES OF MSC BACHELOR’S-SEEKING
FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS ENTERING FALL 2005 AND 2006
SAT
ACT
% H.S. H.S.
Rank GPA
0-1
0-1.3
2-3
1.4-1.5
4
1.6
5-6
1.7
7-8
1.8
9-10
1.9
11-12
2
13-15
2.1
16-18
2.2
19-22
2.3
23-26
2.4
27-30
2.5
31-34
2.6
35-38
2.7
39-43
2.8
44-48
2.9
49-53
3
54-58
3.1
59-62
3.2
63-67
3.3
68-72
3.4
73-76
3.5
77-81
3.6
82-85
3.7
86-89
3.8
90-92
3.9
93-100
4
400
490
<12
500
540
12
550
600
13
610
680
14
690
740
15
750
790
16
800
830
17
840
870
18
880
920
19
930
960
20
970
1000
21
1010
1040
22
1050
1070
23
1080
1110
24
1120
1150
25
1160
1190
26
1200
1230
27
1240
1270
28
1280
1300
29
1310
1340
30
1350
1390
31
1400
1430
32
1440
1480
33
1
1
2
1490
1540
34
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
3
1
1
1
1
2
2
4
6
2
1
1
1
1
7
1
4
9
7
6
3
4
6
3
3
1
1
1
1
2
6
11
6
8
8
8
6
7
3
4
1
1
8
5
3
7
7
11
13
14
11
7
3
10
2
3
3
1
4
10
7
12
13
15
17
18
13
13
7
10
16
3
6
5
1
2
1
1
3
10
10
10
13
10
16
10
15
21
14
11
11
9
5
4
2
3
1
4
7
7
11
12
2
7
10
11
7
15
14
12
7
5
7
7
4
7
1
1
1
1
2
2
5
5
3
2
5
9
9
7
18
12
14
12
10
9
7
11
5
3
1
- 20 -
1
1
1
2
3
1
5
3
4
5
5
2
5
13
14
7
16
7
12
17
11
10
4
2
2
3
1
3
3
4
3
2
1
6
6
10
5
6
6
4
6
7
4
13
5
3
2
1
2
1
1
2
3
4
2
4
7
8
3
6
4
3
6
5
12
6
7
1
3
2
1
1
4
1
4
3
3
3
7
4
4
8
6
8
7
7
10
8
5
1
1
2
1
1
1
3
3
4
5
1
4
5
5
5
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
2
1
1
3
1
2
2
2
4
6
8
4
2
3
2
5
11
3
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
Figure 4. HIGH SCHOOL GPA AND TEST SCORES OF MSC BACHELOR’S-SEEKING FIRST-YEAR
STUDENTS ENTERING FALL 2007, 2008, 2009, AND 2010 INCLUDING AN INDEX SCORE OF 90
SAT
ACT
% H.S. H.S.
Rank GPA
0-1
0-1.3
2-3
1.4-1.5
4
1.6
5-6
1.7
7-8
1.8
9-10
1.9
11-12
2
13-15
2.1
16-18
2.2
19-22
2.3
23-26
2.4
27-30
2.5
31-34
2.6
35-38
2.7
39-43
2.8
44-48
2.9
49-53
3
54-58
3.1
59-62
3.2
63-67
3.3
68-72
3.4
73-76
3.5
77-81
3.6
82-85
3.7
86-89
3.8
90-92
3.9
93-100
4
400
490
<12
500
540
12
550
600
13
610
680
14
690
740
15
750
790
16
800
830
17
840
870
18
880
920
19
930
960
20
970
1000
21
1010
1040
22
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
2
3
2
2
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
2
3
4
3
3
5
5
6
4
3
1
1
1
3
10
14
11
10
15
6
14
5
3
3
1
1
1080
1110
24
1120
1150
25
1
3
1
4
4
2
9
10
6
4
10
12
10
18
19
16
15
18
11
20
12
14
1
1
1
1
2
1
4
4
6
5
2
2
3
9
15
11
16
15
17
17
21
15
20
24
1160
1190
26
1200
1230
27
1240
1270
28
1280
1300
29
1310
1340
30
1
4
1
1
1
2
4
1
2
2
1
1
2
4
1350
1390
31
1400
1430
32
1440
1480
33
1490
1540
34
1
2
1
1
1
1
1050
1070
23
1
1
1
2
7
14
16
16
16
30
22
19
18
13
10
5
4
4
1
1
2
1
3
6
11
26
23
26
21
25
27
13
20
15
17
10
4
7
4
2
3
2
4
10
10
21
33
29
24
22
30
32
21
23
15
20
15
13
8
5
3
2
3
4
5
16
15
22
35
25
23
24
16
34
21
35
24
15
10
8
7
7
1
2
2
5
10
11
11
16
23
26
23
31
27
25
27
23
27
24
27
19
11
5
- 21 -
2
3
4
6
14
14
15
23
19
21
44
32
27
30
20
20
23
20
27
16
10
2
8
6
11
11
10
12
12
10
12
19
23
23
29
21
27
19
19
16
19
10
1
1
2
1
5
1
1
2
6
3
4
1
2
4
11
5
9
14
13
15
15
13
23
3
4
1
3
2
4
4
6
4
10
11
8
10
13
23
1
2
2
1
3
3
3
2
3
5
2
3
5
6
4
10
10
15
2
1
1
1
2
3
1
1
1
5
2
5
17
3
5
4
3
6
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
3
1
3
2
10
1
2
2
1
1
1
3. CCHE’s Remedial Education Policy (Attachment C)
The third policy element germane to this project also is statewide in
applicability and articulates institutional responsibilities regarding assessment of
entering student readiness for college-level coursework in basic skills. Generally
speaking, Colorado public institutions are required to administer the
assessment(s), using an instrument identified by CCHE, and advise students of the
level at which they place. Students have the option of enrolling at the
recommended course level or opting for a level that is above or below the
placement recommendation. The recommended placement level is not mandatory
for the student, and as a result, some over-confident entering students opt to place
themselves at a level that does not match their preparation. Additionally, the
policy exempts first-time students from assessments if they a) have completed a
college-level course in mathematics and/or writing course; b) are pursuing a
vocational certificate; 3) are a concurrently enrolled high school student taking
courses that do not require assessment for placement; or 4) are non-degreeseeking undergraduates.
CCHE requires use of the Accuplacer exam for assessing student preparation.
Minimum cut scores for the exam were set in 2000, at or below national averages.
There is a clear need for CCHE to conduct a statewide study that evaluates the
exam and sets more appropriate cut scores. But until such research occurs, the
policy is inadequate for matching students’ preparation with coursework.
D. A Profile of Mesa State/WCCC Underprepared Students
As described above, student underpreparation can take many forms. Because this
project focuses primarily on undergraduate success in instruction, this section describes
entering student preparation in the basic skills areas of English, mathematics, and reading.
Figure 5 presents data on the three most first-time undergraduate classes in terms of
standardized test scores (ACT Composite), high school grade point averages, and
categorization according to developmental needs, followed by remedial enrollments by
students in the two specific admissions index bands.
Because of the significant enrollment growth that Mesa State experienced in fall
2009, and again in 2010, numeric comparisons over time show increases in most categories
of the academic metrics while the percentages show only modest variations of ±2 percentage
points. The significant exception is the increase to 39.7% of first-time undergraduates were
in the “no developmental required” category, growing by nearly six percentage points from
- 22 -
two years earlier. Overall, however, Fall 2010 entering students with developmental needs of
varying levels reached 51%, slightly higher than in Fall 2008. According to a recent CCHE
report on Fall 2009 entering undergraduates, 14 approximately 28.6% of all students were
assigned to developmental coursework in at least one discipline. More specifically, the
remediation rate at two-year institutions was 52.8%, while the overall remediation rate for fouryear institutions was 18.3%. It is important to note, however, that these rates should not be
compared to those for Mesa State as MSC and Adams State are the only public institutions in
Colorado with both a four- and two-year role and mission.
Developmental needs of a subset of MSC students – those in the 85 – 89 index range –
were identified in Figure 5 to better gauge their levels of academic underpreparation. This group
of students would be reported as window admits if the College increased its admissions index to
90 (see recommendation 1) and be added to those in the “less than 85” group. In most cases they
would be advised as provisionally-admitted students, and have limits placed on their enrollments
(see recommendation 3) with the goal of increasing their likelihood of success.
14
Colorado Commission on Higher Education, 2010 Legislative Report on Remedial
Education. Denver, February 2010, p. 5.
- 23 -
Figure 5. MSC/WCCC UNDERPREPARED STUDENT PROFILE, FALL 2008 – 2010
Academic Characteristic
FIRST-TIME UNDERGRADUATES*
ACT Composite Score
33 - 36
28 - 32
24 - 27
20 - 23
16 - 19
13 - 15
1 - 12
No Data
Total
Colorado Average
High School GPA
3.50 - 4.00
3.00 - 3.49
2.50 - 2.99
2.00 - 2.49
1.99 or lower
GED
No Data
Total
Developmental Needs
Math Only
Reading Only
English Only
Math and Reading
Math and English
Reading and English
Math, Reading and English
Deve lopmental Needs Subtotal
No Developmental Required
No Assessment or Exempt
Total
2008
% of
#
Total
2009
% of
#
Total
2010
% of
#
Total
2
0.2%
30
2.3%
169 13.1%
397 30.8%
363 28.2%
108
8.4%
13
1.0%
206 16.0%
1,288 100.0%
20.5
2
0.1%
82
4.9%
210
12.4%
471
27.9%
456
27.0%
117
6.9%
20
1.2%
329
19.5%
1,687 100.0%
20.8
1
0.1%
62
3.1%
242
12.3%
567
28.7%
524
26.5%
169
8.6%
25
1.3%
385
19.5%
1,975 100.0%
20.6
269 20.9%
349 27.1%
324 25.2%
208 16.1%
48
3.7%
61
4.7%
29
2.3%
1,288 100.0%
384
22.8%
385
22.8%
393
23.3%
272
16.1%
106
6.3%
114
6.8%
33
2.0%
1,687 100.0%
396
20.1%
512
25.9%
485
24.6%
312
15.8%
88
4.5%
148
7.5%
34
1.7%
1,975 100.0%
184 14.3%
23
1.8%
73
5.7%
18
1.4%
127
9.9%
21
1.6%
176 13.7%
622 48.3%
438 34.0%
228 17.7%
1,288 100.0%
280
16.6%
25
1.5%
73
4.3%
39
2.3%
158
9.4%
42
2.5%
241
14.3%
858 50.9%
574
34.0%
255
15.1%
1,687 100.0%
284
14.4%
23
1.2%
100
5.1%
33
1.7%
233
11.8%
58
2.9%
277
14.0%
1,008 51.0%
784
39.7%
183
9.3%
1,975 100.0%
- 24 -
Figure 5. MSC/WCCC UNDERPREPARED STUDENT PROFILE, FALL 2008 - 2010
(continued)
Academic Characteristic
2008
% of
#
Total
2009
% of
#
Total
DEVELOPMENTAL NEEDS OF FIRST-TIME UNDERGRADUATES WITH AN
INDEX OF LESS THAN 85
None Required/Exempt/No Assessment
17
6.8%
23
6.7%
Math Only
36
14.4%
62
18.2%
Reading Only
3
1.2%
3
0.9%
English Only
9
3.6%
17
5.0%
Math and Reading
5
2.0%
10
2.9%
Math and English
55
22.0%
78
22.9%
Reading and English
6
2.4%
13
3.8%
Math, Reading and English
119
47.6%
135
39.6%
Total
250 100.0%
341 100.0%
INDEX OF 85-89
None Required/Exempt/No Assessment
Math Only
Reading Only
English Only
Math and Reading
Math and English
Reading and English
Math, Reading and English
Total
26
23.6%
26
23.6%
1
0.9%
10
9.1%
2
1.8%
25
22.7%
3
2.7%
17
15.5%
110 100.0%
- 25 -
29
22.7%
31
24.2%
2
1.6%
9
7.0%
12
9.4%
13
10.2%
6
4.7%
26
20.3%
128 100.0%
2010
% of
#
Total
35
9.1%
49
12.8%
2
0.5%
17
4.4%
8
2.1%
90
23.4%
22
5.7%
161
41.9%
384 100.0%
30
18.2%
39
23.6%
4
2.4%
13
7.9%
6
3.6%
40
24.2%
6
3.6%
27
16.4%
165 100.0%
RECOMMENDATIONS
The following recommendations are grouped into four broad categories, essentially in
the order in which an entering student experiences them, beginning with when they apply to
an institution and then placed in coursework according to an assessment of their performance
in the basic skills. Enrollment-related recommendations follow, ending with
recommendations associated with expanded academic support for underprepared students.
Admissions
Recommendation 1: Increase the admission index for first-time, baccalaureateseeking students to 90, request modification of its CCHE admissions category
from “moderately selective” to “selective,” and extend the institution’s index
range for provisional baccalaureate admission to 75 – 89, effective with students
admitted for the 2012 -13 Academic Year (AY).
Rationale: It was clear from the start of this project that a key issue revolved around
strengthening processes by which students were admitted to Mesa State College and
to Western Colorado Community College, created in 2005. If students enter the
institution through the wrong entry point, their chances for success are reduced
significantly. Given that the College offers more selective standards as well as open
admissions options through its four- and two-year role and mission, this in and of
itself is not the problem. Rather, the group concluded that the issue was that there
should be greater differentiation for admission to the baccalaureate division from
those entering through the community college.
While MSC admits some students through the window, Figure 6 documents
that a major shift upward in the academic profile of MSC students has occurred over
the past five years. In AY 2004 – 05, 23% of entering baccalaureate students
achieved an index of 110, Colorado’s highest base score, and the cutoff applied to the
Colorado School of Mines. For AY 2010 – 11, 31% of MSC students scored that
same index or higher. Nearly half of MSC’s admits last year would have met the
minimum index for the University of Colorado at Boulder (103), whereas just five
years ago, slightly more than one-third of the admitted class did. Finally, the average
admissions index for MSC’s AY 2010 – 11 entering class seeking a baccalaureate
degree was 102.9, significantly higher than that for AY 2004 – 05 when it was 97.86.
These data are a clear indication that the College is an attractive, increasingly
competitive option for better-prepared students.
- 26 -
Figure 6. INDEX SCORES OF MSC BACCALAUREATE-SEEKING FIRSTYEAR STUDENTS ENTERING AY 2004-05 AND AY 2010-11
Index Score at
or above:
110
103
101
94
93
92
N
204
310
349
492
506
535
%
23%
34%
39%
55%
56%
59%
N
377
597
665
906
925
971
%
31%
49%
54%
74%
75%
79%
90
576
64%
1,049
85%
MSC - propos ed
86
666
74%
1,179
96%
CSU-Pueblo
85
684
76%
1,203
98%
MSC - current
80
76
Total First-Year
792
832
902
88%
92%
100%
1,212
1,213
1,227
99%
99%
100%
ASC, WSC
MSCD
Avg Index
AY 2004-05
AY 2010-11
97.9
Admissions Index Score for CSM
CU-Boulder
CSU-Ft. C ollins
UNC
CU-DHSC
CU-CS; FLC
102.9
Related Information: Review of baccalaureate student success measures (i.e.,
cumulative grade point average and first-year retention rates) reveal an initial change
at the index band for 90 – 94, and an even more pronounced improvement beginning
with an index score of 95 (Figure 7). Based on an aggregation of five cohorts,
retention rates increased an average of 10 percentage points for students in the index
range of 90 – 94 (Part A). Grade point averages for the first fall and spring semesters
reflect a less significant contrast at that level (Part B). While the gains are even
greater for students having an index of 95 or higher, the working group believes an
increase to that level could be too great in a single step, and therefore recommend
raising MSC’s index from 85 to 90, beginning in AY 2012 - 13.
By raising the College’s index to 90, it should be noted that no additional
students would be denied entrance into a baccalaureate program. Rather, those same
students would be accepted into four-year coursework as part of an expanded
provisional baccalaureate classification with the limits that accompany that
admissions category. The appropriateness of such a move is reinforced by a closer
examination of Figure 7, Part B. That distribution documents that for students with
- 27 -
Figure 7. CCHE INDEX AND MSC STUDENT SUCCESS: RETENTION AND FIRST YEAR GPA OF
BACCALAUREATE-SEEKING FRESHMEN, FALL 2005 THROUGH 2009
A. Retention to second fall
2005
Retention
9
22%
5
20%
175
33%
117
38%
119
50%
184
57%
150
69%
114
73%
CCHE
Index
No Index Score
Under 75
75 - 84
85 - 89
90 - 94
95 - 104
105 - 114
115 and up
N
2006
Retention
6
83%
4
50%
103
44%
81
47%
104
54%
194
57%
139
66%
81%
118
N
2007
Retention
7
71%
5
20%
26
50%
98
43%
135
57%
181
59%
136
63%
132
74%
N
2008
Retention
4
50%
2
0%
26
58%
78
42%
117
54%
59%
229
157
69%
132
81%
N
2009
Retention
11
64%
4
75%
39
56%
107
53%
128
52%
261
67%
217
65%
216
80%
N
Total
Retention
37
57%
20
35%
369
41%
481
44%
603
54%
1049
60%
799
67%
712
78%
N
B. Term GPAs for 1st fall and 1st spring semesters
CCHE
Index
No Index
Score
Under 75
75 - 84
85 - 89
90 - 94
95 - 104
105 - 114
115 and up
N
9
5
175
117
119
184
150
114
2005
Fall
Spr
GPA GPA
0.88
1.70
1.82
1.76
2.04
2.47
2.84
3.34
2.63
1.14
1.78
1.88
2.15
2.42
2.88
3.41
N
6
4
103
81
104
194
139
118
2006
Fall
Spr
GPA GPA
3.06
1.55
1.84
1.70
1.97
2.20
2.67
3.30
3.62
1.13
1.98
1.98
2.11
2.43
2.92
3.30
N
7
5
26
98
135
181
136
132
2007
Fall
Spr
GPA GPA
3.14
2.17
2.05
1.70
2.08
2.31
2.70
3.31
3.35
1.63
2.21
1.67
2.16
2.36
2.81
3.38
- 28 -
N
4
2
26
78
117
229
157
132
2008
Fall
Spr
GPA GPA
2.50
1.92
2.00
1.81
2.00
2.30
2.87
3.30
2.30
0.63
2.16
1.78
2.02
2.42
2.89
3.41
N
11
4
39
107
128
261
217
216
2009
Fall
Spr
GPA GPA
2.86
2.41
1.81
2.01
1.95
2.30
2.72
3.32
2.80
2.45
2.14
1.88
1.99
2.30
2.74
3.37
N
Total
Fall
GPA
Spr
GPA
37
20
369
481
603
1049
799
712
2.47
1.95
1.85
1.80
2.01
2.31
2.76
3.31
2.96
1.52
1.94
1.84
2.08
2.38
2.84
3.37
an index that falls in the 85 – 89 range, the average first and second semester GPAs were
1.80 and 1.84, while those in the 90 – 94 range averaged 2.01 and 2.08 respectively.
These grade point averages are hardly an acceptable level for students seeking a
baccalaureate degree who have no limits on their enrollment choices.
Recommendation 2: Collect high school course data on all first-time freshmen
beginning with the Fall 2011 entering class in order to examine the link between
coursework patterns and academic success in college.
Rationale: Efforts by the working group were seriously hampered by the inability to
analyze high school course-taking patterns. As an example, when data were being
collected in 2006, MSC was able to provide information to several of the 14-county school
districts in order that they might better understand the impact of CCHE’s Higher
Education Admission Requirements prior to its implementation in Fall 2008. In addition
to sharing this information with districts, MSC’s analyses supported the work of Adelman
(1999, 2006) and found the following about course-taking patterns as they relate to the
success at MSC:
For every math course taken in high school by the high school class of 2006 at the
Algebra I level or above:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Student’s index score increased by 5.5 points
Students composite ACT increased by 1 point
Student’s ACT Math score increased by 2 points
Student’s ACT English score increased by 1 point
Student’s GPA increased by .2
Student’s Class Rank INCREASED BY 8.4, nearly an entire decile.
In addition:
•
•
•
•
English requirement: Each course increased the index by 2.7 points.
Science requirement: Each course increased the index by 2.5 points.
Social Science requirement: Each course increased the index by 1.2 points.
Based on a regression-generated algorithm, the predicted index score for students
who completed the 2010 HEAR with Cs or higher was found to be 102.0.
The collection of these data by the admissions staff also is necessary in order for
the college to communicate information to school district officials as they weigh curricular
options on how best to prepare students for success as they move through the educational
pipeline. Further, these data would serve to better inform MSC of students’ academic
- 29 -
preparation in order to develop appropriate strategies to address any needs as they move
towards their goals.
Recommendation 3: Monitor the achievement of students admitted through the
College’s provisional baccalaureate classification and modify the category’s criteria
as needed to enhance student success.
Rationale: Initially implemented in Fall 2010, it is too soon to make an informed
assessment of the success of the provisional baccalaureate admissions classification. It is
important to note, however, that if the College’s admission index is raised to 90, the
number of students admitted as provisional baccalaureates will increase. Using the first
term of implementation of the provisional baccalaureate classification as an example, 158
students were admitted via that category (Figure 8). Based on GPA data for students in
this index range, additional support and tools will be needed for these students if they are
to succeed in college.
Figure 8. CCHE INDEX SCORE DISTRIBUTION OF MSC ENTERING
BACCALAUREATE-SEEKING UNDERGRADUATES
(INCLUDING PROVISIONAL BACCALAUREATES), FALL 2010
Index Range
Under 75
75-84
85-89
90-99
100 and up
Total
Provisional
Baccalaureate
1
151
6
0
0
158
Baccalaureate
2
12
135
338
634
1,121
Related Information: The working group has identified some strategies that potentially
could improve success among this population:
a. Assign student mentors to provisional baccalaureate students. The development
of fundamental study skills and work habits may best take place at a peer-topeer level.
b. Assign each provisional baccalaureate student a faculty advisor from a general
education discipline. Since the majority of their coursework will be within the
general education requirements, it makes sense to connect them with faculty in
those disciplines.
- 30 -
c. Develop supplemental courses that take a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach
to learning. Possibilities include pairing two courses, adding a lab component
to Math or English, and initiating study groups within a specific course.
Any changes should be monitored closely to ensure that they are result in improved
success rates of these students.
Assessment and Placement in Basic Skills
There are advantages to Mesa State having both a four- and two year role and mission.
For example, it makes course sequencing and student tracking much easier than trying to align
curricula across two institutions and exchange data files to evaluate student enrollment behaviors.
But there are complications as well, primary among them being the “swirling” of student
enrollments across all programs and instructional levels. While the curriculum differences are
transparent to students, it also allows for students to migrate far too easily – often in an ill-focused
manner – into coursework before they are ready, and as noted earlier, Adelman found that this
behavior lessens the likelihood for degree completion.
Bailey’s description 15 succinctly summarizes the inherent challenge of placing
students in developmental (often referred to as remedial) education:
To be sure, developmental education assessments are not designed to
predict future college outcomes, but rather to determine the appropriate
course into which a student should be placed (there is a relationship
between whether a student knows pre-college math and how well they will
succeed in college math and in college generally, but they are not the same
thing). Yet, even in terms of determining appropriate remediation in
particular subject areas, assessment scores may do little to reveal what help
students need to be successful in college. Students with the same low score
on a mathematics placement test could face very different problems. For
example, some students may have learned math successfully but scored
poorly because they had been out of school for many years; other students
may never have learned in high school the math being assessed; others may
have taken the appropriate courses but failed to learn the material
nonetheless; still others may be immigrants who had trouble understanding
the English used in the math placement test. Each of these four groups of
students, all with the same assessment test scores, probably need very
different types of services to prepare them to be successful in college-level
mathematics.
15
Bailey, p. 16.
- 31 -
The College has taken some steps to address the admissions blur (e.g., redirecting
underprepared students to the community college and implementing the provisional baccalaureate
admissions category). But once admitted, most students can enroll across institutional
boundaries, and if not appropriately controlled through advising, register for classes that may not
be needed for their major. Further, students can opt to enroll in classes for which they may or
may not be prepared academically, yet many of these “introductory” gatekeeper courses in which
first-year students enroll require a direct connection to the content of high school curricula that
define "readiness."
Recommendation 4: Offer a mandatory, one credit hour laboratory course – ENGL
111L – as an alternative option to English 090 beginning in January 2012.
Rationale: For freshmen entering in Fall 2007 through 2009, those who ignored their
recommended English 090 placement and took English 111 instead, passed their first
English course at a higher rate than those who took the recommended English 090 course
(73% to 63%) (Figure 9). Moreover, the pass rate for students taking English 111 that had
been placed in English 090 was essentially the same as the pass rate for all students, which
was 75%. The working group has concluded that the majority of 090-placed students that
did not take English 111, and probably the ones who did, would improve their learning
and performance with individualized assistance. However, the data suggest that such
students, when motivated, can certainly succeed in for-credit English courses.
This recommendation proposes a one credit writing lab for students identified by
their Accuplacer scores as in need of remediation at the English 090 level. Students who
test below the cut score for English 111, but above the score for placement in English 030
and 060, would be required to register for the English Writing Lab. That registration
would consist of signing up for a particular section of the English Writing Lab. In the
initial lab session students would write a diagnostic essay to determine particular areas of
their writing in need of assistance and set up regular times to meet with a lab instructor to
work on both specific assignments for English 111 and their specific areas of need.
Students who succeed in college-level courses from their first semester will be more likely
to develop a stake in the college and be retained, or as Adelman would describe the
situation, the students have credit hour momentum.
- 32 -
Figure 9. ENGLISH PLACEMENT VS FIRST ENGLISH COURSE TAKEN BY
FRESHMEN ENTERING FALL 2007, 2008, 2009 AFTER MATRICULATION
English Course
Recommended
No remedial
1st English
Course Taken
No English course
Remedial course
College-level
Total
ENGL 030
No English course
At recommendation
Above recommendation
Total
ENGL 060
No English course
At recommendation
Below recommendation
Above recommendation
Total
ENGL 090
No English course
At recommendation
Below recommendation
Above recommendation
Total
ENGL 111
No English course
At recommendation
Below recommendation
Above recommendation
Total
Exempt (see
No English course
note below) Remedial course
College-level
Total
Remedial
No English course
Remedial course
College-level
Total
No Score
No English course
College-level
Total
Assess pending No English course
Remedial course
College-level
Total
A
0
2
631
633
0
7
0
7
0
44
1
18
63
0
92
2
29
123
0
49
1
4
54
0
5
100
105
0
12
13
25
0
0
0
0
2
3
5
B
0
2
572
574
0
7
2
9
0
63
1
23
87
0
118
2
61
181
0
39
1
6
46
0
8
72
80
0
24
35
59
0
0
0
0
2
4
6
Grade
C
D
0
0
3
2
257
74
260
76
0
0
13
8
6
8
19
16
0
0
36
17
4
1
31
12
71
30
0
0
81
39
0
1
22
9
103
49
0
0
16
4
0
0
4
0
20
4
0
0
9
1
39
9
48
10
0
0
12
10
20
8
32
18
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
2
0
3
0
F
0
2
319
321
0
15
13
28
0
49
2
19
70
0
102
1
22
125
0
26
0
3
29
0
7
39
46
0
19
16
35
0
0
0
0
7
7
14
W
0
0
67
67
0
5
0
5
0
14
1
7
22
0
31
0
10
41
0
8
0
0
8
0
4
10
14
0
7
5
12
0
1
1
0
2
3
5
No
Grade
295
0
1
296
10
0
0
10
48
0
0
0
48
60
1
0
0
61
38
0
0
0
38
295
0
0
295
54
1
1
56
1
0
1
34
0
1
35
Total
295
11
1921
2227
10
55
29
94
48
223
10
110
391
60
464
6
153
683
38
142
2
17
199
295
34
269
598
54
85
98
237
1
2
3
34
14
20
68
Pass
Rate
64%
76%
76%
49%
28%
42%
64%
60%
65%
64%
63%
67%
73%
65%
73%
100%
82%
75%
65%
78%
77%
57%
70%
64%
50%
50%
36%
47%
42%
Note: Students are exempt from assessment if they have previously completed a college-level or remedial English
course, earned a baccalaureate or associate transfer degree, are pursuing a vocational certificate, are a concurrently
enrolled high school student taking courses not requiring assessment for placement, an exchange students, or are nondegree-seeking undergraduates.
- 33 -
Related Information: With some minor modifications--perhaps by adding two PCs and
replacing some desks with tables—a classroom space can be created to help students and
their lab instructors develop and execute individualized plans for writing improvement.
Within that space, lab instructors will use diagnostic tools and activities developed by the
English and Developmental faculty to assist students in succeeding in ENGL 111. By
modifying the approach and classroom configuration, students will be more likely to see
the sessions as part of the normal work of students rather than a special “punishment” for
being underprepared for college work.
Students would be cleared to register for English 111 and required to meet with a
lab instructor to examine assignments, and draft, revise and discuss their work as readers
and writers. Those weekly lab sessions would focus primarily on assisting students in
completing their writing and reading assignments for English 111, but the sessions could
also provide the opportunity for students to recognize and seek assistance with reading and
writing demands in their other courses. The sessions would focus on doing the work for
class(es) rather than on receiving additional instruction.
Perhaps most importantly, this change in placement will help underprepared
students recognize what services are available on campus to help them succeed. Most of
the data on retention and course failure reviewed by the committee suggest that students
fail because they do not attend and nor engage in the class through participation,
assignments, and tests, and because they do not seek the assistance available to them
(Figure 10). There is a potential problem in requiring students to seek assistance in that it
can build resentment. On the other hand, the opportunity for students to see the practical
benefits of assistance outside of class can have the effect of helping the students seek
assistance in their other courses once their experience in English 111 is complete. It is
even possible that the English Writing Lab will be a course that appeals to the general
student population.
Among the potential challenges with these changes to placement are staffing,
instructor training, evaluation, quality control and consistency, and logistics of keeping
track of student compliance. The College should recognize these possible issues before
proceeding, but the risk-to-benefit ratio seems minimal in that the likelihood of causing
harm is small and the opportunity for students to take advantage of what Mesa State offers
to them is increased.
The lab sessions could be staffed by professional composition instructors taken
from the current ranks of English 090 teachers. The working group’s recommendation
would be to staff and administer the program through WCCC’s developmental education
program.
- 34 -
Figure 10. ISSUES REPORTED THROUGH EARLY ALERT SYSTEM AND
STUDENTS' FINAL COURSE GRADES
SATISFACTORY Satisfactory
PROGRESS
Unsatisfactory
Not Enough to
Make Decision
Total
ATTENDANCE
Total
Count
Satisfactory Progress by Final Grade Crosstabulation
Final Grade
Passed with a
A
B
C
C or above
NC
D
F
4,916 4,813 3,066
12,795
1 1,100 1,802
%
Count
%
Count
30.5%
148
2.4%
8
29.8%
485
8.0%
20
19.0%
973
16.1%
21
79.3%
1,606
26.5%
49
.0%
.0%
0
6.8%
785
13.0%
10
11.2%
2,645
43.7%
28
.2%
13
.2%
1
%
Count
%
8.1%
5,072
22.8%
20.2%
5,318
23.9%
21.2%
4,060
18.2%
49.5%
14,450
64.9%
.0%
1
.0%
10.1%
1,895
8.5%
28.3%
4,475
20.1%
1.0%
49
.2%
Attendance by Final Grade Crosstabulation
Final Grade
Passed with a
A
B
C
C or above
NC
D
5,044 5,227 3,886
14,157
1
1,761
F
3,449
I
24.8%
28
25.7%
91
19.1%
174
69.7%
293
.0%
0
8.7%
134
17.0%
1,026
.2%
7
1.4%
5,072
22.8%
4.6%
5,318
23.9%
8.9%
4,060
18.2%
14.9%
14,450
64.9%
.0%
1
.0%
6.8%
1,895
8.5%
52.3%
4,475
20.1%
.4%
49
.2%
Participation by Final Grade Crosstabulation
Final Grade
Passed with a
A
B
C
C or above
NC
D
5,069 5,290 4,019
14,378
1 1,863
F
4,255
I
23.2%
3
24.2%
28
18.4%
41
65.9%
72
.0%
0
8.5%
32
19.5%
220
.2%
0
.5%
10
5.4%
116
100.0%
450
.7%
5,072
6.2%
5,318
9.1%
4,060
16.0%
14,450
.0%
1
7.1%
1,895
48.9%
4,475
.0%
49
2.2%
119
25.8%
1,293
100.0%
22,282
22.8%
23.9%
18.2%
64.9%
.0%
8.5%
20.1%
.2%
.5%
5.8%
100.0%
A
5,014
Test by Final Grade Crosstabulation
Final Grade
Passed with a
B
C
C or above
NC
D
5,013 3,402
13,429
1 1,318
F
2,801
I
Dropped
87
W
721
Total
18,403
27.2%
58
27.2%
305
18.5%
658
73.0%
1021
.0%
0
7.2%
577
15.2%
1674
.2%
3
.5%
32
3.9%
572
100.0%
3,879
1.5%
5,072
22.8%
7.9%
5,318
23.9%
17.0%
4,060
18.2%
26.3%
14,450
64.9%
.0%
1
.0%
14.9%
1,895
8.5%
43.2%
4,475
20.1%
.1%
49
.2%
.8%
119
.5%
14.7%
1,293
5.8%
100.0%
22,282
100.0%
Not identified as Count
a problem
%
Yes, identified Count
as a problem
%
Count
%
PARTICIPATION Not identified as Count
a problem
%
Yes, identified Count
as a problem
%
Total
Count
%
TESTS
Total
Not identified as Count
a problem
%
Yes, identified Count
as a problem
%
Count
%
- 35 -
I
35
42
49
46
Dropped
37
W
355
Total
16,125
.2%
82
1.4%
0
2.2%
927
15.3%
11
100.0%
6,058
100.0%
99
.0%
119
.5%
11.1%
1,293
5.8%
100.0%
22,282
100.0%
Dropped
78
W
834
Total
20,322
.4%
41
4.1%
459
100.0%
1,960
2.1%
119
.5%
23.4%
1,293
5.8%
100.0%
22,282
100.0%
Dropped
109
W
1,177
Total
21,832
Figure 10. ISSUES REPORTED THROUGH EARLY ALERT SYSTEM AND
STUDENTS' FINAL COURSE GRADES
(continued)
Final Grade
ASSIGNMENTS
Total
TARDY
Total
OTHER
Total
Not identified as Count
a problem
%
Yes, identified Count
as a problem
%
Count
%
Not identified as Count
a problem
%
Yes, identified Count
as a problem
%
Count
%
Not identified as Count
a problem
%
Yes, identified Count
as a problem
%
Count
%
A
5,035
B
5,212
Passed with a
C
C or above
3,792
14,039
24.7%
37
25.6%
106
18.6%
268
69.0%
411
.0%
0
1.9%
5,072
22.8%
5.5%
5,318
23.9%
13.9%
4,060
18.2%
21.3%
14,450
64.9%
.0%
1
.0%
F
3,513
I
8.4%
187
17.3%
962
.2%
7
9.7%
1,895
8.5%
49.8%
4,475
20.1%
.4%
49
.2%
Tardiness by Final Grade Crosstabulation
Final Grade
Passed with a
A
B
C
C or above
NC
D
5,069 5,310 4,049
14,428
1
1,883
F
4,443
I
22.8%
3
23.9%
8
18.2%
11
65.0%
22
.0%
0
8.5%
12
20.0%
32
.2%
0
.5%
1
5.8%
11
100.0%
78
3.8%
5072
22.8%
10.3%
5318
23.9%
14.1%
4060
18.2%
28.2%
14450
64.9%
.0%
1
.0%
15.4%
1895
8.5%
41.0%
4475
20.1%
.0%
49
.2%
1.3%
119
.5%
14.1%
1293
5.8%
100.0%
22282
100.0%
A
5,070
Other by Final Grade Crosstabulation
Final Grade
Passed with a
B
C
C or above
NC
D
5,303 4,044
14,417
1
1,891
F
4,424
I
W
1,255
Total
22,151
22.9%
2
23.9%
15
18.3%
16
65.1%
33
.0%
0
8.5%
4
20.0%
51
.2%
0
.5%
5
5.7%
38
100.0%
131
1.5%
5,072
22.8%
11.5%
5,318
23.9%
12.2%
4,060
18.2%
25.2%
14,450
64.9%
.0%
1
.0%
3.1%
1,895
8.5%
38.9%
4,475
20.1%
.0%
49
.2%
3.8%
119
.5%
29.0%
1,293
5.8%
100.0%
22,282
100.0%
- 36 -
NC
1
D
1,708
42
49
49
Dropped
91
W
958
Total
20,352
.4%
28
4.7%
335
100.0%
1,930
1.5%
119
.5%
17.4%
1,293
5.8%
100.0%
22,282
100.0%
Dropped
118
W
1,282
Total
22,204
Dropped
114
Recommendation 5: Revise the current procedure for placement in mathematics
courses.
Rationale: Currently students who have earned an ACT math score of 19 or above or an
SAT math score of 460 or above are exempt from taking the mathematics Accuplacer
assessment. Those students are often advised to enroll in College Math (Math 110) or
College Algebra (Math 113), depending on whether the student intends to pursue a
Bachelor of Arts degree or a Bachelor of Science degree.
Some of those students, however, are capable of taking a higher level mathematics
course and others would benefit from a review of intermediate algebra, particularly if
more than one year has passed since taking their last mathematics course. On the other
hand, students who are required to take the mathematics Accuplacer assessment based on
their ACT/SAT scores (or lack thereof), often do so cold, with no review or advanced
preparation for the exam. In some cases, this results in an assessment score and
subsequent recommendation that the student enroll in a mathematics course that is below
their actual (or perceived) mathematics ability. Many students dismiss the placement
recommendation and enroll in a mathematics course at a level above the suggested level.
Pass rates for such students tend to be lower than those for students who enroll in a
mathematics course at the recommended level (Figure 11).
Related Information: Several suggestions follow below that enhance the current
mathematics placement procedure. By February 2012, mathematics and developmental
education faculty members should:
a. Develop more comprehensive guidelines for mathematics placement for
students who are not required to take the Accuplacer mathematics assessment.
Those guidelines should take into consideration ACT/SAT mathematics subscores and/or last mathematics course taken, grade received and years since
taking that course. Providing students with MSC pass rates for students with
various ACT/SAT math sub-scores in select mathematics courses will also
assist students in making informed mathematics placement decisions.
- 37 -
Figure 11. MATH PLACEMENT VS FIRST MATH COURSE TAKEN BY FIRST-YEAR
STUDENTS ENTERING FALL 2007, 2008, AND 2009 AFTER MATRICULATION
Math Course
Recommended
No remedial
required
1st Math Course
Taken
No math course
Remedial course
College-level
Total
No math course
Exempt
Remedial course
College-level
Total
MATH 030
No math course
At recommendation
Above recommendation
Total
MATH 060
No math course
At recommendation
Below recommendation
Above recommendation
Total
MATH 090
No math course
At recommendation
Below recommendation
Above recommendation
Total
MATH 091
No math course
At recommendation
Below recommendation
Above recommendation
Total
MATH
Below recommendation
110/113/105
Above recommendation
Total
MATH
Below recommendation
119/121/130
Total
No math course
Remedial
Remedial course
College-level
Total
No Score
Remedial course
Total
Assess pending No math course
Remedial course
College-level
Total
A
0
15
358
373
0
18
48
66
0
45
13
58
0
37
1
7
45
0
25
1
7
33
0
19
6
5
30
1
0
1
0
0
0
10
9
19
1
1
0
2
1
3
B
0
9
297
306
0
22
51
73
0
91
32
123
0
38
1
7
46
0
47
3
12
62
0
29
5
7
41
0
1
1
0
0
0
25
7
32
0
0
0
0
1
1
C
0
14
302
316
0
11
42
53
0
68
51
119
0
20
1
10
31
0
58
6
13
77
0
31
4
10
45
1
0
1
0
0
0
30
11
41
0
0
0
1
1
2
Grade
D
0
8
129
137
0
16
11
27
0
34
27
61
0
10
1
10
21
0
22
1
8
31
0
22
0
6
28
0
1
1
0
0
0
11
11
22
0
0
0
1
0
1
F
0
19
265
284
0
29
25
54
0
82
67
149
0
32
1
14
47
0
54
2
12
68
0
41
10
14
65
0
0
0
1
1
0
40
18
58
0
0
0
8
2
10
I
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
W
0
4
103
107
0
5
9
14
0
22
32
54
0
9
1
9
19
0
19
0
5
24
0
20
4
7
31
0
0
0
0
0
0
15
4
19
0
0
0
5
4
9
No
Pass
Grade Total Rate
277
277
69
55%
1454 66%
277 1800 65%
285
285
102
50%
186
76%
285
573
67%
107
107
1
344
59%
222
43%
108
673
53%
27
27
146
65%
6
50%
57
42%
27
236
58%
24
24
226
58%
13
77%
57
56%
24
320
58%
21
21
162
49%
29
52%
49
45%
21
261
48%
2
100%
2
50%
4
75%
1
0%
1
0%
99
99
131
50%
1
61
45%
100
291
48%
1
100%
1
100%
30
30
17
18%
9
33%
30
56
23%
Note: Students are exempt from assessment if they have previously completed a college-level or remedial
mathematics course, earned a baccalaureate or associate transfer degree, are pursuing a vocational certificate, are a
concurrently enrolled high school student taking courses not requiring assessment for placement, an exchange students,
or are non-degree-seeking undergraduates.
- 38 -
b. Provide additional placement options for students who feel that their
ACT/SAT/ Accuplacer scores underestimate their math abilities. Suggestions
include using additional tests (created by the MSC mathematics faculty) that
students must pass before being placed in higher level courses than their
ACT/SAT/ Accuplacer scores indicate and/or considering last mathematics
course taken and passed with a C or better together with years since taking that
course. Accurate placement in mathematics is critically important for all
students, but more so for underprepared students. Once students are given
placements, some questions arise as to whether students should have the
freedom to enroll in specific math sections?
1) As long as students enroll in the level of course placement suggested,
any section of that course should be an allowed as an option. However,
students with certain criteria should be strongly encouraged to take
special sections of the class specifically designed for them. The Special
College Algebra class will be used as an example. Students who score
19 or a few points above on the ACT (so marginally qualified) or
students who earned a “C” in Math 091 are urged to take one of the
special sections of the course. These sections meet an extra day per
week for supplemental instruction, doing more application problems,
with smaller class sizes and student assistants who aid in the classroom.
As good as these classes are, students should not be forced to enroll in
such a course. Part of what made these courses successful was the fact
that the students who took them were willing to do the extra work
required to be successful. If we force students into the sections, that
takes away the “willingness” and could well add to a negative attitude
towards the class not currently present. It is quite possible that the
advantage they gain might be lost by such an attitude.
2) Limiting the possible delivery method for the class should be
considered. Students generally do far worse in online courses, for
example, than traditional classrooms (Figure 12). For an example,
Math 030/060 students (combined into one group) had C’s or better on
53.7% of online classes, 48.6% of Emporium classes, and 63.2% of
traditional classes. Students should be advised very carefully about
what each method of delivery entails. A bridge program may be
considered for students testing into Math 030 to orient them to math
and the delivery options. More data regarding the interaction between
student preparation, the course, and the delivery method should be
gathered. Figure 13 shows comparable data for English courses.
- 39 -
Figure 12. GRADE DISTRIBUTION OF SELECTED MATH COURSES FALL 2008 - FALL 2010
Grade
Delivery Format/Location
Online
Course MATH 030
MATH 060
MATH 090
MATH 091
MATH 110
MATH 113
Total
High
S chool
Course MATH 090
MATH 091
MATH 113
Total
Emporium
Course MATH 030
MATH 060
MATH 090
MATH 091
MATH 096
Total
S ite-Based Course MATH 030
MATH 060
MATH 090
MATH 091
MATH 105
MATH 108
MATH 110
MATH 113
Total
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
A
B
C
26
22.6%
18
15.8%
15
12.7%
8
7.5%
7
13.7%
4
6.9%
78
13.9%
5
50.0%
3
27.3%
205
44.2%
213
43.9%
9
7.3%
17
12.8%
10
10.1%
4
9.8%
8
24.2%
48
11.2%
93
17.6%
146
20.3%
198
17.4%
176
14.0%
60
32.3%
52
35.4%
179
15.7%
543
21.4%
1,447
18.9%
19
16.5%
29
25.4%
21
17.8%
23
21.5%
6
11.8%
5
8.6%
103
18.3%
5
50.0%
4
36.4%
165
35.6%
174
35.9%
38
30.6%
52
39.1%
22
22.2%
8
19.5%
14
42.4%
134
31.2%
146
27.7%
169
23.5%
247
21.7%
193
15.4%
54
29.0%
39
26.5%
293
25.7%
548
21.6%
1,689
22.1%
15
13.0%
17
14.9%
12
10.2%
18
16.8%
12
23.5%
6
10.3%
80
14.2%
0
0.0%
3
27.3%
79
17.0%
82
16.9%
6
4.8%
3
2.3%
3
3.0%
3
7.3%
0
0.0%
15
3.5%
83
15.7%
151
21.0%
255
22.4%
277
22.1%
35
18.8%
41
27.9%
295
25.9%
512
20.2%
1,649
21.6%
- 40 -
C or
Better
60
52.2%
64
56.1%
48
40.7%
49
45.8%
25
49.0%
15
25.9%
261
46.4%
10
100.0%
10
90.9%
449
96.8%
469
96.7%
53
42.7%
72
54.1%
35
35.4%
15
36.6%
22
66.7%
197
45.8%
322
61.1%
466
64.7%
700
61.5%
646
51.5%
149
80.1%
132
89.8%
767
67.3%
1,603
63.3%
4,785
62.6%
D
2
1.7%
7
6.1%
9
7.6%
3
2.8%
8
15.7%
4
6.9%
33
5.9%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
9
1.9%
9
1.9%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
1
1.0%
7
17.1%
0
0.0%
8
1.9%
36
6.8%
55
7.6%
114
10.0%
158
12.6%
14
7.5%
2
1.4%
108
9.5%
222
8.8%
709
9.3%
F
I
46
0
40.0% 0.0%
29
1
25.4% 0.9%
42
0
35.6% 0.0%
39
0
36.4% 0.0%
9
0
17.6% 0.0%
32
1
55.2% 1.7%
197
2
35.0% 0.4%
0
0
0.0% 0.0%
1
0
9.1% 0.0%
4
0
0.9% 0.0%
5
0
1.0% 0.0%
48
9
38.7% 7.3%
35
13
26.3% 9.8%
33
12
33.3% 12.1%
7
6
17.1% 14.6%
8
3
24.2% 9.1%
131
43
30.5% 10.0%
134
5
25.4% 0.9%
140
2
19.4% 0.3%
239
0
21.0% 0.0%
319
2
25.4% 0.2%
13
0
7.0% 0.0%
9
0
6.1% 0.0%
186
2
16.3% 0.2%
490
5
19.3% 0.2%
1,530
16
20.0% 0.2%
NC
NG
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
1
0.1%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
1
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
2
0.3%
1
0.1%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
3
0.0%
W
7
6.1%
13
11.4%
19
16.1%
16
15.0%
9
17.6%
6
10.3%
70
12.4%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
2
0.4%
2
0.4%
14
11.3%
13
9.8%
18
18.2%
6
14.6%
0
0.0%
51
11.9%
30
5.7%
55
7.6%
85
7.5%
129
10.3%
10
5.4%
4
2.7%
77
6.8%
213
8.4%
603
7.9%
Total
115
100.0%
114
100.0%
118
100.0%
107
100.0%
51
100.0%
58
100.0%
563
100.0%
10
100.0%
11
100.0%
464
100.0%
485
100.0%
124
100.0%
133
100.0%
99
100.0%
41
100.0%
33
100.0%
430
100.0%
527
100.0%
720
100.0%
1,139
100.0%
1,255
100.0%
186
100.0%
147
100.0%
1,140
100.0%
2,533
100.0%
7,647
100.0%
Figure 13. GRADE DISTRIBUTION OF SELECTED ENGLISH COURSES FALL 2008 - FALL 2010
Grade
Delivery Format/Location
Online
Course ENGL 030
ENGL 060
ENGL 090
ENGL 111
ENGL 112
Total
High
S chool
Course ENGL 090
ENGL 111
ENGL 112
Total
Emporium
Course ENGL 030
ENGL 060
ENGL 090
ENGL 096
Total
S ite-Based Course ENGL 030
ENGL 060
ENGL 090
ENGL 111
ENGL 112
Total
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
Count
%
A
B
C
4
12.5%
21
42.0%
29
28.4%
54
18.9%
72
20.1%
180
21.7%
1
16.7%
245
60.0%
132
68.0%
378
62.2%
3
25.0%
1
7.1%
14
73.7%
1
33.3%
19
39.6%
20
14.8%
91
20.8%
244
20.3%
1,324
31.6%
809
30.1%
2,488
28.8%
4
12.5%
3
6.0%
5
4.9%
65
22.7%
107
29.8%
184
22.2%
3
50.0%
130
31.9%
53
27.3%
186
30.6%
2
16.7%
6
42.9%
2
10.5%
2
66.7%
12
25.0%
38
28.1%
118
27.0%
270
22.4%
1,223
29.2%
865
32.2%
2,514
29.1%
2
6.3%
1
2.0%
7
6.9%
37
12.9%
45
12.5%
92
11.1%
2
33.3%
28
6.9%
9
4.6%
39
6.4%
0
0.0%
1
7.1%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
1
2.1%
24
17.8%
59
13.5%
222
18.4%
594
14.2%
432
16.1%
1,331
15.4%
- 41 -
C or
Better
10
31.3%
25
50.0%
41
40.2%
156
54.5%
224
62.4%
456
55.0%
6
100.0%
403
98.8%
194
100.0%
603
99.2%
5
41.7%
8
57.1%
16
84.2%
3
100.0%
32
66.7%
82
60.7%
268
61.3%
736
61.1%
3,141
75.0%
2,106
78.5%
6,333
73.2%
D
F
3
9.4%
6
12.0%
11
10.8%
18
6.3%
14
3.9%
52
6.3%
0
0.0%
3
0.7%
0
0.0%
3
0.5%
0
0.0%
1
7.1%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
1
2.1%
14
10.4%
46
10.5%
100
8.3%
165
3.9%
88
3.3%
413
4.8%
15
46.9%
18
36.0%
40
39.2%
82
28.7%
91
25.3%
246
29.7%
0
0.0%
1
0.2%
0
0.0%
1
0.2%
6
50.0%
3
21.4%
3
15.8%
0
0.0%
12
25.0%
26
19.3%
89
20.4%
275
22.8%
666
15.9%
378
14.1%
1,434
16.6%
I
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
1
1.0%
3
1.0%
1
0.3%
5
0.6%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
1
8.3%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
1
2.1%
0
0.0%
3
0.7%
11
0.9%
22
0.5%
16
0.6%
52
0.6%
NC
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
1
0.7%
0
0.0%
1
0.1%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
2
0.0%
P
W
Total
0
4
32
0.0% 12.5% 100.0%
0
1
50
0.0% 2.0% 100.0%
0
9
102
0.0% 8.8% 100.0%
0
27
286
0.0% 9.4% 100.0%
0
29
359
0.0% 8.1% 100.0%
0
70
829
0.0% 8.4% 100.0%
0
0
6
0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
0
1
408
0.0% 0.2% 100.0%
0
0
194
0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
0
1
608
0.0% 0.2% 100.0%
0
0
12
0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
0
2
14
0.0% 14.3% 100.0%
0
0
19
0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
0
0
3
0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
0
2
48
0.0% 4.2% 100.0%
0
12
135
0.0% 8.9% 100.0%
0
31
437
0.0% 7.1% 100.0%
0
81 1,204
0.0% 6.7% 100.0%
21
175 4,190
0.5% 4.2% 100.0%
0
96 2,684
0.0% 3.6% 100.0%
21
395 8,650
0.2% 4.6% 100.0%
3) Putting off a math class for some students until their second semester
has merit because these are often their most difficult classes. For other
students, though, taking a math class their first semester so long as the
student is getting support via Supp 100/101 and mentoring might
demonstrate to the student how they can be successful in math courses
in their first term.
c. Provide more information on math placement to professional and faculty
advisors for/during student orientation, or possibly have a “math table” at
orientation specifically for screening and placement.
d. Create or identify online study aids and/or offer a summer/January Term
Accuplacer prep mini-course. Advanced preparation for the mathematics
assessment should result in in mathematics courses.
Recommendation 6: Improve communication about all placement procedures,
placement recommendations, and the implications of course choices.
Rationale: Some students arrive at orientation and are unaware that they will be taking
the Accuplacer placement exams that day. Students who know they will be taking the
placement exam(s) may not be aware of the nature and/or content of the exam, and
consequently may not have had sufficient information to properly prepare for the exam.
In addition, limited guidance is given to students and advisors to determine placement for
students who are exempt from assessment. As mentioned previously, many students
dismiss the placement recommendation and enroll in an English or mathematics course at
a level above the suggested level. Improved communication of placement procedures and
placement recommendations can address the issues listed above and can assist students
and advisors in making informed decisions about appropriate course placement.
Related Information: The College should ensure that students taking the Accuplacer
assessment(s) know in advance that they will be taking a placement test and offer a variety
of resources for students to prepare for that assessment. Suggestions for improving the
communication of placement procedures and course recommendations include:
a. Admissions staff, in collaboration with advising staff and faculty members in
mathematics, English, and developmental education should rework the
communications sent to students with information about student orientation so
that information about placement exams is more prominent and contains a link
to the placement website described below.
- 42 -
b. Faculty members in mathematics, English, and developmental education
should create a comprehensive webpage with detailed information on
placement procedures. The website should include information on who needs
to take an Accuplacer placement exam(s), why students should take the
exam(s), what topics are covered on the exam(s), where to find study resources
for the exam(s), when students should take the exam(s), and options for
appealing placement based on placement exam scores. Accuplacer cutoff
scores with placement recommendations should be posted on the website.
In addition, more detailed guidance on mathematics placement should be
provided for students who are not required to take the Accuplacer placement
exam. In particular, recommendations for math placement based on math
ACT/SAT sub-scores and/or AP Calculus exam scores should be listed.
Recommendations could be supported by posting MSC pass rates for students
with various ACT/SAT/ Accuplacer math scores in select mathematics courses.
This information will assist students in making informed placement decisions.
Course Enrollment of Underprepared Students
Recommendation 7: Develop a recommended course list based on previous student pass
rates grouped according to student developmental needs that identifies lower division
courses where underprepared students are most likely to be successful.
Rationale: Institutional data indicate courses and delivery formats in which
underprepared students should enroll to have a reasonable chance of passing. Figure 14
identifies pass rates for collegiate-level courses in which the students also enrolled in one
or more developmental courses. Grouped by type and degree of developmental need, the
list should be used by advisors of underprepared students.
Related Information: By being aware of the combinations of classes that historically
have been successfully completed, the College can reduce the likelihood of at-risk
students enrolling in high-risk classes. More specifically, the working group has
concluded that students enrolled in classes at the 030/060 levels should be discouraged
from taking online courses unless they receive advising about the challenges associated
with that format (Figures 12 and 13). Data for English classes (ENGL 030-112) show
55.6% of students passed online classes with a C or better, compared to 73.2% of students
in the site-based classes. Similarly, for math classes (MATH 030-113), 46.8% of students
passed online classes with a C or better, while the rate was 62.5% for site-based classes.
- 43 -
Figure 14. COURSE GRADES FOR STUDENTS ENROLLED IN A COURSE AT THE 030/060 LEVEL COMPARED WITH
STUDENTS ENROLLED ONLY IN COLLEGIATE LEVEL COURSES, FALL 2008, 2009, AND 2010
ENGL
Course
N
Pass
Rate
UTEC107
7
29%
MANG201
BIOL210
ECON201
BIOL210L
ENGL222
PHIL105
KINA130
MATH
N
Pass
Rate
READ
N
Pass
Rate
ENGL,READ
MATH,ENGL
MATH,READ
Pass
Rate
Pass
Rate
Pass
Rate
N
N
N
M, E, & R
N
Pass
Rate
Any 030/060
N
N
7
29%
163
82%
54%
50%
87%
90%
480
376
788
339
366
65
79
37%
30%
21%
21%
3%
0%
-3%
6
12
6
14
6
7
10
50%
90%
6
12
6
14
6
7
10
50%
67%
64%
83%
57%
No 030/060
Pass
Rate
50%
67%
64%
83%
57%
Pass
Rate Difference
80%
88%
85%
86%
57%
87%
MAMT106
4
50%
2
50%
6
50%
50
82%
CONC116
5
60%
4
75%
9
67%
83
93%
MUSA220
8
13%
17
53%
25
40%
236
57%
MAMT101
4
50%
6
67%
10
60%
64
77%
CUAR145
5
80%
3
33%
8
63%
100
76%
ENGL131
5
40%
4
75%
9
56%
105
69%
TECI132
1
100%
6
67%
7
71%
34
82%
CUAR129
6
83%
1
0%
7
71%
84
81%
CONC104
1
100%
5
80%
6
83%
61
92%
FLAJ111
1
0%
6
67%
7
57%
88
61%
BUGB211
1
100%
10
100%
11
100%
362
92%
MAMT105
2
100%
4
75%
6
83%
63
71%
32%
26%
17%
17%
14%
13%
11%
10%
8%
4%
-8%
-12%
ENGL112
49
69%
50
70%
1314
73%
3%
MARK231
6
100%
7
86%
443
88%
2%
1
100%
1
- 44 -
0%
Figure 14. COURSE GRADES FOR STUDENTS ENROLLED IN A COURSE AT THE 030/060 LEVEL COMPARED WITH
STUDENTS ENROLLED ONLY IN COLLEGIATE LEVEL COURSES, FALL 2008, 2009, AND 2010 (continued)
ENGL
Pass
Rate
MATH
READ
N
Pass
Rate
N
Pass
Rate
ENGL,READ
MATH,ENGL
MATH,READ
Pass
Rate
Pass
Rate
Pass
Rate
N
N
N
Pass
Rate
Any 030/060
No 030/060
N
Pass
Rate
N
Pass
Rate Difference
Course
N
ACCT201
1
0%
12
42%
1
100%
14
43%
725
72%
MUSA114
2
50%
3
67%
2
100%
7
71%
116
85%
KINA168
1
0%
7
100%
2
100%
10
90%
245
91%
PHYS101
5
60%
13
46%
1
100%
19
53%
287
78%
FLAS112
1
0%
5
60%
1
100%
7
57%
369
70%
KINA156
2
50%
7
86%
1
100%
10
80%
66
92%
ENVS101
4
25%
12
33%
4
25%
20
30%
174
74%
PHYS100
7
29%
17
47%
2
0%
26
38%
341
74%
CSCI100
2
0%
5
60%
3
67%
10
50%
72
83%
TSTC170
3
67%
3
67%
2
50%
8
63%
83
90%
ANTH222
1
0%
11
64%
2
0%
14
50%
182
76%
GEOL111L
4
75%
18
39%
2
50%
24
46%
295
72%
HIST132
7
0%
18
50%
4
25%
29
34%
354
60%
ENGL150
4
50%
19
53%
3
67%
26
54%
282
78%
KINA167
2
50%
4
75%
1
0%
7
57%
110
79%
GEOL111
4
25%
19
47%
2
50%
25
44%
301
65%
ARTS151
1
0%
10
70%
1
0%
12
58%
160
79%
BUGB249
1
0%
6
50%
2
100%
9
56%
89
75%
TSTC101
3
67%
1
100%
2
50%
6
67%
58
84%
CUAR136
1
100%
4
75%
1
0%
6
67%
79
82%
TSTC130
3
67%
2
100%
2
50%
7
71%
84
87%
GEOL107
3
67%
6
67%
1
0%
10
60%
77
74%
CUAR125
6
83%
1
100%
1
0%
8
75%
86
87%
TSTC110
4
50%
2
100%
2
50%
8
63%
84
74%
THEA153
1
100%
4
50%
2
100%
7
71%
115
81%
CADT101
3
67%
10
90%
1
0%
14
79%
69
84%
CUAR101
6
67%
3
67%
1
0%
10
60%
121
64%
- 45 -
N
M, E, & R
29%
14%
1%
26%
13%
12%
44%
36%
33%
28%
26%
26%
25%
25%
22%
21%
20%
20%
18%
16%
15%
14%
12%
11%
9%
5%
4%
Figure 14. COURSE GRADES FOR STUDENTS ENROLLED IN A COURSE AT THE 030/060 LEVEL COMPARED WITH
STUDENTS ENROLLED ONLY IN COLLEGIATE LEVEL COURSES, FALL 2008, 2009, AND 2010 (continued)
ENGL
MATH
N
Pass
Rate
N
Pass
Rate
CUAR156
1
100%
5
80%
MATH113
22
MATH110
6
Course
READ
ENGL,READ
MATH,ENGL
MATH,READ
N
Pass
Rate
N
Pass
Rate
Pass
Rate
1
100%
7
86%
52
79%
86%
1
0%
30
47%
1723
61%
3
100%
1
0%
10
80%
827
66%
-7%
14%
-14%
12
83%
N
Pass
Rate
36%
7
83%
ENGL111
306
71%
CISB210
4
75%
2
0%
KINA116
3
100%
1
100%
Any 030/060
N
Pass
Rate
No 030/060
N
Pass
Rate Difference
3
67%
321
72%
3007
76%
5%
1
0%
7
43%
172
83%
40%
6
100%
61
95%
-5%
28
71%
212
92%
21%
33%
32%
20%
18%
-4%
2
100%
4
75%
22
68%
1
SOCO260
2
50%
29
21%
4
25%
5
20%
40
23%
462
56%
KINE205
3
33%
6
50%
1
100%
2
50%
12
50%
144
82%
ANTH201
2
50%
22
55%
1
100%
4
0%
29
48%
431
68%
BIOL209L
6
67%
46
59%
2
0%
2
50%
56
57%
816
75%
ARTE115
1
0%
15
67%
1
100%
2
100%
19
68%
185
64%
CRMJ201
3
33%
12
67%
3
33%
1
0%
19
53%
274
83%
MUSA116
2
50%
4
75%
2
100%
1
100%
9
78%
127
83%
HSCI101
2
50%
3
67%
2
0%
3
0%
10
30%
37
81%
POLS261
1
0%
4
50%
1
0%
1
0%
7
29%
90
62%
SPCH101
4
25%
20
55%
1
100%
5
60%
30
53%
274
73%
51%
34%
20%
CONC101
5
60%
5
60%
1
100%
12
67%
92
88%
21%
HIST102
12
17%
46
37%
11
FINE101
5
60%
13
46%
2
30%
29%
4
3
100%
1
1
100%
KINA180
100%
1
1
100%
100%
1
N
Pass
Rate
KINA112
MUSP158
100%
N
M, E, & R
1
1
100%
0%
100%
1
100%
0%
1
0%
70
27%
674
57%
0%
1
0%
21
43%
252
71%
7
6
86%
41
71
90%
100%
100%
- 46 -
97%
31%
5%
5%
-3%
Figure 14. COURSE GRADES FOR STUDENTS ENROLLED IN A COURSE AT THE 030/060 LEVEL COMPARED WITH
STUDENTS ENROLLED ONLY IN COLLEGIATE LEVEL COURSES, FALL 2008, 2009, AND 2010 (continued)
ENGL
Course
N
Pass
Rate
GEOL106
MUSA113
READ
MATH
Pass
Rate
N
Pass
Rate
8
3
38%
1
0%
N
33%
ENGL,READ
MATH,ENGL
MATH,READ
Pass
Rate
N
Pass
Rate
Pass
Rate
0%
1
100%
N
1
1
N
0%
M, E, & R
N
2
1
Pass
Rate
0%
100%
Any 030/060
N
Pass
Rate
No 030/060
N
Pass
Rate Difference
12
6
25%
97
30
67%
50%
90%
42%
40%
39%
33%
25%
23%
16%
3%
GEOG103
8
63%
31
26%
2
0%
2
0%
4
0%
47
28%
454
67%
CISB101
5
20%
29
55%
1
100%
1
100%
5
20%
41
49%
414
82%
ARTE118
10
10%
29
66%
1
100%
1
100%
3
0%
44
50%
405
75%
MUSL137
1
100%
4
75%
1
100%
1
0%
3
67%
10
70%
99
93%
KINA165
3
100%
6
83%
2
0%
1
100%
1
100%
13
77%
67
93%
MASS110
3
33%
27
78%
4
75%
1
100%
5
100%
40
78%
520
81%
BIOL105L
1
100%
13
54%
1
0%
1
0%
1
100%
17
53%
280
76%
BIOL105
1
100%
13
54%
1
0%
1
0%
1
0%
17
47%
295
69%
SOCO144
11
18%
23
61%
2
50%
5
0%
1
100%
42
43%
345
63%
SOCO264
5
80%
28
61%
3
0%
2
50%
1
0%
39
56%
388
72%
BIOL209
7
29%
48
65%
2
0%
2
50%
1
0%
60
57%
850
66%
HIST101
16
19%
43
40%
2
50%
5
20%
1
0%
67
33%
791
58%
GEOL105
10
40%
23
61%
1
0%
6
50%
2
0%
42
50%
342
62%
KINA127
3
100%
1
100%
1
100%
1
0%
2
100%
8
88%
152
96%
MUSA130
2
50%
6
67%
2
100%
1
100%
1
100%
12
75%
123
83%
GEOL100
7
0%
20
45%
1
0%
3
0%
1
0%
32
28%
219
69%
DANC115
7
43%
11
64%
1
0%
4
75%
1
0%
24
54%
335
82%
THEA141
10
40%
16
63%
2
50%
4
25%
1
0%
33
48%
251
80%
KINA141
2
100%
2
50%
1
100%
1
100%
1
100%
7
86%
51
86%
KINA164
4
75%
5
80%
2
100%
8
88%
2
100%
21
86%
114
86%
31%
1%
0%
KINA121
2
100%
5
100%
2
100%
1
100%
11
100%
153
93%
-7%
1
- 47 -
100%
23%
22%
20%
15%
10%
25%
12%
9%
8%
41%
28%
Figure 14. COURSE GRADES FOR STUDENTS ENROLLED IN A COURSE AT THE 030/060 LEVEL COMPARED WITH
STUDENTS ENROLLED ONLY IN COLLEGIATE LEVEL COURSES, FALL 2008, 2009, AND 2010 (continued)
ENGL
MATH
N
Pass
Rate
READ
MATH,ENGL
MATH,READ
Pass
Rate
N
Pass
Rate
N
Pass
Rate
M, E, & R
BIOL102
3
67%
8
75%
5
40%
1
0%
2
0%
19
53%
104
64%
BIOL102L
3
67%
7
71%
5
60%
1
0%
2
0%
18
56%
101
60%
KINE200
9
22%
21
33%
1
100%
1
100%
2
0%
1
0%
35
31%
447
69%
ARTE102
5
80%
18
72%
2
100%
4
75%
2
0%
2
50%
33
70%
225
84%
POLS101
11
36%
34
47%
4
0%
2
0%
12
33%
5
20%
68
37%
626
71%
HIST131
17
24%
89
43%
2
50%
2
0%
7
57%
4
75%
121
41%
1385
69%
KINA101
1
100%
6
83%
1
100%
2
100%
2
0%
1
0%
13
69%
36
89%
ARTE101
11
55%
25
68%
3
100%
3
33%
1
0%
1
0%
44
61%
362
77%
CSCI106
8
75%
13
77%
1
0%
1
0%
6
67%
2
50%
31
68%
312
74%
MUSP150
2
100%
4
100%
1
100%
1
0%
4
75%
1
100%
13
85%
125
90%
KINA166
5
100%
8
100%
2
100%
2
100%
3
100%
1
100%
21
100%
73
97%
GEOL103
7
86%
25
56%
1
100%
13
38%
2
0%
1
0%
49
53%
380
86%
SPCH102
3
67%
15
60%
2
50%
1
100%
1
100%
1
100%
23
65%
438
80%
KINA162
2
50%
6
100%
1
100%
1
100%
1
100%
1
0%
12
83%
90
92%
GEOL104
10
30%
28
64%
1
0%
2
0%
5
40%
1
0%
1
0%
48
48%
392
75%
BUGB101
20
50%
48
58%
2
0%
3
67%
10
10%
1
100%
2
0%
86
49%
444
73%
KINE100
90
37%
287
57%
20
60%
21
43%
67
28%
13
62%
25
24%
523
48%
2878
72%
BIOL101
18
22%
69
65%
2
50%
4
25%
9
33%
2
0%
3
67%
107
52%
1113
75%
MUSA266
10
40%
44
61%
3
67%
2
50%
3
33%
3
33%
2
0%
67
54%
540
76%
PSYC150
31
32%
126
57%
5
40%
3
0%
19
26%
4
75%
2
50%
190
49%
1445
70%
PSYC233
11
36%
87
59%
4
50%
2
0%
7
29%
1
0%
3
0%
115
51%
1270
72%
FLAS111
4
50%
63
52%
1
0%
1
100%
6
17%
2
100%
3
33%
80
50%
1054
67%
BUGB105
17
59%
39
74%
1
100%
1
100%
6
67%
3
67%
4
25%
71
68%
540
83%
BIOL101L
18
33%
68
74%
2
100%
4
25%
9
56%
2
0%
3
67%
106
62%
1114
77%
- 48 -
N
No 030/060
N
N
Pass
Rate
Any 030/060
Course
N
Pass
Rate
ENGL,READ
Pass
Rate
N
Pass
Rate
N
Pass
Rate Difference
12%
5%
37%
15%
34%
27%
20%
15%
7%
6%
-3%
33%
15%
9%
27%
24%
24%
22%
22%
21%
20%
17%
16%
15%
Figure 14. COURSE GRADES FOR STUDENTS ENROLLED IN A COURSE AT THE 030/060 LEVEL COMPARED WITH
STUDENTS ENROLLED ONLY IN COLLEGIATE LEVEL COURSES, FALL 2008, 2009, AND 2010 (continued)
ENGL
MATH
N
Pass
Rate
READ
N
Pass
Rate
ENGL,READ
MATH,ENGL
MATH,READ
N
Pass
Rate
Pass
Rate
Pass
Rate
M, E, & R
No 030/060
Course
N
KINE265
13
85%
33
85%
4
100%
5
80%
9
44%
1
0%
4
50%
69
77%
545
90%
KINA126
12
42%
52
83%
4
75%
1
0%
14
64%
3
100%
3
33%
89
72%
644
85%
KINA129
20
70%
39
77%
3
100%
1
100%
9
56%
3
67%
6
83%
81
74%
475
86%
SUPP101
60
73%
140
79%
21
100%
32
84%
51
78%
10
90%
27
59%
341
79%
1039
89%
KINA128
9
78%
20
70%
2
50%
2
100%
8
75%
1
100%
3
67%
45
73%
306
83%
KINA115
14
86%
17
88%
1
100%
4
75%
3
67%
2
100%
1
100%
42
86%
342
95%
14%
13%
12%
10%
10%
10%
Total
856
50%
3077
63%
173
69%
147
58%
479
45%
76
59%
144
46%
4952
59%
58658
76%
18%
N
N
N
Note: Courses with 10 or fewer enrollments in the "Any 030/060" column are not shown in the table but are included in the totals.
Only courses that had enrollments by students taking 030/060 course are shown.
- 49 -
Pass
Rate
Any 030/060
Pass
Rate
N
Pass
Rate
N
Pass
Rate Difference
Recommendation 8: Create a one-credit SUPP100 class for students testing into two or
more 030/060 developmental courses.
Rationale: While not necessary for success, a significant proportion of underprepared
MSC students enroll in its transition to college course (i.e., Introduction to Higher
Education (SUPP 101) or its pre-fall semester version, Freshman Year Initiative (FYI).
Generally speaking, students associated with the course, and pass with a grade of ‘C’ or
higher, are being retained at a higher rates, earning higher grade point averages, and
completing more credit hours than if they had not enrolled (Figure 15). That said, some
students simply are not ready to focus on college. For example, a unit on time
management taught in SUPP 101 is of limited value if one doesn’t understand the concept
of time management and why it is important to college (and life) success.
As previous data have shown, students who are enrolled in a course at the 030/060
level, especially in two or more areas, have low pass rates when taking other general
education course work. Another credit-bearing class, tentatively titled Pathways or Bridge
to Success, could offer students an additional 100-level course option, enabling them to
qualify for financial aid, and take a class that prepares them to undertake college-level
coursework.
SUPP 100 and SUPP 101 should be based on a holistic approach toward to
increasing the potential of academic success in the higher education context, with a cohort
of adult learners. As such, SUPP 100 and SUPP 101 should not be confused with
developmental courses (any more than any college course is developmental). Indeed, the
material should be taught using andragogical techniques and tactics, as opposed to
pedagogical, and the topics can and should be selected based upon the criteria of what it
takes to be successful in college. Andragogy is based on crucial assumptions about the
characteristics of adult learners that are different from the assumptions about child
learners. In short, supplemental courses should be taught in an adult manner since its
students are adult learners of all types.
Related Information: This course could be offered in the first mod, allowing students to
take SUPP101 in the second mod. One requirement of SUPP 100 could be that students
would meet with classmates and instructor at least once again during second mod to check
in, reflect, and report on progress. This program would be designed for the traditional
college student who desires to be part of the campus life. Course content would include:
- 50 -
Figure 15. Term GPA and Retention of New Freshmen Falls 2007 through 2010 Including Enrollees in SUPP 101
Took
Fall Supp 101? Session
2007 No
Yes
Full Term
FYI
2008 No
Yes
2009 No
Yes
2010 No
Yes
Passed?
Did not pass
C or Better
Did not pass
C or Better
Full Term
Did not pass
C or Better
FYI
Did not pass
C or Better
Second Mod Did not pass
C or Better
Full Term
Did not pass
C or Better
FYI
Did not pass
C or Better
Second Mod Did not pass
C or Better
Full Term
Did not pass
C or Better
FYI
Did not pass
C or Better
Second Mod Did not pass
C or Better
N HS GPA ACT Index
1,070 2.96
20
96
18 2.32
16
77
31 2.69
17
83
13 3.00
18
91
237 2.93
20
94
Need Develop. 1st Term 1st Term Return Spring Spring Spring Return 2nd Fall 2nd Fall 2nd Fall
GPA
Hours
GPA Hours
GPA
Hours
#
%
#
%
#
%
578
54%
2.21
14
807 75% 2.34
28
524
49% 2.58
42
17
94%
0.37
8
9 50% 0.37
16
1
6% 0.31
25
25
81%
2.37
12
26 84% 2.06
26
19
61% 2.09
38
10
77%
1.25
11
10 77% 1.43
23
5
38% 1.55
33
137
58%
2.42
16
212 89% 2.32
30
144
61% 2.36
43
991
14
24
15
241
2
8
3.02
2.51
2.88
2.63
2.96
2.47
3.03
20
13
17
20
20
16
19
98
76
87
90
95
76
95
456
13
19
8
115
2
6
46%
93%
79%
53%
48%
100%
75%
2.33
0.82
2.46
0.92
2.48
0.93
2.70
15
11
12
13
16
14
14
755
7
23
11
212
1
6
76%
50%
96%
73%
88%
50%
75%
2.55
1.45
1.87
1.09
2.31
0.00
2.31
28
21
25
22
30
15
28
521
2
13
5
150
0
5
53%
14%
54%
33%
62%
0%
63%
2.61
0.25
1.80
1.95
2.42
42
30
37
35
45
2.37
42
1,297
27
54
14
281
5
11
2.99
2.37
2.62
2.62
3.00
2.42
3.08
21
16
17
20
20
17
18
98
77
85
92
97
83
93
559
24
42
5
137
2
9
43%
89%
78%
36%
49%
40%
82%
2.34
0.70
2.48
1.03
2.42
1.10
2.44
15
12
14
13
16
9
13
1,056
14
50
10
250
3
10
81%
52%
93%
71%
89%
60%
91%
2.47
0.79
1.94
1.50
2.41
1.15
2.14
29
21
26
25
30
21
26
719
3
30
5
185
1
6
55%
11%
56%
36%
66%
20%
55%
2.63
1.09
1.78
1.79
2.51
1.73
1.62
42
33
36
37
45
36
38
1,399
48
91
23
400
10
4
3.00
2.59
2.70
2.62
3.02
2.44
2.82
20
17
18
19
20
16
16
98
82
85
88
97
77
82
637
41
71
16
212
9
4
46%
85%
78%
70%
53%
90%
100%
2.26
0.90
2.51
0.63
2.60
0.81
2.30
15
11
14
13
17
11
14
1,122
36
83
13
370
7
4
80%
75%
91%
57%
93%
70%
100%
- 51 -
•
•
•
•
Implementing self-directed learning principles, why it is important to learn, how
to navigate through information, relate learning to personal interests and goals,
develop a readiness to learn, overcoming inhibitions, behaviors and beliefs that
affect learning. In SUPP 100, the instructor could help the student answer the
question, “Am I a reluctant learner who expects someone else to direct and be
responsible for my personal learning?”
Applying specific strategies to be successful at Mesa State College and/or
WCCC. For example: Classroom civility (successful behaviors in college
classes = attend, be on time, keep cell phone off, accept diversity, etc.); share
data that suggest the relationship between attendance and learning as well as
grades.
Understanding financial aid and assisting students with a plan that limits the
debt that they take on.
Developing a personal success plan to complete at least 20 hours by the end of
the first year and/or completing a degree.
Because of the importance of this course to the success of students falling into this
category, the courses should be taught by tenure-track faculty, instead of late hired adjunct
faculty. A cadre of teachers should be created who philosophically believe in helping
students become successful. Given the reality that many departments don’t have full time
faculty to give up to another department, part-time faculty who are hired to teach
supplemental instruction courses must believe in the value of assisting underprepared
students and be provided professional development. Course enrollment should be held at
20, as originally designed.
•
•
•
A one credit SUPP 100 would allow students to receive the extra mentoring and
assistance needed to become college-ready, while at the same time, allow them
to participate in SUPP101 with other students who may be able to model more
appropriate college ready behaviors and attitudes.
Using full-time faculty would allow the teacher to become the mentor or advisor
for the students. Students would “get connected” to full-time faculty and begin
to develop a four-year “mindset”.
This course would differ from developmental education because it would help
students learn about college, and what is required to succeed, rather than merely
content preparation.
- 52 -
Recommendation 9: Limit the number of opportunities to two for students in lower
division courses to pass a course.
Rationale: Students who fail the same course repeatedly may not know what they need to
do to be successful in the course. Students repeat courses but do not change their behavior
so that they can pass the class. Therefore, this mechanism would give the student a chance
to discuss with an advisor what skills s/he needs to be successful in that class. It may be
the case that s/he has other issues that need to be addressed (e.g., learning disabilities). It
could also be that the student is following a course of study that is not appropriate for
him/her and other options such as a change in major or career path could be discussed with
the advisor.
As shown in Figure 16, 98% of students who graduated in Fall 2010 had not repeated any
courses more than 2 times, suggesting that students who repeat courses 3 or more times are
not on a successful path to degree completion.
Figure 16. FALL 2010 DEGREE-COMPLETERS BY NUMBER OF TIMES
THEY MOST REPEATED A COURSE
# Times Repeated
Course
1
#
%
212
84%
2
3
4
36
3
1
14%
1.2%
0.4%
TOTAL
252
100%
Related Information: After their second attempt an advising hold will be put on their
registration account in Banner, and they will be required to go to their advisor to discuss
the class they are trying to pass. When they meet with their advisor they can make a plan
to either change their behavior so that they might be successful if they take the class again
and/or discuss possible changes to their course of study, major, or career path.
- 53 -
Recommendation 10: Require completion of all developmental education requirements
during the first 30 hours of enrollment.
Rationale: CCHE’s Remedial Education Policy (Attachment 2) specifies that students are
“To take the appropriate remedial course work no later than the end of their freshmen year
(i.e., within the first 30 semester hours) if a student is identified as needing remediation”
(Section 2.04.02).
Related Information: A segment of underprepared MSC/WCCC students delay enrolling
in these courses, but it is unclear what the motivation is for this enrollment behavior.
Perhaps it is due to a lack of understanding of the importance of meeting this expectation at
the earliest stage of their academic career as this coursework lays the foundation for
subsequent classes. It also could be due to a student lacking a clear direction on how to
accomplish his/her goals, often leading students to “jump” from course to course within a
semester and/or across semesters – often aimlessly – in order to delay or avoid completing
developmental courses. As they “self-place,” they often enroll in classes above where they
assess and/or end up repeating classes numerous times. In either case, the end result is the
same. Not only has time and money been lost, but the student has also not benefitted from
the structural foundation and course sequencing often needed to be successful.
A hold will be placed on a student’s account if the developmental hours have not been
fulfilled when 30 hours have been earned. If a student demonstrates satisfactory academic
progress is being made at the time 30 hours is completed, but developmental requirements
have not yet been met, the student must meet with his/her academic advisor to develop a
plan for completion of the developmental requirements by no later than 60 semester hours.
Recommendation 11: Ensure consistency and that all lower division courses attain the
same learning objectives for a course, regardless of delivery format or location.
Rationale: Mesa State College must ensure that, regardless of delivery method, the
learning objectives for a particular course are the same and are being achieved. The Higher
Learning Commission will be expecting to see these kinds of comparisons during the
reaccreditation visit in 2013. The growing number of online and hybrid courses highlights
concerns about consistency and the potential for academic misconduct. The growing
number of college courses offered at the high school level raises concerns about rigor and
supervision. In looking at the grade distributions for high school concurrent students by
locations, the percentage of students who receive a C or better in a class given at the high
school ranges from 89% - 100% with a majority of the courses having 100% of students
- 54 -
passing with a C or better. This compares to percentages of students who pass with a C or
better on site ranging from 10%-92%. While students in these courses are highly motivated
and have regular access to their professors, it is possible that the level of rigor in the
college courses taught at the high school is not the same as the level of rigor of college
courses taught at the college. More oversight of these programs will likely ease concerns
about consistencies in both delivery and rigor.
Related Information: Instructors of college level courses in the high school need to have
a contact person at Mesa State College. The contact person, on behalf of the department,
will specify what textbook to use and will provide a syllabus with learning objectives. The
high school instructor will get all assessments/assignments approved by the contact person.
Recommendation 12: Encourage faculty members to motivate students to attend and
actively participate in class throughout the semester by implementing and/or
continuing efforts that include: a) engaging students in activities at the beginning of
the class that increases their likelihood of attending and actively participating in class;
b) articulating a clear, specific attendance policy for the course;
c) participating in Early Alert System a minimum of once each semester; and
d) providing students with timely feedback on assignments and tests.
Rationale: A more consistent explanation and enforcement of attendance policies provides
an opportunity to direct students to a more active engagement with their education. Raising
expectations for attendance and participation makes clear to students that college is
important, that general education is more than simply a gateway to their vocational training
or academic degree, and that professionalization is more about student responsibilities as
informed citizens than it is about simply getting a job. Attendance policies are not
babysitting. Rather they let students know that they now face the very adult fact that
actions have consequences, that they have responsibilities beyond simply paying their
tuition bill, and that while they have every right not to go to class, faculty members won't
pretend that that doesn't matter and they won't neglect their responsibilities to hold students
to a high standard.
Research into student success has documented that incoming freshmen belief systems and
their assumptions about how to “be” a college student are often in opposition to the actual
habits and behaviors that lead to academic success. Through review of outcome data from
the College’s Office of Institutional Research, the Working Group has concluded that two
college-level behaviors are critical to freshman success in their first year: attendance and
participation. This is an obvious statement to faculty and upper class students; however,
research into freshman belief systems shows they do not have this awareness. Further, this
recommendation differentiates between students involved in class activities which is
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crucial to achievement of course goals in contrast with the mere presence of students in a
classroom but not participating.
Related Information: The College’s Attendance Policy, found in the section of the
Catalog on Registration Policies and Procedures, is a reasonable, general statement of
expectations with which students should become familiar as entering undergraduates:
Students are expected to attend all sessions of each course in which
they are enrolled. Failure to do so may result in a lowered grade or
exclusion from class at the discretion of the instructor. At any time
during a semester, a student who fails to attend regularly may be
dropped from class rolls. An instructor may initiate a drop or
withdrawal for a student who fails to attend classes regularly.
(“Drops” are up to 15% of class elapsed; “withdrawals” are up to the
mid-point of the class.)
Attendance during the first two class periods is required. Any
instructor has the option of dropping any student who fails to attend
the first two class meetings so that other students may enroll. Not all
instructors will exercise this option; therefore, a student should not
assume that non-attendance will result in an automatic drop from a
class.
It is the responsibility of the student to arrange in advance with
instructors for making up missed classwork, assignments or tests
incurred because of a student’s participation in required field trips,
intercollegiate sports, or other trips. The coach, instructor, or other
official whose activities require students to be absent from classes
should give each participating student an “official” roster and
schedule of events for the semester or other appropriate time span
which may result in classes being missed. The student is responsible
for contacting the instructor of each of his/her classes affected at
least 24 hours in advance of each class that will be missed.
Absences due to serious illness or strictly unavoidable circumstances
may be excused if the instructor in charge of the course is satisfied as
to the cause. In the case of an emergency, the student may contact
the Office of the Vice President for Student Services, and that office
will contact the student’s instructors to inform them of the
emergency.
Being excused for an absence in no way relieves the student of
responsibility for completing all work associated with the course to
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the satisfaction of the instructor. Being late to a class or leaving a
class early is disruptive and is not acceptable except in extreme
circumstances or with prior approval of the instructor. Prior
approval is also required of the instructor if a student wishes to bring
a guest (or a child) to class.
Students who receive financial aid and cease attending all classes
without formally withdrawing may need to repay a portion of their
financial aid.
Beyond the Catalog statement, however, members of the Working Group believe it is
important for faculty members to go beyond a general attendance statement and
recommends the following actions:
a. While not requiring faculty members to take attendance, faculty members should
identify ways to engage students in courses that, by extension, increases the
likelihood that students will attend and participate in classes. An explanation of the
relevancy of the course and how it fits into the broader curricular structure also is
encouraged. A process has been initiated to identify and disseminate to faculty
members examples of activities that more fully engage students in class early in the
semester and particularly in lower division courses.
b. Clearly articulate the attendance policy specific to the course and discuss it with
students during the first class meeting. As part of the syllabus information, the
instructor should avoid student confusion by indicating their intent (or not) to
withdraw students for non-attendance. It also would be beneficial for faculty to
underscore the potential impact of their absences on their financial aid. Further,
faculty members are encouraged to use the following language on syllabi to convey
the relationship between attendance and academic success:
Sample syllabus language: Institutional research shows that class attendance
and participation are closely linked to your success as a student (i.e., research
shows that the better your attendance, the better your grade is likely to be). You
are required to attend this class regularly, adhering to the attendance policy
established in this course syllabus by your instructor. When you are always
present, you will understand the course content and how it contributes to your
growth as a college student. Additionally, you should review the Attendance
Policy of the institution’s catalog (found in the section on Registration Policies
and Procedures) for further details on expectations.
By August 1, 2011, the Working Group will provide faculty members with an
example of more detailed attendance language that can be appended to a syllabus.
c. Modify the current implementation of the Early Alert System. Beginning in Fall
2011, faculty members will have two optional and one mandatory reporting
opportunities for providing feedback to students until they have earned 30 course
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credit hours. Rosters for optional reporting will be available after three weeks and
eight weeks of classes, while the current reporting after five weeks will be required
of all faculty members with students identified on an Early Alert roster. A list of
faculty members not participating in Early Alert at the five-week point will be
reported to Academic Department Heads.
d. Provide students with timely responses to assignments, projects, and tests. Students
cannot be successful if there is a significant lag in receiving feedback on their work.
In most cases, work should be graded and returned to students within one week of
submission.
Recommendation 13: Place an advising hold for the following semester on all students
who choose to self-place in a mathematics course after being initially advised to enroll
in a lower course.
Rationale: Some students choose to self-place in a mathematics course that is at a higher
level than that recommended by placement methodologies. While some students do so and
are successful in the class, data indicate that students who choose to take a mathematics
course that is at a higher level than recommended by math placement procedures pass at a
lower rate than students who enroll in a mathematics course at the recommended level
(Figure 11). Failure to pass a mathematics course typically indicates insufficient
knowledge of prerequisite material and/or inadequate effort on the part of the student. In
either case, students need advising on how to proceed with mathematics course placement.
In order to enroll in a mathematics course that is at a level higher than that
recommended by placement methodologies, a student will be required to sign a document
acknowledging that an advising hold will be placed on them for the following semester and
that if they fail to earn a grade of C or better in the course, they will be required to follow
the placement recommendation. Approximately one week before registration begins for
the following semester, students operating under this type of advising hold would need
verification from their current math professor that they are passing the course in order for
the hold to be released so that they may register before final grades are issued. Students
who do not obtain such verification or who do not earn a grade of C or better in the course
must meet with an academic advisor or the appropriate Department Head to have the hold
released. Such students will then only be allowed to enroll in a mathematics course that is
at or below recommended placement.
Related Information: In general, students will be allowed one attempt to pass a
mathematics course that is at a level above that recommended by placement methodologies.
If a student is not successful in passing such a course, they will then be required to follow
the mathematics placement recommendation. Students who fail to pass the course may
appeal to the appropriate Department Head for a determination as to whether they may
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reenroll in the course or will be required to take a lower level course. The Department Head
may also stipulate whether certain course delivery methods may be excluded or required
based on the student’s performance history. It is expected that any successful appeal will
include detailed strategies and commitments to improving the student’s performance in the
course. As a part of deliberations, the Department Head considering the appeal will consult
with the faculty member(s) that taught the course in question to determine root causes of
the failure.
Academic Support for Underprepared Students
Recommendation 14: Develop and implement more intensive advising strategies for
provisional baccalaureate students and those enrolled in English or Math 030 or 060
courses.
Rationale: While the working group initially considered setting limits on the number of
credit hours in which underprepared students should enroll, the group also had concerns
that such an approach may yield some concerns. Among them were that limited credit
hours would a) retard what is already a slower timeline for matriculation; b) limit the
flexibility of advisors placing students in developmental and college courses; c) increase
the likelihood that students will skip developmental courses in order to avoid the 12 hour
rule; d) limit access to college courses and lessen connection/commitment to the college;
and e) make it more difficult for students to adjust their schedules during the semester. If
students need 12 credit hours to stay at full-time, the limit will make it impossible to drop
courses. In addition, they would have to hit exactly the credit limit to be financial aideligible, and based on Adelman’s research, this could challenge students’ ability to meet
the 20 credit hour threshold by the end of their first year. Thus, an alternative approach –
more intensive advising – was recommended.
Related Information: The working group believes that students would benefit from
detailed, supplemental advising sheets to let students know what current avenues of success
exist for students in 030 and 060, including credit hour numbers, recommended courses,
and support services. The information also could be used by advisors to better direct
students to successful courses and credits (see recommendation 7 above). The target would
be that all first-time students earn at least 20 credit hours by the end of the first calendar
year of enrollment, reducing the number of hours that have to be made up during the
sophomore year to stay on track toward a degree. Further, the group recommends
implementation of a mandatory meeting with an advisor early in the semester to identify
courses from which the student may want to withdraw if necessary.
Because a significant share of underprepared students often faces circumstances,
both academic and non-academic in nature, that lead to poor performance or dropping out,
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one of the outcomes from the advising sessions is to develop more resilient students. Thus
the sessions should help students develop a realistic understanding of their skill levels,
acquire necessary basic knowledge, and see their strengths so they can better deal with their
underpreparation.
In that context, resources from the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) 16
believe that underprepared students need a success plan as well as specific strategies:
 Build a success plan. Academically underprepared students often have no
idea how to go about earning a degree: they do not know what steps they
must take or the particulars of what institutions expect of them. It is
imperative that advisors outline both the institution's expectations of
students and what students can expect from advisors throughout their
academic careers. These expectations should be made available in a clear
and concise bulleted listing that reads "The Advisor's Role and
Responsibilities" as well as another bulleted listing of the "Student's Role
and Responsibilities" . . . .
Students should know their responsibilities as advisees as well as what
behaviors are expected of them in the college classroom. They must
understand that if they skip classes or offer weak excuses for not completing
coursework, they will be held accountable for their actions. Students make
choices and colleges hold them responsible for those choices; making bad
choices can mean consequences they might not want to experience.
As for specific advising strategies, NACADA’s recommendations include:
 Utilize appropriate assessment tools (e.g., ACT, ACCULACER,
COMPASS, etc.) to determine student skills and abilities;
 Employ open-ended questioning techniques e.g., "What subjects did you
enjoy studying in the past?" with follow-up questions such as "What
methods did you find successful in studying this subject?"
 Identify student strengths as well as skill deficits;
 Be direct, emphatic, and prescriptive when designing a plan to overcome
skills deficits (Ender & Wilkie, 2000); 17
 Recommend courses appropriate to students' current skill levels mixed with
course options in areas of previous success;
16
Miller, M.A. & Murray, C., Advising Academically Underprepared Students. 2005. Retrieved
on February 8, 2011 from NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources website:
http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Clearinghouse/AdvisingIssues/Academically-Underprepared.htm
17
Ender, S.C. & Wilkie, C.J., “Advising Students with Special Needs.” In V. N. Gordon & W.R.
Habley (Eds.), Academic Advising: A Comprehensive Handbook (pp. 118 - 143). San Francisco:
Jossey-Bass, 2000.
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 Match student learning style with the teaching style used in the course; use
caution in recommending on-line classes or satellite classes;
 Help students determine the time of day that will best optimize learning e.g.,
determine if the student is a 'morning person';
 Help students set short and long-term goals and develop action plans to
achieve their goals (Ender & Wilkie, 2000);
 Explain the importance of meeting deadlines and regular class attendance. . .
 Stress how expectations and requirements differ from high school/workplace
and suggest ways in which students may become active participants in their
learning (Ender & Wilkie, 2000).
Recommendation 15: Administer the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI)
to all entering freshmen during orientation, advising, or at a testing center prior to
advising and registration for a student’s second semester.
Rationale: Students who truly need SUPP 101 often do not recognize the value of this
course and may not enroll in it. In order to assist first-year students in their quest to
succeed, they need the opportunity to take a course designed to help them become
independent, successful learners. Information gleaned from the LASSI can be used in a
number of ways at MSC and WCCC including advising, pre/post testing to assess benefit
gained from participation in interventions, and a counseling tool for orientation. For
maximum effect, the scores should be available on Banner to faculty and advisors, and
included in student portfolios. Based upon a student’s score on this assessment, s/he will
fit into varying categories of preparedness and will be advised and placed accordingly.
The College should develop an instrumental, as well as a philosophical, approach to
presenting this information to our freshmen in such a way that they welcome the
opportunity to register for SUPP 100 and SUPP 101, and engage in targeted advising. The
College should create a positive message for SUPP 100 and SUPP 101for students who
could benefit from these courses. If SUPP 101 is taught in this manner, it is believed that
students will more readily agree to take it.
Related Information: The primary purpose of the LASSI is as a diagnostic and
prescriptive measurement, based on 10 scales that are reliable and have been statistically
validated (see Attachment D for more details). More specifically, it is designed to evaluate
college preparedness levels so that specific intervention strategies can be prescribed, based
upon the (standardized) scores of incoming freshmen, thereby improving student learning
and study strategies related to:
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Will - measuring:
 Attitude (ATT)
 Motivation (MOT)
 Anxiety (ANX)
Skill - measuring:
 Information Processing (INP)
 Selecting Main Ideas (SMI)
 Study Aids (STA)
Self-regulation - measuring:
 Concentration (CON)
 Time Management (TMT)
 Self-Testing (SFT)
 Test Strategies (TST)
Targeted advising, placement in academic support courses, and determination of
disputed provisional baccalaureate placement are just some of the beneficial uses of MSC
student LASSI scores. It can be administered in 30 minutes, and depending on quantity,
costs approximately $3 per student. Opportunities for advising students to complete the
inventory early in the fall semester could include: 1) inclusion in Early Alert messaging;
2) recommendation by staff in the TLC; 3) advertisement of small group sessions; and/or
4) administration in SUPP 100 (if approved) and SUPP 101.
Using LASSI’s standardized scores, the College could determine which students
would be:
a. Mandatorily placed in SUPP 101 in that critical first semester.
b. Mandatorily placed in a one credit SUPP 100 course in the first mod and then in
SUPP 101 in the second mod.
c. Encouraged to take SUPP 101 in the first semester.
d. Most likely to benefit from enrolling in SUPP 101 because of the assumption
that the skills and knowledge that they already possess should be enough to get
them successfully through college.
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CONCLUDING REMARKS
The Working Group to Improve Student Academic Success has spent nearly four months
evaluating activities in which the College is engaged to improve student success as measured most
frequently by grades, grade point averages, and retention and graduation rates. Its work has been
grounded in research conducted nationally, as well as by specific institutions, and informed by
institutional data for multiple years and a host of student groupings. Ultimately the goal of the
group was to gauge efforts that are working; examine activities that could benefit from some
reworking; and identify the circumstances under which the institution has given students too much
latitude for decision-making, and hence the need for some boundaries.
The need for boundaries – which came in the form of recommendations such as policy
changes, better communication with students, and enhanced support systems – emerged from
extensive discussions, all with an eye toward improving the success of all students enrolled at
Mesa State and Western Colorado Community College. While the focus was heavily on
underprepared students, the recommendations can benefit all students, regardless of level of
preparation to undertake college-level work.
The next phase of this project involves implementation of the various recommendations
once approved by the President. During the 2011 – 12 academic year, periodic progress reports on
implementation will be shared with the campus community.
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Attachment A.
CCHE ADMISSIONS POLICY
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Attachment B.
MESA STATE COLLEGE/WCCC ADMISSIONS POLICIES
I. Institutional Policy (December 2005)
The MSC Board of Trustees approved the following changes to the college’s admission
standards for entering undergraduates beginning with academic year 2007 - 08. Beyond
requirements specified in the admissions standards policy specified by the Colorado
Commission on Higher Education, the changes to Mesa State’s admissions standards for
entering freshmen:
• Increase the index to 85 for regular admission to the college’s baccalaureate
division, beginning with students seeking admission in summer/fall 2007;
• Offer provisional admission to students admitted to the baccalaureate division
through the window with an index of 75 - 84. Provisionally-admitted students
will enroll for no more than 12 credit hours per semester, be advised before
registering (including the need to satisfy all remedial requirements in the first 24
hours, and enroll only in lower division courses). Once the student completes 24
hours and with 2.0 GPA or higher, the student then may declare a major in a
baccalaureate program. If unsuccessful, the student will be placed on academic
probation, which is consistent with current policy, and advised to enroll in a
program in the community college division.
• Admit students with an index below 75 to Western Colorado Community
College.
• No change was made to the admission standards for undergraduates transfer
applicants.
II. Institutional Policy Update (March 2010)
Beyond requirements specified in the admissions standards policy specified by the
Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE), the changes to Mesa State
College’s admissions standards for entering freshmen are:
•
Baccalaureate‐seeking students with an index of 85 or greater will receive
regular admission to the college’s baccalaureate division;
•
Baccalaureate‐seeking students with an index between 75‐84 (to be known as
“provisional baccalaureate” students) will receive provisional admission into a
baccalaureate program, while providing a pre‐baccalaureate track that
incorporates the following criteria as a pathway to full admission into a
baccalaureate program:
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o
Provisional‐baccalaureate students with fewer than 30 earned credit
hours must be advised by staff from the Advising Center before
registering.;
o
Provisional‐baccalaureate students who have met all HEAR
requirements per CDHE policy may be admitted into a baccalaureate
program after completing 13 credit hours of non‐remedial courses with a
2.3 GPA;
o
Provisional‐baccalaureate students who have met all HEAR
requirements per CDHE policy and have completed 30 credit hours with
a 2.3 GPA shall be internally transferred into a baccalaureate program;
o
Provisional‐baccalaureate students who do not meet the criteria listed
above may apply for regular admission into a baccalaureate program
after completion of one semester, to be reviewed by the Office of the
Registrar on a case‐by‐case basis.
•
The college reserves the right to admit students with an index between 75‐84 to
a baccalaureate program, based upon special circumstances, and within the
confines of allocated window space designated by CDHE.
•
Admit baccalaureate‐seeking students with an index below 75 to a Western
Colorado Community College program, to pursue admission into a
baccalaureate program subject to CDHE transfer admission standards. The
college reserves the right to admit students with an index below 75 into a
baccalaureate program, based upon very limited circumstances, and within the
confines of allocated floor space designated by CDHE.
***********************
•
Federal Policy under which MSC makes admission decisions (first-time freshmen)
o Ability to benefit - A student must come prepared enough to be able to benefit from
financial aid. MSC requires HS Graduation or GED Completion to be able to enroll
as a degree-seeking student because of the federal ability to benefit requirement.
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Attachment C. CCHE REMEDIAL EDUCATION POLICY
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Attachment D.
LEARNING AND STUDY STRATEGIES INVENTORY (LASSI) SCALES 18
Attitude (ATT)
The Attitude Scale assesses students' attitudes and interest in college and academic success. It
examines how facilitative or debilitative their approach to college and academics is for helping
them get their work done and succeeding in college (sample item: I feel confused and undecided as
to what my educational goals should be). Students who score low on this scale may not believe
college is relevant or important to them and may need to develop a better understanding of how
college and their academic performance relates to their future life goals.
Motivation (MOT)
The Motivation Scale assesses students' diligence, self-discipline, and willingness to exert the
effort necessary to successfully complete academic requirements (sample item: When work is
difficult I either give up or study only the easy parts). Students who score low on this scale need to
accept more responsibility for their academic outcomes and learn how to set and use goals to help
accomplish specific tasks.
Time Management (TMT)
The Time Management Scale assesses students' application of time management principles to
academic situations (sample item: I only study when there is the pressure of a test). Students who
score low on this scale may need to develop effective scheduling and monitoring techniques in
order to assure timely completion of academic tasks and to avoid procrastination while realistically
including non-academic activities in their schedule.
Anxiety (ANX)
The Anxiety Scale assesses the degree to which students worry about school and their academic
performance. Students who score low on this scale are experiencing high levels of anxiety
associated with school (note that this scale is reverse scored). High levels of anxiety can help direct
attention away from completing academic tasks (sample item: Worrying about doing poorly
interferes with my concentration on tests). Students who score low on this scale may need to
develop techniques for coping with anxiety and reducing worry so that attention can be focused on
the task at hand.
Concentration (CON)
The Concentration Scale assesses students' ability to direct and maintain attention on academic
tasks (sample item: I find that during lectures I think of other things and don't really listen to what
is being said). Low scoring students may need to learn to monitor their level of concentration and
develop techniques to redirect attention and eliminate interfering thoughts or feelings so that they
can be more effective and efficient learners.
18
http://www.hhpublishing.com/_assessments/LASSI/scales.html. Downloaded March 23, 2011.
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LASSI Scales (cont.)
Information Processing (INP)
The Information Processing Scale assesses how well students' can use imagery, verbal
elaboration, organization strategies, and reasoning skills as learning strategies to help build bridges
between what they already know and what they are trying to learn and remember, i.e., knowledge
acquisition, retention and future application (sample item: I translate what I am studying into my
own words). Students who score low on this scale may have difficulty making information
meaningful and storing it in memory in a way that will help them recall it in the future.
Selecting Main Ideas (SMI)
The Selecting Main Ideas Scale assesses students' skill at identifying important information for
further study from among less important information and supporting details (sample item: Often
when studying I seem to get lost in details and can't see the forest for the trees). Students who
score low on this scale may need to develop their skill at separating out critical information on
which to focus their attention. Tasks such as reading a textbook can be overwhelming if students
focus on every detail presented.
Study Aids (STA)
The Study Aids Scale assesses students' use of supports or resources to help them learn or retain
information (sample item: I use special helps, such as italics and headings, that are in my
textbooks). Students with low scores may need to develop a better understanding of the resources
available to them and how to use of these resources to help them be more effective and efficient
learners.
Self-Testing (SFT)
The Self-Testing Scale assesses students' use of reviewing and comprehension monitoring
techniques to determine their level of understanding of the information to be learned (sample item:
I stop periodically while reading and mentally go over or review what was said). Low scoring
students may need to develop an appreciation for the importance of self-testing, and learn effective
techniques for reviewing information and monitoring their level of understanding or ability to
apply what they are learning.
Test Strategies (TST)
The Test Strategies Scale assesses students' use of test preparation and test taking strategies
(sample item: In taking tests, writing themes, etc., I find I have misunderstood what is wanted and
lose points because of it). Low scoring students may need to learn more effective techniques for
preparing for and taking tests so that they are able to effectively demonstrate their knowledge of
the subject matter.
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