How many people have had the false illusion of attending community college and believing they could transfer in only 2 years? It is a difficult feat having to cram 15 credits (that you actually need) a semester in addition to keeping a part time job, having to pay for housing and student loans, and by the end you might discover that you have not fulfilled some obscure requirement to transfer.
According to CollegeStats.org, Yuba College has a retention rate of 65% and a 23% graduation rate which means the majority of us won’t be leaving here anytime soon. Although those statistics are not entirely promising the State of California has passed a new act called the Student Success Initiative which aims to reduce the stay of its 2.6 million students at it’s community colleges.
The Student Success Initiative is actually 22 proposals that, when implemented together, would strengthen the community college system by expanding structures and programs that work and re-aligning resources with the goal of student achievement. The idea is that these proposals not only will allow students to graduate earlier but they aim to help us in the long run by helping us achieve our career and academic goals.
The 22 proposals can be viewed in the final report of the Student Success Initiative as pdf file on CaliforniaCommunityColleges.cccco.edu. As of right now only one of the 22 proposals has been approved. Below are 5 of the most interesting proposals that will have the biggest impact on community college life.
Community colleges will develop and implement a common centralized assessment for English reading and writing, mathematics, and ESL that can provide diagnostic information to inform curriculum development and student placement and that, over time, will be aligned with the K-12 Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and assessments. (Recommendation 2.1)
Encourage students to declare a program of study upon admission, intervene if a declaration is not made by the end of their second term, and require declaration by the end their third term in order to maintain enrollment priority. (Recommendation 2.5)
Require students whose diagnostic assessments show a lack of readiness for college to participate in a support resource, such as a student success course, learning community, or other sustained intervention, provided by the college for new students. (Recommendation 2.4)
Require all incoming community college students to: (1) participate in diagnostic assessment and orientation and (2) develop an education plan. (Recommendation 2.2)
Require students receiving Board of Governors (BOG) Fee Waivers to meet various conditions and requirements, as specified below. (A) Identify a degree, certificate, transfer, or career advancement goal;(B) Meet institutional satisfactory progress standards to be eligible for fee waiver renewal; and(C) Have a transcript that reflects no more that 110 units, not including basic skills and ESL courses. (Recommendation 3.2)