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"There is a difference between systematic exploration and the blind trial and error experienced by too many students. Helping students make informed choices about their education is a critical strategy to help increase student success in the California Community Colleges."
California Community Colleges’ Student Success Task Force Report (page 23)
RECOMMENDATIONS:

Guidance is Key to Student Success

“The current matriculation model assumes that students will clarify their educational objective in the course of meeting with a counselor. However, many students never see a counselor. Even before the 52 percent budget cut to Matriculation funding, colleges were unable to provide all students with access to counseling services to help them clarify and refine their educational objectives and assist with the development of education plans to achieve those objectives. Student to counselor ratios range from 800 to 1 to 1800+ to 1 in the community colleges... Helping students make informed choices about their education is a critical strategy to help increase student success in the California Community Colleges.” (page 22-23)

Every Matriculating Student Needs
an Education Plan

“Every student who enrolls to pursue a certificate, degree or transfer objective, and in many cases even those seeking career advancement, needs a Student Education Plan that represents the sequence of courses that can get them from their starting point to attainment of their educational goal... Expanded resources for career exploration are essential.” (page 23)

THE SOLUTION:
Proven, Scalable & Cost-Effective


Adopt a required Freshman Transition course so all incoming students develop a comprehensive and meaningful online 10-year Career & Education Plan

Student Writing
THE PROBLEM:

For students pursuing a 4-year bachelor degree:
  • Only 61% of full-time 4-year bachelor’s students graduate within 8 years = dropout rate of 39%.
  • Only 26% of part-time 4-year bachelor’s students graduate within 8 years = dropout rate of 74%.
For students pursuing a 2-year associate degree:
  • Only 19% of full-time 2-year associate students graduate within 4 years = dropout rate of 81%.
  • Only 8% of part-time 2-year associate students graduate within 4 years = dropout rate of 92%.

THE RESEARCH:

“Research from the Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy shows that students who entered a program [of study] in their first year were twice as likely to complete a certificate, degree or transfer as students who entered a program after their first year. First-year concentrators were nearly 50 percent more likely to complete than those who entered a program in their second year, and the rates of completion fell sharply for students entering a program of study later than their second year.” (page 30)

Graduates
"The Task Force on Student Success from the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office has presented ambitious and promising recommendations. They represent the most promising opportunity for reform in a decade."

San Francisco Chronicle - December 4, 2011
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Partners or collaborators
Foundation for California Community Colleges
George Washington University’s Freshman Transition Initiative
California Community College Chancellor's Task Force on Student Success
Academic Innovations LLC
UCSB Graduate School of Education California Dropout Research Project
UC Educational Evaluation Center, Gevirtz Graduate School of Education

Eastern Oregon University’s College of Education
California SB1070 Coordinators from select regions
Santa Barbara Foundation
Santa Barbara City College Dual Enrollment Department
Carpinteria and Santa Barbara Unified School Districts
Santa Barbara County Office of Education’s Partners in Education