3CSN has a Big Presence @ the Strengthening Student Success Conference

This year’s Strengthening Student Success Conference (SSSC) in Costa Mesa was a great indicator of how broad and deep the network has grown since it’s inception four years ago.  Close to 20 presentations were given by 3CSN, BSILI, FTLA Alumnae during the Conference.  Topics covered 3CSN’s established Communities of Practice (CoP), the California Acceleration Project (CAP) and the Reading Apprenticeship Project (RAP,) as well as implementation of student voice, data-driven decision-making, and professional development.

BSILI Reunion

On Thursday evening of the Conference, 3CSN held its traditional BSILI reunion, bringing together participants form all four years of BSILI.  Highlights of the event included BSILI trivia and the spontaneous creation of the slogan, “The Network Works.”


  • More of the many BSILI Alumnae

  • Some of the many BSILI Alumnae

  • Cleavon, wife and new BABY arrive for the Reunion

  • Scott S. delivers Scott W. a prize for answering a BSILI Trivia question correctly


The California Acceleration Project: Where We Are Now

More than 90 of the state’s 112 community colleges have participated in workshops and presentations by the California Acceleration Project since Fall 2010, and 30 colleges are part of the project’s Community of Practice, an extended professional development program for faculty piloting accelerated English and pre-statistics courses. This interactive session will present the problems faculty are working to address, early results from colleges that piloted in 2011-12, and elements from the project’s lean and lively approach to faculty development.

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Katie Hern & Myra Snell, California Acceleration Project

The Pedagogy of Acceleration: Classroom Practices in Pilot English Courses at Three Community Colleges

In this session, English faculty from three community colleges will share the specific ways in which they have taught their pilot accelerated courses differently from their usual practice in developmental composition courses. We will focus on three areas in which our pedagogy has most deliberately and dramatically changed: intensified reading instruction, just-in-time remediation and greater attention to the affective domain. Presenters will share particular strategies in each area and participants will generate ideas for how they might apply these principles in their own classrooms to better prepare students in developmental English for success in transfer-level courses.

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Jeanne Costello, Fullerton College/3CSN; Bridget Kominek, Fullerton College; Melissa Reeve, Solano Community College; Kyra Mello, Yuba College 

Making It Real: Integrating Reading Apprenticeship Strategies in Your Class

Hundreds of California Community College faculty from across the disciplines and levels have explored Reading Apprenticeship (RA) and become enthusiastic proponents of using the RA framework to help students not only read for comprehension, but to develop as disciplinary thinkers and problem-solvers. Still, the process of changing the way that you teach can be slow, difficult, daunting and reiterative. In other words, revising your syllabus, assignments and assessments is a long-term learning project worthy of time, attention and support. This session will provide some of that support. Bring a course syllabus and textbooks and get ready to work with colleagues to deepen the metacognitive conversation in your classroom. Note: this workshop will be relevant and accessible to all, regardless of your prior experience with RA.

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Jane Wolford, Chabot College; Nika Hogan, Pasadena City College

Contextualized Academic English-Paired Courses and Reading Apprenticeship Models

We will present our continuing work with paired courses of ESL and general ed./transfer content courses (ESL with Art History 102 and 101 (Humanities), ESL and Personal Development 40, and ESL and Anthropology 102). We will describe the formation of our new Faculty Inquiry Group for Reading Apprenticeship and how we are integrating RA into our ESL and content courses through the formal pairings of our courses. Preliminary findings will be presented. This is a panel of faculty from ESL and several disciplines at West Los Angeles College. ESL students receive college credits for both ESL, (elective units) and the content courses, GE units.

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Alma Narez Acosta, Nancy Sander & Alice Taylor, West Los Angeles College

Assessment into Action: Using Results to Drive Curricular and Pedagogical Change

After investigating ways of improving the number of students who complete the developmental English/ESL sequence and reviewing the results of the SLO assessment for the transferable English course (English 1A), Berkeley City College (BCC) English and ESL faculty implemented a departmentalportfolio review process that drastically changed the developmental sequence the departments provide, the pedagogy and design of their courses and the mechanisms for professional development. In this presentation, a developmental English instructor, ESL instructor and campus SLO coordinator will share how weaving together SLO assessment, professional learning and course design have led to an accelerated, clear and cohesive English/ESL sequence while also invigorating the practice and identity of the faculty and department.

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Jenny Lowood, Cleavon Smith & Gabe Winer, Berkeley City College

Lost in Transition: How Faculty across the Disciplines Can Learn to Own First Year Student Success

It is easy to agree that both students and faculty need access to robust, contextualized, inquiry-based and reiterative learning experiences in order to develop. One common concern is the lack of faculty drive to seek out professional learning experiences (often described as a lack of buy-in ). The design and implementation of a First Year Experience (FYE) seminar taught by faculty from across disciplines has trengthening Student Success Conference: Embracing & Leading Change | Oct 3-5, 2012 | 16 repeatedly shown to be effective in addressing student experience and faculty development goals simultaneously, but only when such efforts are rooted in a broad base of support across campus. This workshop will demonstrate the approach used by an interdisciplinary faculty team to create ongoing, sustained, campus-wide learning experiences in order to inspire interest in both professional learning and first-year student success across disciplines.

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Cecile Davis Anderson, Shelagh Rose & Carrie Starbird, Pasadena City College/3CSN; Nika Hogan,
Pasadena City College

The Network: A Three-Semester Learning Community for Basic Skills Students

Community colleges are looking for ways to improve student success. How does a college createsuccessful outcomes for students who start at the lowest levels of reading, writing, math and ESL? This workshop will provide a case study of Fresno City College’s process to address the needs of basic skills students. The Network’s Pilot First Year Experience program is designed with basic skills students in mind and spans nine departments and six divisions. The program provides students with the math, reading, writing and ESL courses they need beginning with their first semester of college. Come hear how they were able to launch such an ambitious endeavor and brainstorm with the facilitators and participants specific strategies to pilot or adapt existing first-year experience programs.

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Donna Cooper, Fresno City College/3CSN; Janine Nkosi, Fresno City College

Fast Track to Success: Pathways to Completion at Chaffey College

Chaffey College designed a unique configuration of accelerated learning pathways for students in order to promote student completion and success on a large scale (100 + courses each semester). In order to provide multiple access points for students, faster and more successful completion of sequences and increased motivation and engagement in learning, Chaffey created several types of fast track courses for students at all levels of instruction (basic skills, transfer level, etc.). The presenters will share the design, implementation, research and implications of Chaffey’s program. Participants will also have the opportunity to explore strategies for building and using evidence to create, evaluate and scale up acceleration initiatives on their campuses during the interactive break-out session.

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Jan Connal, Cerritos College/3CSN; Angela Leontas, Giovanni Sosa, Carli Straight & Cindy Walker, Chaffey College

Method-ists: Building a Data-Informed Culture
In the Summer of 2011, LAHC joined a national initiative to increase student success: Achieving the Dream. Success has been defined to include degree and certificate completion, retention, completion of gate-keeper courses and transfer. Through participation in AtD, LAHC has committed to find out why there are gaps in student success as well as how to eliminate barriers so that students can achieve success. A cornerstone to this process has been an extensive examination and analysis of data by a broad representation of campus members, known as the Data Team. It is through teamwork, examination, communication and collaboration that we have been able to further evidence-based decision making in addressing student equity and success.

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Kristi Vollmer Blackburn, Rhea Estoya & Elena Reigadas, Los Angeles Harbor College

Introducing Equity Achievement as a Strategy for Strengthening Student Success
In the Summer of 2011, Los Angeles Harbor College (LAHC) joined a national initiative to increase student success: Achieving the Dream (AtD). Through participation in AtD, LAHC has committed to find out why there are gaps in student success, as well as how to eliminate barriers so that students can achieve success. A cornerstone to this process has been an extensive examination and analysis of data by a broad representation of campus members, supported by campus leaders in order to sustain ongoing improvement. In Spring 2012, we conducted student focus groups to ask questions about obstacles in students’ paths to success. Equity and cultutural competence in education became an area for us to strengthen. We will explain our process as well as our five-year plan to strengthen equity.

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Kristi Vollmer Blackburn & Jassiel Dominguez, Los Angeles Harbor College

Supplemental Instruction: Implementation, Outcomes and Recommendations for CCC

Supplemental Instruction (SI) was recently included in the Student Success Task Force recommendations for California community colleges. What does this model look like? Does it increase student success? Butte College implemented their SI program with grant funding in Fall 2009. Data since this time shows that the program supports student success in a variety of disciplines. Presenters will share quantitative data as well as qualitative data that support students increased confidence, interdependence and fluency with study skills, as well as faculty input on how the program enhances the classroom environment overall. Learn from our challenges to create a pilot or improve similar programs on your campus. This session is appropriate for faculty in STEM disciplines, basic skills and other disciplines; program developers; administrators and researchers.

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Part II

April Hennessy & Miya Squires, Butte College

Troubleshooting Acceleration Implementation

Katie Hern and Myra Snell, leaders of the California Acceleration Project, will focus on common implementation challenges that can come up at all phases of implementing accelerated pathways in English and math from making the case for acceleration on campus, to developing pilots, to professional development for faculty teaching in redesigned accelerated courses. Participants will leave this interactive workshop with tools and strategies for moving acceleration forward in their local context.

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Katie Hern & Myra Snell, California Acceleration Project

Making the Case for Revising the Placement Process

Placement is one of the first experiences students have at community college. The Task Force on Student Success identified several ways the placement process has been an obstacle rather than an entry way for students. Placement is caught in the misalignment between high school outcomes and college expectations. And, as the basic skills curriculum is redesigned, the placement process will also have to be redesigned. This session will look at the research literature on placement and will have faculty from colleges that have implemented alternative placement measures such as high school transcript analysis and self-placement discuss what they have learned.

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Deborah Harrington, 3CSN; John Hetts, Long Beach City College; Patricia Ewins, Moorpark College

Bringing the Conference Home: a Professional Development Implementation Strategy Session with 3CSN

It is motivating and inspiring, throughout the conference, to learn how various colleges have implemented professional development programs and policies to strengthen student success but when you get back to your own campus on Monday, where do you begin? This action planning session will present 3CSN’s theory of change and provide tools and routines from our communities of practice and leadership institutes to help you design a professional development implementation plan. Participants will learn about the professional development resources available through 3CSN and will strategize about how to best leverage these to begin a change initiative on your own campus.

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Jan Connal, Cerritos College/3CSN; Rebecca Rudd, Citrus College/3CSN; Bradley Vaden, Los Angeles Trade Technical College/3CSN; Crystal Kiekel, Pierce College/3CSN; Lisa Brewster, San Diego Miramar College/3CSN; Ann Foster, Santa Rosa Junior College/3CSN

What I Did on My Summer Vacation: Refining and Deepening Our Narratives of Institutional Change

See the post on this event.

Teams of faculty and administrators from across California participated in 3CSN’s Basic Skills Initiative Leadership Institute in the summer of 2012 and identified an institutional problem they wanted to change while supporting a campus initiative based on at least one of 3CSN’s communities of practice: Acceleration, Reading Apprenticeship or Habits of Mind. Join us as we reconvene these teams for an interactive progress report. You will learn about 3CSN’s theory of change as well as tools for systematic program planning and evaluation that the teams used to support their initiatives. You will also join us in reflecting on how we present and discuss our change initiatives for maximum impact. In other words, how does change beget change? How can a progress report be an important part of the change itself? Note: This workshop will be relevant and accessible to all, regardless of your prior experience with 3CSN.

Deborah Harrington, 3CSN/LACCD, Jan Connal, Cerritos College/3CSN; Rebecca Rudd, Citrus College/3CSN; Bradley Vaden, Los Angeles Trade Technical College/3CSN; Crystal Kiekel, Pierce College/3CSN; Lisa Brewster, San Diego Miramar College/3CSN; Ann Foster, Santa Rosa Junior College/3CSN; Roza Ekimyan, LACCD/3CSN

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