Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College

Report
Defining Excellence:
Lessons from the 2013 Aspen Prize Finalists
Presentation at Innovations 2014
Dr. Rob Johnstone, National Center for Inquiry & Improvement (NCII)
Joshua Wyner, College Excellence Program, The Aspen Institute
COLLEGE EXCELLENCE PROGRAM
THE ASPEN PRIZE
Winners and Finalists
WINNERS
FINALISTS w/
DISTINCTION
FINALISTS
Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara, CA (2013)
Valencia College, Orlando, FL (2011)
Walla Walla Community College, Walla Walla, WA (2013)
Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn, NY (2013)
Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD (2011, 2013)
Miami-Dade College, Miami, FL (2011)
West Kentucky Community & Technical College, Paducah, KY (2011)
Brazosport College, Lake Jackson, TX
Broward College, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
College of the Ouachitas, Malvern, AR
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Perkinston, MS
Mott Community College, Flint, MI
Northeast Iowa Community College, Calmar, IA
Santa Fe College, Gainesville, FL
Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College, Cumberland, KY
Southwest Texas Junior College, Uvalde, TX
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THE ASPEN PRIZE
Four measures of community college excellence:
High absolute
performance
•
•
•
•
Completion outcomes
Learning outcomes
Improvement
over time
Labor market outcomes
Equity in outcomes
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COLLEGE EXCELLENCE PROGRAM
Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Outcomes of Prize finalist colleges:
Completion/Transfer rates that far surpass the national average
Three-year completion and/or transfer rates
compared to the national average
64%
53%
40%
National Average
Finalist Average
Top 3 Average
•
•
•
Lake Area Technical Institute (ND)
Santa Barbara City College (CA)
Santa Fe College (FL)
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Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Outcomes of Prize finalist colleges:
Exceptional improvements over time in completion
Increase in the number of credentials awarded at Valencia College, 2002-2011
*Note: Enrollment increased by only 40% between 2006-07 and 2011-12
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Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Outcomes of Prize finalist colleges:
Exceptional equity in access for underrepresented populations
% Difference between underrepresented minority enrollment in institution and percentage of the
population in the college’s service area (TOP THREE PERFORMERS)
20%
15%
0% means the college’s enrollment has the same proportion of underrepresented minority students as the general
population; i.e., minorities are fully represented at the college
13%
10%
6%
5%
1%
0%
-5%
CUNY Kingsborough
Community College (NYC)
Walla Walla Community
College (WA)
Broward College (FL)
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COLLEGE EXCELLENCE PROGRAM
Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Outcomes of Prize finalist colleges:
Far greater equity in outcomes than the national average
Three-year completion and/or transfer rates for underrepresented
minority students compared to the national average
49%
44%
34%
National Average
Finalist Average
Top 3 Average
•
•
•
Brazosport College (TX)
Santa Barbara City College (CA)
Santa Fe College (FL)
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COLLEGE EXCELLENCE PROGRAM
Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Outcomes of Prize finalist colleges:
Exceptional short-term labor market outcomes for graduates
Average salaries of recent graduates compared to the average
for all new-hires in the region (TOP THREE PERFORMERS)
$56,576
82%
above avg.
$41,548
79%
above avg.
$28,756
$20,540
40%
above avg.
Regional
average
Lake Area Technical Institute (SD)
$23,211
$31,086
Regional
average
Regional
average
Walla Walla Community College (WA)
Brazosport College (TX)
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COLLEGE EXCELLENCE PROGRAM
Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Outcomes of Prize finalist colleges:
Exceptional long-term labor market outcomes
$77,272
Average salaries of graduates 5 years after graduation
compared to the average for all workers in the region
(TOP THREE PERFORMERS)
65%
above avg.
$63,016
$57,044
55%
above avg.
$36,803
$45,664
38%
above avg.
$46,832
Regional
average
Regional
average
Regional
average
Walla Walla Community College (WA)
Miami-Dade College (FL)
Brazosport College (TX)
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COLLEGE EXCELLENCE PROGRAM
Lessons from the Aspen Prize:
Themes emerging from site visits to finalist
colleges
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COLLEGE EXCELLENCE PROGRAM
Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Themes characterizing the institutions that achieve exceptional
outcomes for students:
1. Strong leadership & vision
2. Clear pathways to credentials and other intentional
structures to support students
3. Intentional focus on improving teaching and
learning
4. Consistent, systematic, & strategic use of data to
improve practice
5. Integrated structures that link the college to the
broader community for the benefit of students
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COLLEGE EXCELLENCE PROGRAM
Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Theme 1: Strong Leadership & Vision
Exceptional colleges have strong executive leaders who:
•
•
•
•
Communicate a clear vision focused explicitly on student
success, and ensure that all the institution’s work and
resources aim towards that goal
Inspire and sustain a change in culture towards innovation,
data-informed practice, and shared responsibility for student
success
Consistently act in ways that make clear that their central
concern is student success, including by taking risks
Develop strong external partnerships that support student
success
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Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Theme 1: Strong Leadership & Vision (example)
West Kentucky Community and Technical College
• President Barbara Veazey implemented a standardized reading assessment
across the college and used the discouraging results to build urgency.
• Engaged faculty in a college-wide dialog about they might improve reading
skills, and thus student outcomes overall.
• Leveraged that dialog into:
 A system where nearly every instructor in the college was part of a
“learning circle” to develop, implement, and evaluate new college-wide
strategies to teach reading
 Development of defined learning outcomes, common course rubrics,
and common final test questions used by multiple professors
 A sustained, collaborative focus on the discipline of teaching and
learning, which remains a signature element of the college’s culture
• Result: Over 40% improvement in reading scores across the college.
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COLLEGE EXCELLENCE PROGRAM
Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Theme 1: Strong Leadership & Vision (example)
Lake Area Technical Institute
• Every action taken by President Deb Shephard is aligned to a single goal:
rigorously preparing students for in-demand careers.
• Shephard sets high expectations for all programs to communicate with
stakeholders and deliver exactly what both students and industry need.
• Through unusually close relationships with employers, faculty design and
continuously update programs and instruction so that students develop the
right skills for their future jobs.
• Students engage in high levels of hands-on learning from the beginning of
every class, so students are fully engaged in courses that closely simulate
their future work environment.
• Result: 76% graduation rate and remarkably strong employment rates for
graduates.
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COLLEGE EXCELLENCE PROGRAM
Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Theme 2: Clear pathways and structures for student
support
The most effective of the Prize finalist colleges have built comprehensive
student support systems crossing major functional or curricular divisions that
historically did not work together. They have:
• Built new pathways to success that eliminated pitfalls for students,
including narrowly defined course sequences, fully integrated learning
communities, and block program structures.
• Embedded high-impact support services within the classroom to ensure
that all students receive core non-academic supports (e.g., advising,
registration, tutoring, note-taking guidance, career counseling).
• Redesigned systems from scratch (one-stop shops, new registration centers,
etc.) and implemented them college-wide rather than in small pilots.
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Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Theme 2: Clear pathways and structures for student
support (example)
Miami-Dade College
• Part of its work with Completion by Design addressed challenge of over
1,000 courses in hundreds of pathways with no clear direction for students
• Engaged faculty and advisors in the design of structured course sequences
• Established clear expectation for fundamental change, using data and
leadership to create urgency
• Created time and space for faculty to learn from students and advisors,
ensuring deep understanding of challenges of existing program structure
• Result: New default curricula for five degree pathways, that, together,
serve 60 percent of all new students
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COLLEGE EXCELLENCE PROGRAM
Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Theme 2: Clear pathways and structures for student
support (example)
Santa Fe College
• Created My Academic Plan, an online program that guides students through
their entire academic program based on their degree goals and schedules—
a structure that builds academic planning around students’ lives.
• MAP configures class schedules for students to select from based on their
real-life schedules and degree goals. If they choose a course off their degree
path, a warning alerts them.
• After two semesters, the MAP system insists that undecided students
declare a program of study.
• Students can see at any point if the courses they are registering for will
count toward transfer to dozens of four-year colleges, removing reliance on
advising and helping students chart out a clear path to transfer.
• Result: very high rates of four-year transfer and bachelor’s degree
attainment.
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COLLEGE EXCELLENCE PROGRAM
Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Theme 3: Intentional focus on teaching & learning
Exceptional colleges set the expectation that faculty and staff will continually
improve their own practices. They take seriously the scholarship of teaching
and learning and make intentional efforts to improve the quality of instruction.
This focus is demonstrated by:
• Faculty engaged in self-assessment and eager to improve their instruction
to better serve students.
• Explicit connections between individual student learning and larger
measures of course, program, and institution success.
• A systematic use of evidence of students’ learning outcomes to drive
improvements in instruction.
• Tenure and promotion models supported by systematic collection and
discussion of data on student learning outcomes.
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COLLEGE EXCELLENCE PROGRAM
Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Theme 3: Intentional focus on teaching & learning (example)
Santa Barbara City College
• Driven by a strong, shared focus on transfer preparation and equitable
outcomes, the college has established strong tutoring centers to deliver the
rigorous education students need to succeed at the college and in later
bachelor’s programs.
• Exceptional writing center is staffed by trained faculty and is aimed not just
at improving a given assignment but at teaching writing skills that are
applicable for all future work.
• Well-staffed and planned math tutoring center experiences exceptional
levels of student participation.
• Peer tutors embedded in courses provide a crucial link between professors
and struggling students.
• Results: Very strong four-year transfer and bachelor’s completion rates,
including for Hispanic students.
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COLLEGE EXCELLENCE PROGRAM
Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Theme 3: Intentional focus on teaching & learning (example)
Valencia College
• Throughout the college, faculty consistently invent new approaches to
teaching and measure whether they improve student learning.
• Two-thirds of tenured faculty came through the new tenure process, which
requires “action research projects”: Candidates take a new approach to
teaching, measure student outcomes, and present results to colleagues.
• Faculty built and implemented the Teaching & Learning Academy, a highquality center for professional development tied to both tenure and
continuous improvement.
• The college is working to improve the post-tenure review process and
engage adjuncts in Teaching and Learning Academy practices.
• Result: Graduation rates nearly double those of peer institutions; strong
transfer and bachelor’s completion rates.
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COLLEGE EXCELLENCE PROGRAM
Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Theme 4: Consistent and strategic use of data
Colleges that achieve exceptional outcomes for students go
beyond data-driven practice; they have cultures of inquiry and
action evident in the use of varied forms of data and information
to systematically diagnose, assess, benchmark, and make
decisions.
• Data are distributed consistently throughout the institution that reflect the
focus on student success.
• Data beyond internal measures are collected to help understand students’
longer-term success—such as labor market outcomes and post-transfer
academic success including bachelor’s degree completion.
• Faculty and staff are given structured time and space to meet, analyze, and
discuss data on student outcomes.
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COLLEGE EXCELLENCE PROGRAM
Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Theme 4: Consistent and strategic use of data (example)
Valencia College
• Data are consistently used to focus everyone on common student success
challenges that drive reform plans and answer questions about which
interventions work.
• Examples of effective data use include:
• At the outset of strategic planning process, reports are presented to
faculty and staff about gaps in student success that are relevant across
departments and programs.
• Enrollment reports were replaced with course outcome reports to signal
shift from emphasis on student enrollment to student success.
• Tenure-track faculty are required to implement new approaches to
teaching and learning, measure their results for students, and make
presentations on their effectiveness.
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COLLEGE EXCELLENCE PROGRAM
Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Theme 4: Consistent and strategic use of data (example)
Walla Walla Community College
• Data on labor market trends and completion drive consistent, iterative
changes in programs and communications with students.
• Examples of effective data practice include:
• Helping undecided students choose a program of study based on
projected jobs and earnings data.
• Closing and opening programs based on rigorous assessment of future
labor market needs and analysis of graduates’ employment outcomes
and earnings.
• Targeting retention and counseling efforts on predictive analytics (e.g.,
using early alert system to intervene early in semester when students
showed signs of failing).
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COLLEGE EXCELLENCE PROGRAM
Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Theme 5: Integrated structures with external
partners for the benefit of students
Exceptional colleges understand their role in improving students’ lives as one
segment of a longer trajectory—from high schools, work, military, or
unemployment, and on to jobs or four-year institutions. They build new
structures—not just partnerships—to link the college to its community and
create seamless experiences for students. For example, they:
• Build strong ties with regional industries to help students get jobs,
anticipate growing industries, and design curricula for the jobs that exist.
• Work with K-12 districts to align academic requirements and implement
early-warning and college-prep systems to reduce the need for remedial
education.
• Work with four-year colleges to develop collaborative programs, guaranteed
transfer, and aligned academic requirements for transfer.
• Make the college a vital community asset, building brand recognition and
attracting new resources that benefit students.
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COLLEGE EXCELLENCE PROGRAM
Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Theme 5: Integrated structures with external
partners for the benefit of students (example)
Walla Walla Community College
• The college ties its workforce credentials, general education degrees, and
assets to specific community needs, building programs that ensure that the
college effectively serves multiple parts of the community.
• The college created a very large academic program for prisoners with high
rates of success and low rates of post-graduation recidivism.
• Cutting-edge programs in wind energy, water management, and hybrid
vehicles reflect a strong commitment to developing a sustainable economy.
• A new center for watershed issues provides learning opportunities to
students while helping to resolve longstanding water rights issues and
restore local waterways in partnership with local Native American tribes.
• Result: Deep community support and ever-expanding opportunity for a
diverse student population and the region at large.
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COLLEGE EXCELLENCE PROGRAM
Lessons from the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Theme 5: Integrated structures with external
partners for the benefit of students (example)
Santa Barbara City College
• Santa Barbara has developed a model relationship with its primary K-12
feeder system to ensure broad access, prepare students for the rigors of
college, and help them develop a plan to complete college.
• The college president and deans meet regularly with the superintendent
and principals from the local K-12 school district.
• The college helps deliver and regularly refines a mandatory college-prep
curriculum for high school students designed together by high school
instructors and college faculty.
• Result: Very strong student success rates, including for the large number
of Hispanic students it enrolls from the local K-12 system.
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For more information, contact:
Josh Wyner
The Aspen Institute
One DuPont Circle NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036
[email protected]
(202) 736 – 2286
www.aspeninstitute.org/cep
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