Vol. 3, Issue 4
The April Governing Board meeting provided important information on student success measures at Southwestern College and the intervention efforts being implemented to help improve student transfer and completion rates.
Student Success Scorecard
Each year the Governing Board reviews the scorecard of student achievement in different categories. The number of students completing Career Technical Education courses is the highest in five years. And the students coming to Southwestern College prepared to take college-level courses is the highest it has been in three years. However, our overall completion rate remains at a plateau. We see that interventions in remedial math and English are showing significant gains in student achievement. For example, students in remedial math saw an 11% percentage point increase. The college is looking to expand these efforts across the district to impact more students.
Puertas al Futuro Grant
Part of the college-wide interventions will be funded by a new $2.397 million federal Title V grant—Puertas al Futuro or Doors to the Future. In her report to the Governing Board, Title V Director Dr. Leonor Perez said the college has already begun a first-year experience that pairs students with College Success Team mentors. Additional tutors have been embedded in key English, math and writing courses to help students succeed in these gatekeeper classes. The math faculty has endorsed a math course that moves students from pre-algebra to introduction to statistics in two semesters. These math courses will be offered in Fall, 2015. Additional research-based interventions will be implemented throughout the five-year period of the grant.
Accelerating Construction of New Math, Science and Engineering Building
The Governing Board voted to accelerate by a year the construction of the new math, science and engineering building. The building will be built on the area where the current pool and gymnasium are located. The board instructed staff to ensure an agreement was in place to accommodate the college’s aquatic teams before beginning demolition. Staff from Southwestern and the Sweetwater Union High School District—which has several high school teams practicing at the college pool—are working together to secure a temporary aquatic location.
In other Proposition R news, the Governing Board received a timeline for the sale of the next series of bonds to fund projects.
Student Access, Equity, Success and Completion
Beginning with a student success workshop in October, the Governing Board has been working through the college’s shared governance to develop a statement that outlines our commitment to student access, equity, success and completion. We pledge to do our part to increase the number of individuals with high quality postsecondary degrees, certifications and skills for the workforce to fulfill critical local, state and national goals. To view the full statement, click here.
Building an Inclusive College and Working Environment
College campuses are a marketplace of ideas, and as such the boundaries of speech, ideology and social activism are often tested. As a result, there is bound to be conflict and discord. Recently, a department within the college brought allegations of racism to the attention of college leadership. We have been quick to investigate the allegations. We have also reached out to the NAACP and Assemblywomen Shirley Weber and Lorena Gonzalez. At the Governing Board meeting last week, we hired the Anti-Defamation League to present their “A World of Difference” Institute Training Program. We have also hired an external investigator as an additional review of district investigations. These measures supplement the efforts made since the beginning of the semester to embrace and celebrate the diversity we have.
In Other Action:
- Approved early retirement incentives to those classified and academic employees who qualify
- Accepted articles for negotiation for the Southwestern Community College District Administrators Association and the Classified School Employees’ Association Chapter 254
- Ratified an agreement with The Regents of the University of California for the Puente Project
- Accepted an additional $36,000 in funding from the California Division of Boating and Waterways to fund programs at the Crown Cove Aquatic Center