College of the Canyons has been selected as one of 10 community colleges from across the nation to participate in phase two of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Developing a Community College Student Roadmap Project.
The AAC&U’s Roadmap Project assists community colleges in creating academic support programs — tied to expected learning outcomes — that engage students at entrance and teach them, from the outset, how to become active partners in their own quest for educational success.
The project seeks to “connect the dots” among the varied student support programs available at community college campuses throughout the country, by creating roadmaps for success which are applicable at multiple institutions. In addition, such roadmaps will be anchored in a set of expected learning outcomes essential for all students to succeed in life beyond college.
The Roadmap Project is made possible by a grant from MetLife Foundation as part of the organization’s commitment to increasing the success of community college students nationwide.
Over the past two years the group of 12 community colleges associated with the first phase of the Roadmap Project have sought to take the many independent and isolated student success programs found on those campuses, and combine them to create an integrated ‘roadmap’ which supports both student persistence and higher levels of academic achievement.
Through the additional funding provided by MetLife Foundation the AAC&U has been able to expand the initial group of participating institutions by adding 10 community colleges to the project. The new cohort of participating institutions includes:
Alamo Colleges (TX)
Brookdale Community College (NJ)
Chattanooga State Community College (TN)
College of the Canyons (CA)
Community College of Allegheny County (PA)
Community College of Baltimore County (MD)
Manchester Community College (CT)
Massachusetts Bay Community College (MA)
Monroe Community College (NY)
Wallace State Community College (AL)
With the addition of these 10 new partner institutions, College of the Canyons joins Mt. San Antonio College as just the second California community college to be selected to participate in the Roadmap Project.
“The newly selected Roadmap campuses will join a distinguished group of 12 institutions that are leaders in improving community college student success,” said Tia Brown McNair, AAC&U Senior Director for Student Success. “One of the greatest benefits of this project has been the knowledge-sharing among a community of educators not only dedicated to asking the difficult questions, but also to implementing change as a result of inquiry and reflection. The Roadmap institutions demonstrate a sustained commitment to completion and quality.”
Project leaders selected community colleges that have constructive plans and programs designed to improve student-learning outcomes and create pathways to student success already in place.
At College of the Canyons such programs include:
First Year Experience (FYE) — Designed to help incoming freshmen make the difficult transition from high school to college by preparing students for success during their first year of attendance at College of the Canyons. FYE program students have access to helpful pre-entry outreach and orientation services, a variety of ongoing academic and career exploration opportunities, various skill-building workshops and campus involvement activities, as well as participation in a year-long faculty/student mentor program.
COC Supplemental Learning (SL) — Program provides student support through various faculty developed workshops and Guided Learning Activities (GLAs). SL activities are designed for students to increase knowledge of course content and develop the skills needed to be successful at COC.
COC Career Coach — COC Career Coaches help students define career aspirations and recognize the many community college academic and job training programs that can enhance their capacity to achieve both educational and financial goals. Coaches facilitate the development of individual student career plans and portfolios through career assessment and exploration exercises. In addition, COC Career Coaches are based at each of the local high school campuses in order to better reach students in need of career planning services.
After a rigorous application and evaluation period the 10 new program participants were chosen due to their ability to serve as national models in supporting and advancing community college student success.
“It’s an honor to have been selected by AAC&U to participate in the Roadmap Project,” said Audrey Green, COC Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs. “AAC&U is a nationally respected organization which focuses projects and research on student learning and success. Our participation in this project provides us with a national network of community colleges that have also developed proven programs designed to improve student success.
“Through collaboration with these institutions we can learn from both their triumphs and mistakes,” added Green “while working to improve existing programs and develop additional student support opportunities.”
AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career.
Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,250 member institutions — including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, and universities of every type and size.
Information about AAC&U membership, programs, and publications can be found at www.aacu.org