Practices that Promote Equity in Basic Skills in California Community Colleges

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Appendix J: Santa Barbara City College Partnership for Student Success, Writing Center Data

Successful Basic Skills Writing Course Completion Comparing

Writing Center Users and Non-users

Fall 2006

Spring 2007

Fall 2007

Spring 2008

































Appendix K: Examples of Additional Program Strategies for Promoting Equity from the BSI Effective Strategies website at

Mission College Math Achievement Pathway for Success (MAPS) - The Math Achievement Pathway to Success (MAPS) offers students a team approach to success, particularly for those who have had difficulty in previous math courses. Instructors, counselors, and tutors/mentors collaborate to help students complete their mathematics requirements. Students take Elementary Algebra in the Fall semester and Intermediate Algebra in Spring. One section each semester of MAPS class is offered. The MAPS Program serves a diverse group of students. Students are recruited from several Mission College programs, including EOPS, Access, Avanzar, and DISC. In addition, the program actively seeks to include students from those groups who have traditionally had poor success in basic skills and college math courses. Students in the MAPS Program attend class for two hours of instruction Monday through Thursday. This instructional time provides both whole class activities and collaborative group work. Mentors/tutors are available during the class to assist students who have questions about the material. A counselor is available for each class section. The counselor and instructor work closely to ensure student success. The counselor is available daily during class to talk to students regarding their grade to date, missing assignments, and absences. In addition, the counselor teaches study skills and provides individual and academic counseling for students in the program. The MAPS team of instructors and counselors meet on a weekly basis to plan program activities and discuss concerns related to students’ achievement in the class. In addition to in-class tutoring, the program offers students group tutoring outside of class. Each week, approximately ten hours of tutoring are offered at various times throughout the day and early evening. The tutors are trained to reinforce the methods and approach taught in the regular class. For students interested in working with other students outside of class, study groups have also been formed. Whenever possible, a tutor also attends the study groups to assist students with questions. The program also arranges for guest speakers to visit the classes. These speakers have included men and women working in technical fields, motivational speakers, and informational sessions on transfer agreements to the UC or CSU system. MAPS Program team members are dedicated to the philosophy that any willing student with the proper support and services can be successful in mathematics.

Oxnard High Tech/High Touch Methods to Prepare At-risk Students for Math and English - The Success Academy is a high tech/high touch lab targeted at raising under-prepared at-risk students to college transfer level for math and English. PLATO software for the computer-assisted instruction and faculty (supplemented by tutors) create intense one-on-one and small group instruction outside of normal scheduled hours. Curriculum is individually tailored to address each particular student's areas needing improvement. It is an open entry/open exit lab open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday through Thursday along with 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays. The program will be expanding the Success Academy offerings to include ESL curriculum, as well as utilizing PLATO software to develop a GED and CAHSEE remediation bridge program.

City College of San Francisco Retention Center Counseling an Tutoring for
Basic Math and English - This program represents a collaboration project of three retention centers--African American Scholastic Program (AASP), Latino/a Services Network (LSN), Asian Pacific American Student Success Center (APASS)—with the English, math and IDST departments. Students in the retention centers are given specific advice regarding enrollment in basic skills English and math courses plus a study skills class. Students in each class are directed to counselors to assist with academic planning, career and transfer goals, and personal counseling. These wrap-around services incorporate counseling, professional tutoring, and instruction in combination with intensive instructor-student contact. The purpose of this program is to increase equity and success for under-represented students at CCSF. Counseling faculty in each retention center continue to monitor student progress throughout the semester and work closely with instructional faculty to examine the effectiveness of the practices being implemented.

Pasadena City College (PCC) Teaching and Learning Center - For six years, PCC’s Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) has created, piloted, and evaluated various programs to increase retention and success rates among basic skills math students. Based on research studies that suggest the efficacy of intensive programs that include structured supplemental support, the TLC developed MathPath, a math-only immersion program for basic skills algebra students. Students receive full-load status for one semester by enrolling exclusively in Beginning and Intermediate Algebra as well as a supplemental support class. Enrollment in MathPath is similar to being in boot camp. Students are told that if they are awake, they are working on math; if they are asleep, they are dreaming about math. Ample support in the form of extended tutoring, invasive counseling, and vigorous community-building activities help MathPath students to meet the rigorous demands of taking two math courses in one semester. Fall 2006 data were impressive: the retention rate was 94%, and the success rate was 85% for Beginning Algebra, and 100%, and 78% for Intermediate Algebra. Equally important, data collected from surveys and interviews reveal a high level of satisfaction with the program, curriculum, instruction, counseling, and tutoring. Students reported that their math confidence increased and that they felt well-prepared for subsequent, college-level math. Demand for higher levels of math has resulted in a trigonometry/pre-calculus offering of MathPath with a calculus program soon to be piloted.
In addition, Pasadena City College’s Teaching and Learning Center developed .XL, a summer bridge/first-year experience program, in 2001, recognizing the great difficulty that many first-time students have transitioning from high school to college. Over 80% of these students place into a basic skills course at PCC, and over 40% will receive a D, F, or withdraw. .XL helps PCC address the serious issues of equity (the vast majority of basic skills students are young Latinos and African Americans) and access (only 41% of all basic skills students will succeed in a transfer-level English course, and only 21% will succeed in a transfer-level math course).
Sixty first-generation college students are recruited each year into PCC’s .XL Program. During the summer, fall, and spring semesters, the students work with instructors, instructional aides, and counselors who provide innovative instruction with real-world applications, field trips, and structured supplemental support. Research reveals that 5 cohorts of .XL students have persisted at a significantly higher rate (88%) than new PCC students (69%) and new Latino students (67%). In addition, .XL students are almost 4 times as likely (40% vs. 10%) to succeed at Level 2 of the basic skills math sequence after one year than their non-.XL counterparts.

Merced College Preparing High School Students for Higher Education Cal-SOAP - Merced Cal-SOAP works as a collaborative outreach program, with fourteen local partners, to provide intensive services to 9-12 grade high school students who plan to transition to higher education following high school. To this end, Merced College provides tutorials, academic advising, college admissions advising, entrance test preparation, financial aid planning and assistance, scholarships, and summer residential programs. The Cal-SOAP Program is a statewide program ( that provides information about postsecondary education and financial aid to students from elementary school through high school. The program also addresses student academic achievement levels and targets the following populations:

  • Students from low-income families

  • Students from families in which they would be the first to attend college

  • Students from schools with documented low college eligibility or participation rates

  • Students from geographic areas with documented low college eligibility or participation rates .

Appendix L: Cultural Competence Focuses on Four Key Issues

  1. Knowing and exploring your own culture

  2. Understanding

  3. Acceptance

  4. Effective Communication and Interaction

The following survey was developed from a variety of sources related to health-care, education and other cross-cultural services and training. It provides a self-evaluative tool to consider your own cultural competence and the efforts of your institution.

Assess Your Cultural Competence

Do I know my students culture (history, values, beliefs, common expressions, etc.)?

Do I know how to guide my diverse students to seek help?

Can I name the most useful resources for the diverse students I commonly serve or teach?

Do I consider the impact of my class policies, syllabus, and teaching style on culturally diverse students?

Do I recognize the need to help students from diverse cultural backgrounds to communicate and appreciate each others’ differences in my classroom, program or service?

Does my class or practice include examples of people from diverse cultures that made significant contributions to my discipline?

Do I display art, pictures, use texts or videos that display a wide variety of cultures?

Do I employ active learning in my classroom?

Are my assessment methods equally fair to people from diverse backgrounds?

Do I recognize that people from other cultures may desire varying levels of immersion into the dominant culture and they have the right to reject acculturation?

Am I aware of the socioeconomic, employment, and family factors that may influence the ability for students to perform?

Are my classroom or student interaction techniques purposefully directed at involving all the students and inclusive of those less verbal or aggressive?

Do I exhibit approachability and understanding for all students regardless of their backgrounds?

Do I carefully determine whether phone conversation or email is as effective as face-to-face discussions?

Am I aware of important body language cues such as personal space preferences, eye contact, physical gestures, facial expressions and touching when communicating with people from cultures other than my own?

Do I evaluate the responsiveness to my teaching and learning outcomes in students to be sure I am helping them reach educational goals?

Do I provide a welcoming environment and time for questions?

Am I aware of my speaking practices such as speed, use of idioms, volume, inflection, and vocabulary or sentence complexity?

Do I maintain high standards and expectations that are clearly communicated and understood by the students?
Assess Your Institution’s Cultural Competence

Does the institutional mission include a value statement on diversity?

Does the institution follow through with resources, planning and support to fulfill that mission statement on diversity?

Can all employees define cultural competence, equity mindedness and universal design in their own words?

Do position descriptions and evaluation procedures include cultural competency skills?

Do institutional policies provide training for employees regarding cultural competency?

Are most employees aware of the research agenda regarding outcomes and familiar with the data?

Do employees share cross-cultural effective practices on a regular basis?

Are their clear processes when problems with bias, prejudice or discrimination occur for employees or students?

Are research agendas in place to monitor demographic trends and evaluate equitable outcomes for students?

Are a variety of stakeholders involved in the research, design, collection, analysis and dissemination of data?

Does the local community provide feedback on the services and outcomes of the institution on a regular basis?

Does the institution calendar and celebrate different cultural events?

Are their clear pathways for students with language needs to address them in an effective manner?

Does the institution pursue grants and resources to conduct research initiatives concerned with disproportionate educational outcomes?

Does the institution integrate research information on student outcomes into planning and to direct funding based upon the findings?

Are employees encouraged to share their own cultural backgrounds and values and to listen to others’?

Appendix M: Resources for Active Learning

Angelo, T. A. and Cross, K. P. 1993. Classroom Assessment Techniques, A Handbook for College Teachers, 2nd ed., Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco,.

Bonwell, C.C, and J. A. Eison. 1991. Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom. (ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. 1, 1991) Washington, D.C.: George Washington University Clearinghouse on Higher Education.

Davis, B.G. (1993). Tools for Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Meyers, C. and T. Jones. 1993. Promoting Active Learning: Strategies for the College Classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Morrissey, T. J. 1982. The Five-Minute Entry: A Writing Exercise for Large Classes in All Disciplines. Exercise Exchange, 27, 41-42. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 236 604)

Nelson, C. T. "Tools for Tampering with Teaching’s Taboos," in New Paradigms for College Teaching, W. E. Campbell and K. A. Smith, Eds., Interaction Book Company, Edina, MI, 1997.

New Paradigms for College Teaching, Campbell, D. E.; Smith, K. A. Editors, Interaction Book Co., Edina, MI, 1997

Silberman, M. 1996.Active Learning, Allyn and Bacon, Boston.

Weimer, M. G., ed. 1987. Teaching Large Classes Well. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

1 This concept of “Equity-Mindedness” comes from the Center for Urban Equity (CUE) at USC, whose web site is found at Equity-mindedness is a focused research and inquiry to reveal institutional barriers to equitable outcomes.

2 Deficit-thinking places the blame for inequitable outcomes on the students, ethnic, group or culture.

3 More information on the key components of the program are available at

4 AVID - Advancement via Individual Determination

5 Advance Placement (AP) course information is available at

6 Please note that faculty want to emphasize that this success is due in a large part to the efforts of the coaching staff, which has made academic success a team priority of which WEZ is only one component.

7 One example of this cross cultural treatment involves women’s health and the diagnostic tests required to diagnose and treat the most common problems. Some cultures would approve or encourage women to participate in pelvic exams particularly if they are performed by a male physician, In other cultures, a health related decision may not made by the individual, but rather it may be the collaborative decision of the family and therefore the discussions must include educating the entire family, not just the patient.

8 Metacognition is a process where students consider their own learning styles, study practices, and strategies. Actively engaging students in learning requires that students examine how they, as individuals, think and learn.

9 These data were retrieved through a customized data search at CPECs detailed data page These Data were generated on Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 4:29:12 PM by querying the year 1998 and 2007 for Community College degrees by ethnicity.

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