Putting Educational Innovations into Practice.

Earlier this spring, I had the opportunity to share some research with a number of colleges engaged in strengthening general education pathways in California. The presentation drew on a project by the RP Group, which has gathered student perspectives on how we can build more effective support structures--particularly for under-represented students. I've attached the PowerPoint from that presentation and a link to the research project below. One important item to note is the high degree of overlap between the high impact practices identified by AAC&U, the "Give Students a Compass Project," and the elements that students identify for themselves as being most vital to their success. I'd love to hear stories from practitioners about how they are translating these same concepts into working realities.

Student Support (Re)defined Project:

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I instruct in  the Business Department at Las Positas College - one of the sites for this study.  Blending a sense of community (learning each others' names, working in groups, contextualizing the learning as it relates to students' lives, talking to students before and after class, using progress reports) blended with high academic standards is an effective aspect of student retention.  I also reach out to stronger students and ask them to "look out" for struggling students which sometimes helps. If students sense that I care and that they are part of a community, they are more likely to persist  when they reach obstacles with the course and their lives.

Hi Kathy,

I was a beneficiary of your presentation and continue to be informed and inspired by your research, especially findings on the students point of view. At Cañada College we strive to embed as many high impact practices as possible in our programs. We have found the Get Focused, Stay Focused, 10 Year Plan program to lay a strong foundation for our students to connect their education plans to career aspirations.


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