Fall 2013

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FALL 2013

Thanks to the extremely efficient and cooperative efforts of the Academic Connections hardworking faculty, staff, front desk staff, and tutors, a number goals were successfully accomplished in 4 key areas:

  1. The Infrastructure of the Academic Connections Department
  2. Tutoring Services
  3. Curriculum Enhancement
  4. Partnerships with other Departments and Community Agencies

The Infrastructure of the Academic Connections Department:

  • Academic Connections had a smooth transition from the C Building to Mariposa Hall (MA-109).
  • The front desk intake was streamlined to ensure that the needs of all students visiting Academic Connections were satisfactorily serviced.
  • Accu-Track, which is a technology system that very reliably tracks the students served, was set up. This program tracks the students’ use of tutoring services. It also creates student reports that can be made available to appropriate instructors or student services on campus. It is envisioned that this service will grow substantially in upcoming semesters so that instructors will be able to integrate it into their course syllabi.

The Academic Connections website (http://college.lattc.edu/academicconnections)  has been updated and provides information in the following areas:

  • Departmental, Faculty and Staff Information
  • Tutoring – Subjects & Tutors
  • Class Schedules & GED Pathway
  • Connection Sessions (Workshops)
  • Connection Links – Online Curriculum Resources
  • Technology Tools – AccuTrack, MyFoundationsLab, KeyTrain, Career Café, Reading Horizons
  • Satisfaction Survey

A student satisfaction survey regarding the services provided by the Tutoring Center was launched on Survey Monkey.  The data from the survey is posted on the Academic Connections website.

The department moved from PLATO to MyFoundationsLab – an online Pearson technology educational platform. This program offers a complete, mastery-based, resource system for assessing and remediating college- and career-readiness skills in reading, writing and mathematics.

Program Review was successfully completed which allowed the department to assess itself and set new goals for the coming year.

Tutoring Services:

The Tutoring Center changed its tutoring philosophy to an open access no appointment system which created a more student friendly environment and allowed students to have access to all tutoring services in one centralized location. This change also assisted in cross training and enabling tutors to more efficiently provide students with increased tutoring time and assist them in multiple subject areas.The hours of the Center were extended to include late evenings and Saturdays.

In addition to offering tutoring services in all levels of English and Math, students receive tutoring in Accounting, Business Math, Anatomy, Biology, Physiology, Chemistry, Physics, Economics, French, Psychology, Sociology, and Carpentry Math.

During the Fall semester, the Tutoring Center served 1,320 unique students for a total of 9.264 hours. This was achieved with 17 tutors and 7 front desk staff!

Curriculum Enhancements:

Students enrolled in Learning Skills 2C and 10C were pre-post tested using the full TABE battery which provided a full report of each student’s competencies and deficiencies.  TABE  testing will be expand this to all classes beginning Spring 2014. This service will:

  • provide a good snap shot of student progress
  • be a tool to refine courses to meet the real needs of  students, and
  • help the department plan, design, measure and meet the English and Math Competency
  • Goals for PACTS Tier 2.

In the Noncredit Discipline, instructor-led Connection Sessions/ workshops were held on specific skill competencies to enhance discrete skills in reading, writing and math.

Cohort-based GED preparation classes were launched for students testing at TABE level D and A.

CASAS vouchers were provided to students who were ready to take the GED test.

The Noncredit ESL 006CE, 007CE, 008CE, and 010CE course outlines were updated and a robust noncredit ESL program will be offered in the Spring 2014 semester. This newly refined ESL Pathway transitions students from Noncredit into Learning Skills classes and then into credit English courses.

English Learner Civics programs will also begin in the Spring 2014 semester.

Beginning next semester, the Noncredit Discipline will begin offering English and Math courses using the BS2 and BS 35 course shells for TABE Level E. This move will provide students with focused attention on English and Math to accelerate their learning pathways.

In Winter 2014, the department will offer a Noncredit Certificate in College Readiness in a small cohort model using MyFoundationsLab and the full TABE Battery test to track student achievement in English, Math, Computers and Study Skills.

Beginning in Spring 2014, the department will re-launch consistent offerings of a sampling of noncredit courses that are components of the College Readiness Certificate and the Career Readiness Certificate. In the coming spring, Noncredit Faculty will be instrumental in assuring that the curriculum development process is completed at the district and state levels. Both of these certificates are strategic components in transitioning students from PATCS Tier 1 into PACTS  Tier 2.

Partnerships with other Departments & Community Agencies:

Academic Connections collaborated with the Fashion department to provide a contextualized basic math geared specifically for fashion students.  The department also continued its partnership with Cosmetology to provide their students with access to the Milady testing software and worked with students to prepare for State Boards.

There is continued collaboration with the Bridges to Success Center to assist in transitioning students from the community through BS75: Orientation into Noncredit and Learning Skills courses. The role of the Bridges to Success Center as a one-stop center located across from the Academic Connections Department has been a great asset to students and their effective matriculation.

Through the Bridges to Success Center partnerships were built with several Green Dot schools in the surrounding community to provide ESL and basic computer classes for parents.

This semester, Academic Connections collaborated with Jamila Guerrero-Cantor, one of the LATTC counselors, to provide a class specifically geared to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing students on campus. The classes focused on writing and math and were taught by adjunct instructors who were themselves Deaf and Hard of Hearing!

The Academic Connections Department will strive to provide innovative programs to enhance and encourage students to achieve academic excellence.