Completion Initiative

Meeting enrollment targets is more critical than ever and cannot be accomplished through marketing and outreach alone. Retaining students and helping them persist to earn degrees and certificates is a necessity for both individual and institutional success.  The Completion Initiative focuses onhigh-impact practices using student achievement data to inform how and where we make changes to college policies, procedures, programming, and staffing.

During the 14-15 academic year, 11 task forces met to move the college forward, with several key results:

  1. Implementation of case-management advising for the general college population
  2. Identified Professional Development opportunities related to several areas, notably mandatory advising and instructional delivery.
  3. Consistency of pay, marketing, and student tracking for all Tutoring locations.

Recommendation #1: Definition of Completion

Completed by the original Task Force and adopted for use – “Define completion as a student’s attainment of a baccalaureate degree, associate degree, certificate of proficiency (45 to 89 credits), or certificate of completion (less than 45 credits).”

Recommendation #2: Inclusion beyond IPEDS

Completed by the original Task Force and adopted for use in developing additional data sets/reports – “Track the following types of degree and certificate-seeking student to determine student completion rates:

1. New, returning, and transfer

2. Full time and part time

3. Starting in basic skills

4. Starting in any quarter

5. Taking up to six years to complete a degree”

Recommendation #3: Integration with Major College Planning and Processes

Implemented by the Accreditation Committee and IPEC – “Completion data be integrated into measuring the following:

1. Mission fulfillment

2. Core theme attainment

3. Strategic Plan success”

Recommendation #4


Consistent Course Offerings

Core Team Leader: Sara Linnertz (previously Christian Bruhn)

 

Recommendation: this group should continue to convene and work on the activities highlighted below.

Year One Accomplishments

1. Research

  • Reviewed other institutions and their offerings
  • Created yearly schedule for the Business DTA as a case study for identifying problems and proposing solutions
  • Met with CSNT program to discuss alternate models

2. Identify needs for academic core and transfer classes

  • Created intensive summer course offerings at Redmond for key academic transfer classes
  • Scheduled additional academic transfer classes for the 2015-2016 academic year

3. Create common messaging regarding new offerings; Involve lead faculty/program advisors to new class offerings

  • Initial phase of contacting faculty members and advisors to inform of new course offerings

Plans for Year Two (15-16)

1. Develop student survey to identify wants and needs

Responsible: Instruction team

2. Create common messaging regarding new offerings

  • Assess effectiveness of previous classes, including impact on student progression/completion. Responsible: Instruction team
  • Develop a marketing plan/schedule for specialized, including summer, offerings to increase awareness and enrollment. Responsible: Marketing team, Instruction team

3. Create a standardized annual schedule that avoids varied start times, removes overlapping classes, and keeps student completion in mind

  • Review academic annual plans for each program
  • Look at different times to offer courses
  • Connect this work with annual program review processes
  • Ensure changes are sustainable

Responsible: Associate Dean of Engagement and Learning, Manager of Instructional Services and team

4. Use CSNT as a model for pre-reqs and co-reqs aligned with class offerings to assist students in completing math/English sequences, place importance on academic classes to progress, and prevent back-teaching

  • Research possible program compatibility
  • Identify pilot programs

Responsible: Associate Dean of Engagement and Learning and corresponding division deans

Recommendation #5 Mandatory Advising

Core Team Leaders: Jerry Peterson and Katie Viola

 

Recommendation: This group should disband and work should be distributed as highlighted below.

Year One Accomplishments

1. Professional Development:

  • Meeting regarding implementation of professional development for Mandatory Advising. Decision that VPSS will present to faculty and staff during Opening Week. Case Managers will be included in division meetings during opening week.

2. Require HMDS 111:

  • Referred to Instructional Council for discussion.

3. Student Success Navigator assigned to each instructional division:

  • Model piloted in Spring 2015 with the Business and IT areas; broad implementation expected in 15-16

4. Determine what “mandatory advising” means for LWtech:

  • Cross departmental meeting used to examine best practices and initial splits between student service and faculty.

Plans for Year Two (15-16)

1. Professional Development-Examples may include:

a. Host Student Services Open House
b. Best practices in faculty advising
c. Tips and tricks for advising like using CANVAS, SMS, etc
d. Sessions about student support resources
e. Creation of video on Mandatory Advising Model

Responsible: VPSS, Associate Dean of Engagement and Learning

2. Student Success Navigator assigned to each instructional division by Spring 2016:

a. Andrea Fechner – Business programs (BTE, Accounting, Human Resources).
b. Sunny Ybarra – IT programs (ITAD and CSNT) and Applied Design (ENGR and MMDP).
c. Michael Leary – Transportation (AUTO, MMPE, ACBT, DHET) and Non-Selective Health Care (FSE, DENT, MEDA, FTNS, OTA, MAST)
d. Neera Mehta – Manufacturing (WELD, MACH, ELEC)
e. Alma Osorio – Service (SHSV, HORT, CULA/BAKE, ECE)
f. Lynne Szymanski – All bachelor programs, BUS/Math Ed/ Const/Tech DTAs
g. Chris Harter – Pre-Nursing DTA

Responsible: VP of Student Services

3. Determine what “mandatory advising” means for LWtech:

  • Meet with FT Faculty/Program leads who are doing advising + Advisors/Coordinators/Navigators regarding partnership/roles
  • Connect with other colleges who are already using this model

Responsible: VP of Student Services, VP of Instruction

Recommendation #6 Instructional DeliveryCore Team Leader: Sally Heilstedt

 

Recommendation: this group should continue to convene and work on the activities highlighted below in smaller teams under the guidance of the Associate Dean of Engagement and Learning.

Year One Accomplishments

1. Define/Describe the following instructional delivery methods: contextualized learning, learning communities, accelerated learning, service learning, hybrid & online learning, cohort model, faculty validation of student learning, I-BEST model, e-portfolios, making learning rewarding

2. Investigate and record how the instructional delivery methods are currently being used at LWTech.

3. Identify high impact practices and supporting data for each of the instructional delivery methods; answer the question, “How does this method of teaching impact completion?”

  • Work teams created; Contextualized learning, I-BEST model, Making Learning Rewarding, Hybrid, and online complete
  • Developed sessions to be offered during Opening Week 2015 related to the instructional delivery methods
  • Sent team to Assessment, Teaching, and Learning Conference April 29-May 1

Plans for Year Two (15-16)

  1. Complete definitions
  2. Develop an engaging and easy to reference faculty guide that includes information for each methodology
  3. Provide professional development opportunities related to each methodology
  4. Work with stake holders to support expanded implementation of methodologies
  5. Research impact of broader implementation of “new-to-LWTech” methodologies such as service learning and e-portfolios

Responsible: Associate Dean of Engagement and Learning

Recommendation #7: Professional Development

Core Team Leaders: Sarah Ross and Letty Barnes

 

Recommendation: This group should disband and work should be distributed as highlighted below.

Year One Accomplishments

1. Ongoing software and IT training

  • TLC has been revived as Center for Engagement and Learning and is actively providing training opportunities and laying ground for additional possibilities
  • TLC has begun collecting data on registrations for a variety of training offerings

2. EDUC teaching classes for prof-tech certification and possible articulation with South Seattle College’s BAS is Technical Teaching

  • Current offerings reviewed by faculty Fall 2014 and Winter 2015
  • EDUC 201 offered Spring 2015; 3 enrolled

3. Regular time for faculty to share best practices

  • Proposal funded in Spring 2015 for a pilot series of gatherings with structured content that merged with EDUC 201
  • Summer Institute 2015 will provide significant time for sharing best practices.

4. Diversity training for faculty/staff to work with diverse populations and across college borders

  • Proposal funded Dr. Caprice Hollins of Cultures Connecting to speak on Implicit Bias for faculty and staff

Plans for Year Two (15-16)

1.  Retention training, including corresponding systems

  • This has not yet been addressed specifically, but has been folded in as a natural next step of the advising model discussions.
  • Purpose and Vocation FLC.

Responsible: VP of Student Services, Associate Dean of Engagement and Learning

2. Ongoing software and IT training through Engagement and Learning office

3. Ongoing continuous improvement and responsiveness

Responsible: Engagement and Learning team

4. EDUC teaching classes for prof-tech certification and possible articulation with South Seattle College’s BAS/Technical Teaching

  • Further discussion is needed for whether the articulation is the best path, given concerns about the credit-bearing model’s limitations for part-time faculty

Responsible: Engagement and Learning team

5. Regular time for faculty to share best practices

  • Take pilot results and determine whether to repeat or adjust

Responsible: Employee Professional Development Committee

6. Diversity training for faculty/staff to work with diverse populations and across college borders

  • This goal will continue in Year 2, possibly continuing the action of specific training events for large audiences. TBD.

Responsible: Interim Diversity Program Coordinator, Engagement and Learning team

Recommendation #8: Intake and Exit Processes

Core Team Leaders: Nolan Koreski and Lynne Szymanski

 

Recommendation: This group should disband and work should be distributed as highlighted below.

Year One Accomplishments

1. Review written processes for students (intake, ongoing, exit); get student input on forms

  • Input gathered through student volunteers

2. COMPASS Preparation

  • Students can now retake COMPASS test after attending a COMPASS prep workshop

3. COMPASS Alternatives: Previous college credit, personal interviews, Smarter Balance, high school transcripts, LASSI, writing samples, directed self-placement

  • Microsoft funding awarded for faculty to research alternative placement, particularly directed-self-placement; currently underway

Plans for Year Two (15-16)

1. Review written processes for students (intake, ongoing, exit); get student input on forms

  • Analyze student feedback and improve forms accordingly
  • Research impact of auto awarding degrees to students

Responsible: Director of Admissions and Outreach, Director of Student Development.

2. Continue to discuss clear entrance point that helps students get exactly where they need to be when they first arrive at LWTech

Responsible: VP of Administrative Services

3. COMPASS Alternatives:

  • Review report from year one and implement solution.

Responsible: VP Student Services, Division Dean

Recommendation #9: Cultural Competency and Inclusive Hiring Practices

Will be addressed by the EDIP and corresponding work.

Recommendation #10: Funds for Completion Work.

Executive Cabinet reviewed fiscal requests from the task forces to allocate money from a Microsoft grant. $XXXXX were allocated for faculty special assignments, professional development and HR.

Recommendation #11: Tutoring

Core Team Leader: Cheyenne Roduin

 

Recommendation: This group should disband and work should be distributed as highlighted below.

Year One Accomplishments

1. Developed a cohesive definition and meaning for tutoring at LWTech

  • Mission statement created and adopted
  • LWTech Tutoring Support website added to school website
  • Banners developed for Tutoring Support centers

2. Investigate research tied to tutoring and completion (engagement and support), gathered in a Canvas shell

3. Consistency among all tutoring centers

  • All centers using Who’s Next for student sign-in and identification of tutoring needs
  • Pay equity achieved for all faculty tutors across centers

Plans for Year Two (15-16)

1. Centralize location and leadership for all tutoring

  • Leadership
  • CRLA certification for LWTech tutoring centers – will aid in cohesive tutor training
  • Data collection on use of tutoring centers (peak times, needs, length of sessions, gaps in assistance, etc.)
  • Identify location/space for LWTech Tutor Center

Responsible: President, VP of Instruction, VP of Student Services

Recommendation #12: Increase in Full-Time Faculty

Adopted as an instructional goal under VPI.

Recommendation #13: Funding for Students

Core Team: Demetra Biros, Bill Chaney, Elisabeth Sorensen

 

Recommendation: this group should continue to convene and work on the activities highlighted below

Year One Accomplishments

1. Identify opportunities to better inform the college community (faculty, staff and students) of financial aid, scholarships, and WFD funding.

  • Financial Aid office will sent information to faculty 1x per quarter; faculty encouraged to add a brief statement about financial aid and scholarships in their syllabi
  • WFD expanded their outreach to potential and current students in order to increase enrollment into WFD funded programs:

a. Presented info to numerous classrooms, programs, and division meetings Fall, Winter and Spring quarter
b. Added a “funding survey” in order to identify students that may qualify for WFD support
c. Created/distributed a new ‘all inclusive’ WFD flyer
d. Created/distributed WFD Student Guide to all new students.

  • The Foundation sent info to faculty at least 1x per quarter

2. Expand funding for students.

  • The college and the Foundation encouraged participation in Fall breakfast fundraiser and sent emails to faculty/staff about contributions to foundation
  • The WFD department will continue to expand expanded eligibility for WRT students; increased participation in WFD graduation workshop; promoted new CANVAS Student Success Series; developed new WFD CANVAS shell with resources to support students
  • The financial aid office found additional opportunities to increase aid to students via the Childcare Grant

3. Investigate whether there is a need for incentive funding

  • Updated the exit/withdrawal survey; will go live in Fall 2015
  • Expanded the use of exit surveys for all WFD programs

4. Examined ways to support students that need funding in their last quarter of completion.

  • The Foundation developed a scholarship that is awarded in the last quarter before completion: Trustees Persistence Scholarship
  • Students that are nearing completion that are also at the end of their loan allocation were assessed for emergency funds by the financial aid office.
  • The Worker Retraining program assessed qualified students’ need for Training Completion Aid (TCA) and will allocate funds, if available; over $44,000 in TCA allocated in 14/15 year
  • WFD referred students to Community Based Organizations (CBOs) that provide funding and support for eligible students nearing completion

Plans for Year Two (15-16)

1. Continued implementation of year one goals

Responsible: Director of Workforce Development, Director of Financial Aid, Executive Director of the LWTech Foundation

Recommendation #14: Student Email

Core Team Leader: Mike Potter and Chris Harter

 

Recommendation: Disband and distribute work.

Year One Accomplishments

1. Create and implement a new tool in My LWTech to e-mail advisees and sub-groups/special populations (Veterans, DSS, Worker Retraining), by class

  • Added coding to support special populations winter quarter
  • Still in testing with faculty volunteers

2. Use of common login for network credentials

  • ITS attempts to use same logins on all newly purchased/implemented systems.  Student use of LWTech login credentials in use Spring 2015.

a. Increased the use of student email accounts by students and employees.
b. Moved provision of student e-mail accounts from a student’s registration to admission.
c. Students now activate during ROAR orientation.
d. Wording in student handbook will be stronger for 2015-16 academic year; “required” use.

Plans for Year Two (15-16)

1. Create and implement a new tool in My LWTech to e-mail advisees and sub-groups-special populations (Veterans, DSS, Worker retraining), by class

  • Widen the circle of testers
  • New product from SBCTC available in summer – HighPoint Messenger

Responsible: Director of IT Services

2. Develop business rules around student to college communication and increase  messaging of the expectations

Responsible: Director of IT Services, VP of Student Services, Associate Dean of Engagement and Learning

3. Use of common login for network credentials

  • A few accommodations need to be made for pre-admission student activities, like Testing.

Responsible: Director of IT Services, VP of Student Services

4. Develop video on setting up My LWTECH, have more Kiosks on campus with more noticeable signage for students to use

  • Kiosk application prototype is complete and awaits trial

Responsible: Director of IT services, Applications Developer

5. Be mindful of students language abilities as well as disabilities-how do students know there are options or accommodations?

Responsible: Director of IT Services, VP of Student Services, Manager of eLearning

Recommendation #15: Campus Environment

Core Team Leader: Sheila Walton

 

Recommendation: this group should continue to convene and work on the activities below

Year One Accomplishments

1. Established definition of engagement as it relates to the identified completion recommendation:“State of being in which students are invested in their education. It is constructed in two parts, an emotional component (identification) and a behavioral component (participation). Identification refers to students’ internalized feelings of belonging in school and that school is an important aspect of their identity and experience. Participation refers to the extent to which students participate with some regularity in academic and social school-based activities. Within higher education, engagement is the active extension of public service activities with the intent of ameliorating societal problems and improving the quality of life of citizens. It is related to other terms such as investment, involvement, outreach, and community services that benefit from institutional resources and capabilities.”

2. Generated a list of student services/activities that fell within the definition of student engagement/involvement:

a. Student Clubs.
b. Opportunities to participate in college committees.
c. Opportunities to be a part of the governance structure.
d. Honor societies.
e. Access to and creation of student centered activities with learning outcomes tied to core themes.
f. Opportunities to work on campus through a variety of student employment positions.
g.On campus internships
h. Clinical placements and externships; where reliance on faculty guidance is paramount.
i. Leadership training for students engaged in employment positions.
j. Opportunities for students to present their body of work done at the college for peer review and critical analysis; (investment in their education)
k. Volunteer opportunities available to students through Human Resources
l. ROAR is required for students new to college
m. Mechanism in place to report and manage students needing assistance.

3. Created a list of key places college communicates with students and identified areas where information may be confusing, complicated, or overwhelming; especially in enrollment and advising. Also reviewed tone of the language.

Plans for Year Two (15-16)

1. Decide what ‘ELSE’ the college should be doing for students to help them engage with their experience and ultimately the mission of the college; Implement the activities identified

2. Determine a common understanding of the “college experience” at LWTech.

3. Determine how the college is communicating with students where they are encouraged to engage with their experience.

a. More information regarding how information is integrated into faculty handouts is needed.

  • Work with other groups about the overwhelming nature of the paperwork this college has students complete.
  • Identify physical space where students are encouraged to engage with each other and assess identified outcomes of engagement. EX: If we have a student lounge, how is that lounge being used; are there established outcomes associated with that use and are those uses being assessed.

Responsible: Director of Student Programs, Coordinator of Student Programs, Associate Dean of Engagement and Learning