Journal of Applied Research in Community Colleges. Peer-Reviewed Since 1993

FALL 2018 - VOLUME 25, ISSUE 2

Results of Reform in Developmental Education: The Hawaii Story

Cathy Bio, University of Hawaii Community Colleges
Kristine Korey-Smith, University of Hawaii-Maui

In 2016, the University of Hawaii Community Colleges (UHCCs) implemented scaled English and math reform efforts focused on increasing students’ completion of college-level math and English courses within their first year. The UHCC strategic plan specified completion targets, but the system leadership allowed campuses some flexibility in redesigning the structure, curriculum, and delivery models necessary to meet the targets. This article describes the efforts leading to scaled developmental education reform and initial results showing improvements for all of the colleges. Collectively, completion rates increased from 37 percent to 54 percent for English, and from 14 percent to 32 percent for math, with some colleges showing dramatic gains. Further analysis is necessary to understand which structures, curricula, and delivery models have the most impact on completion of college-level English and math courses.

Keywords: developmental education reform; English and math courses; University of Hawaii Community College system

Bio, C., & Korey-Smith, K. (2018). Results of reform in developmental education: The Hawaii story. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 25(2), 1-12.

Promises, Pathways and Practices: How Cuyamaca College Maintained Its Promise to eliminate the Basic Skills Pipeline of Doom

Pam Kersey, Cuyamaca College
Tammi Marshall, Cuyamaca College
Lauren Halsted, Cuyamaca College
Terrie Nichols, Cuyamaca College

Cuyamaca College was the first community college in California to completely transform its basic skills approach. By implementing structural changes to basic skills programs coupled with pedagogical reforms and intensive ongoing professional development, Cuyamaca College has substantially increased the proportion of incoming students – across all disproportionately impacted groups – who successfully enter and complete a transferable math and English course in one year. Consequently, Cuyamaca College provides each student with an achievable pathway to earning a degree or certificate, transferring to a four-year institution, and earning a living wage. More importantly, our accelerated pathways through transferable English and math programs convince seemingly underprepared students from all groups that they belong in college and have the capacity to do college-level work. In essence, the college opened the door to education’s promise for all students – including students of color, low-income students, former and current foster youth, veterans, and students with disabilities.

Keywords: acceleration; basic skills; improved pedagogy

Kersey, P., Marshall, T., Halsted, L., & Nichols, T. (2018). Promises, pathways and practices: How Cuyamaca College maintained its promise to eliminate the basic skills pipeline of doom. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 25(2), 13-21.

Reconceptualizing Strategic Planning: Planning Strategically for Student Success

Yash Morimoto, Santa Fe Community College
Rene O. Guillaume, New Mexico State University

While educational leaders are familiar with strategic planning for accountability purposes, few properly implement their strategic plan and fail to realize its full potential. Fatigue around strategic planning sets in with those involved in the process due in part to inaction, with campus constituents often seeing this process as futile. Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) was able to develop a culture of strategic planning where principles of continuous quality improvement were embraced as its centerpiece. A change in culture as it pertains to the strategic plan saw SFCC double the graduation rate in three years and double the number of certificate completions in a 5-year period. This practice brief explores the ways in which strategic planning has taken place at one community college and provides concrete strategies that community college practitioners, planners, and administrators can take as part of implementing their institutional strategic plan in a successful manner.

Keywords: strategic planning; institutional culture; data-driven; decision-making

Morimoto, Y., & Guillaume, R. O. (2018). Reconceptualizing strategic planning: Planning strategically for student success. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 25(2), 23-30.

Students Who Can Lead a Cause: Civic Engagement at Western Community College

Clifford P. Harbour, University of North Texas

This manuscript reports findings from a qualitative interpretive case study. The underlying single-site case study examined how informed faculty and staff at a community college nominated for its exemplary civic engagement initiatives explained the leadership culture associated with the success of these initiatives. Nine participants were interviewed after being nominated by two campus administrators. The college’s public documents regarding civic engagement programming were also collected and analyzed. Analysis of the data led to the emergence of three themes, which, after further abstraction of the data, led to an overarching interpretation. This case study revealed how a campus wide commitment to encourage student engagement (in civic engagement activities and events, in service learning projects, and in student clubs and student leadership councils) expressed a shared commitment to develop “students who could lead a cause.”

Keywords: civic engagement; community college; leadership culture

Harbour, C. P. (2018). Students who can lead a cause: Civic engagement at Western Community College. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 25(2), 31-40.

Utilizing Narrative Pedagogy to Disrupt Impostorism: Strategies for Community College Faculty to Support Students of Color

Lisa Richardson Gates, San Diego State University
Chasejamison Akilah Manar-Spears, San Diego State University
Carolyn Johnson, College of Alameda
Brianda Gumbs, San Diego State University

This article offers anecdotal support for the adoption of a narrative pedagogical approach to disrupt the impostor phenomenon for students of color in community colleges. The review of literature considers previous research on the impostor phenomenon (also referred to in the literature as the impostor syndrome or impostorism) with a special focus on how impostorism negatively impacts students of color. A discussion of the significance of utilizing narrative and enacting a narrative pedagogy is also presented. Narrative, it is argued, is a key pedagogical strategy for faculty in diverse classrooms to offer opportunities for students of color to integrate themselves into their learning environment without having to sacrifice their identities, connections to culture, or community. The authors suggest that stories illuminate a part of students’ existence that often remains unexamined using more traditional pedagogies. Specific recommendations for community college faculty to apply narrative assignments in the classroom are presented in the last section of the article. Given its ubiquitousness, the authors conclude by arguing that the impostor phenomenon should be considered as a paradigm for teaching students of color in community colleges.

Keywords: impostor phenomenon; impostor syndrome; impostorism; narrative; narrative pedagogy; students of color; community college faculty; stories; paradigm

Gates, L. R., Manar-Spears, C. A., Johnson, C., & Gumbs, B. (2018). Utilizing narrative pedagogy to disrupt impostorism: Strategies for community college faculty to support students of color. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 25(2), 41-49.

Learning to Learn: Developing Learning Power

Guyla D. Blaylock, Richland College
Bao Huynh, Richland College

Learning to Learn: Developing Learning Power was designed to foster the traits of lifelong learning through an emphasis on changing and learning. Through effort and the intentional practice of thinking, it was hypothesized that academic performance and milestone completion would be positively impacted. Faculty made efforts to enhance growth mindsets and used pedagogical tools called thinking routines to enhance thinking ability. The result was improved student success, milestone completion rates, higher levels of changing and learning, and evidence of more complex thinking.

Keywords: pedagogy; critical thinking; changing and learning

Blaylock, G. D., & Huynh, B. (2018). Learning to learn: Developing learning power. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 25(2), 51-57.

Emergency Management in Community Colleges: Why Colleges Need to be Prepared

Dave Dibelka, University of Nebraska—Lincoln

This practice brief provides community college leaders with recommendations for preparing for emergencies that could occur on their campuses. When issues occur on college campuses that have an impact on day-to-day operations, administrators need to be prepared to ensure that their students, faculty, and staff have the knowledge of what to do before and after these situations occur. Also, these issues can bring increased media attention and, if the incident is not handled properly, it can cause serious harm to the institution’s reputation. Having plans and teams in place prior to an incident will benefit not only the institution but those that are directly affected by the emergency as well.

Keywords: emergency response; threat assessment; notifications

Dibelka, D. (2018). Emergency management in community colleges: Why colleges need to be prepared. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 25(2), 59-65.

Use of Laptops/Chromebooks in the Community College English Composition Classroom: Best Practices

Cynthia J. Spence, Imperial Valley College

In spring of 2018, as part of a best practices pilot program, Imperial Valley College incorporated the use of individual laptops or Chromebooks in the community college English composition classroom. One hundred twenty-five students participated in the project and completed an exit survey at the end of the semester. By using in-class computers, students can experiment with composition and research strategies while receiving direct feedback from the instructor. Waiting for students to turn in typed drafts slows the instruction process. The expectation is students using in-class laptops or Chromebooks will be more engaged in the writing process, instruction will accelerate, and more time can be spent on improving student compositions and helping students reach college level expectations.

Keywords: English composition; laptops; accelerated learning

Spence, C. J. (2018). Use of laptops/chromebooks in the community college english composition classroom: Best practices. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 25(2), 67-70.