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Darton State College-2015-Transforming Remediation, -Corequisite remediation

Year: 
2016

Update on Strategy 3:

High-impact strategy

Strategy 3: Transform Remediation

Transform Remediation by (a) ending the practice of requiring students to withdraw from all collegiate courses when they withdraw from learning support courses and (b) placing students in co-requisite remediation courses with unlimited attempts for success.

Related goal

Goal 7:  Increase the likelihood of degree completion by transforming the way that remediation is accomplished.

Summary of activities

(a)   DSC ended the practice of requiring students to drop all courses when a learning support course is dropped. The only exception is that students cannot drop a co-requisite course without dropping the attached collegiate-level course.  DSC hosted five different training sessions open to the entire campus regarding these new changes to educate them on the initiative and all other learning support changes. 

(b)  In fall 2014, DSC added ENGL 0999 (+ENGL 1101) to the schedule for the first time and allowed students to place directly into co-requisite remediation if they required reading and/or English remediation. In spring 2015, DSC began offering co-requisite remediation for quantitative reasoning (MATH 1001 + MATH 0997), and in fall 2015, will begin offering co-requisite remediation for college algebra (MATH 1111 + MATH 0999).  Students will also be able to place directly into math co-requisite remediation in fall 2015, meaning that the program will be at full-scale implementation for all learning support courses by fall 2015.  While students in foundations-level learning support courses are allowed only two attempts to exit, students in co-requisite remediation have unlimited attempts to exit.  DSC has seen the biggest impact on the number of students who are suspended for learning support attempts.  Our numbers over the past few semesters have dropped dramatically!

Baseline status

Number of students who were withdrawn from all courses in fall 2013 after dropping one or more learning support courses:

ENGL 0099

READ 0099

MATH 0097

MATH 0099

5

2

33

5

While this number is not very high, it is also important to note that many students chose to stop attending class and receive an F rather than have all of their courses removed. Of course, not all F grades are reflective on non-attendance, but a significant number certainly are.  Students who continued to attend learning support courses and participate in their coursework would receive an IP grade instead of an F. 

Percentage of students who received an F for a learning support course in fall 2013:

ENGL 0099

READ 0099

MATH 0097

MATH 0099

9%

10%

43%

23%

The option to provide co-requisite remediation has helped our students in two ways. First of all, it allows them to successfully complete learning support and their gateway course in one semester. Additionally, the ability to have unlimited attempts cuts down on the number of students who would have been suspended for reaching their max attempts in learning support.

Pass Rates for Learning Support Reading and English

In fall 2013, 69% of students passed ENGL 0099 and 73% of students passed READ 0099; this includes students who were in their first and second attempts.

Suspensions

Spring 2012 - Number of students who were suspended for max learning support attempts in reading, English, and/or math: 139

Spring 2013 - Number of students who were suspended for max learning support attempts in reading, English, and/or math: 127

Interim measures of progress

In fall 2014, all students were able to drop a learning support course without dropping everything. As a W does not count as an attempt for Foundations courses, this gives students an additional chance to complete a course when they feel more prepared.  However, not many students have taken advantage of this opportunity.  In fall 2014, only 27 students dropped a learning support course. Additionally, the fail rate continued to be high for fall 2014 LS courses:

ENGL 0989

ENGL 0999+1101

MATH 0987

MATH 0097

MATH 0099

19%

44%

23%

39%

13%

As was mentioned above, the creation of co-requisite remediation

Pass Rates for Learning Support Reading and English

Of those who tested directly into ENGL 0989 in fall 2014, 70% were able to successfully pass the course by their second attempt.  The pass rate for these students in their first attempt was 62%.

In fall 2014, 71 students were enrolled in ENGL 1101 and ENGL 0999. The pass rates for the first semester of co-requisite remediation were not as high as originally hoped. 

First Attempt

Pass ENGL 1101

Fail ENGL 1101

Withdrew

43.7%

52.1%

4.2%

Second Attempt

Pass ENGL 1101

Fail ENGL 1101

Withdrew

Did not Retake

22%

43%

13%

22%

As we started the math co-requisite in the spring, we do not yet have data for this area.

Suspensions

In spring 2014, we were able to make large improvements with a pilot which, allowed students to switch their math pathways.  This resulted in about 50 fewer students who would have been suspended.  With the full implementation of our co-requisite remediation for fall 2015 semester, that number has dropped by 50 more students. Students who had completed MATH 0097 with a C or higher were able to transition into MATH 0997+1001 (if their pathway allowed) or MATH 0999+1111, both of which allow for unlimited attempts. 

Number of students who were suspended for max learning support attempts in spring 2014: 78

Number of students who were suspended for max learning support attempts in spring 2015: 22

Measures of success

(a)   Prior to completing this report, our institution had not developed measures of success for this strategy, aside from tracking those who were able to drop the learning support courses without deleting their entire schedule, which in itself is a success.  However, we are currently writing a report that will pull the semester GPAs for those students who do withdraw from a learning support course to see if they are still successful in their other courses. 

(b)   Overall, 56% of students who tested into co-requisite remediation passed the course by their second attempt.  Though this number is not exceedingly high, and even though it is lower than the pass rate for the stand-alone learning support courses, we have seen an improvement in college-level course success.  In fall 2013, only 38% of students who had previously been enrolled in a learning support reading or English course passed ENGL 1101 in fall 2013 (this includes students on any attempt of ENGL 1101). 

This speaks to CCG strategy 7.3: Ensure that all remediation is targeted toward supporting students in the skills they need to pass the collegiate course.  Though our students’ pass rates in the stand-alone remediation courses for English and reading were higher before the revamp, their pass rates for their college-level (ENGL 1101) course were not.  The new courses are geared toward creating success for ENGL 1101 and not for passing an exit COMPASS test, as is evidenced by the data above.

We will also continue to monitor the number of students who are suspended because of maximum learning support attempts, particularly as the new policy for only two attempts in math learning support is implemented at the foundations level.

Lessons learned

(a)   Though we provided training campus-wide to address this policy change, we did not see a significant change in those students who did drop the learning support course, and the failure rate for the learning support courses is still very high.  To counteract this, the instructors will begin more intrusive advising for their students with the help of our new Transitional Studies and Academic Retention Coordinator. The instructors and the coordinator will work with learning support students to be sure they are aware of their options and the implications of withdrawing from or staying in the course. Of course, it is preferable for a student to take his or her learning support course in the first semester and pass it on the first attempt, but for some very unprepared students, withdrawing from the course and continuing to work on refining skills until the next semester is sometimes the better way to go. We also hope that as the new EPI and MPI indices are put in place that we will have a better way to place students in a way that will allow them to be most successful. Finally, when the math pathways and learning support levels are at full implementation in fall 2015, we hope that this will also assist students to be more successful in their future coursework and not just their learning support courses.

(b)   Though students are not being suspended any longer, we are still concerned about the pass rates for students in co-requisite remediation. To further help students who are struggling in English 1101, we have established a Supporting Opportunities for Success (SOS) team for our 1101 sections.  The SOS team members will specifically provide support to those students in their second attempt of ENGL 1101, so that their second attempt will hopefully be their last.  Of course, assistance will be provided to any student requesting support.  In addition to students reaching out for support, instructors will also work with the SOS team to create plans of action for struggling students.

This team will consist of our Writing Center personnel and our Transitional Studies and Academic Retention Coordinator.  They will be placed in the GaView support shells or online courses of our 1101 sections to assist repeating students with any difficulty they may face.  The Writing Center personnel can provide specific assistance for essay writing and documentation strategies, and they will direct students to appropriate personnel in the library when needed. The Retention Coordinator will point students toward other campus resources for additional problems they may face including disability services, counseling needs, or help with motivation and time management. 

The SOS team will begin with pilot sections in fall 2015.  The team members will be placed in all sections of ENGL 1101 which are paired with 0999.

Finally, as we will be at full-scale implementation of all learning support in math and reading/English in fall 2015, we will continue to track student success not just in learning support but in related college-level courses, as well.