This semester, for the first time, the FACE Department launched an Academic Assistance Program (AAP) to assist their students. This program made a difference in student success. The idea to offer this program came after assessing student’s success and discovering a need for improvement in math and writing specific skills to the child development and culinary arts course work.
The Academic Assistance Program was held Friday mornings from 9-12. Each Friday, a faculty member would spend the first hour lecturing on a seminar topic designed specifically for child development and culinary art students. Then, from 10 -12, the faculty member was available to give expert advice to the students on child development and culinary arts class assignments.
The program held 10 sessions face to face at Bakersfield College and one on the Delano Campus, as well as online.
Over the course of the semester we had more than 80 students participate in the face to face component and 16 students participate in the online component. Below are the seminar topics that were covered. The program was very successful and we hope to have even greater success as the program continues in the Spring.
One example of making a difference is described in the following story written by one of the child development faculty:
“In the last session of the AAP I had a young, shy female student come in and ask me how to enroll in a class she was currently attending. I asked her, “Why are you trying to enroll in a class you are already in?” She said that she was going to fail the class because she did not understand the portfolio assessment assignment and was not going to submit it. She further stated that her plan was to take the F and retake the course the following semester. I asked her what her grade was to date and she replied, “I have a B”.
I then asked her if she had talked to the teacher concerning this and she said, “Yes the teacher explained the assignment to me and asked me if I understood. I just told her yes even though I didn’t.”
At this point I sat the young girl down and talked to her about fighting for her right to be educated and to not just give up. We then went over the assignment and she began to have “aha” moments.
When she left the AAP that day she was excited and determined to complete her assignment. This was for me a great day because I had the opportunity to reach a student that had given up and was ready to walk away from her class.
So often I have had students that just disappear towards the end of the semester without any explanation. In these moments, I often wonder what happens to the student and could I have done something different to help them.
Thanks to the AAP and its one on one component with students, I was able to discourage a student from dropping a course in someone else’s class and improve success in our department.”
For today’s student, learning is more than simply acquiring knowledge. While learning certainly involves mastery of subject matter, it also requires the application of that knowledge, the discovery and utilization of resources, and the solving of problems. Such learning may occur anywhere in the college environment and is not restricted to interactions between students and instructors in a classroom. Instead, the entire campus works together to support student growth and development for life long learning. Effective student learning, in fact, becomes essential to the social and economic development of multicultural California. Consequently, policy directions for Bakersfield College are based on providing, monitoring and improving student learning through appropriate assessment measures. Outcomes assessment is the process that not only monitors what and how well students learn, but it also measures the effectiveness of the institution in providing effective learning opportunities. These opportunities must include the dissemination and understanding of learning objectives and student support strategies as well as the consistent application of high academic standards.
Overall, such an on-going student outcomes assessment process works to improve institutional effectiveness. This process uses multiple measures of valid, reliable, and relevant assessment procedures, both quantitative and qualitative, to monitor and improve courses, services, and programs. The data collected over time will provide information for curriculum reform, broad-based planning, resource allocation, organizational leadership, institutional governance, and staff and student development.
This information is used to improve instruction, student, and community services, and to certify academic excellence for the college clientele and constituencies. In addition to meeting state and accreditation requirements, this ongoing assessment process will provide the campus the following opportunities:
recruitment and outreach strategies
links to community learning and economic development
on-going staff development projects
learning communities and interdisciplinary collaboration
Individual personnel evaluation is addressed in the Kern Community College Board Policy and Procedures Manual and CCA Contract and is separate from this student outcomes assessment process.