Targeting Success: Initiatives Take Aim at Completion

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In an effort to assist more students to achieve their dream of a college degree, Atlantic Cape developed a series of initiatives aimed at promoting student retention and success.

These Student Success Initiatives promote both academic achievement and career development to provide all students assistance where they need it most.

“By focusing attention on creating an institutional culture of success, these initiatives are achieving significant results,” says Dr. Mitchell Levy, Vice President of Student Affairs and Branch Campus Management.

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Accelerated Learning Program

The Accelerated Learning Program allows students who test into ENGL080 Reading/Writing II, a remedial course, to both accelerate their progress and improve their success by mainstreaming them into an ENGL101 Composition I class when they also take the ALP support course, ENGL099. Due to its successful outcomes, this program earned the prestigious 2016 Diana Hacker TYCA Award for Outstanding Programs in English for Two-Year Colleges and Teachers by the Two-Year College English Association of the National Council of the Teachers of English.

Accelerated Math

Students who need Developmental Math (073/074) can take both remedial courses in one semester through new scheduling that offers the classes in two six-week blocks.

Career Development

To increase student success, the college has increased the focus on providing students with career assessment and career development services. By assisting students in making informed career decisions, they find increased empowerment and motivation, in addition to ownership of their educational goals. This effort has led to the 2016 Promising Practices Award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

Early Alert

This collaboration between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs offers faculty a forum to refer students that are exhibiting behaviors not conducive to academic success as soon as they are observed. This early reporting enables immediate intervention to assist the student in completing the course.

Honors Program

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Rich Russell, Assistant Professor of English, teaches Honors Composition II.

The Honors Program is designed for students who excel academically and want to work more intensely in a small class environment. Honors courses offer high-achieving students the opportunity to participate in engaging and creative learning environments that extend beyond those of the regular classroom.

K-12 Partnerships

The K-12 initiative is a two-pronged approach. “Speed Up” is geared toward students in high school who have proven to be college ready. They take part in dual credit and articulation agreements. “Catch Up” is the model for students needing developmental work. These students often drop out because they do not see the value of remedial courses toward their certification or degree. The college is initiating early intervention programming in some high schools so students can complete developmental work before they graduate and receive career planning advice.

Math Boot Camp

Studies at Atlantic Cape have shown if students can succeed in mathematics courses they are more likely to graduate. The college implemented Math Boot Camp, which uses MyFoundationsLab software, in the summer for students who test near the cutoff for college-level math. This program was cited by Gov. Chris Christie as a model for College Readiness Now initiatives.

Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment allows students the opportunity to seek credit for life and professional experience and previously earned credentials. Students who demonstrate college-level knowledge and competencies from experiences outside a traditional post-secondary education may be awarded up to 25 college credits toward a Technical Studies, Associate in Applied Science degree. These competencies can include military training, employer training programs, union apprenticeships, professional certifications and licensures, independent study, or volunteer/community service. A separate application is required for admission to this program.

The Student Success Initiatives are an outgrowth of the college’s participation in the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network, which Atlantic Cape joined in 2012. Achieving the Dream is a national network dedicated to helping more community college students succeed.

For more information on these initiatives, visit atlantic.edu/atd.

- Stacey Clapp

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