Last May we reported on the Los Rios Community College District’s ahead-of-the-game implementation of state-mandated student supportive services (“Renewable Resources,” May 2014). Those improved services were required by colleges statewide for the fall 2014 term as part of the 2012 Student Success Act. Now, the rest of the state is about to catch up.
On August 21st, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the Foundation for California Community Colleges unveiled Step: Forward, a marketing campaign and website to help students understand the requirements for priority registration upon enrollment. The program’s launch came just six days before the California Community Colleges announced it would aim to increase the number of students meeting educational goals (whether by earning a degree or by transferring to a 4-year institution) by almost 250,000 students over the next 10 incoming freshman classes.
Step: Forward focuses on three elements. After students apply for enrollment online, they are guided through a set of instructions to go through orientation, take their assessment and then create an educational plan.
The Los Rios Community College District has been working on increased supportive services for students since 2008 and had its own version of Step: Forward called Steps to Success, implemented last January.
Los Rios Vice Chancellor of Student Services Victoria Rosario says more than 17,000 students completed Los Rios’ online orientation since last February, compared to 2,000 during the spring 2013 term. Between January and July of this year, around 30,000 electronic education plans were created by counselors with students, and around 20,000 students completed their assessment (compared to just under 5,000 for the spring 2013 semester).
Los Rios also now offers its Steps to Success in Spanish and plans to roll out a series of additional languages in the coming months.
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