HCC is one of three community colleges in Connecticut
entering the fourth year of the $100,000 implementation grant. HCC joins
community colleges nation-wide to determine initiatives that will improve
student retention and success. Based on data collected over the previous
three year span of the grant, HCC’s initiatives have been refined and expanded.
Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count is
funded by the Lumina
Foundation for Education, KnowledgeWorks
Foundation and The
Nellie Mae Education Foundation.
National press has emphasized the issue of success for all college students,
including those attending community colleges. This problem is prevalent
throughout the country, regardless of background, ethnic or racial demographics.
Too many students leave college before they earn a diploma or certificate.
Multiple reasons are cited for these drop-out rates and the widening gap
for those enrolled students who do not achieve success and graduate. Achieving
the Dream hopes to determine what strategies will institute the changes
that will enhance student learning and their achievement of success.
HCC has established four priorities.
- More alignment with area high schools in order to close the
gap between high school preparation and college expectations.
To do this, the College is expanding admission to the Middle College
Program and is continuing the high school Bridges Program. In 2010-2011,
16 area high schools are involved. The Bridges program provides four
workshops developed with input from each high school to help prepare
students for college. The workshops include Orientation to College,
Financial Aid, Career Planning, and College Placement Test Preparation.
The workshops are held either at the high school or at Housatonic.
Parents are encouraged to attend.
- Increase success in math courses. To do this, certain
math courses have been reconstructed into modules which allow students
to proceed and advance as they are ready for next level work. The program
allows students to work on computers at their own pace. An instructor
and tutor are in the classroom to help if needed and students can access
the program at home to continue work. The Self-Paced format
includes MAT E 075 Prealgebra, MAT E095, Elementary Algebra, and MAT
137 Intermediate Algebra. Additionally, a short math refresher course
is offered to specific students before they take the Accuplacer placement
test. This has helped students test into a next level course, or out
of Developmental courses entirely.
- Improve the retention of students semester to semester and
persistence fall to fall. To do this a program called
Student Success Coaching helps students explore career options, take
a career interest inventory, and focus on determining a major. Members
of the college faculty and staff are success coaches who visit the
classrooms to discuss their own academic experiences and career
paths. Students are encouraged to contact their coaches should they
need additional information or mentoring. Additionally, career panels
are held with professionals in the field who discuss the options and
salaries in their areas and answer questions.
- Increase success in English courses.Self-Paced English
follows a similar self-paced format as Self-Paced Math and is offered
in EO13, Writing Foundations of English, and EO43, Writing Paragraph
For further information, contact President Anita Gliniecki, HCC
Achieving the Dream coordinator, (203) 332-5224, email@example.com.
Read About The Self-Paced Math Program