The math curriculum has been extensively revised over time to allow two pathways through developmental math, one for liberal arts majors, and a modularized computer assisted course to prepare students to enter the algebra sequence.
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Yakima Valley Community College
Yakima Valley Community College (YVCC) reports that retention improved among all student groups following implementation of mandatory new student orientation. Students of color and Hispanic students made the greatest gains.
New Student Orientation has been mandatory for all incoming, first-time, full-time students since Fall 2007. Orientation sessions for students grouped by career goal are led by faculty teams. Student leaders provide purposeful campus tours.
- Fall to winter retention has increased from 75% for the fall 2004 cohort to 80% for the fall 2009 cohort.
- Retention of Hispanic students increased from 73% for the fall 2004 cohort to 77% for the fall 2009 cohort.
- Retention of students of color increased from 79% for the fall 2004 cohort to 82% for the fall 2009 cohort.
- The percentage of first-time, full-time students reporting participation and satisfaction with New Student Orientation has increased from 36% in 2006 to 76% in 2010.
Founded in 1928 as a private two-year higher education institution, YVCC became a public junior college in 1948. A Hispanic Serving Institution, YVCC’s two campuses, four learning centers, and many outreach centers serve three south central Washington counties that include Yakama Indian Tribal Lands.
In Fall 2010, YVCC had 6,200 students enrolled in Workforce, Transfer, and Basic Skills programs. A majority of the college’s students are among the first generation in their families to go to college. Of the 6,200 students, 56% are students of color (46% Hispanic). Students of color are over-represented among the Adult Basic Education population (more than 85%). Nearly 90% of entering students need developmental coursework.
YVCC’s research undergirds all its student success strategies.
Its Entering Students Intervention addresses completion gaps by strengthening YVCC’s advising programs. Advisors encourage students to take core courses first so they are better prepared for other courses and have time to complete required sequential courses.
The current Developmental Math Intervention includes the creation of a new course to teach problem solving and quantitative reasoning along with arithmetic skills to the 25% of entering students unable to place into the developmental sequence. In addition, another developmental math intervention was the creation of a three-quarter sequence for beginning algebra and intermediate algebra students. This allows students with no previous algebra experience the opportunity to fully grasp the concepts before moving on to the next level.
TRiO Student Support Services extends the New Student Orientation to include more social interactions between faculty members and entering, low-income students. Faculty encourage these students to enroll in learning communities that combine developmental English courses with student development courses to increase support and retention of these students.
Student Success Strategies
Yakima Valley Community College is using the following strategies to impact student success:
- The Network
- Get Involved