First Year Experience and the Student Success Course

First implemented in 2014/15, the one-credit student success course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the college. It emphasizes skills and resources necessary to be successful in their personal, academic and career-related pursuits. The course includes an orientation to college resources, policies, and processes. Students who test into two or more developmental education courses take an expanded version of the course COLS 1101.  The college success course has been identified as a high-impact practice and undergoes a routine continuous improvement process to ensure relevency to changing college interventions, policies and practices. In Autumn 2015, 3295 student participated in in COLS 1100 with a course success rate of 77.3%, a withdrawal rate of 4%, and an Autumn to Spring retention rate of 77.3% (14_outcomes_cols-1100.pdf).  An additional 769 students participated in COLS 1101 with a 75.6% course success rate, 4.2% withdrawal rate, and 77.4% (Autum 15 to Spring 16) retention rate 14_outcomes_cols-1101.pdf.


2017 Update

Over the past year the COLS 1100 Course Leads have conducted a major reorganization of the entire COLS 1100 course.  When the course was first designed it was a 16 week course, it was reorganized several times into an 8-week format and got it into the web shell to match.  However, at the time the conversion was so quick that it appeared that most units in the 8 week format were two separate units.  For the reorganization the three leads took over beginning Summer 16 – we combined the two units for each week into a seamless unit for each of the eight weeks.  That meant that we combined and reviewed PowerPoint to have one presentation for each week, we took out extraneous assignments and made sure we had at least one in-class assignment per week and redesigned many of the homework assignments.  Since the course was in a 16 week format we each took about 5 units and then sought to bring them into alignment with an 8 week format.  We designed the course as a whole to see where each in-class assignment would fit, where each topic would fit – and streamlined to the course to correspond to administrative requests for the areas of – Academic Strategies (Success, College Resources, Study Skills, Etc.), Degree Planning at Columbus State (DARS and Semester by Semester course planning) and Career Exploration.  The leads worked very closely with career services to make sure that the new information from Ohio Means Jobs was included in the new Career Exploration information.

The second part of the reorganization happened in AU 16 when we went on to redesign the web version of the course into 8 week sections –So then we had a traditional 8 week shell, a 16 week shell, an 8 week web shell and a 16 week web shell – so four new shells all together.  We also had to add in the Spring term new information on the Haven Exercise per the college and state. 

Finally in the Spring 17 – We did an overhaul of the 4-day quick course that was originally offered by Delaware. The shell was redone and taught by another lead over Pre-Summer term in the updated format. Two sections of the course a day and an evening course at the Delaware campuses were very successful.

This past year we also included and piloted over the last two terms the new college placement exams for Math  - ALEKS and the new Accuplacer exams for English and Writing, as well as Science courses – These have been very successful and have helped the students understand their placement often during or coming into the course.  We have met with the Arts and Sciences Dean and many of the Math and English committee members who currently lead the placement updates to make sure we had the correct information in the course.

We also set a standard training session for new instructors teaching the course and required everyone teaching the course to received updated training which included all the updates in the Summer of 16 and AU 16 after the course had gone through a complete redesign. The leads wrote the training PowerPoints for the training sessions – and copied the slides, new faculty requirements for each week and new layout of the topics, assignments, homework and weeks.  We have set a schedule to conduct most training sessions – often up to six or seven in the summer and others during the year as needed and sometimes on a one-on-one basis.

We maintain a list of who has attended training and keep administration updated for staffing information and needs.

The Leads meet with the administrative lead regularly to review staffing information, and maintain contact about staffing issues, scheduling rooms for training scheduling computer labs for sections during the term, as well as helping faculty with questions.

We worked with Disability Services to set up a process for all the COLS sections for students who need assistance since there is a common shell for the course this particularly helped with translating the entire course into necessary formats, and for students who need screen readers or assignments translated.

The three course leads have taught sections of COLS in all its various formats to ensure the course has a high quality and is flowing the way we anticipated the redesign and leads to the highest rates of student success.  The leads update the COLS 1100 course shells for two 8 week sections each term, and several 16 week and now 4-day terms as well as include any updates that happen during the term as often college processes and information changes quite rapidly and the course has to reflect those changes.

We have set up a faculty community in blackboard for faculty to share information about the course, request substitutes if they may be out and ask questions if they want to hear from other instructors as well as access resources.  The leads have set up a schedule to conduct observations through the academic year.  Each of the lead instructors conducted observation reports – we actually met as a group and did all of the web observations together so we could all comment and see how each section is conducted. We also divide in-class observations of current semester sections.  As observations are conducted regularly we will be able to establish a regular schedule of both new and returning instructors.

The following tables depict data collection and analysis of the COLS 1100 course from Au 14- Sp 17 in the areas of outcomes, course success, and withdraw rates that are impacted by the redesigned and continuous work done by the COLS 1100 lead instructors.

ID 16859

To contact this college about this intervention, take note of the ID above, ID #16859, and then fill out the intervention contact request form

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