Enhanced Communication with Students (Navigating West)

Semester Kickoffs

For the Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 semesters West students have had the opportunity to come to campus the Friday before instruction began to attend a structured event designed to get them prepared for the semester. 

The Fall 2012 Kickoff featured over forty faculty members on hand to greet students and answer their questions. At least eighty-five students took student-led tours of the campus. Students also attended program-specific orientations, met other students, learned about West clubs, played games, and won prizes. 

In Spring 2013, students again had access to more than thirty faculty members who greeted students, answered their questions, and provided syllabi.  Our Transfer Center director also coordinated university representatives for students interested in transfer along with student success and financial aid workshops coordinated by our Matriculation and Financial Aid directors.  Again, students attended program-specific orientations, met other students, learned about West clubs, played games, and won prizes.  Students also got to try out our college café, which offered menu specials for the event.

West held its third Semester Kickoff for Fall 2013 the Friday before the semester began, and this time we implemented a new electronic check-in system with help from the assessment center staff and our IT department. According to the record, 259 students checked in for the Kickoff. Students attended workshops, toured the campus, met instructors, paid fees, and joined clubs all before the semester began. They also had the opportunity to learn about the West Expressway, West’s response to SB 1456, in which students are supported in completing assessment, orientation, and an abbreviated student educational plan to qualify for priority registration.  The Expressway was rolled out in 2013, and hundreds of students have already been served. 

West’s Student Success Committee has been evaluating its interventions from the 2012 Implementation Proposal on an ongoing basis.  This year the Committee took on close examination of the Semester Kickoff and Enhanced Tutoring interventions.  After much discussion among themselves and with ATD coahces, the Committee plans to scale back the Kickoff to focus on the elements that had the biggest draw for students. 

West welcomed students to our 5th Annual Fall Semester Kickoff for Fall 2016. Thirteen different programs held orientations or information sessions: Athletics, Autism Technician, Child Development, Computer Science, ESL, Film Production Crafts, Hospitality Training, Noncredit & Adult Education, Pharmacy Technician, Puente, Student Success & Support Programs, ACT, and Financial Aid. In collaboration with the Student Success & Support Program, we offered students lunch and hosted a resource fair where representatives from on and off-campus resources were available for students to meet and get information. Approximately 170 students attended this year’s Kickoff compared to approximately 130 last year.

The Fall 2017 Semester Kickoff is scheduled for Friday, August 18, 2017 and West’s LA College Promise (LACP) students will participate in the Kickoff. The Student Success Committee will continue planning the Kickoff.

Plans for West’s LA College Promise (LACP), which will offer one year for Los Angeles Unified School District graduated seniors at an LACCD college tuition free, are under way.   We are pleased that our annual Fall Semester Kickoff will be an element of West’s LACP, which will offer one year for Los Angeles Unified School District graduated seniors at an LACCD college tuition free. West sent a team of six, two faculty counselors, a research analyst, two instructional faculty members, and one administrator, to the LACCD Student Success Retreat at Harbor College in May 2017. The focus of the retreat was the LA College Promise. Colleges shared their progress with their Promise planning and heard insights from leaders in evidence-based student support strategies.

Discipline Advising Update

2013 - The college is also trying something new in the way of discipline advising. West counselors are working diligently to develop a system in which they will train faculty members from specified disciplines on advising students in discipline-related matters. Then, those faculty members will be identified for students as advisors in those disciplines.

2014 - A work group of the Student Success Committee has also been working with faculty leaders on developing a discipline advising model for West, which will help students choose their paths and will support the fulfillment of the state mandate. 

Implementation Proposal 

1. The college’s annual Flex Week activities will this year include a Semester Kickoff with a Campus Resource Fair for students where faculty, staff, and administrators welcome new and returning students to West. Activities would include the following: The Core Team will work with college Public Relations and Advertising Director on including the Kickoff and Faculty Advising in West Welcome Week News along with other elements of the Kickoff including publicity, signage, etc. Tables would be set up in the GC courtyard with faculty representing each discipline wearing nametags and meeting students and representatives from student services including financial aid and assessment. The Kickoff would also include an introduction to Etudes training for students along with an online element for our distance learners. Workshops could be offered to train students in using DegreeWorks (or other degree-auditing software). “Greeters” would also be dispatched across campus to welcome students to West. The Semester Kickoff would anticipate enhanced communication with students along with improved student support behaviors throughout the year.

2. Multi-Level Faculty Advising will include the following: Distribution of info-sheet/student services brochure by instructional faculty, Counselor-driven continued research of faculty advising models, and Counselor-driven development of faculty advising program, which includes an online component, in which instructional faculty would be trained in majors-related advisement for career readiness (Pending counseling division final consultation)

ID 16917

To contact this college about this intervention, take note of the ID above, ID #16917, and then fill out the intervention contact request form

Please note that for security purposes, contact information can only be provided to known contacts at active Achieving the Dream institutions.

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