Survey shows disconnect

By Stacie Guevara, Scene Editor

In mid-September, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office sent out a survey to California community college students asking them how they best prefer to receive their important information and updates about their colleges.

This survey was not sent to students through email, but it was posted on the Contra Costa Community College District’s Twitter and Facebook pages, which did not receive much feedback.

However, according to Paul Feist, vice-chancellor of communications and marketing at the California community college’s Chancellor’s Office, by the end of the survey, more than 3,000 students had seen it and responded to it.

“We’re pretty happy with the number of results that we’ve received on it,” Feist said.

He said he thought a large number of students had seen the survey and responded to it.

This was their first time conducting a survey with students of this sort to gain a baseline understanding of them. He’s trying to think of ways and ideas to improve their communications with students.

Feist said he and his team created the survey and want more input from California community college students. This was part of their initiative for Vision for Success.

This survey’s goal was to seek student input on Vision for Success communications.

“Input from the survey will be used to help us better translate the goals or legislative intent of Vision for Success-related efforts through toolkits for college teams or other technical assistance and resources to support colleges,” Feist said.

Vision for Success has goals set out to achieve by 2022, such as increasing the number of people who earn degrees by 20 percent, increasing the percentage of students transferring to UCs or CSUs and decreasing the number of units students are taking before they complete their degrees or certificates.

Though the survey was available for about two weeks, it had not gained much momentum on the Contra Costa College campus.

Student Nick Nian, who hasn’t yet decided on a major, said he is usually on social media and keeps up-to-date with CCC media. However, he has not seen the survey.

Music major Adrien Ferrales said he also keeps up on the latest information through CCC’s social media, but he had not seen it either.

CCC’s Marketing and Media Design Director Brandy Howard said she had not seen or heard of the survey either. She oversees communications and marketing channels, media publication and external communications, like event emails for the college.

Regarding the state’s Vision for Success, Howard said the reason they want to decrease the number of units students are taking before they complete their degrees or certificates is because when students first enroll at community colleges, they are still exploring and figuring out what they want, in terms of educational and career goals.

In this process, they may end up taking classes that are not applicable to their degrees, so Vision for Success helps students identify what they want to do and have clearer career and degree goals when they begin their college studies.

“Completing your educational career sooner and with fewer classes means you’re saving both time and money and you’re getting into your career more quickly,” Howard said.

Another goal of Vision for Success is to reduce equity gaps, meaning to help minority students continue to achieve their college goals at a faster rate when compared to their peers.