Objective identifies flaws, addresses drawbacks

Struggling groups are expecting increase in degree, certificate rates

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

One of the main functions of the Equity Plan is to identify student populations that experience the greatest adverse outcomes and then it addresses the specific needs of the groups which have been narrowed into seven key indicators.

One of the key indicators, titled Degree and Certificate Completion, is broken down into eight categories.

The data shows, white students, who have an 11 percent completion rate, experience the greatest adverse impact and Asians hold the penultimate spot with a completion rate of 14 percent.

“Every student has different educational goals, some just want to transfer,” Dean of Student Services Vikki Ferguson said. “With health ed, two PE classes and library studies as requirements, adding another class could break the bank for some of these students.” 

She said even with CCC’s Asian students, some of them are international students so they pay to come here and entering programs with extra time requirements may be unrealistic.

The numbers, generated by the Contra Costa Community College District and Data on Demand and the 2014 scorecard, compares students by racial groups that have received a degree or diploma upon completion of a given program to students with the same educational goals as determined by a counselor. 

Over the next five years, campus administrators would like to see a doubling of the degree and certificate rates among white students and an eight percent increase of 14 to 22 percent for Asian students.

To achieve this, faculty members form work groups to collect data specifically applicable to students from the indicator groups. For white and Asian students, the plan would like to identify impediments to successful degree and certificate completion. 

“I just came here to transfer because I want the experience of real college life. I know I can transfer to another school with a degree, but I can meet the transfer requirements quicker,” Amani Kaur, undecided major, said.

“Some of the people I graduated with, who went to four year college, came back to take their general education at a JC. I wanted to do mine first because it’s cheaper.”

The Equity Plan also wants to look more into the academic goals of students belonging to the two groups to better align program offerings with support services.

“I haven’t noticed anything different from last semester until now,” Liberal Arts major Sheril Kumar said. “Counselors have not been asking about my education plan, but I’m on track to transfer.”

As it relates to student success, the Equity Plan lists eight questions that will address objective four. Objective four aims to collect research on issues arising from data for each indicator group, then ascertain the effect size needed to quell the greatest adverse impact.

Some of the questions tackle larger issues, like that increasing local degree requirements that may deter students from earning a certificate. Or if shorter semesters with increased class offerings would elevate the number of degrees earned.

“I’ve been here since 2008 and I haven’t transferred yet,” undeclared student Jordan Miller said. “I take school at my own pace. Counselors never helped me much. I haven’t seen one since I first arrived on campus.”

Each student structures education parameters to fit their given situation, as educational matriculation is not a one size fits all endeavor.

Data is still being collected to ensure the most successful learning environment.