West Valley ELA Edmondo
In 2008, Estrella Mountain Community College was awarded a $2.8 million grant by the United States Department of Education, to allow the college to continue to provide educational opportunities for all students, as well as to become a Learning College, defined by the League for Innovation. In an interview in July 2007, President, Dr. Ernest Lara stated that "(high school) students need to get an early opportunity to realize they can be successful and move on to college; success builds success." This philosophy is embedded in the goals of the college fitting into the "Learning College" mold. There are four goals in getting the college to that point - building student preparedness and development; increasing student engagement; transforming campus climate and culture; and growing and aligning endowment support. Each of those goals have sub-topics that cover everything from career planning to providing the right resources for students to help them realize that higher education is attainable. The Title V grant, awarded by the US Dept of Education (P031S080118), will be allocated to the college over the course of five years to support these goals.
The grant, will provide the college with the opportunity to expand services to all students; including improving academic programs, student services, technology, and facilities. The grant also states that funds may be used to implement community outreach programs with local and secondary schools, special programs to improve student academic success and for the purchase of resource materials.
Preparation implies providing an infrastructure to build improved placement, learner preparation and holistic development by: a) increasing the college ability to position students for success, b) developing learner readiness, c) assisting student academic and career goal identification. Engagement signifies that the college will increase student engagement campus wide to: a) develop efficacious campus-wide communication, b) build student community, and c) embed learning support and professional development in the curriculum. Transforming Culture to infuse students, improve student learning, and include all college constituencies by: a) implementing a learning college culture, b) cultivating and infusing students into campus activities, and c) promoting an inclusive campus culture for all. Endowment Growth will build and strategically align resources for student goal attainment.
Building Student Preparedness and Development
Natalie Rivera, Faculty Coordinator The goal of a learning college is to place learning first. At the heart of this goal are two questions that govern decision-making at the college: "How does this enhance student learning?" and "How do we know?" Putting learning first challenges everyone at the college to assess what we do and put in place practices that will move EMCC towards a learning-centered paradigm. As a learning college, the college's purpose is not to transfer knowledge, but to create environments that bring students to discover and construct knowledge for themselves and to make students members of communities of learners that make discoveries and solve problems (Robert B. Barr and John Tagg). The Title V grant provides a framework and resources to assist EMCC's transition to a learning-centered institution. One goal of the Title V grant is to help students establish a foundation for success in future learning. EMCC will provide infrastructure to build improved placement, learner preparation and holistic development. Strategy #1: Increase Ability to Position Students for Success
- Assess and improve course placement process
- Assess holistic student preparedness
- Implement effective and proactive advisement
Strategy #2: Develop Learner Readiness
- Develop modularized course offerings for Developmental Education curriculum
- Develop both in-person and on-line mini-prep basic skills courses
- Expand learner orientation
Strategy #3: Assist Student Academic and Career Goal Identification
- Embed academic and career assessment into curriculum
- Incorporate career planning in the advisement process
Building Student Engagement
Shannon Manuelito, Faculty Coordinator As Student Engagement Coordinator, Malik is working with several student-centered projects designed to help Estrella Mountain meet its Learning College goal of creating a community of learning that increases the college's ability to position students for success. A key component in student engagement is efficacious campus-wide communication. To that end, Title V is presently engaged in the creation of a student newspaper, which will enhance the role of the student voice in the Estrella Mountain communication landscape. Alongside that endeavor, this area is tasked with the creation of a faculty-to-faculty exchange meant to provide a central forum for student and pedagogical issues. Finally, Malik will be working closely with the EMCC 101 team towards the creation of a first year experience program at Estrella Mountain Community College. Below is a list of the major projects within the area of student engagement:
- EMCC Student Newspaper
- EMCC 101
- Faculty-to-faculty Exchange
- Speaker Series
- Student Cameras
- Student Web Interface
EMCC will increase student engagement campus wide. Strategy I: Developing efficacious campus-wide communication
- Develop faculty-faculty information exchange
- Develop faculty-student info exchange
- Provide campus-wide electronic kiosk system
- Develop campus portal and student email system
- Create and maintain faculty websites – (portal)
Strategy II: Using technology to build and strengthen Student Community
- Develop student success seminar/mentor program
- Curriculum development and facilitation – course competencies/mentor component
- Define Mentor Teams and prepare training materials
- Recruit & Train mentors Advertising EMCC 101 Program and Recruiting participants
- Implement EMCC 101
Strategy III: Using technology to assist student in identifying career goals
- Assist students to Confirm or Refine career goals
Strategy IV: Embed learning support and professional development in the curriculum
- Embed speakers series or career related events in curriculum
- Utilize enhanced curriculum and technology (Portal, student email) to encourage student participation in internships
- Integrate learning support services into activities & curriculums
Building Organizational Culture
Erin Blomstrand, Faculty Coordinator
Organizational Culture is instrumental in transitioning to a Learning College. "From the president's point of view, however, the most important cultural change has been the willingness and readiness of faculty and staff to accept responsibility for their own behavior and future as they assume authority and control over their own actions" (O'Banion, 1997, p. 148). Employees at Estrella Mountain Community College have embraced the Learning College model with open arms over the last year, helping to make the transition both smooth and meaningful. Evidence of employee support can be seen in the participants in Title V activities as well as the June League of Innovation Learning Summit Conference. Going forward, Organizational Culture at Estrella Mountain Community College will continue to capitalize on the excitement and knowledge of employees to sustain a healthy, positive, and growing campus.
Title V organizational culture activities are contributing to the development of the Learning College. Perhaps the most significant activity to date that has helped to transition Estrella Mountain Community College to the Learning College has been the gathering of "best practices" from existing Learning Colleges. A critical best practice is the review and revision of the college vision, mission, and values. "The best way to start is to being together a group of visionaries and campus leaders from all segments to review and update the college's mission and vision statements" (O'Banion, 1997, p. 204-205). In spring 2009 the Organizational Culture Strategic Team surveyed the college constitutions regarding the existing vision, mission, and values. That information has been analyzed and shared with college leadership and is in the hands of the designated writing team. An updated vision, mission, and values will be presented to Estrella Mountain Community College's leadership council in October 2009. In addition to looking at the core of how the college does business, organizational culture activities have also focused on developing a student government, revitalizing the Service Learning Program, and creating opportunities for employee development.
O'Banion, Terry. (1997). A Learning College for the 21st Century. Phoenix, Arizona: American Council on Education and The Oryx Press.
Will infuse students, improve student learning, and include all college constituencies
Strategy I: Implement a Learning College Culture (TLC)
- Implement professional learning community – opportunity to collaborate/share ideas that support student learning
- Work in collaboration with existing learning colleges to identify "best practices" regarding "Teaching and Learning Colleges"
- Develop and implement a college annual "Day of Learning"
- TLC Question of the Year - focus campus community on key issues that impact student learning outcomes/success
Strategy II: Develop an environment that supports student career and educational goals
- Research and identify "best practices" that support student goal attainment
- Research and identify "best practices" for employees to support student goal attainment
- Acquire and/or produce student and employee materials that support student goal attainment
Strategy III: Cultivate and infuse students into campus climate and culture
- Expand (double) Student Ambassador Program Student Staff Salaries
- Develop a Student Government Program
- Establish a Student Government Program
- Enhance Service Learning opportunities
Strategy IV: Promote an inclusive campus environment for all college constituencies
- Provide opportunities for employee development
- Employee Orientation pilot program that integrates Learning College culture
- Implement Employee Orientation
- Develop town hall style forums, where employees, students and community can engage in regular communication
- Develop and implement a campus wide communication model/ plan.
Bryan Tippett, Ed.D.
Title V Principal Investigator
Title V Program Director
Komatke-A, Rm. 119
Natalie Rivera, Ed.D.
Preparedness Focus Area
Montezuma Hall, Rm. 253
Shannon Manuelito, Ed.D.
Engagement Focus Area
Montezuma Hall, Rm. 266
Mariposa Hall, Rm.115