Diversity Plan Assessment | JCTC

Diversity Plan Assessment

For 2018 - 2019 Academic Year

Opportunity

Strategy #1: Increase Hispanic student enrollment by utilizing existing relationships and institutional talents to reach Hispanic students. 

1.    How did you implement this strategy with fidelity? (500 words or less)  

Fidelity is defined as faithfulness to the implementation of the committed strategies demonstrated by continued loyalty and support. Evidence of fidelity may include, but are not limited to the following: dedicated staff, specific examples of student or staff participation, data collected on strategy inputs and outputs, participation rates of students, dedicated funding, development of implementation timetables and milestones achieved, and narrative descriptions of the implementation process.  

Jefferson Community and Technical College International Admissions Office, including the Associate Director of Admissions, International Admissions, and the Immigrant/ Refugee Enrollment Specialist, with support from the English as a Second Language Advisor worked towards this Outcome in the following ways. We have continued our membership in Louisville Latino Education Outreach, an organization that meets monthly to share resources for cradle to career for Louisville area Latino students and families. We are also a member of the University of Louisville’s Undocumented Student Resource Council, which shares resources specifically to better serve undocumented students, who are mostly Latino.  

The International Admissions Office added a position in August of 2018, who is bilingual in Spanish. Since this position was created, the Admissions office has also filled a full time position with a Spanish speaker, as has the Bursar’s office. Both the ESL and the Admissions office have hired bilingual (in Spanish) student workers.  These Spanish speakers report an increase in emails, phone calls, meetings held in the Spanish language, as well as serving to accompany Spanish-speaking students to other offices, especially Financial Aid.  

All of this has a tremendous impact on the enrollment and retention of Spanish speaking students. One of these full time employees attended a training on Language Justice, put on by the local Mijente chapter. Another staff member hosted members of the Mijente community in her home during the national Mijente conference. Several staff members attended the Welcoming America conference in the fall of 2019, which addressed issues related to education and immigration, as well as some sessions specifically related to Hispanic students. Finally, the College has worked to continue to provide as many documents as possible to students in multiple language, including Spanish.   

2.    How would you describe the effectiveness of this strategy? 

The institution shall provide an analysis of the effectiveness of each strategy with a sufficient level of detail. If a strategy was not fully implemented or implemented at all, a thorough analysis and justifiable explanation of why this did not occur should be provided.  

The International Admissions Office has participated in local community organization’s events that serve the Latinx community, including: 

  • A presentation in Spanish for Adelante’s College and Career Fair (about 100 students & parents)
  • A talk at the Southcentral library on career pathways for Latino students which was sponsored by Kentubano, Kentucky’s first Spanish publication (50 interested adults) 
  • Multiple events with Kentucky Refugee Ministries, including their annual fundraiser, KRM Live nights, presentations regarding our ESL program at their ESL classes (between 30-40 students per presentation),  
  • Hosted a Super Saturday event for high school students on the JCTC campus (about 30 high school juniors and seniors) 
  • Supported La Casita Center through fundraisers and events (ESL Advisor hosted a table of 8 faculty and staff), as well as presenting on our ESL program (40 people); 
  • Presented on the ESL program to the ESL classes at Catholic Charities
  • A presentation to the Next Steps program, a two-week opportunity for high school juniors and seniors who are English language learners to learn about the college process, held at JCTC downtown campus (30 juniors and seniors).  

Further, we widened the reach of our ESL Orientations, which enrolls approximately 600 students each semester, by also conducting ESL Admissions Experiences, which brought JCPS ESL Seniors to campus for a full and fun day of testing, lunch and a mini-orientation.  

Jefferson Community and Technical College Hispanic/Latino Enrollment Data 

Term Hispanic/Latino Percentage
Spring 2018 8.20%
Fall 2018 8.80%
Spring 2019 9.00%
Fall 2019 9.60%

These strategies are likely effective to some degree. The overall population for Hispanic students has continued to increase at Jefferson. According to the American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates Data Profiles, the Hispanic population in the Louisville metro area has increased from 4.9% in 2016 to 5.4% in 2018 (the most recent year with data)1. Some Hispanics do not want to be included in Census data due to their immigration statuses as being more fragile. Through the hiring of bilingual staff members in Admissions, ESL Advising, and the Bursar’s office, students can feel assured that someone will be available to explain complicated processes and documentation, without the burden of having an interpreter rest on the student. The bilingual cashier is one of three cashiers at the Downtown campus, and Spanish-speaking students will often wait to speak with him directly. 

The ESL Advisor oversees the advising of approximately 650 students each semester, of which about 45% speak Spanish. The bilingual staff member in International Admissions works with approximately half of the total number of new and applying students each year (approximately 50-100 individual student appointments/ month, and approximately 5-10 recruitment or orientation events/month). The bilingual member of the Admissions processing team was one of four, and was responsible for 25% of the new students (but was also called upon for walk-in Spanish speaking students when a student worker was not available). She has just been promoted to a Recruiter position, starting February 16, 2020, which we believe will be immensely beneficial to development of new recruitment strategies within the Hispanic community, and the Cuban community especially.  We also have bilingual (in Arabic and Spanish) student workers across the college, who further build a sense of belonging as well as serve as guides and mentors and assist with basic processes and student account platforms.  

Further, we have stayed continuously plugged into our connections with community organizations, which is fundamental in building trust within those communities. Finally, our ESL Admissions Experiences, while not just serving Spanish-speaking students, has been an innovative model for the importance of building relationships with students, and the percentage of those students that remain enrolled due to this relationship building, due to our Spanish speaking staff accompanying students to Financial Aid and other offices.  

Institutional data demonstrates that Hispanic/Latino students tend to have higher rates of retention: for example, First-Time Student Retention from Fall 2018 to Fall 2019 was 52.8% overall, and 53.6% for students who identify as Hispanic/Latino/a.  Additionally, matriculation rates from ESL to regular classes is higher and that they in general outperform non-ESL students.  Due to competing priorities we are focusing efforts on the Hispanic/Latino pop at greatest risk. 

The College continues to intentional implement services to better support our Hispanic/Latino student population.  As stated above, Jefferson has implemented multiple strategies to support this student population – with particular attention to leveraging resources to support non-native English speaking students in navigating through College.  However, we know that many Hispanic/Latino students, such as first or second-generation immigrants, may not require bilingual services or the International Admissions Office.  As an opportunity for continuous improvement, we hope to continue to extend services to better support Hispanic/Latino population on campus. However, given competing resources, the College continues to focus on the subpopulation of Hispanic/Latino/x students at greatest risk of non-success, given language barriers. 

3.    What lessons were learned regarding this strategy and what are your next steps? 

Each institution shall identify lessons learned from the annual review process and describes in detail how it will incorporate results from the strategy analysis into the next year to address deficiencies and either improve or continue.  

The following are recommendations to continue our improvement in the area of increasing Hispanic student enrollment. 

  • Offer more support services to first or second-generation immigrants, who may not require bilingual services or the International Admissions Office. As an opportunity for continuous improvement, we hope to continue to extend services to better support all Hispanic/Latino population on campus.  
  • Offer more recruitment activities in Spanish, including fairs and tours. This is happening in a limited way, but could be extended far more so if recruitment staff were bilingual. As of February 16, 2020, we now have a bilingual recruiter.  The College continues to seek bilingual recruitment staff when making hiring decisions for the recruitment office. 
  • We will build on the Jefferson County Public Schools Orientations for ESL students “ESL Admissions Experiences” – by our successful completion of a Rotary Promise Grant. Through this, we will build in a mentorship program between prospective student and current students. We are also creating a signing days to build an element of fun and pride in new students. 
  • Increase programming for Hispanic/Latino students to help increase a positive effect on students, and meets students’ needs in terms of not only academic and language needs, but also addresses important issues of community building, identity forming, social needs as well as issues around immigration and immigration status. Such programming could include a model similar to the mentorship and First-Year experience course for the Zones of Hope African American students.  

Success

Strategy #2: Develop implementation plan for Inclusive, Intersectional Instruction (I3), a structured faculty professional development program focused on culturally-responsive and culturally-mediated methods of instruction.

1.    How did you implement this strategy with fidelity? (500 words or less)  

Fidelity is defined as faithfulness to the implementation of the committed strategies demonstrated by continued loyalty and support. Evidence of fidelity may include, but are not limited to the following: dedicated staff, specific examples of student or staff participation, data collected on strategy inputs and outputs, participation rates of students, dedicated funding, development of implementation timetables and milestones achieved, and narrative descriptions of the implementation process.  

The focused commitment to intersectional, inclusive instruction (I3) was originally researched, piloted, and implemented by the English department as a grant funded Title III initiative on improving student success in gateway courses.  The project worked successfully to develop more purposeful and tangible strategies for fostering classroom and learning climates that are culturally-mediated and culturally-responsive to the diversity of student experiences, skills, and identities at Jefferson.     

The English I3 plan was dual-pronged and included intervention efforts rooted in both policy and pedagogy.  The department re-examined how we address late assignments and language in our syllabi and assignments that make it easier for students to “check in” rather than “check out.”  None of that affects academic rigor or expectations; rather, these “Rebound” policies facilitate an open door and more welcome environment where students are more likely to connect rather than disappear.  I3 pedagogy involves self-reflection on behalf of instructors, examining and perhaps broadening the perspectives of materials and course content, and classroom management strategies that more equitably engage students. Which foster a welcoming environment. Now that the original Title III grant project has ended for the English Department, we continue to enhance I3 strategies such as examining our feedback to students, making purposeful outreach to connect with students who seem to be “checking out,” and reviewing assignment sheets to make them as effective and helpful as possible.   Within the English Department, we hold two faculty meetings a semester with embedded professional development that continues to enhance I3 and serves 100% of full-time faculty, and about a quarter of our adjuncts.  (The sessions are open to all part-time instructors but not all are able to participate.)   

In the intervening semesters, I3 has been embraced by colleagues in several divisions including math, sociology, nursing, and women’s and gender studies to name a few. Increasing department-specific applications is an ongoing focus as we cultivate the core concepts of I3 across disciplines.  For example, now that the original Title III project for English I3 has ended, the team lead for that project consults regularly with another department exploring I3 strategies.    Additionally, the I3 model and team members operate as PD resources for new hires, adjuncts, and others at the college. For example, team members mentor new faculty, present ideas and provide coaching at department meetings.  Finally, faithfulness to I3 is evident in having achieved 100% of our action steps as noted above in ongoing reflection, and requiring I3 philosophy, language, and Rebound strategies in all department syllabi (reviewed and verified by the Department Head); and in the ongoing consulting across the college as needed.   

2.    How would you describe the effectiveness of this strategy? 

The institution shall provide an analysis of the effectiveness of each strategy with a sufficient level of detail. If a strategy was not fully implemented or implemented at all, a thorough analysis and justifiable explanation of why this did not occur should be provided.  

Anecdotally, the combination of policy and pedagogy have been effective.  Faculty who utilize I3 strategies and resources report the positive impacts on respective classroom practices, course materials, collaboration, and cooperative learning. Jefferson has implemented various college-wide initiatives and programming that use institutional data to support student success, including Title III, 4DX (Franklin Covey’s 4 Disciplines of Execution, a college-wide student success centered project in which teams identify and act upon specific goals), and Achieving the Dream 2.0 (Focus on African American Student Success). Based upon data collected and reported through these various initiatives, it is evident that I3 and other strategies are yielding some success.  For example, between Fall 2017 and Fall 2018, the College-wide Course Pass Rate increased from 74.6% to 75.7%, and disaggregating results by URM and non-URM students revealed that the gain was driven by URM student success. URM Pass Rate increased by 3.4%, while non-URM increased by 0.2% -- In turn, the disparity GAP between non-URM and URM last year was 11.4%, this year is 8.2%.   

Overall, English 101 success rates continue to improve, reaching nearly 75% (at 74.8%) in the fall 2018 which is the highest the department has seen.  While the gap between non-URM and URM students is improving, the ENG 101 success rate for URM students was still lower at 69.1%. The data demonstrates the general improvement in URM success rates across the department; and the success rate differences between URM and non-URM hovers around 6% for English 102 as well, even as we’re committed to ongoing assessment and working to close that gap. Professional Development in support of Title III for English ended in the Fall of 2017, but I3 strategies continue to be utilized by both FT and PT instructors in multiple semesters, including strategies of welcomeness in syllabi, assignment sheet redesign, and opportunities for students to complete the coursework via Rebound policies.  

The department continues to work on assignment transparency and promoting URM student success and will engage in significant professional development to promote the success of URM students.  

3.    What lessons were learned regarding this strategy and what are your next steps? 

Each institution shall identify lessons learned from the annual review process and describes in detail how it will incorporate results from the strategy analysis into the next year to address deficiencies and either improve or continue.  

The primary lesson learned has been the need for more discipline-specific training in how I3 applies, for instance, to natural sciences and math as well as humanities and social sciences.  To address this, we continue to work with identified “champions” of I3 from various disciplines to help guide I3 with their colleagues. Additionally, ongoing conversations reveal the need for more sessions that help instructors understand the seemingly invisible ways that undermine student engagement such as micro-aggressions, rhetoric, etc.  Ongoing assessment will focus on adoption of specific strategies and comparing classroom climate, persistence, and success in sections of courses in which that tool is and isn’t used.  Those needs are being addressed and supported through larger work at the college through the Office for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement, the Multicultural Center, SafeZone training, and in conjunction with some faculty/staff committees such as the Women’s Issues Network; and in burgeoning collaborations with student organizations such as Social Justice Advocates, the Black Student Union, and Global Student Organization, etc.   

These strategies and engagement practices with colleagues across the college continue to evolve the I3 concept, so as to continue to adapt to meet students’ needs.  The strategies of I3 have resulted in noticeable cultural shifts within the English Department, and in myriad ways around the college. For instance, colleagues in multiple divisions use the language of I3 in conversations, share anecdotes of what they try in courses, such as syllabi welcome statements, getting acquainted cards, and more.   We know that consistent, regular meetings with each other to share ideas have been instrumental in improving these intersectional, inclusive approaches and those take place in meetings with stakeholders across the College.  Next steps are continual re-assessment (by continuing to monitor student feedback, English course outcomes, and student retention/engagement) and self-reflection about our individual faculty practices and curricula in order to promote accountability and encourage increased awareness.   

Strategy #3: Continue to enhance the “front door” experience for students.

1.    How did you implement this strategy with fidelity? (500 words or less)  

Fidelity is defined as faithfulness to the implementation of the committed strategies demonstrated by continued loyalty and support. Evidence of fidelity may include, but are not limited to the following: dedicated staff, specific examples of student or staff participation, data collected on strategy inputs and outputs, participation rates of students, dedicated funding, development of implementation timetables and milestones achieved, and narrative descriptions of the implementation process.  

One of the primary aspects of this strategy was creating an environment that was welcoming and inclusive.  Secondly, over the last few years adding signage and improving wayfinding have been strategies to improve the campus environment.   

In July 2018 the college hired its first-ever position dedicated to student engagement, campus life, and student organizations. The position was created as the Assistant Director for Student Engagement and was organized as part of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement.  The college also provided an operating budget for this new area to support programming and events to promote student life.  The first year, July 2018-July 2019 was a time of tremendous improvement in creating a sense of campus life and expanding opportunities for student engagement. A calendar of events and activities was developed and published so students could be aware of engagement opportunities from the start of the Fall semester. Processes and procedures for student organizations were reviewed and revised to create efficient and consistent practices and reporting mechanisms. Training sessions were held to support faculty and staff advisors and improve the way they work with student leaders. Having a dedicated student development professional to build administrative structures and creating engagement opportunities has resulted in a more vibrant and welcoming campus atmosphere with an increasing number of opportunities for students to connect with others and build skills that enhance their academic experience.  During the Fall 2019 semester the position was elevated to Director of Student Engagement, demonstrating the importance of this work and recognizing the need for a long term commitment to growth in this area.

2.    How would you describe the effectiveness of this strategy? 

The institution shall provide an analysis of the effectiveness of each strategy with a sufficient level of detail. If a strategy was not fully implemented or implemented at all, a thorough analysis and justifiable explanation of why this did not occur should be provided. 

 In March 2019 the college administered a survey to all Jefferson students.  90.82% of students indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied when responding to the statement: Staff on the campus treat students with respect.  70.1% of students said they were satisfied or very satisfied regarding feeling a sense of belonging on campus.  88.92% of students expressed being satisfied or very satisfied with the level of appreciation the college demonstrates for diversity and inclusion.  In addition to being treated respectfully and feeling a sense of belonging, another aspect of a welcoming environment is being able to find where you need to go.  83.36% of students said they were satisfied or very satisfied with having access to adequate directions and maps on campus.  The level of student satisfaction with the campus environment in 2018-2019 provides clear evidence of the effectiveness of this strategy.   

The Assistant Director of Student Engagement, now the Director of Student Engagement, planned and executed over 40 programs, including a Student Leadership Summit. In this role, the Director of Student Engagement continues to develop a college-wide calendar of events and activities so students can be aware of activities at the top of each semester. The initial programming goal for both semesters was to offer 25 programs per semester, which was accomplished. Additionally, over 300 students participated in the events and programs planned with more than half of them identifying as low-income and/or URM.  

3.    What lessons were learned regarding this strategy and what are your next steps? 

Each institution shall identify lessons learned from the annual review process and describes in detail how it will incorporate results from the strategy analysis into the next year to address deficiencies and either improve or continue.

  • For the 19-20 academic year, the college has undertaken a reorganization of the Office of Student Engagement. While it will remain under the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement the Assistant Director of Student Engagement is now the Director of Student Engagement and this position will supervise the Assistant Director for Diversity and Inclusion to improve collaborative programming.  
  • To support the increase in student involvement, The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement has made a budget request to improve student space and dedicate a location for student organizations to have offices, meetings, and programming space. 
  • The Director of Student Engagement met with Campus Coordinators on Extended Campuses to take the lead on offering student programs on all Jefferson campuses, since the Downtown Campus has been the primary focus thus far.  The college Foundation Board established a Campus Transformation Committee that is picking up the baton to continue efforts to improve the physical appearance of the campuses.  With formal structures in place to continue creating a welcoming and inclusive environment through the Office of Diversity Inclusion and Community Engagement and the physical appearance of the campus through the college facilities team and the Foundation Board’s Campus Transformation Committee, this strategy will be retired from the college diversity plan in 2019-2020.  These values and efforts have been deeply rooted in the institution and are now part of the fabric of the college’s operation. 

Strategy #4: Fully Implement "START TO FINISH" Advising model. 

1.    How did you implement this strategy with fidelity? (500 words or less)  

Fidelity is defined as faithfulness to the implementation of the committed strategies demonstrated by continued loyalty and support. Evidence of fidelity may include, but would not be limited to the following: dedicated staff, specific examples of student or staff participation, data collected on strategy inputs and outputs, participation rates of students, dedicated funding, development of implementation timetables and milestones achieved, and narrative descriptions of the implementation process. 

Implementing a Start To Finish comprehensive advising model will result in holistic assigned advising which contributes to improved student retention and completion rates. Research shows that high-touch coaching and assigned advising is more effective for academically at-risk, low-income, and underrepresented minority students.  

The Start To Finish assigned advising model has been implemented to connect new students to an assigned advisor.  

  • Students meet with a SOAR advisor during SOAR (Student Orientation, Advising, & Registration) to make a basic academic plan and register for the first semester of courses, including the required First Year Experience course, FYE 105. 
  • During FYE 105, students meet with a “Start” advisor assigned to each FYE section to discuss complete academic plans and register for the second semester’s courses.  
  • After completion of FYE 105, students are assigned to their “To” (Transfer) advisor if they plan to transfer, or “Finish” advisor if they will complete a program at Jefferson.  SOAR is the first crucial touch-point of the complete Start To Finish Advising model and includes each student meeting with an advisor and registering for classes. 
  • The current model: 
    • Includes completion of an electronic Student Intake Form in Starfish (Retention Management System) by all SOAR attendees. Information on this form is crucial to understand each student’s goals and personal situation in order to provide the best advising prior to and during the first semester of enrollment.  FYE 105 is the 2nd step in the Start To Finish model. In this First Year Experience course, students and the Start Advisor map out courses required for the degree plan and career goals. FYE serves as the gateway to bring new students into the assigned advising phase of Start To Finish by facilitating the assignment of students to advisors who specialize in the chosen program of study.
  • All sections of FYE 105 include mandatory curriculum and prepared materials, ensuring consistency of the student experience and exposure to all of the resource material needed to help students be successful.   The FYE Coordinator monitors student completion and effectiveness of the interaction between student and Start Advisor. The Coordinator works closely with the Advising Coordinator and Director of Advising to continuously improve training and resources for the faculty instructors and Start Advisors.   Starfish use for student support services is expanding across the college. Starfish is software integrated with PeopleSoft and Blackboard, through which faculty and staff can contact students, coordinate supporting services, and maintain helpful service records. 
  • All faculty are required to use Starfish and undergo training to send flags for at-risk students, referrals for additional services, and positive feedback using kudos within Starfish.  
  • Flag surveys at three vital points during the semester require faculty feedback to identify students who are at-risk due to attendance or academic issues.  
  • Starfish also connects students to tutoring services, financial aid counseling, and non-academic resources. 
  • During the 2018-2019 academic year, two academic advisors were designated as “Success Coaches” under the direction of the Retention Coordinator to field all Starfish flags and referrals.  

In terms of fidelity, there are dedicated personnel to oversee the Start To Finish process; The Advising Coordinator, The FYE Coordinator, The Retention Coordinator, two Success Coaches, and the Director of Advising. Significant resources have been invested in personnel, professional development, and technology to ensure the success of this initiative.   

2.    How would you describe the effectiveness of this strategy?

The institution shall provide an analysis of the effectiveness of each strategy with a sufficient level of detail. If a strategy was not fully implemented or implemented at all, a thorough analysis and justifiable explanation of why this did not occur should be provided. 

 Start TO Finish impacts a diverse group of students. Data shows that our entering student population (students who attend SOAR) tends to be more diverse than the college overall student population. In the 2018-2019 academic year, SOAR attendee demographic information was as follows: Black/African American 28.06%, Hispanic/Latino 15.68%, Asian 4.52% and White 45.63%.  SOAR is the first step in Start TO Finish.  In the 2017-2018 academic year 2,433 students participated in SOAR and 2,342 students participated in the 2018-2019 academic year. All students who participate in SOAR are introduced to the Starfish Intake form, and more than 97% of students complete the Intake Form during SOAR.  The small number of students who encountered system log-on complications and were unable to complete the form during SOAR completed it with their Start Advisor during their first meeting as required for the FYE105 course.

There are strong retention rates for students completing FYE 105, allowing them to progress to working with an assigned advisor.  In Fall 2017 1,910 students completed FYE 105. Of those, 1,524 (79.8%) were retained into their second semester and successfully transitioned to an assigned advisor through the Start To Finish model. In Spring 2018 501 students completed FYE 105 and 495 (98%) successfully transitioned to an assigned advisor. In Fall 2018 1,721 students completed FYE 105 and 1,411 (82%) were successfully retained into their second semester and transitioned to an assigned advisor.  In Spring 2019, 506 students successfully completed FYE 105, and were eligible to be assigned to a TO or Finish Advisor. 

Of students enrolled in FYE 105, 92% in Fall 2017 and 96% in Fall 2018 felt that the course successfully prepared them for future semesters based on course evaluation reports. Also from student course evaluations, 92% of students in Fall 2017 and 92.3% of students in Fall 2018 reported satisfaction with the Start Advising process during their first semester.   

In partnership with the Institutional Research office, advising leadership identified two cohorts of “at-risk” students to designate as cohorts to receive “intrusive advising” support from the Starfish Success Coaches in Spring 2019. The two cohorts of students were: 1) first-time URM student Pell recipients (n=260) with low to moderate persistence rate as identified through Civitas Analytics, and 2) first-time students who passed the FYE 105 (n=142) course in the previous semester with a “C.”  The Retention Coordinator along with two advising success coaches developed a plan to reach out to the students weekly throughout the course of the semester using calls, texts, and emails. Messages were crafted around the semester calendar and alternated between positive messages or kudos, messages of support, suggestions for campus resources, and advising.  All messages were designed with an action step in mind. The intrusive and intensive coaching support provided by our Starfish Success Coaches in Spring 2019 was also deemed effective. The overall retention rates for the students in the at-risk groups were:  FYE 105 cohort—52.1% and Civitas/URM cohort—53.1%. The overall college Fall to Fall retention rate for first time students is 52.7%. Given that the students within these cohorts were identified as having predictive risk factors, the Nudge campaign showed positive impact. In Fall 2019, three nudge campaign/intrusive advising cohorts were formed to support groups of students who have the highest need for ongoing coaching. The outcomes for these three groups will be included in the 2019-20 report.  

3.    What lessons were learned regarding this strategy and what are your next steps? 

Each institution shall identify lessons learned from the annual review process and describes in detail how it will incorporate results from the strategy analysis into the next year to address deficiencies and either improve or continue. 

The effectiveness of our Start To Finish advising model is in large part reliant on faculty involvement, training, and resources. Without the faculty to serve in these advising roles, the model will not work. It requires buy-in from college executive leadership, Deans, Division Chairs, and Program Coordinators to keep faculty engaged. While we have incredible faculty who are passionate about student success, we also have faculty who struggle in meeting their advising commitments. In order to maximize the effectiveness of this strategy, we continue to find ways to provide resources to support faculty advisors and keep all faculty engaged. We have strong support from our college leadership through the creation of an Advising Implementation Committee. During the 2018-2019 school year, faculty were provided additional options for advising, including becoming advisors for students close to graduation. Additionally, a new type of advising position for faculty was developed, the Advising Liaison. This position is designed to offer additional support for full-time faculty by designating a faculty mentor/expert in each academic division to support other faculty with their advising commitments. We also identified the need for specialized advising training and “just in time” resources available to faculty to help refresh on Advising topics before (or during) student appointments. As of 2018, all full-time faculty are functioning as advisors in one of these roles, trained and supported on an ongoing basis. All full time faculty are now required to participate in annual advising training. Faculty are required to complete a series of interactive Advising training modules developed for the purpose of providing support to Jefferson faculty. These e-Modules cover the following topics to help faculty better serve our student advisees:   

  • Education Planning & Academic Program Plans  
  • Financial Aid 
  • PeopleSoft Advising   
  • Promoting Success Through Effective Communication 
  • Promoting a Holistic Advising Approach Through Effective Referrals
  • Assessment & Placement 
  • SOAR Advising & Start Advising
  • Transfer Advising & Finish Advising   

We have identified a need to better track and internally report our process data in support of the Start TO Finish model, such as SOAR attendance, student attendee demographics, and numbers of students assigned to an advisor after completing FYE 105 each semester. Though individual departments do track these items, we often report only Fall semester information as institutional milestones. We recognize that this makes it difficult to view the academic year in its entirety. One other lessons learned is that we need to improve communication and collaboration among Admissions, Advising, and the academic division supporting FYE to better collect and share data.

The need to ramp up use of internal referrals to provide support resources to students was identified as an area of improvement. Research shows that many at-risk, first-generation, or low-income students do not advocate for themselves and request support. Starfish referrals remove the burden from the student and place the responsibility on college to reach out to the student and provide assistance. 

In Spring 2018 a request was approved to include a question offering students the opportunity to self-identify as a student with accessibility concerns, as a recipient of Veterans benefits, SNAP or KTAP, all of which would make the student potentially eligible for additional support services. A positive response to this question automates a referral to the appropriate office to notify the student of services they may not have known to ask about. Staff will continue to identify additional resources and find the earliest possible time to connect students to the information.  

Strategy #5: Maintain and enhance mandatory new student orientation (known as SOAR) for all incoming new students.

1.    How did you implement this strategy with fidelity? (500 words or less)  

Fidelity is defined as faithfulness to the implementation of the committed strategies demonstrated by continued loyalty and support. Evidence of fidelity may include, but are not limited to the following: dedicated staff, specific examples of student or staff participation, data collected on strategy inputs and outputs, participation rates of students, dedicated funding, development of implementation timetables and milestones achieved, and narrative descriptions of the implementation process.  

Student Orientation Advising and Registration (SOAR) is required for all first-time college students. Transfer and returning students have the option to attend. At SOAR, students learn about academic advising, registration, financial aid, payment options, and the importance of choosing a program that matches their educational and career goals. Topics include the history of Jefferson and KCTCS, how to connect to college resources, and how to navigate Jefferson’s online platforms. Students meet with an Academic Advisor and a Financial Aid representative. By the end of each SOAR session, students should have a class schedule and be informed of their FAFSA status.  

One example of the college’s commitment to maintain and enhance mandatory New Student Orientation, was to add a dedicated position to oversee this function.  In August 2019 the college hired a Coordinator for Orientation and Tours.  Previously the Admissions recruitment team had responsibility for SOAR, which took time away from recruitment and made it difficult to ensure the level of priority SOAR deserves.  The Admissions office also incorporated a variety of strategies and personnel to ensure that new, first-time students got the most out of their Orientation.

Improvements included:  

  • Executing a call campaign to assist eligible students in registering for SOAR
  • Implementing a new system of applying orientation holds to all first-time student accounts to ensure students were aware of next steps 
  • Hosting on-campus SOAR sessions for ESL students  
  • Inviting a representative from the Office of Diversity Inclusion and Community Engagement to be present about the Multicultural Center and diversity programs for students. 

2.    How would you describe the effectiveness of this strategy?  

The institution shall provide an analysis of the effectiveness of each strategy with a sufficient level of detail. If a strategy was not fully implemented or implemented at all, a thorough analysis and justifiable explanation of why this did not occur should be provided.  

The strategies implemented were very effective. The Admissions Office saw an increase in attendance at SOAR; of students registered for each session, approximately 85% attended, which was over a 10% increase from the previous five years. Starting in October of 2018, all first-time students were able to receive detailed information about diversity programs and initiatives housed within the Multicultural Center, as well as descriptions of services that are available to help them achieve academic and personal success. Since the SOAR intake form does not ask for race or ethnicity, we are not able to determine if this also led to an increase in URM enrollment. We have plans to start collecting this data with the help of the Institutional Research office so we can better track our success.   

Data shows that our entering student population (students who attend SOAR) tends to be more diverse than the college overall student population. In the 2018-2019 academic year, SOAR attendee demographic information was as follows: Black/African American 28.06%, Hispanic/Latino 15.68%, Asian 4.52% and White 45.63%.  In the 2017-2018 academic year 2,433 students participated in SOAR and 2,342 students participated in the 2018-2019 academic year. 

3.    What lessons were learned regarding this strategy and what are your next steps?  

Each institution shall identify lessons learned from the annual review process and describes in detail how it will incorporate results from the strategy analysis into the next year to address deficiencies and either improve or continue. 

The improvements implemented for Fall 2019 were successful and will be continued.  Applying orientation holds to all first-time student accounts allowed  for better determining what next steps students needed to complete to be enrolled. Moving forward, the Admissions Office will continue to utilize orientation holds in the new student admissions process. This team will also continue to execute call campaigns to reach out to students and register them for SOAR sessions, as well as invite a representative from the Office of Diversity to be present at each SOAR.  

In order to better understand the impact of SOAR on URM student success, the SOAR team will work with the Office of Institutional Research to generate a report of all the URM students who participate in each SOAR session. Another improvement for future SOARS will be the addition of a resource fair for students to get introduced to some of the support services available to them. To better serve ESL students, the International Admissions team will host Jefferson County Public Schools Admissions Experience days for ESL high school students.  These events will consist of placement testing, lunch, and a SOAR session with advising from the college ESL department. 

Strategy #6: Develop Academic and Student support initiatives to increase the success of African-American students.  

  • Rebuild African American Student Union.  
  • Complete the conceptualization of the college cultural center. 
  • Develop a proposal for a college cultural center- all campuses and a Multicultural Center opening on the Downtown campus. 

1.    How did you implement this strategy with fidelity? (500 words or less)  

Fidelity is defined as faithfulness to the implementation of the committed strategies demonstrated by continued loyalty and support. Evidence of fidelity may include, but are not limited to the following: dedicated staff, specific examples of student or staff participation, data collected on strategy inputs and outputs, participation rates of students, dedicated funding, development of implementation timetables and milestones achieved, and narrative descriptions of the implementation process.

The tactics used to implement this strategy were rebuilding the African American Student Union, completing the conceptualization of a cultural center, and developing a proposal for a cultural center. As the college enters into year three of full implementation of the strategies, we are able to continue to report positive results for each tactic.  Although we cannot solely assign the success of African American students to this strategy, we believe that the re-establishment of the Black Student Union and the creation of the Multicultural Center have aided the increase of retention rates because this strategy helps with students’ sense of belonging and offers support.  The African American Student Union, now known as the Black Student Union, has been re-established and active for the past two years. All six members of the Black Student Union Executive Board were retained and returned for the Fall 2019 semester, and two graduated. Building on the work and contributions of the Black Student Union from the past two years, the Black Student Union has continued to aid in cultural programming by leading events and participating in annual events like the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration and Black History Month. Secondly, the college has continued to dedicated staff and funding to support the Black Student Union. The Assistant Director of Student Success and Community Engagement advised the Black Student Union and the organization was funded by the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement as well as through their own fundraising efforts.  The Multicultural Center on Jefferson’s Downtown Campus has been open for three years. Along with providing a safe space on campus for students of all identities, the Multicultural Center is responsible for cultural programming for students. During the 18-19 academic year, the Multicultural Center planned and hosted 60 events for students. The Multicultural Center also continues to offer advising as a collaborative effort with the Advising Center.  Lastly, the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement works closely with the Ready to Work Program and the Federal Work-study Coordinator to employ students  at the front desk in the Multicultural Center. Since the Multicultural Center opened in October 2017, there have been over 2,000 visits from faculty, staff, students, and community members.  

2.    How would you describe the effectiveness of this strategy?  

The institution shall provide an analysis of the effectiveness of each strategy with a sufficient level of detail. If a strategy was not fully implemented or implemented at all, a thorough analysis and justifiable explanation of why this did not occur should be provided. 

The strategy was an effective way to increase the success of African American students at Jefferson. The creation of the Multicultural Center has not only given students a safe space on campus, but it has also provided dedicated professionals that are available to help students navigate both academic and non-academic barriers. The ongoing work with the Black Student Union has now become a part of the fabric of the college and has given space and voice to the Black student experience at Jefferson.  Since the creation of the Multicultural Center and the re-establishment of the Black Student Union, the following success rates have been yielded for African American students . Retention of Black/African American students increased slightly between Fall 2016-17, Fall 2017-18, and Fall 2018-2019 from 45.4% to 45.8% - this is much higher than the two previous Fall cohorts (38.7% and 38.8%). 

It is important that African American students have the opportunity to develop themselves as leaders and as a vital part of the fabric of the college. Joining a student organization has a positive relationship with retention (Astin, 1984, 1993; Pascarella & Terezini, 2005; Tinto, 1993), positive psychological outcomes, such as perceptions of self-worth and psychological resilience (Fletcher, Nickerson, & Wright, 2003; Fredericks & Eccles, 2006) as well as a positive academic outcome, including grades (Cooper, Valentine, Nye, & Lindsay, 1999; Shernoff, 2010) and standardized test scores (Cooper et al., 1999). Evidence that supports these theories are as follows:  

  • All members of the Black Student Union Executive Board returned for the  18 and 19 academic year. Two members of the Black Student Union (Executive Board?) have graduated. 
  • Retention of Black/African American students increased slightly between Fall 2016-17, Fall 2017-18, and Fall 2018-19 from 45.4% to 45.8% - this is much higher than the two previous Fall cohorts (38.7% and 38.8%).  
  • The Multicultural Center staff planned and executed over 60 events for students during the 18-19 academic year
  • There were over 2,000 visits to the Multicultural Center from faculty, staff, and students since it opened in October 2017   

3.    What lessons were learned regarding this strategy and what are your next steps?  

Each institution shall identify lessons learned from the annual review process and describes in detail how it will incorporate results from the strategy analysis into the next year to address deficiencies and either improve or continue.

The lessons learned from the strategy are as follows: 

  • Student organizations, like the Black Student Union, offer support and help build community for African American students. Although we cannot solely assign the success of African American students to this strategy, know that the re-establishment of the Black Student Union and the Multicultural Center have aided in the success of retention rates because this strategy helps with student sense of belonging and offer support.
  • Dedicated staff and funding are essential to the success of student organizations. The Black Student Union now has a dedicated advisor, the Assistant Director of Student Success and Community Engagement, who is available to assist and develop these student leaders. We will continue to support the Black Student Union in this way and add members of the Black Student Union Executive Board to the Student Life Committee where they will be able to gain support from additional faculty and staff. 
  • Restructuring the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement led to more wrap-around support services for students and more employment opportunities. This restructure helped unify all of the student services offices that help students address non-academic barriers. Additionally, it helped create a streamlined process to refer students to other offices on campus.  

Strategy #7: Strengthen partnerships with community groups who can assist students with non-academic issues that are barriers to success.  

1.    How did you implement this strategy with fidelity? (500 words or less)  

Fidelity is defined as faithfulness to the implementation of the committed strategies demonstrated by continued loyalty and support. Evidence of fidelity may include, but are not limited to the following: dedicated staff, specific examples of student or staff participation, data collected on strategy inputs and outputs, participation rates of students, dedicated funding, development of implementation timetables and milestones achieved, and narrative descriptions of the implementation process.  

The 15K-Jefferson Rise Together Initiative is partnership between the Jefferson and the 15,000 Degrees Steering Committee. The 15,000 Degrees Steering Committee is comprised of African American entrepreneurs, educators, and consultants whose main goal is to the increase educational attainment for African Americans in Metro Louisville.  The 15K Degrees-Jefferson Rise Together Initiative was in Year 2 of implementation. The mission of Rise Together is to increase the enrollment, persistence, and graduation of African American students in Louisville Zones of Hope neighborhoods. A Zones of Hope community is a neighborhood with little to no higher education attainment and low socioeconomic status.  Collaborating with the Office of Admissions and the Office of Institutional Research, Effectiveness, and Planning the Assistant Director of Community Engagement and Student Success recruited students to participate in Rise Together from high schools who had the highest population of students from one of the five Zones of Hope neighborhoods. Rise Together is an initiative that supports African American students by providing: 

  • External and internal mentor 
  • Access to a Persistence and Graduation Fund 
  • Enrichment trips 
  • Monthly coaching 
  • First-year experience and Black student leadership course
  • Preferred employment in the Multicultural Center 
  • Academic support services.  

In Year 2 of Rise Together, we scaled up to 59 student participants. We divided the cohort and assigned students to meet monthly with either the Assistant Director of Student Success and Community Engagement or the Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement. The Assistant Director for Student Success and Community Engagement and the Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement were also able to connect students with mentors on a bi-monthly basis and connect them with a peer mentor also known as a Rise Together Ambassador.  Financial support was available to students participating in Rise Together via the Persistence and Graduation Fund that students can utilize for up to $500 to address non-academic barriers. Additionally, financial support was still available via the partnership from the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement budget with activities being reimbursable via the C.E. & S. Foundation Grant.  Secondly, another C.E. & S. Foundation Grant awarded the college $70,000 to open and operationalize a food pantry (supplied by Dare to Care) and we were able to hire a full-time social worker who serves as the Student Success Coordinator and helps students navigate community resources and nonacademic barriers. The H.U.B. has been open since March 2018.  

We have expanded our partnership with the Center for Behavioral Health at Spalding University. The partnership with CBH provides counseling services for students. Students can participate in three sessions free of charge and the CBH a sliding scale for students to pay as little as $10 per visit. This fall, CBH now has office space on the Jefferson Downtown campus to help provide convenience for students and be readily available for crises.  Lastly, the college is continuing the Student Emergency Fund to help address unexpected expenses that may prevent students from staying in school.  

2.    How would you describe the effectiveness of this strategy?  

The institution shall provide an analysis of the effectiveness of each strategy with a sufficient level of detail. If a strategy was not fully implemented or implemented at all, a thorough analysis and justifiable explanation of why this did not occur should be provided.  

Students who participated in Year 2 of Rise Together outpaced the cumulative GPA of all credential-seeking students at Jefferson. Rise Together students earned a cumulative GPA of 2.79 and while all other credential-seeking students only earned a 2.66 GPA.  

Rise Together students also outpaced African American students from Zones of Hope neighborhoods who were not participating in Rise Together and African American students overall. The fall-to-fall retention rate for Rise Together Scholars is 86%. This is almost double the retention rate for African American students from those same neighborhoods who did not participate in Rise Together. Participation and attending monthly coaching appointments is a crucial part of Rise Together. Through these one-on-one interactions, we are able to talk with students and learn more about potential barriers that could cause them struggle academically. We had 96% of students participate in their monthly coaching appointments. Additionally, 47% were paired with a mentor.  

All students who attended at least two enrichment trips were twice as likely to be retained. This served as a reminder to the college that it is important to expose students to opportunities where they can see themselves being successful and see other African American professionals and students being successful.   

Lastly, every student that accessed the Persistence and Graduation Fund was retained and returned for the Fall 2019 semester. The Persistence and Graduation fund helps Rise Together students address financial barriers that could prevent them from continuing their education.  

  • 337 students utilized the pantry between August and November of 2019.
  • Between August and November 2019, a total of 546 students, staff, and faculty received fresh produce from the HUB Food Pantry. 
  • The HUB Food Pantry indirectly served 449 children, 35 seniors, and 11 veterans between August 2019 and November 2019. 
  • Racial breakdown of students who utilized the HUB: 36% White, 55% Black/African American, and 6% Biracial. Only one student identified ethnically as Hispanic or Latino (3%). 
  • From August 2019 until December 2019, there have been 30 students apply for the student emergency fund and of those 30 submissions, 11 student received funding. All students completed the semester they applied for funds, and of those 11 students, 6 will be returning for the Spring 2020 semester. 
  • On Jefferson’s Downtown Campus, the on-site therapist had 14 clients (students) for the Fall 2019 semester. The on-site therapist average 6 appointments per week.  

3.    What lessons were learned regarding this strategy and what are your next steps?  

Each institution shall identify lessons learned from the annual review process and describes in detail how it will incorporate results from the strategy analysis into the next year to address deficiencies and either improve or continue. 

  • More staff is needed to give students one-on-one attention, facilitate monthly coaching appointments, and provide adequate follow-up. The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement will be requesting to hire two graduate students for the 2019-2020 academic year to be Student Success Coaches. This will allow the college to have more students participate in Rise Together and lessen the caseload on the two full-time positions.  
  • Enrichment trips are important to the success of students participating in Rise Together. Because of this, the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement will request additional funds from the college for the 2019-2020. We also learned that in order for students to participate, we must give them at least two weeks’ notice so they can adjust their schedules. 
  • The college must continue to foster relationships with community-based organizations that can fund student success initiatives. Because of the success of grant-funded initiatives at Jefferson, we have partnered with the 15K Steering Committee to submit another grant proposal to the C.E. &S. Foundation in October 2019 and the grant has been successfully funded again for another 2 years. This grant will continue to fund all aspects of Rise Together (enrichment trips, Persistence and Graduation Funds, staff, program for students, etc.)  

Impact 

Strategy #8: Foster an environment that provides students the opportunity for extracurricular student engagement than promotes social, cultural, and civic responsibility.  

1.    How did you implement this strategy with fidelity? (500 words or less)  

Fidelity is defined as faithfulness to the implementation of the committed strategies demonstrated by continued loyalty and support. Evidence of fidelity may include, but are not limited to the following: dedicated staff, specific examples of student or staff participation, data collected on strategy inputs and outputs, participation rates of students, dedicated funding, development of implementation timetables and milestones achieved, and narrative descriptions of the implementation process.  

The Director of Student Engagement continues to develop a college-wide calendar of events so students can stay informed of activities at the top of each semester. The Director of Student Engagement plan and executed over 40 programs, including a Student Leadership Summit. The initial programming goal was to offer 25 programs per semester, which we successfully executed. Additionally, over 300 students participated in the events with more than half of them identifying as low-income and/or URM.  Students become a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society by earning a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or and above.  Phi Theta Kappa members welcomed students back by walking around campus with oversized “Ask Me” signs, to assist new and incoming students with questions as they were on their way to class. During this active welcome activity, students also promoted Phi Theta Kappa as a way to get involved on campus.  The Downtown chapter of PTK agreed to host the Kentucky Honors in Action and Leadership Conference, a two-day annual experience for all active PTK members in the region. During this conference, over 60 PTK members from all across the state of Kentucky traveled to Jefferson’s campus in order to network with fellow members, learn more about PTK, and develop programming within their respective chapters. Overall, hosting this conference helped to spark more student energy and interest in developing the Jefferson PTK chapters and Jefferson will be hosting the conference again.  At the start of the spring 2019 semester, Jefferson’s chapter of PTK hosted their formal induction ceremony in order kick off the semester. Over 30 new members were inducted and this ceremony, which was immediately followed by a student leadership summit where students had the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, learn their leadership style, and network with other student leaders across campus. Furthermore, PTK hosted a chapter retreat the following week in order to help acclimate all of its new members. Additionally, one of the PTK members became the Kentucky Region President, making her the first African American woman president in the Kentucky region.  In working with Jefferson’s Sustainability Coordinator, PTK helped to obtain grants and equipment need to develop a student-study space called “The Silent Garden.”  The college was in year two of special topic course FYE 105 Rise Together/Zones of Hope. The FYE 105 Rise Together/Zones of Hope special topics course is for African American students from at-risk neighborhoods.  In Fall 2018, there were 59 students enrolled in the both sections of the FYE 105 Zones of Hope Special Topics sections. Participation in this program comes with additional support services like access to a Persistence and Graduation Fund, monthly one-on-one coaching appointments, and enrichment trips. These FYE sections were tailored to instruct students from the Afrocentric viewpoint and address the hidden curriculum of college.  The Black Student Union Executive Board had 6 members who all identified as URM and low-income.  The BSU also collaborated with the Black Affairs Advisory Council to plan the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration.  

2.    How would you describe the effectiveness of this strategy?  

The institution shall provide an analysis of the effectiveness of each strategy with a sufficient level of detail. If a strategy was not fully implemented or implemented at all, a thorough analysis and justifiable explanation of why this did not occur should be provided.  

 This strategy has proven to be effective because students are participating in the events and student organizations. The establishment of a campus wide events calendar, further reinforced by weekly “Happening This Week at Jefferson” email blasts, has been remarkably helpful in creating a culture where students get involved outside of the classroom. Furthermore, Jefferson’s social media presence has also played a significant role in marketing and advertising student activities. 

During the 2018-2019 academic school year, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) at Jefferson grew tremendously as it relates to membership growth and development. In Spring 2019 there were 22 active PTK members and in Fall 2019 there were 27 active members, representing 23% growth in participation. 

Reestablishing Phi Theta Kappa on the downtown campus has also proven to be very effective. Students who are actively involved in this organization have created long lasting relationships with a variety of students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, just within the last year, PTK members on the downtown campus have hosted a regional conference, participated in a variety of community service projects (Ronald McDonald House, Tree Planting, Earth Day Clean Up, etc.) and planned many social outings (Red River Gorge, Cedar Ridge Camp, Walking Bridge, Shakespeare in the Park, etc.). This has definitely contributed to not only their overall growth and development as student leaders, but also in promoting social, cultural, and a sense of civic responsibility.  

  • 22 members participated in Phi Theta Kappa for the 2018-2019 academic year  
  • All 22 students identified as low-income 
  • The overall retention rate for Phi Theta Kappa was 63%  84% retention rate for Phi Theta Kappa URM members  
  • 3 URM Phi Theta Kappa graduates  
  • URM GPA for Phi Theta Kappa Membership 3.87 

 Reestablishing the Black Student Union has helped to develop a stronger sense of community among black students. The Black Student Union meets weekly which has helped to promote a consistent safe space where they are able to not only interact and engage in thought provoking dialogue (police brutality, healthy relationships, mass incarceration, etc.) with their peers, but also an opportunity to connect with black faculty and staff. Similar to PTK, BSU has helped to develop amazing student leaders who are passionate about the success of the organization. The overall GPA for BSU was 2.67 and the fall-to-fall retention rate was 100% and 2 students graduated. The Black Student Union led 8 programs for the 2018-2019 academic year.  

Additional evidence from the College-wide My Jefferson Survey demonstrates engagement among URM students at Jefferson.  Survey results from Spring 2019 indicated that 68.5% of URM students answered “Yes” to the question – Does Jefferson offer campus events that are relevant to your interests.  In addition, 72.5% of URM students agreed or strongly agreed with the statement – “I feel a sense of belongingness on campus” (only 67% of non-URM students agreed with the statement).  The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Student Engagement has added additional questions to the Spring 2020 version of the My Jefferson Survey and will continue to use this as a tool to measure effectiveness and monitor student feedback.  

The FYE 105 Zones of Hope Special Topics section was successful because they were under the leadership of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement with two full-time staff members who taught the course and because of the additional support services offered through the 15K-Jefferson Rise Together Initiative. 

There were 59 students enrolled in both sections of the FYE 105 Rise Together/Zones of Hope. Out of 59 students, 36 students persisted fall-to-fall giving them a retention rate of 61%. Students had a participation rate in monthly coaching appointments of 96%.  

3.    What lessons were learned regarding this strategy and what are your next steps?

Each institution shall identify lessons learned from the annual review process and describes in detail how it will incorporate results from the strategy analysis into the next year to address deficiencies and either improve or continue.  

The college has the following lessons learned and plan to take the next steps from this strategy: 

  • Continued to have PTK members plan and implement Welcome Week activities at the start of each semester to promote membership and create a warm environment for new and returning students.
  • The FYE 105 Rise Together/ Zones of Hope special courses and the Rise Together Initiative is reaching capacity. More staff is needed to give students one-on-one attention, facilitate monthly coaching appointments, and provide adequate follow-up. The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement will be requested to hire two graduate students for the 2019-2020 academic year to be Student Success Coaches and those hires have been made. This will allow the college to have more students participate in Rise Together and lessen the caseload on the two full-time positions.  
  • Although there are two sections of FYE 105 Rise Together/Zones of Hope special topics courses, the Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement found it necessary to combine both sections of the course during some class meetings to help accommodate for guest speakers. This also provided the instructors an opportunity to engage with students in both sections and allowed students to connect with students in the other section. One section was offered for the Fall 2019 semester.
  • Although we had 96% participation rate in the monthly coaching meetings, we should be scheduling this coaching meetings to occur around strategic points in the semester (i.e. within the first three weeks of the semester, midterm, opening of registration and FASFA, final exams) to maximize conversation and to create “to-do list” for students. In response to this, the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement will develop a “Coaching Calendar” to help ensure these meetings happen at strategic points in the semester. 
  • It is evident that dedicated leadership in the role of Director of Student Engagement is necessary to adequately promote opportunities, provide programming, and build a culture of student engagement. 
  • For the 19-20 academic year, we have decided to reorganize the Office of Student Engagement. While it will remain under the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement the Assistant Director of Student Engagement is now the Director of Student Engagement and this position will now directly supervise of the Assistant Director for Diversity and Inclusion to improve collaborative programming. 
  • The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement has made a budget request to improve student space and a location for student organizations to have offices, meeting, and programming space. 
  • The college has also decided that we will be applying for the TRIO Student Support Services grant. TRIO SSS is very similar to the 15K Rise Together Initiative and will allow the college to hire additional staff to support low income, first-generation, and/or students with disabilities.
  • Dedicated staff to help oversee student organizations and student activities is needed to ensure that students are getting the guidance and support that they need when it comes to getting involved. In addition to dedicated staff, dedicated advisors for student organizations can also make or break the success of the student organization. For many students at Jefferson, this is their first time being a college student and/or student leader, so they desperately need support and guidance.