The Center for Student Success aims to foster meaningful collaboration between college faculty, student support services, and academic administrators across New Jersey’s 19 community colleges in all areas relative to student success. In addition, the Center recognizes the key role students play in their own success, so we also look to engage them in our efforts.
Supporting the Strategic Goals for Student Success
The New Jersey Council of County Colleges continues to mobilize the college community towards student success through its Strategic Goals for Student Success. To help support these key priorities, the Center for Student Success works with various community college affinity groups across the sector to help plan, promote and execute an evidence-based game plan. Here’s an inside look at our efforts to date:
Academic Related Initiatives
The Center for Student Success works closely with the academic officers responsible for (1) transforming developmental education, (2) aligning kindergarten through high school expectations with college-ready material, and (3) developing core student learning outcomes for the top 10 highest enrolled general education courses. Specifically, the Center plays an integral role in organizing statewide conferences for cross-college collaboration on academic initiatives. The Center contributes valuable research to the Academic Officers so that evidence-based decisions may guide any advancement to public policy.
Student Services Related Initiatives
The Center for Student Success recognizes that a student’s ability to achieve within the classroom tends to be shaped by his or her experiences outside of the classroom. Thus, we work closely with the Student Affairs Affinity Group on success initiatives pertaining to a wide variety of student populations. In particular, the Center aims to support the student affairs officers as they develop a plan to enhance student support services across the sector. As the Center works with a variety of affinity groups simultaneously, it plays a unique role as a connector of sorts so that cross collaboration amongst the groups may be fostered effectively and efficiently. With support of the community college presidents, the Center for Student Success aims to foster collaboration between the student affairs and academic affairs.
In accordance with Big Idea 4, Promoting Adjunct Faculty Development, the Center for Student Success works with the Human Resources Affinity Group on supporting adjunct faculty development so that they may be most effective in their jobs as educators. To date, the Center has compiled a master list of practices and policies from the 19 community colleges pertaining to adjunct orientation, utilizing college resources, mentoring models, communication methods, and informing adjuncts on legal aspects of teaching. Moving forward, the Center for Student Success will help assist in the coordination of statewide efforts to develop an adjunct database in which credentialing will allow adjuncts to teach at a variety of colleges across the sector.
With an increased focus on making data-driven decisions, the 19 community colleges, individually and collectively, will be tracking students upon entrance all the way to degree completion. The new Student Success Model approved by the presidents considers first-time full- and part-time degree seekers, with special tracks designated for college ready, developmental, ESL and other degree-seekers. The Center for Student Success will assist in the collection of such information so that our colleges are provided with a comprehensive snapshot of student success for different student cohorts.
Phi Theta Kappa’s Community College Completion Challenge
As we work with campus staff and faculty on student success initiatives, the Center will also seek to engage students directly through Phi Theta Kappa’s Community College Completion Challenge project. The Center aims to work with local Phi Theta Kappa chapters to establish a statewide Community College Completion Challenge day to highlight the ways in which students and faculty work together to create a culture of success with the goal of degree and certificate completion.Included in the Community College Completion Challenge day will be a host of speakers, events and campus activities such as the signing of student pledges to complete the degree. There will also be opportunities to engage students in peer-to-peer civic engagement programs such as campus tutoring and organizational outreach.