Critical Questions for Student Services: Research and Implications for Practice in California Community Colleges : A Series of Eight Memos Addressed to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office
How can student services in California’s community colleges better contribute to student success? Former Senior Research Associate at WestEd Andrea Venezia and the RP Group, an education research agency, explore this issue in a series of eight memos to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.
The following communications present a picture of how student services are evolving in community colleges, the pressures created by budget cuts, and the complexity of helping students successfully prepare for and navigate college environments:
- Cover Memo: An Introduction
- Memo 1: Mandatory Orientation, Assessment, and Counseling
- Memo 2: Using Paraprofessionals and Instructional Faculty for Advising
- Memo 3: Student Success Courses
- Memo 4: Standard Cut Scores
- Memo 5: Automated Degree Audits and Online Education Plans
- Memo 6: Integrating Academic and Student Affairs
- Memo 7: Targeting Student Support Services
- Memo 8: Technology and Support Services
Some key insights:
- When seeking to improve students’ outcomes, issues such as assessment and cut scores for placement in developmental education cannot be isolated from curricula
- Student services, particularly those that combine multiple interventions and integrate academic and student affairs, help increase success rates, especially for more vulnerable populations
- The California state budget shortfall, institutional cultures, and policy structures make it difficult for student services to be expanded, mandated, or integrated into other elements of community college structures
- While each memo can be read as a stand-alone document, many of the topics are interrelated. Reading all eight memos together helps to provide a clear picture of how student services can contribute to student success
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