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The college regularly engages in the evaluation of admissions and placement instruments. Application instruments are available in written and online format. Evaluation and revision of the instruments occurs at the district level, as all three colleges use the same instruments. Input from the colleges is brought to the collaborative Banner Student Priorities Committee for discussion. Decisions affecting the application instruments and procedures are made on the basis of research data and anecdotal input from students and staff.
College and district reports indicate an increase in the percent of students using online services and taking distance education classes. The college has responded to its students' interest by coordinating with its sister colleges to implement the CCCApply online application for admissions. The California Community College Chancellor's Office sponsored the CCCApply online application in an attempt to create a standard application for admission. The development team included registrars and information technology professionals from community colleges, Chancellor's Office staff, and representatives from the Office of Civil rights. Each of the district's colleges applied for and received a Chancellor's Office grant to cover implementation and first-year maintenance costs. Information form the application goes through a series of edits and is either uploaded directly into the district computer student database or held in a pending file for review and processing. This has resulted in a more timely response to applications, which allows students to access information and registration options earlier in the enrollment process. The online application also includes a direct link to the financial aid application (FAFSA), and automatically populates many of the FAFSA data fields. In addition to the standard admission application, an online application for international students is in development. The next phase of development includes plans to offer both online documents in Spanish.
In response to changing demographics, the college has offered a Spanish version of its own written application for several years. The college also includes the Spanish version of the application in the semester Schedule of Classes, along with a Spanish version of the fee waiver, financial aid application forms, description of available student services, and most of the admission and registration information.
All assessment tests are regularly evaluated. With the help of campus and district researchers, the English and Math departments assess cut-off scores to determine local validity. All testing instruments for new English and math have been locally validated within the last three years. The English Department is researching the impact of cut-off scores on student success. The ESL assessment tests were last validated in 1998 and need to be revalidated by April 2004.
Enforcement of prerequisites in math, English, speech and microbiology has improved student placement . Prerequisite identification and validation has been coordinated at the three colleges, and is being phased in at Ventura College .
The college has been proactive in responding to the needs of the changing student population and its community, offering telephone and online registration alternatives as well as online applications for admission and financial aid. Registration and financial aid application processes are offered in Spanish. The college has noted greater use of online services, adding computers for Web registration at the Internet Café while providing assistance with staff and student volunteers during peak registration periods. The spring 2003 Student Perception Survey records an increase in satisfaction with Admissions and Records services.
The college values its open admission policy and, though the Council for Institutional Development (CID), annually assesses changes in student demographics in the college and the community . The Registrar is a member of the CID, the Student Success Team, and the Student Banner Priorities District Committee. Each of these committees and councils uses demographic data to identify needed changes in admissions.
The Admissions and Records Office needs to complete its program review and include the latest information on the Student Perception Survey.
The Assessment Center staff has performed validity testing of all assessment instruments. The staff works closely with counseling and Admissions and Records to evaluate and revise the assessment schedule to better meet the needs of students during registration. The Assessment Center completed its program review in fall 2003. It needs to revise its unit plan to include appropriate changes in technology. The ESL Department needs to complete validation for its assessment instruments.
The Admissions and Records Office will complete a program review by the end of fall 2004.
The ESL faculty will work with Matriculation staff to complete validation research for the Department's ESL assessment test by the end of spring 2004.
f. The institution maintains student records permanently, securely, and confidentially, with provision for secure backup of all files, regardless of the form in which those files are maintained. The institution publishes and follows established policies for release of student records.
The college, in cooperation with the District Service Center (DSC), maintains student records permanently, securely and confidentially. It provides for secure backup of all files regardless of the form in which those files are maintained. The majority of student records are maintained in the districtwide Banner student database. Access rights are given only to staff whose job responsibilities include the maintenance or regular use of student records. Student workers may be granted limited access rights in a few areas, such as the Counseling Office where they may be asked to print transcripts. Student workers with access to records are required at the time of hire to sign a statement of responsibility for maintaining the confidentiality of student records (IIB-34 ). Request for secured access rights is made through the college registrar, who approves the request and determines the appropriate security classification. The request is then forwarded to the district IT Office, which is responsible for assigning and maintaining the security classifications and access rights. Database records are backed up at the district on a nightly basis, and stored off-site in magnetic media format.
The college has kept microfilm and hard copies of student academic records from its inception to the fall 1981 semester. Student records from the fall 1981 semester to the present are stored in the automated student database. Sets of film are stored on and off site. Hard copy records are stored in the Ventura College warehouse and in storage areas leased by the district and located at the Camarillo Airport (where the DSC is also located). Plans are in place to use the college's document imaging system to convert these records to scanned images. Records will be stored on a local server and backed up on tape for off-site storage. The college now uses the document imaging system to scan and store images of external transcripts.
Recognizing the trend toward computer use, the college and district have created Student Central, a secured area within the system that allows students access to their records. Access requires a user (student) identification number and personal identification number (PIN). Initially, the user ID was the student's social security number, and the PIN was the student's six-digit date of birth. Last year, in response to increasing security concerns and recent legislation, the Banner Student Priorities Committee recommended that the district move to the use of assigned student ID numbers and require a personalized PIN upon first login to the system. The changes were implemented in July and September, respectively.
Ventura College publishes and follows established policy for the release of student records. The policy, published in the college catalog, includes definition of and intention to release directory information, the rights of students' access to their own records, the requirements for students' release of their records to third parties, the circumstances under which the institution is required to respond to subpoenas and judicial orders, and the procedure for student complaints regarding the privacy or release of records. Release of student records is a primary responsibility of the Admissions and Records Office, which processes student transcript requests, enrollment verifications, subpoenas and court orders.
The college does an excellent job maintaining and securing student records. In cooperation with the district and its sister colleges, it has responded to the needs of students for greater access to their own information through the development of the secured Student Central Web site. It has responded to their concerns about identity security by establishing student ID numbers that are used for access to the Web site and on printed classroom rosters. The move to personalized PIN numbers has proven to be a cumbersome process, however, as many students are unable to remember their PIN and so are unable to access the on-line registration system. The current process for recovering PINs requires contact with the Admissions Office staff by phone or email. At the recommendation of the Student Priorities Committee, the district is developing an automated process that will allow students to recover their PIN directly through the system. This will have the three-fold impact of expediting assistance to the student, relieving the additional workload on college staff, and providing additional security in that staff will no longer be required to access student PIN numbers.
College representatives to the Banner Student Priorities Committee will review, test and approve the new automated process for recovery of PIN data by students.
The Registrar and Admissions Office staff will coordinate the conversion of hard copy and microfilmed student records to imaged documents. Completion is planned for fall 2005.
II.B.4. The institution evaluates student support services to assure their adequacy in meeting identified student needs. Evaluation of these services provides evidence that they contribute to the achievement of student learning outcomes. The institution uses the results of these evaluations as the basis for improvement.
To assure that it meets student needs, the college uses formal and informal evaluations of student support services . All student service programs participate in program review, and all are addressed in the Student Perception Survey (IIB-35). To provide better services to students, some programs have developed their own surveys. For example, the Student Health Center , the Re-entry and Women's Center, and the Educational Assistance Center have conducted intensive surveys to assist in future planning. The results of program evaluations are used as a foundation for the unit's plan. The spring 2001 Student Health Center Satisfaction Survey and Educational Assistance Center Survey used data to guide modification of service hours. The Counseling Center has developed and is in the process of implementing three surveys .
The monthly Student Success Team meeting allows for communication and coordination among Ventura College student service areas, including the planning and evaluation of all student service programs, and program review. The Student Success Team regularly compares experiences to improve services (IIB-36). Many of Team members sit on the Council for Institutional Development and bring back external and internal scan information distributed through the District Research Office.
Student Services has used the First Contact Task Force to improve the initial contact experience of prospective students, especially contact involving initial phone calls, walk-in traffic and e-mails from interested students and their families (IIB-37).
The Matriculation and Student Performance Study of 1997 was an initial attempt by the college to research the effectiveness of student services programs. The study found increased retention, success, and persistence rates for first-time students at Ventura College who received orientation, assessment, or advisement services (IIB-38). The EAC worked with the campus researcher in fall 2001 to track its students, evaluating the success rate of 559 students by letter grade, retention and withdrawal rate.
The college continues to collect data on student success as a way of evaluating the effectiveness of categorical programs such as the EAC, ENLACE and Title 5 (IIB-39, IIB-40, IIB-41). The college receives and distributes information from four-year colleges on the transfer rate of its students and tracks the number of degrees and certificates awarded (IIB-42). Much of the institutional research for Student Services has focused on student perception surveys, as well as validating assessment tests, cut-off scores for placement, and prerequisites.
The college evaluates and uses the data from the student perception surveys as benchmarks for comparing perceptions of service over time. The second districtwide student perception surveys, spring 2000, provided the focal point for a year of discussion, planning, and implementation with the Student Success Team. The team's consensus made the primary goal of 2002-2003 to increase the knowledge of students regarding student services. All information advertising student services was reviewed, revised and implemented with a more systematic distribution of the materials. To provide easier access to information, ten new racks were purchased and placed on campus in public areas. The new racks were designed to hold large posters that could be used to advertise special workshops and events that support the Transfer Center .
The college's Web site was evaluated, and student services pages updated and revised to be more user friendly. Through a joint grant Allan Hancock College , Student Services was able to hire a consultant to improve the new student orientation pages that provide links to all student services offices and documents many instructional department sites.
The findings of the spring 2003 district Student Perception Survey has just been made available, and will be the focus of future Student Success Team meetings.
Student Services also finds informal and qualitative information useful in evaluating its services. As mentioned above, counseling has used focus groups as one type of evaluation technique . In spring 2002, feedback was obtained from community agencies that work with at-risk high school and middle school age students. As reported earlier, the feedback resulted in the development of more usable recruitment publications and better service information on the college's Web site.
Through the Title 5 Grant, the Sociology Department conducted four focus groups in fall 2003. Data were collected to define challenges faced by Latino/Latina students in Introduction to Sociology, which has been identified as a Gateway Course for student success because of the disproportionately low retention rates of Latino/Latina students. The focus groups included feedback on how students receive and wish to receive information about student services. Results will be presented to the Student Success Team in August 2004. Also, as reported earlier, Counseling has explored the use of focus groups to improve the recruitment process. The Counseling Department conducts an annual in-service day to improve relationships with local high school counselors and to gain informal feedback.
In fall 2002, Student Services staff concerned about the quality and flow of prospective students and parents contacting the college formed a First Contact Task Force. Representing all student service areas, the task force met to describe and evaluate existing pathways for accessing information about the college. After examining the initial contact points-telephone, web, walk-in and mail-recommendations were suggested to reduce confusion and "run-around " (IIB-37 ). Changes to the college phone menu, as well as the initial phone contact number used in all advertisements and brochures, followed. The Public Information Office became the contact for all mail-in responses. All offices receiving "first contacts" were given revised and consolidated information handouts identifying college services.
Recommendations from the task force have been used as recently as spring 2004 in improving services to Spanish speakers. Feedback received from the community focus groups and follow-up discussion from the task force for First Contacts resulted in an increase in Spanish language pages appearing in the schedule of classes, and a new brochure listing all student services in Spanish (IIB-43).
Counselors have recognized a need to evaluate the effectiveness of the Orientation Workshop, the primary vehicle for disseminating information about the college to new students. In addition to examining enrollment patterns, counselors will explore how to evaluate the effectiveness of the guidance workshop and of alternative vehicles for delivering information.
The process of evaluating student services to more effectively measure student learning outcomes is ongoing. As mentioned above, the Student Success Team has initiated meetings with the district's researcher to assist them in analyzing survey data. Student Services personnel have used staff development activities to increase their knowledge of student success measures. Managers and faculty have attended assessment conferences jointly sponsored by the State Community Colleges Chancellors Office, the WASC Accreditation Office, and the Regional Institutional Effectiveness and Research Organization to increase their understanding of the relationship between student services and student learning outcomes.
Student Services personnel were instrumental in bringing Professor Tinto to talk about student learning and retention. More recently, Student Service personnel from Counseling, the EAC, Title 5 programs, and Student Activities attended the national audio conference, "Building Bridges between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs."
The college's student service areas are using a variety of data to aid in planning and improving student services. They recognize the need to work with college-wide groups to develop a sophisticated institutional research plan to measure the effectiveness of student services, student learning and student success. Past studies examining the success rate of students using matriculation services and the success rate of EAC students should be duplicated to provide comparison.
Student Services supports expanding the use focus groups to gain qualitative feedback on the publicizing and delivery of its services.
The Student Service Programs recognize their important role in student retention and success, and see the need to work more closely with Instruction to maximize campus resources, increase student involvement in co-curricular activities, and increase the number of students referred to student services by instructors.
Plans listed in II.B.3.b. of the accreditation self study refer to the importance of developing more formal co-curricular programs and systems for recognizing student achievement in leadership programs, governance, service learning, mentoring, and experiences outside the classroom. The planning for these activities needs to incorporate research for studying their effectiveness.
A goal of Student Services planning includes working with instructional departments concerned with retention of students, such as Sociology. Another area of concern involves math: assessment scores indicate that only between six percent and seven percent of new students test into transfer level math classes. Using data from the College Assessment Center , Counseling, and other support services, Student Services and the math department will discuss approaches to improving student success.
Now that the spring 2003 Student Perception Surveys have been distributed, all Student Service areas need to evaluate their program review reports and plans in light of the latest survey data.
Student Services needs to participate in campuswide discussions to communicate priorities for campus research and develop an institutional effectiveness research plan. Successful past research needs to be duplicated to provide comparison information over time.
The Counseling Department needs to develop a plan to study the effectiveness of guidance workshops; this will serve as a model to study the alternative delivery of orientation services.
Given the data entered into the new Banner system over the past four years, much potential for research on student success exists. Many data elements are being collected for the first time. Information on student goals, high schools and colleges attended, first generation college students, and modes used to register for classes-to name a few-will provide the basis for future research on student success.
Student Development will submit a request to duplicate previous research on "success of students using matriculation services" and the "success rate of EAC students" to the Office of Student Learning by fall 2004.
The Student Success Team will coordinate discussion across all Student Services Programs to identify and prioritize institutional research needs. Recommendations will be submitted to Office of Student Learning by fall 2004. Areas to be considered include the following: effectiveness of current orientation programs on student knowledge of and tendency to use student support services; effectiveness of the new probation process on student success; effectiveness of the counseling pilot used during drop-by counseling; and the extent to which the college provides activities that increase understanding of cross cultural diversity and provides opportunities for cross cultural interaction.
Counseling and Assessment Center Staff will share current data on math assessment with the Math Department; student services and the department will work together to improve student success in fall 2005.
All Student Support Service Programs will evaluate the results of the spring 2003 Student Perception Surveys, and add recommendations.
Beginning fall 2004, counseling review and evaluate the effectiveness of the orientation guidance workshops on student learning and make recommendations and make changes by mid-spring 2005.
By fall 2004, Student Support Services will update their unit plans to be consistent with their latest program review and plans developed as a process of the accreditation self study.
List of Documents:
|IIB-1||Fall 2003 Summary of VCCCD Student Demographics, September 2003|
|IIB-2||Educational Master Plan (EMP), Spring 2003, Chapter 3, p. 9|
|IIB-3||Title V Grant|
|IIB-5||Spring 2004 Enrollment Headcount Report, March 10, 2004|
|IIB-6||Facility Master Plan, Secondary Effects|
|IIB-7||Transfer and Career Centers March 2004 Schedule of Workshops|
|IIB-8||Assisting the Distressed Student|
|IIB-9||Ventura College Student Health Services Satisfaction Survey, Fall 2003|
|IIB-10||Ventura College Survey of Student Perceptions - Spring 2000, Satisfaction with Campus Services|
|IIB-11||SST Report of December 10, 2001|
|IIB-12||Venture In, Ventura College Brochure|
|IIB-13||Student Services Resource Book . 2003-2004|
|IIB-14||Comparisons of 2003 Survey Responses to 2000, 1996, and 1993, Spring 2003|
|IIB-15||Ventura College Press Article, March 8, 2004|
|IIB-16||Ventura College Catalog 2003-2004|
|IIB-17||Ventura College Student Orientation Handbook 2003-2005|
|IIB-18||Matriculation Assessment Component Work Group Meeting Minutes, 9/18/03|
|IIB-19||Counseling Contacts, Fall 2002 & Fall 2003|
|IIB-20||Sample probation letters|
|IIB-22||Assessment Pilot Program Review, January 15, 2004|
|IIB-23||VCCCD Student Success Committee Minutes, February 19, 2004|
|IIB-24||SST's What We Want Students to Know|
|IIB-25||Work Experience Enrollments, Summer 2000 - Spring 2003|
|IIB-26||The ASVC Officer and Student Organization Information Packet|
|IIB-27||The Chronicle Article, February 13, 2004|
|IIB-28||Counselor Exchange Day Information, March 12, 2004|
|IIB-31||Counseling's SARS Grid Reason Code Summary Report, Fall 2003|
|IIB-32||International Students Report, Spring 2004|
|IIB-33||"Improving Completion Rates for Hispanic Students", Hispanic Outlook article, 11/17/2003|
|IIB-34||Employee Acknowledgement of Responsibility for Confidentiality of College Records and Computer Passwords Form|
|IIB-35||Student Services Program Review binder|
|IIB-36||Student Success Team Minutes|
|IIB-37||Summary of Ideas for Improving First Contacts, March 2002|
|IIB-38||Matriculation and Student Performance, June 30, 1997|
|IIB-39||Fall 2001 Academic Performance of EAC Students|
|IIB-40||ENLACE y Avance, Cohort 1 Annual Recap, 1/31/03|
|IIB-41||Title V Grant Student Success Rates|
|IIB-42||Ventura College Degrees and Certificates Awarded, 1999-2003|
|IIB-43||Colegio de Ventura Libreto de Información Sobre Servicios Estudiantiles|