ASSC aims to increase student success

An equity plan to help students succeed in a variety of areas was presented by the dean of counseling Tuesday at the Associated Students of Skyline College meeting.

Dr. Angelica Garcia, Skyline’s dean of counseling, presented the five goals established by the Student Success and Support Program; and the Student Equity Committee, as the success indicators for the three-year plan.

The first goal is to increase access to underrepresented population groups in relationship to the adult population within the community served, also known as a participation rate. The current underrepresented populations are African Americans, Latinos and Asian Pacific Islanders.

“The biggest issue we have is that up to 25 percent of the student population does not reside in San Mateo County, ” Garcia said.

The second goal is course completion. The plan is to improve the course completion rate for the impacted populations.

The third goal is ESL/Basic Skills completion. The three areas the plan will focus on are English, math, and ESOL 830 and 840. Research indicates that students are not completing English 100. Another area that impacts the broader campus community at all levels is math. For ESOL students it may take up to six classes before they get to a transfer level English. Garcia is committed to improving these areas.

The fourth goal is degrees and certificates awarded. The issue around this goal is improving data collection. The school lacks the ability to identify when students switch from a certificate to a degree. Improving the guidance when students are enrolling is also part of this goal and a lot of activities are planned around it.

The fifth and last goal is to improve on tracking students transfers. Once again this goal is related to improving data collection. There is no particular impacted student population, but unless the student is transferring to one of the three schools that share data with Skyline or the student is enrolled in financial aid, the campus has no way to track student transfers.

“The presentation that Dr. Garcia gave today was a very comprehensive plan and a collaborative effort that is going to help the students of the school,” ASSC President Nicole Harris said.

Garcia concluded her presentation with a Q& A section with the ASSC. The students asked a lot of questions about the plan goals.

“I believe that their plans will have a positive impact on the students at Skyline College in the next three to five years,” ASSC senator Vanessa Aragon said. “I won’t be here to see it but I’m happy for other students that will get to use those opportunities and resources and I know that all the staff here at Skyline work very hard to ensure our success.”