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Dalton State College Campus Plan Update 2018

Institutional Mission and Student Body Profile

The mission of Dalton State College (DSC) is to provide a diverse student population with opportunities to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to attain affordable baccalaureate degrees, associate degrees, and certificates and to reach their personal and professional goals. Through challenging academics and rich collegiate experiences, the college promotes lifelong learning, active leadership, and positive contributions to produce ethical and knowledgeable citizens who contribute back to society.

In pursuit of that goal, DSC offers targeted four-year and two-year degrees and career certificate programs, along with a wide variety of activities that engage students in local community businesses and industries.  Each of the College’s five Schools (Business, Education, Health Professions, Liberal Arts, and Science, Technology, and Mathematics) forges important partnerships whose objective is to inspire students to be active members within their professions and communities.

Dalton State College has expanded programs and maintained rigor in its academic offerings.   According to the U.S. Department of Education, DSC has been named one of the most affordable public four-year colleges in the nation for the eighth consecutive year.  During academic year 2017-2018, DSC added one new baccalaureate degree, the Bachelor of Science with a major in Health and Wellness. 
During the 2017-2018 academic year, DSC became the first college in the state of Georgia to attain the status of being a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) by enrolling 27% Hispanic/Latino students in Fall 2017. Appendix A.

Enrollment trends over the past academic year have remained stable with no perceptible changes.  In Fall 2017, the college experienced a 0.5% decrease in enrollment from Fall 2016, but enrollment increased 0.4% in Spring 2018 when compared to Spring 2017.  Changes in student profiles indicate an overall upsurge in more traditional students (63% in 2006 to 83% in 2017). Dual enrollment numbers remain strong and increased 1.3% from Fall 2016 to Fall 2017. Numbers of graduates dipped slightly with 810 graduates in 2018 as opposed to 843 graduates in 2017.

In reviewing the overall enrollment growth from 2007 to 2017 relative to the rate of growth of the number of graduates for the same time period, DSC sustained an enrollment growth of 14% over that decade while demonstrating an increase in graduates of 56%.  During that period, DSC transitioned from an institution that awarded a preponderance of associate and certificate degrees to one which now offers and awards mostly baccalaureate degrees. As strategies incorporated into the Momentum Year are deployed, the numbers of students graduating from DSC are expected to increase. Due to increasing numbers of baccalaureate degree programs available, numbers of baccalaureate degree graduates are expected to increase more than other graduates. Data concerning Momentum Year follow later in this report.  

Institutional High Impact Strategies, Activities and Outcomes.

High Impact Practices (HIPs) have been integrated over time into a variety of courses across the campus. 
In order to better understand faculty response, a survey was circulated to Dalton State faculty and staff in April 2018 to gauge awareness and use of HIPs. The following is a bulleted list of the most salient information from the survey. A total of 63 responses was received representing a 37% response rate. 

  • Representation:  25.4% Liberal Arts; 17.5% Business; 19% Health Professions; 15.9% STM; 9.5% Education; 2% Academic Affairs; Less than 1% each, Dean of Students Office; Advising, Plant Operations, Office of President, Roberts Library, Enrollment Services.
  • Perceived familiarity with HIPs:  66.4% rated themselves at 7/10 or higher on this scale, with 10 indicating Extremely Informed.
    • However, 57.4% rated themselves at 1-4 on a scale indicating their lack of familiarity with the LEAP initiative of AAC&U, with 1 indicating Uninformed.
  • 42.9% of the respondents indicated they had been at DSC 0-5 years, which could account for some of the self-assessments.
    • 31.7% indicated 5-10 years and the remainder 10 or more.
  • In terms of commitment to using HIPs, 80% indicated that they are committed at the 7-10 level on a scale of 1-10 with 10 meaning Highly Committed.
  • Regarding present implementation, the survey attempted to gauge not just perceived use of the individual HIPs by the program or course, but also the perceived quality of implementation. Appendix B provides the questions and responses in graphic form.
  • Some observations: o 40/63 believe they hold high standards consistently in their use of HIPs.
    • 38/63 believe they invest significant time in the HIPs over the course of the semester.
    • 35/63 believe their students have substantive interactions with peers and faculty over content.
    • However, we do not have objective data on these items.
  • Based on this survey, the respondents believe that students in their programs get the best exposure through capstone courses, writing intensive courses, and collaborative learning.
  • Oddly, although we believe we have achieved a good awareness through public events and The Journal for Academic Excellence; 52.4% stated that they had not attended a workshop on HIPs in the last two years.
  • The survey asked which HIPs they were most interested in implementation.  None stood out as “most interested.”  As “interested,” the top 3 (all 20 responses or more) were Common Intellectual Experiences (this is program specific), undergraduate research, and learning communities.   The two HIPs with the least interest were ePortfolios and Course Specific First/Second Year Courses. Others fell into mixed categories of interest.

Conclusion: In comparison to an almost identical survey done in Fall 2016, there is heightened awareness of, use of, and commitment to HIPs but not at the level desired.  The action plan for AY 2019 is as follows:

  • Submit a group IRB to support research in the scholarship of teaching and learning for use of HIPs.
  • Hold a panel presentation of faculty from each school who are highly involved in HIPs in their teaching during a future campus assembly.
  • Hold a workshop early in the Fall 2018 semester where action plans for assessment of the HIPs being used are created. See Appendix C for workbook in process.
  • Continue emphasis on quality of HIPs (8 quality matrices), in line with current research on the topic.
  • Utilize a departmental/school-wide “Train the trainer” model to involve those currently using HIPs in informing peers of them.
  • Begin an overall assessment plan to investigate how exposure to HIPs affects graduation rates as well as the outcomes of courses using HIPs.

A small sample of HIPs that are being used by individual courses is listed below. 

Course Type of Activity

PSYC 1101

Collaborative Learning

BIOL 4800

Service Learning

COMM 4100

Collaborative Learning, Service Learning

ENGL 1101/PSYC 1101  

Learning communities

HIST 1111

Reacting to the Past

HIST 2111

Reacting to the Past

HIST 3340

Reacting to the Past

HIST 3740

Reacting to the Past (This course was collaboratively presented with 2 other faculty members)

MARK 4700

Undergraduate research

MATH 2180

Collaborative Learning

MATH 2256

Inquiry Based Learning

Appendix D includes a narrative of a sample of the courses listed above.  Appendix E shows the HIPs course redesign rubric.

Additional Activities

Keeping in mind the national attention to college cost and affordability, faculty at Dalton State College took advantage of the system supported initiative to develop Open Educational Resource (OER) texts.  Below is a summary of those efforts.

Utilization of Affordable Learning Georgia Textbook Transformation Grants

A number of DSC faculty have contributed to retention and progression efforts by obtaining Affordable Learning Georgia Textbook Transformation Grants.  As of Spring 2018, 15 of these grants (in 9 of 11 grant rounds) have been awarded to 28 DSC faculty in Biology, Mathematics, Psychology, American Government, Learning Support English, Communication, Education, and Sociology. Projects ranged from full-scale creation of textbooks to compilations of open source readings to adoption of OpenStax© or other open educational resource OER texts.  

Since most of these OER materials were adopted or prepared for freshman and/or core courses, many students have been positively affected by the cost savings.  Recent large-scale research completed by the University of Georgia indicates that OERs benefit underserved populations to an even higher degree than traditional students in terms of course completion, lowering of DWF rates, and learning gains (Colvard & Watson, Spring). Since many DSC students are Pell-eligible, the ability to obtain no-cost or low-cost textbook materials is a great support mechanism for their learning. A sample of the effects on DFW rates is below:

  • Biology 1107: DFW rates for Spring 2014, Fall 2014, and Spring 2015 were compared to DFW rates for Fall 2015. For the Fall 2015 semester, the DFW rate dropped to 14.8%, from a previous rate of 21.3%. This project involved creation of an open-resource lab manual.
  • Psychology: Two psychology professors obtained a grant to pilot use of an OER and compared use of an OER versus the standard text. Analyses revealed a statistically significant difference for those using the OER compared to those with the standard text:    (M = 393.93, SD = 59.75) compared to (M = 378.53, SD = 47.16)
  • American Government: In the 2016-2017 academic year in which no-cost materials were used, the DWF rate fell from 17% to 11%. Cost savings to students here was particularly substantial since this is a required core course.
  • In COMM 1110, a basic public speaking course required of all students, the faculty wrote an OER in 2016. Completion with C or better rose from 78% in 2015 to 88% in 2017-2018.  In the two years of use the textbook has saved $200,000 for students.
  • Sociology: DFW rates decreased from 29.8% to 25% after the grant.

Although a direct case cannot be made at this time that widespread adoption of OERs has increased graduation rates, this project by DSC faculty, supported by the USG, has increased student success and reduced DFWs. DSC faculty are assisting students to learn and stay in class through OERs and are creating and compiling resources that are facilitating learning at many other institutions in Georgia, the U.S, and internationally. Dr. Zhou and Mr. David Brown’s edited text Educational Learning Theories has been downloaded 42,000 times since April 2016, all over the world.

The use of OERs has been very popular with the DSC students. As only one example, a faculty member in the School of Education reported that, based on a 5-point scale, students rated their OER text as follows: access to learning material, 4.69; content, 4.71; cost, 4.83; and effectiveness in helping them learn, 4.8. COMM 1110 students over the past two years indicated similar outstanding ratings for the usefulness, accessibility, and design of the department-created OER. Dalton State students have benefited significantly from the Textbook Transformation Grants and faculty efforts to provide open educational, low-cost or nocost materials.

Development of a new mobile app to connect with students

In an effort to address student engagement and provide better communication regarding events on campus, Student Affairs was instrumental in the development of a mobile app for students.  Recently, DSC entered into a contract with app developer, MobileUp.  Throughout the Summer of 2018, the implementation team worked tirelessly to create an app that would be engaging for students and provide them information in a seamless and constructive manner using cell phone technology. This app is designed to be role based and can be configured with specific information for each role identified in the system. Different roles can be added or deleted throughout the course of the academic year. This allows the college to engage freshmen in their first six weeks on campus and encourage participation. Data indicates this type of engagement is tied to retention and academic success. To that end, an involvement checklist was created and students are encouraged, in their first semester, to complete the checklist. See Appendix F.

Students that participate will be celebrated at the end of the semester, while those that accumulate the most points will be entered into a prize drawing. It is hoped that these incentives will encourage commitment and ultimately retention and academic success. Other potential prospects for the app include a graduation checklist for students in their last semester, involvement opportunities on campus including clubs/ organizations, residential life, and volunteering/service. During the opening week of the Fall 2018 semester, response was extremely encouraging with over 300 individuals downloading and using the app. As data is gathered through the app, appropriate actions/programs will be developed to address any needs or trends that develop.  

Development of Partnerships for Student Engagement

Partnerships or internships are a direct result of industry needs in the local community.  The community of Dalton is one in which there is close alignment with regional groups that range from school districts to large manufacturers to health care facilities. 

Partnerships with local industry are a cornerstone of the C. Lamar and Ann Wright School of Business. Dalton State students are predominately from a 10-county service area. To keep these smart, educated graduates as professionals in the community, DSC works with business and industry partners to secure internships and part-time jobs while the student is at DSC, as well as full-time career placements after graduation.  Professional organizations and business clubs join in helping to educate our students and facilitate placement.  

A new initiative as of Fall 2018 is to involve freshman and sophomores in job shadowing to ensure they have selected the most appropriate major within the Wright School of Business.  The Professional Development course, formerly a senior-level course, now targets rising juniors.  These business majors learn networking, professionalism, business dress and practice etiquette/dining as well as networking with members of the business community.  The course is managed from the Wright School of Business Dean’s office and features industry speakers and practitioners to aid students in the transition from college student to entry-level professional.  Students in the Professional Development class mentor K-12 students in the Boys and Girls Clubs, performing 10 hours of in-field volunteer service as well as attend an in-field professional organization for additional networking.  As an example of the success of DSC’s partnerships, First Bank of Dalton hired six members of the 2018 graduating class from the Finance and Applied Economics students.  A new structural change for FY19 includes the addition of a new Assistant Dean in the Wright School of Business.  Her student-facing position will target student internships, recruiting high school business students in school-based clubs of business.  Community members donate gently worn business clothing for our students’ clothes closet and assist in myriad ways including speaking to classes. The Wright School of Business also engages an Executive in Residence who speaks to ethics classes as well as seniors in the capstone strategic management class. 

The Wright School of Business is heavily involved in the new Appalachian Regional Port which opened in August 2018 in adjacent Chatsworth, GA (Murray County) and co-sponsored a pre-view event for members of the community, students, and area elected officials.  Faculty are engaged as members in local and regional professional organizations.  Also, in targeted classes within the six BBA majors, part-time faculty from the business community serve as a conduit to the world of work.  One such faculty member is an HR manager at Shaw Industries, Inc. as well as a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM).  Members of the local SHRM chapter conducted a seminar on the DSC campus about social media etiquette for students in January 2018.  Another local businessman teaches entrepreneurship classes and shares his experiences from his work with Barret Properties as well as his involvement in Believe Greater Dalton’s Entrepreneurship (BGD) Committee; the PitchDIA (Dalton Innovation Accelerator) competition is in the planning stage for a 2019 event on the heels of the success in 2018.  

As part of the BGD initiatives, space for an Accelerator (upgraded incubator) will open in October 2018.  Students from the Wright School of Business will serve as interns to assist members of the community in start-up tasks.  In October as well, students from the Spring 2018 capstone LSCM class will present their logistics and supply chain analysis of the state’s poultry industry to the Tri-State Chapter of APICS – the American Production and Inventory Control Society’s monthly professional development meeting. However, the best evidence of community involvement is the number of area businesses who contact the Wright School of Business to promote part-time and career opportunities to our students.  Alumni continue to recruit DSC Wright School of Business students because they know the quality of the student.

In the School of Education, there are several partnerships with the local school systems that go beyond the professional development schools.  With Whitfield County, a number of Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) grants were awarded and are listed below.  The grants provide direct learning opportunities for the teacher candidates and introduce them professionally to the local school administrations. 

  • Beyond the Classroom: Pilot Grant – $10,000 to pilot Learning Academies (parent and child workshops) and Power Lunches (Summer literacy and science lessons) 
  • Beyond the Classroom: Implementation Grant – $630,000 for Learning Academies (parent and child workshops) and Power Lunches (Summer literacy and science lessons)  
  • Beyond the Classroom: Summer Literacy Camps – $20,000 for the camps that were connected to the Children’s Literature Class.

In addition to the grants received to collaborate with Whitfield County, a number of GOSA grants were obtained to work in conjunction with Dalton Public Schools thereby providing additional teacher candidate exposure within the district.

Students in the School of Science, Technology and Mathematics are fortunate to take advantage of the partnerships with local industry which allow them access to internships in a variety of Science, Technology, and Mathematic fields. In addition, Dalton State representatives partner by serving on a variety of boards including the Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy, the Gordon County College and Career Academy, and The Alliance for Innovation and Sustainability. Students engage in activities with the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce for Manufacturing Day Activities and the Design, Engineering, and Manufacturing Camp each year. Most recently, along with GA Northwestern Technical College and our business partners in the community, DSC developed the Chemistry pathway and our business partners contributed to the development of the newly approved Environmental and Sustainability Studies program.

Our industry partners sponsored the Industrial Chemistry Practitioner position for two years, contributed to the purchase of laboratory instruments, and have funded scholarships for our students.

The School of Health Professions partners with over 75 agencies each year.  These partnerships include clinical and field experiences required in the curricula of the programs.  Outside of the clinical experiences, partnerships that are a benefit to the community are an integral part of the School’s mission.  For example, the school partners with the Blue Ridge Area Health Education Center to create programs for students, faculty, local nurses, and PK–12 schools.  Some of these programs include the Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Scholars program, campus and facility tours for high school students, and continuing education for nurses.  The School of Health Professions is involved in the Healthcare Pathway Partnership. This partnership includes Dalton State, Mercer’s School of Medicine, Dalton Public Schools, and Hamilton Healthcare.  

A number of outreach events to local schools including Dalton City Schools (Dalton City), Heritage High School (Catoosa Co.), Whitfield Career Academy and Coahulla Creek High School (Whitfield Co.), Chattooga County High School (Chattooga Co.) Murray County High School and North Murray High School (Murray Co.) has occurred.  These partnerships have included hands-on tours of the DSC facilities which have been run by our student volunteers and faculty.  Students have also spoken to classes at Whitfield Career Academy in an effort to increase awareness of their discipline and teach a hands-on skill to the high school students.  

Our faculty, staff and students are involved in a variety of community service projects.  These include: blood drives, the DSC Health Fair, March of Dimes, Food drives, GoFest (asthma screenings), Blindness Screenings, The United Way Make a Difference Day, Teen Maze, Habitat for Humanity, World AIDS Day, and school recruitment fairs.

The Class of 2018 BSW graduates completed 6,960 hours of practicum work in community agencies during 2017-2018.  In keeping with the mission to equip students with skills to navigate the college experience and beyond, 11 of the 15 graduates went directly into graduate MSW programs for the 20182019 year at institutions including: University of Alabama at Birmingham, Southern Adventist, Campbellsville, and University of Georgia. All were admitted with advanced standing.  The Junior BSW Class gave 1,100 hours of service to the community prior to admission to the BSW program junior class of Fall 2018.

Finally, in the School of Liberal Arts, the courses offered through the Georgia Film Academy (GFA) have afforded students opportunities to work directly in the film industry in a manner that has been unique and well-received.  Since the GFA functions in space outside Atlanta, the lack of proximity to Dalton has not deterred a small group of students from engaging fully in this program.  It is expected that, over time, more students will take advantage of this experience.  

Additionally, a faculty member in the criminal justice program is the president of the Board of Directors of the Northwest Georgia Family Crisis Center and offers students opportunities to volunteer at the facility.

In summary, students at Dalton State College have access to a wide range of experiential learning across all five Schools through partnerships and internships with the local community. These opportunities provide students with purposeful choices that support retention and progression.

Momentum Year

As part of the preparation for the Momentum Year, administration, faculty and staff attended the two-day summit and met with experts from institutions that represented similar sectors.  The DSC team consisted of the President, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Vice President for Fiscal Affairs, Chair of the English Department, Director of Disabilities Services, and the Director of Advising.  Upon the team’s return from the meeting an implementation plan was refined and additional teams were configured to address the issues of course redesign, advising and academic mindset.

Dalton State College was one of the first in the System to be evaluated through the survey developed by Motivate Lab in Virginia.  Following the distribution and completion of the survey, the research team from Motivate Lab visited DSC and met with students, faculty and staff to augment the information obtained on the survey.  Aggregate data was provided to DSC to help inform the process as it moves forward.

The Mindset survey was distributed in Spring 2018 to freshmen in ENGL 1101 and COMM 1110.  A total of 410 students participated. The responses to a broad range of questions were obtained during the first three weeks of the semester and again during the last three weeks of the semester.  On average, students who responded to the survey identified themselves as hard workers whose reasons for pursuing higher education were to gain skills that could be used in a job and also to make their families proud. 

Since DSC is an access institution with a large majority of first-generation college graduates, these responses were not surprising.  Demographically, these students came from households with lower incomes and parents that were not high school educated (25% for fathers, 19% for mothers). With respect to their decision to select a particular major, the majority of students felt that their selection was based on their interest in the subject as well as the salary potential.  The smallest effect on program selection was whether the recommendation came from a parent or a high school advisor.

Interestingly, students attending DSC felt strongly that they “belong here” which underscores the nature of students who are mostly commuters and who have strong ties to the local community.  Many of them, however, felt that others on campus had stronger academic skills.  When students’ thoughts on Math and English were queried, the majority of responses fell in the slightly agree/agree range for belief that they could be successful in each of the areas.  Students also reported that they knew that they could learn the material in both Math and English and that both were interesting/enjoyable at a level of slightly agree/agree.  The mindset survey is just one arm of the multifaceted program of the Momentum Year.  An implementation plan, developed at the initial meeting and later refined, has been the roadmap to guide many of the processes to which DSC has committed.  Below is the 90-day update to the plan.

Element 1: Purpose

Dalton State implemented a process to identify and guide incoming undecided students. The ‘undeclared’ option was reinstated on the application. Through contact by the director of advising, students were able to select a major that best aligned with their current goals.  Students who did not respond to outreach prior to orientation were required to choose a major during orientation.  Communication via phone with follow-up in-person appointments led to better discussion of goals and options, and hopefully more purposeful choice.

The professional advising staff were charged with the task of following up with all students through advising sessions and special invitations to specific career program opportunities.  One roadblock that was encountered was the absence of phone number.

Element 2: Program of Study

Dalton State is on track with its 90-day program of study plan.  In Spring 2018, a Guided Pathways to Success (GPS) committee of advisors and faculty representatives was established from each of the Schools.  Using a newly created template, all degree programs now have full-time degree maps that include 30-credit hours in the first year (including Area A English and Math), and specific coursework in the program of study when possible.

Focus area maps have been developed for students who have not decided on specific programs. Critical coursework and milestones have been included. Advisors have worked with incoming freshmen to ensure enrollment in 15 credit hours, and expectations concerning the degree maps have been set during orientation.  Transactional terminals have been installed across campus to further track the activities of our students. Issues moving forward include uploading all the information to the website in a straightforward manner and creating part-time degree maps since 37% of our students attend part-time.

Element 3: Engagement

Dalton State is prepared to conduct the Mindset survey once again with incoming freshmen.  New Student Orientation was the environment chosen to launch the Mindset initiative.  Presentations by the two Vice Presidents and several Deans encouraged these ideas. The Committee on Academic Excellence offered a breakout session during the Fall faculty assembly to address and encourage academic mindset. Campus administration has also chosen the book, The Undergraduate Experience by Peter Felten, et al. to build discussion and focus on the student experience. The Success for Students (S4S) committee will implement reading groups around the book in the Fall.  New courses for first time/first year freshmen will be utilized in the Fall to provide exposure to learning opportunities with the meta majors. According to the proposed plan, courses have been built and students are enrolled. 

Gateway to Completion (G2C) Course Redesign 

Dalton State is part of Cohort 2 of the G2C course redesign initiative. ENGL 1101 and MATH 1111 have been identified as the courses slated for redesign. Liaisons (Team Leaders), a Steering Committee, and Course-Specific Committees and Committee Chairs have been populated and loaded into the G2C platform. Members of these teams/committees have read the Gateway to Completion Guidebook;created a First-Year Time Table; and participated in numerous conference calls, G2C webinars, and national G2C meetings. The Student Learning Gains Survey was administered to students in ENGL 1101 and MATH 1111 during Spring 2018 and should provide useful information to the redesign committees. 

Additionally, in preparation for their work in the G2C process, liaisons, and Steering Committee (including course-specific committee co-chairs), met to discuss the Gateway Course Success Inventory in late June 2018, and the inventory tables were finalized and uploaded into the G2C platform. On August 21, 2018, some of the liaisons and course-specific committee co-chairs, as well as many of the course-specific committee members, attended the G2C "Welcome Back, Course Committee Work & Intro Phase II" webinar. Beginning in Fall 2018, English and Math committees will be working during August and September to address the first two principles and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) described in the G2C platform and guidebook.  These have been shared and discussed with the appropriate committees. 

  • Principle – Academic Practice and Policy (with 11 KPIs)
    Gateways to Completion institutions have formal policies that promote student success in gateway courses. Policies are effectively communicated and inform academic practice at all levels. The link between policy and practice is clear, and the institutions’ actions are consistent with their policies.
  • Principle – Faculty / Instructors (with 11 KPIs)
    Gateways to Completion institutions are dedicated to instructional excellence in gateway courses. Institutions and departments intentionally select gateway course faculty based on academically sound criteria, support ongoing professional development, and reward exemplary teaching in gateway courses.

Continuing throughout the Fall and early Spring semesters, the Steering Committee will meet to discuss the course-specific committees’ findings, and the course-specific committees will analyze the additional four principles and KPIs, completing them two at a time. The course-redesign implementation process will begin in August 2019.

Activity during the Momentum Year will be benchmarked utilizing data obtained from the System in order to chart DSC’s progress.  These data include retention rates as well as performance in the key courses of English and Mathematics.

With regard to the percentage of full-time freshmen who were retained after one year and two years relative to those across the system, targeted goals can be set and hopefully realized.  In 2015, 60% of the freshmen were retained after one year at DSC while the system reported 62.4% retention.  After two years, the retention rate dropped to 44.9% for DSC compared to system retention rate of 51.7%.  For 2016, the one-year retention rate was 59.5% as opposed to the drop in the system rate of 51.7%.

Interestingly, for the same period (2015), the first-year retention rate of DSC’s Hispanic students was consistent (67.1%) relative to the system rate of 68.9%.  After two years, however, both retention rates for Hispanic students dropped significantly with 52.2% for DSC and 59% for the system.  For 2016, the first-year retention rate was somewhat lower for both DSC and the system (61.9% v 64.4% respectively).  

Students in learning support (LS) for the same period 2015 and 2016, showed poorer percentages.  In 2015, 47.7% of DSC LS students were retained after the first year while the institutional rate was 49.2%.  The two-year retention rate of this group is again poorer with 32.8% for DSC students and 39.3% for the institutional rate.

Table 1 below compares the overall pass rates for ENGL and MATH for DSC with the State College Sector and the System pass rates. Pass rates are also disaggregated for Hispanic/Latino students.


DSC 68% 65% 66% 69% 65% 57% 76% 66%
Sector 65% 63% 65% 63% 57% 57% 66% 63%
System 72% 71% 74% 74% 72% 71% 80% 77%

DSC’s performance surpasses the sector in all areas except for a very slight difference in Math for 2016.  The application of a co-requisite model coupled with course redesign is the lynchpin of the G2C movement.  As faculty redevelop the Math and English courses and define an assessment of progress to monitor the outcomes, the goal would be to reach the overall pass rates that are identified with the system rates.  
It is believed that these course initiatives coupled with aspects of the momentum year implementation plan will contribute to success for students as they negotiate their personal Gateways to Completion.