CCCC launches College Success Center

Jun. 14, 2013 @ 04:57 AM

Excitement is high at Central Carolina Community College as the college launches its new College Success Center. 

The Center’s seven success coaches, in partnership with faculty and staff, are already working proactively with students both face-to-face and through technology. The goal is to improve student success as demonstrated by student retention, course persistence and graduation rates.

“The Center and its programs will serve as a catalyst for the college to provide more proactive and intentional engagement with our students, “ said Dr. Brian Merritt, dean of Student Learning. “We’re enhancing the academic advising process, developing more effective methods of academic support, and using technology to inform our processes. We’re truly embracing our institutional value of being student-centered.”

During the spring semester, the college piloted its ACA 122-College Transfer Success course. One of the students involved was Spencer Bridges, of Sanford, a Business Administration major.

“It has helped me a lot,” Bridges said. “I work better and study better. The team-building skills in the course also helped me with public speaking and group activities.”

ACA 122 has also been used successfully by Lee Early College, which is located at CCCC’s Lee County Campus. During the 2013-14 academic year, the college will fully implement that and other success courses at its campuses in Chatham, Harnett and Lee counties.

All first time and entering University Transfer students (Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in Fine Arts) will be required to take ACA 122, which helps students learn how to navigate the college transfer experience and develop personalized college transfer success plans. Currently enrolled students who have not earned credit for English 111/English 111A must also take ACA 122.

CCCC will also offer ACA 111-College Student Success and ACA 115-Success and Study Skills. First time/entering Associate in Applied Science degree students in Accounting, Business Administration, Computer Engineering, Computer Information Technology, Early Childhood, Medical Office Administration, Office Administration, Pre-Dental Hygiene, Pre-Dental Assisting and Pre-Veterinary Medical Technology programs, as well as diploma students, will be required to take them. These courses will help the students make strong connections with the college environment, resources and mentors.

The College Success Center initiative is primarily funded by a $1.65 million, 5-year Title-III Strengthening Institutions Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The five-year objectives are to maximize student access and learning with the goal of significantly increasing student retention, persistence and graduation rates by September 2017.

In support of these goals, CCCC has worked directly with Aviso Coaching, LLC, to develop its success coaching initiative. Aviso software includes an early alert and online academic advising system that is integrated with BlackBoard and Datatel, the college's online course management system and student information systems.

Aviso provides coaches with real-time early alert data on a student’s attendance, grades, etc., so the coaches can reach out to the student early, when academic or personal interventions will be most effective. The online academic advising system streamlines communication by counselors, coaches and faculty advisors with each other and students. The coaches will support faculty advisors with the advising and registration process.

“When we formed the Division of Student Learning in 2010 as part of our strategic plan, we knew the college needed new, innovative ways to maximize levels of success,” said Dr. Lisa Chapman, executive vice president of Instruction and chief academic officer. “The College Success Center and Aviso will help faculty and staff work together more efficiently to be more data-informed when providing academic support.”

The College Success Center’s road map to student success also includes:

• A First-Year Experience Program to help students transition into college.

• Expansion of the college’s Academic Assistance and Writing and Reading Center. A full-time coordinator is expanding the offerings of the Writing and Reading Center to the college’s campuses in Lee, Chatham and Harnett. Full-time English faculty will work in the Writing Center as part of their course load.

• Implementation of training for faculty, staff and peer tutors about technologies that support student achievement, such as Aviso, Adobe Connect, Blackboard and Camtasia.

“The Title III grant provides a unique opportunity for CCCC to integrate existing student support systems with new strategies and innovative technology,” said Torry Reynolds, CCCC lead success coach/Title III activity director. “We are in the process of revolutionizing the way we serve our students, which will ultimately lead to new levels of student success here at CCCC.”

The College Success Center is located in the Hockaday Hall at the Lee County Campus, in Sanford; in the Miriello Building at the Harnett County Campus, in Lillington; and in the Health/Continuing Education Building at the Chatham County Campus, in Pittsboro.