Vaccination Update

Due to City of Philadelphia mandates, all students, faculty and staff must be fully vaccinated. To register for in-person or hybrid classes, students need to be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption. Students who are not vaccinated or do not have an approved exemption are able to register for fully online courses. Please see our College COVID-19 Updates for more information and visit our Virtual Student Resource Center for support.

Guided Pathways Implementation: Accomplishments and Next Steps

Clarify the Paths

Program Maps

Accomplishments

  • Established seven academic pathways/clusters.
    • A framework of 7 Academic Pathway Communities has been implemented to ensure the strategic integration of activities related to student development, community service, co-curricular activities, and experiential learning within programs of study. Program faculty work with faculty and staff across multiple departments (including Enrollment Management, Advising, Library, Learning Lab, and Career Connections).
  • All associate degree programs developed program maps for full-time college-ready students.
  • Extensive webpages for program maps were developed and include curriculum maps with milestones, transfer, and employment information.
  • Programs have implemented their more focused curricula which provide more guidance to students.

Next Steps

  • Assess effectiveness of program maps
  • Track usage of program map pages

Career and Transfer Outcomes

Accomplishments

  • Institutional Research developed a transfer dashboard for easier access to transfer data.
  • Developed program maps for all programs with milestone, transfer and employment information.
  • Launched use of Career Coach EMSI software platform; the College is currently #1 in the country for usage. Each program has a link to its corresponding Career Coach EMSI software platform at their in-depth program web pages; extensive information about transfer opportunities is also posted. Information pertaining to salaries and educational levels are readily accessible.
  • Career Connections increased its events, including job fairs, veterans hiring event, virtual job shadowing. Links to career assessments have been added to more webpages and are highlighted earlier in the intake/onboarding process.
  • The Transfer and Articulation unit has developed a cycle for assessing the currency/status of transfer agreements and begun review of these agreements.
  • The College has collected disaggregated data from most of its dual admissions transfer partners, to supplement data not available via National Student Clearinghouse.

Next Steps

  • Analyze data from transfer institutions that is not available via National Student Clearinghouse.
  • Continue to expand availability of transfer guides available online.
  • Strengthen the reverse transfer process.
  • Coordinate career assessment tools, explore how to schedule into Pathways, and review software offerings.

Core Coursework Alignment

Accomplishments

  • Programs reviewed courses as part of program mapping and made changes to ensure alignment of courses within a curriculum.
  • Programs reviewed course offerings to determine which courses could be open to students who are not yet at college-level English/math. Programs have incorporated these courses into their program maps for students needing foundational courses.
  • The College instituted a new electronic approval form for course substitutions. Directions to this form are provided at each program’s program map webpage.

Next Steps

  • Assess use and effectiveness of new electronic approval form for course substitutions

Additional Efforts

Accomplishments

  • Developed comprehensive website for Guided Pathways at the College.

Next Steps

  • Continued expansion of website to include milestones and metrics.

Help Students Get On A Path

First-Year Experience Courses

Accomplishments

  • Began offering in Fall 2016 first-year experience courses for two of the largest program areas: FYE 101 for Liberal Arts and AH 101 for Allied Health. Beginning with Fall 2017, the Business-General and Accounting programs include a first-year experience course, BUSL 101.
  • From Fall 2016 through Fall 2018, 5,893 students enrolled in a first-year experience course.
    • Fall-to-Spring retention: Students in first-year experience courses had higher retention rates than all first-time students. For 2016-17, 88% of first-year experience students were retained compared to 74% for all first-time in College students; for 2017-18, the retention rates were 83% compared to 73%.
    • Fall-to-Fall retention: Students in first-year experience courses were retained at a higher rate (66%) than all first-time in College students (49%).

Next Steps

  • A first-year course for the Science and Technology academic pathway is being developed. This will more specifically address the needs of students interested in the limited-access programs Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering Science, and Mathematics.


Educational Plans

Accomplishments

  • Incorporated individual educational, transfer/career, and financial plans into first-year experience courses.
  • Students with assigned advisors construct individual educational plans.
  • Educational plans have been updated to reflect the more focused curricula.

Next Steps

  • Expanded use of Starfish will include modules for educational plans and registering for courses.

Intake Redesign

Accomplishments

  • Established cross-divisional team to review current admissions, registration, and orientation processes (components of intake and onboarding processes)
  • Revamped the intake/onboarding process.
    • Beginning for students entering in Spring 2019, new online orientation platform providing information to students in easy-to-digest format to prepare for registration, orientation, first day of classes, and beyond. The online platform incudes videos, links, and general information.
    • New student registration events to take less time and be more focused, with students more informed from online platform.
    • Full-time assigned advisors lead new student registration events, with counselors focusing on college resources.
  • Started making other changes to the intake process, including how long SAT scores are accepted; changing placement exams and recalibrating minimum scores to increase effectiveness of placement; and considering multiple measures as possible options for placement in English and Math.
    • Since Fall 2015, new placement test and recalibrated cut-scores resulted in higher pass rates in English and math courses, indicating new placement testing is more accurate than previous.
    • Additional measures will be used for students entering Spring 2019: high school GPA of 3.5+ for English, and high school GPA of 3.0+ and successful completion of at least Algebra II for math.

Next Steps

  • Acquired new customer relationship management (CRM) software, including new admissions application, to be implemented June 2019.

Developmental Education

Accomplishments

  • Reviewed developmental education practices and implemented several at the College, including accelerated, contextualized, and co-requisite courses.
  • Co-requisites: The English Department has developed an Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) at the College. This model will provide a pathway for students to take a developmental English course concurrently with college-level English Composition. Faculty received training in Spring 2017. The English Department began offering ALP co-requisite sections of ENGL 098 with students also in ENGL 101 courses in Fall 2017.
    • From Fall 2017 through Fall 2018, 438 students enrolled in ALP sections of ENGL 098 and 101.
    • Higher pass rates for ALP sections (61% to 81%) than non-ALP (57% to 68%).
    • Fall 2017 ALP students had higher pass rate for ENGL 102 in Spring 2018 (77% compared to 70% for non-ALP students).
  • Accelerated ESL Courses: The English department developed the Intensive English Language Program (IELP) for ESL students. This is a rigorous, fast-track into college-level coursework which will allow students to take up to 18 credits of ESL courses within one semester. The IELP also offers opportunities for tutoring, enrichment, and academic support. This program was first offered in Fall 2017.
    • From Fall 2017 through Fall 2018, approx. 120 students enrolled in IELP sections of ESL courses.
    • Higher pass rates for IELP sections (+9 percentage points).
    • Fall 2017 IELP students were more likely (+21 percentage points) to enroll in ENGL 101 in the following semester than non-IELP ESL students.
  • Accelerated Foundational Math Courses: The Foundational Math department offers accelerated FNMT courses. Each course is seven weeks long, which enables a student to complete two FNMT courses in one semester. The combinations for FNMT courses are FNMT 016 and 017 or FNMT 017 and 118, taken over the 7A and 7B terms. Students take a total of 6 FNMT credits in the one semester.
    • From Fall 2015 through Fall 2018, 768 students enrolled in accelerated sections of FNMT 016, 017, and 118.
    • FNMT 017 and 118: accelerated sections had pass rates equal to or higher than non-accelerated. FNMT 016: accelerated sections had higher pass rate for 3 of the 6 semesters offered.
  • Contextualized Foundational Math Courses: Contextualizing developmental education courses can maximize linkages to and alignment with college-level courses and programs of study. For developmental math, courses have been contextualized to include application areas, which emphasize how mathematical topics are used in the Health Care field.
    • From Fall 2016 through Fall 2018, 1,692 students enrolled in contextualized sections of FNMT 016, 017, and 118.
    • FNMT 118: contextualized sections had higher pass rates than non-contextualized sections each semester. FNMT 017: contextualized sections had higher pass rates in 3 of the 4 semesters. FNMT 016: contextualized sections had higher pass rate for 1 of the 4 semesters.
  • Contextualized English Courses: The English department first offered contextualized courses in Spring 2017 for Developmental English and ESL courses. Sections contextualized for Health Care Studies students were offered for the following courses: ENGL 098/099 (Fundamentals of Writing/ Reading Improvement), ENGL 098/108 (Fundamentals of Writing/ Academic Reading Across the Disciplines), ENGL 098, ESL 73 (Advanced Listening and Speaking for Non-Native Speakers of English). In Fall 2017, the English department expanded its offerings. In addition to the courses above that had contextualized sections for Health Care Studies, the themed sections were offered for the following disciplines: Business (ESL 098/099); Education and Biology (ENGL 098/108); and Psychology (ENGL 098/108 and ENGL 098/101). For Spring 2018 and Fall 2018, the department has continued to offer the above contextualized sections, with an additional section of ENGL 098/099 contextualized for Justice students.
    • From Spring 2017 through Fall 2018, 1,612 students enrolled in contextualized sections of ENGL 073, ENGL 098, and ENGL 099.
    • ENGL 073: contextualized sections had higher average pass rate than non-contextualized sections (93% compared to 90%). ENGL 098: traditional sections had slightly higher pass rate than contextualized sections. ENGL 099: contextualized and traditional sections had same pass rate.

Next Steps

  • Continue assessments of accelerated, contextualized, and co-requisite sections.
  • A new accelerated FNMT course is being developed. The FNMT faculty are proposing a four-credit course that combines both FNMT 016 and 017, as opposed to a total of six credit hours for separate FNMT 016 and FNMT 017 courses. This course will be offered for the 15-week term. Students in this course will be able to complete this sequence with fewer credits. Adaptive software will be utilized to enable students to progress through topics in a self-paced manner.
  • A “Math for Health Care” course is being developed. This course will contain topics specifically chosen for Health Care programs, while still meeting the General Education requirement for Mathematics.
  • Discussions for Math courses tailored to Academic Pathways encompassing programs in the Liberal Studies and Business and Technology divisions are underway.

Help Students Stay On Their Path

Intensive Advising Model

Accomplishments

  • Instituted new Academic Advising department with full-time advisors who have been assigned to the College’s largest program areas, including: Accounting, Business, Computer Information Systems, Allied Health, Liberal Arts, Liberal Arts – Social/Behavioral Science, Justice, and Psychology. Seven full-time advisors were hired in Fall 2016; this has been expanded to be eleven full-time advisors in place before Spring 2019. Approximately 75% of new incoming students were assigned a full-time advisor.
  • Full-time assigned advisors are regularly consulted for and involved with the first-year experience courses. The full-time advisors attend FYE 101/AH 101/BUSL 101 sections to provide assistance with the educational planning process, gave classroom presentations, and held group advising sessions. They also attend classes for the smaller programs of study that do not have first-year experience courses to promote advising services and the educational planning process.
  • Full-time advisors are also actively involved with the early alert and student monitoring system, Starfish Connect. They monitor alerts, kudos, referrals, and notes provided to students via Starfish and follow up with outreach as needed (via Starfish, phone, and/or email).
  • The College has been analyzing retention data for programs with full-time assigned academic advisors by examining the Fall-to-Spring and Fall-to-Fall retention rates for first-time in college (FTIC) students in the programs with assigned academic advisors.
    • Retention rates for students in these programs were compared for students who entered the programs before academic advisors were assigned and then for students who entered these specific programs after academic advisors had been hired and assigned to them. In Fall 2015, there were 1,601 FTIC students in these programs (excluding Health Care Studies, which was implemented in Fall 2016). The retention of these students from Fall 2015 to Spring 2016 was 71.9%; the retention rate from Fall 2015 to Fall 2016 for these students was 44.8%. In Fall 2016 (the first semester these programs had assigned academic advisors), there were 2,891 students in programs with assigned advisors. From Fall 2016 to Spring 2017, 75.0% of these students were retained (3 percentage points higher than before academic advisors were assigned). From Fall 2016 to Fall 2017, 50.5% of students in programs with assigned academic advisors were retained; this is an increase of almost 6 percentage points.
    • GPA data has also been analyzed. The College reviewed average GPAs in the third semester for FTIC students. For 2015 FTIC students who were in the programs that received assigned academic advisors in Fall 2016, the average GPA for the third semester was 2.45. For Fall 2016 FTIC students who were in the same programs but after assigned advisors had been implemented, the average GPA in the third semester was 2.63. The average GPA in the third semester for students with assigned advisors (Fall 2016 FTIC) was 7% higher than for students in the programs before full-time assigned academic advisors joined the College.

Next Steps

  • The College will continue to review retention and GPA data and will also analyze completion data for programs with assigned academic advisors

Systems to Identify and Respond to Students at Risk and for Students to Track Progress

Accomplishments

  • Integrated various technological tools (such as Hobsons CRM, Canvas, and Starfish) for easier access to students; developed app to provide even more ready access to monitoring their own progress (the app has been downloaded by around 30,000 students since it was built in 2016-17).
  • Expanded use of Starfish Connect for early alerts and student monitoring. In 2017-18, 467 individual faculty used Starfish. Faculty include teaching faculty, advisors, counselors, library faculty, and learning lab faculty (although some users were also non-teaching staff making referrals). The number of individual students who received at least one tracking item has steadily increased over the past three fall semesters: from 9,717 in Fall 2015 to 10,169 in Fall 2016 to 11,928 in Fall 2017. The number of tracking items sent to students also increased: from 18,951 in Fall 2015 to 30,315 in Fall 2016 to 35,281 in Fall 2017. In reference to referrals sent throughout the academic year, this has also increased, from 495 in 2015-16 to 953 in 2016-17 to 1,172 in 2017-18. Referrals fall into several major categories. The largest percent of referrals sent was for a referral to a Learning Lab (70%), with an additional 23% of referrals were to academic/career advising and counseling services. Other campus resources to which students were referred include personal/emotional counseling, financial aid, and Single Stop. The increase in items sent shows that the faculty who do use Starfish for tracking are each using the tool at an increased level.
  • In Spring 2017, 303 referrals to the Learning Lab were made. If a student who received a referral visited the Learning Lab, the likelihood of passing the course in question increased. Of students who received a referral but did not visit the Learning Lab (214 students), 49% passed the course. Of those students who received a referral and did visit the Learning Lab (89 students), 65% passed the course.
  • Incorporated predictive analytics into student success efforts. Instituted several changes/ interventions based on analyses, including encouraging certain students to take more credits and changes to the withdrawal process.
  • Counseling and Advising adopted Starfish to include appointments and referral case management system.

Next Steps

  • Starfish Connect is being expanded to include educational planning and predictive analytics modules.
  • With the expanded use of Starfish, students will have more ready and user-friendly access to track degree progression.
  • Data analysis will continue and be expanded as more Starfish Connect modules are implemented.

Ensure Students Are Learning

Applied Learning Experience

Accomplishments

  • Faculty are collaborating more with the Career Connections office to determine opportunities for different types of active/service learning activities, including internships.
  • Allied Health programs continue to include clinical placement in many courses.
  • Various other programs in multiple academic pathways incorporate field experience into their curricula. These include the Education and Human Services academic pathway (Behavioral Health and Human Services and Early Childhood Education programs), Creative Arts academic pathway (Digital Video Production program), Liberal Arts and Communication academic pathway (American Sign Language program), and the Business, Entrepreneurship and Law academic pathway (Culinary Arts and Hospitality

Next Steps

  • Determine ways to incorporate service learning, based in part on information from a past Pathways Institute.
  • Expand internship opportunities.
  • Current and future development of programs will integrate experiential learning opportunities within the curriculum (such as work-based learning within the Ophthalmic Technician and Fashion Merchandising programs).