August 28, 2014
Clark State Enrollment Increases As the College Rolls Out Enhanced Support Services
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Clark State Community College is serving more students this fall, as many colleges throughout the state and across the country are seeing a decline. This fall, preliminary reports show 5,136 students enrolled in 48,401 credit hours online and at campus locations in Beavercreek, Springfield and Bellefontaine.
“Clark State’s strong transfer programs, as well as our programs focused on emerging technologies and skilled trades are helping make college affordable and relevant in our communities,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president, Clark State Community College. “Increasing enrollment in these challenging times is a testament to the progressive and diligent work of the College’s faculty and staff.”
Enrollment has increased by 11 percent in Greene County, 26 percent in Champaign County and 13 percent in Logan County. The number of students taking online and hybrid (courses that take place partially online) has increased 9 percent and the credit hours have increased by 11 percent. The international student population grew by 78 percent.
“Clark State is creating a culture of success through intentional services that support students from the time they apply through graduation,” said Dr. Ed Busher, dean of student support services.
Placement Testing Preparation
A new model for the COMPASS placement testing is underway and consists of two phases. The first phase, already in place, requires students to schedule their test and complete a short test preparation session to learn about what to expect from the test and refresh their test-taking skills.
“Placing students into appropriate courses is important for their academic progress and success, said Dr. Cort Schneider, director of access and student retention, Clark State Community College. “Making sure they are mentally focused to take the test and have ample time has resulted in fewer students being placed into entry-level developmental reading, writing and math courses.”
In the second phase, students will have the chance to work with full-time developmental instructors and attend workshops that cover all the essential components of the test.
“Many of the students who take the test simply need a refresher because they haven’t seen an algebra equation since high school,” said Dr. Schneider. “Rather than having them spend an entire semester in a developmental course, they can attend a workshop and receive more accurate test scores. This will save our students money and time they can be using to earn their degree or certificate.”
New this year is an academic advising model that was started as an initiative under the leadership of Fabian Novello, professor of Arts and Sciences, and Amy Sues, director of strengthening student success and completion, in the spring of 2013. In the new model, student advisors meet and communicate with students throughout the semester using a case management approach.
“In order to have a positive impact on course completion and retention, the goal was to develop a clear and meaningful advising process where the new student and advisor will collaborate and complete an academic plan for the first two semesters,” said Dr. Busher.
After completing the enrollment process and attending new student orientation, first semester students will be expected to: complete a success survey (week three); meet with their academic advisor (week four or five); attend a My Academic Plan (Map) workshop; and, meet with their advisor and prepare to register for the spring semester (weeks 11-14).
Academic Support Center
“The Academic Support Center is where academics and student affairs meet to build a bridge for student success,” said Dr. Schneider.
In order to provide more students with tutoring services, students can access a standard block schedule for tutoring that is organized by course instead of requesting individual tutors and scheduling appointments. Similar to holding office hours, staff tutors will be available to instruct students during blocked times. With longer weekday hours (until 7 p.m. specified days) and Saturday sessions (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.), this model is more flexible and accommodates the needs of all students, including those preparing for placement testing, at a higher volume.
Supplemental instruction will also be offered, and differs from block tutoring by focusing on helping students become better prepared for exams and course assignments through a partnership between the instructor and a trained student leader (supplemental instructor). These supplemental instructors are placed directly in the classroom in courses such as accounting, psychology, political science, anatomy and physiology and developmental writing and math and hold two study/tutoring sessions per week outside of the classroom.
Additionally, the Academic Support Center will facilitate student success workshops. These workshops take real-world skills and present them to students that might be unfamiliar with day-to-day best practices. Topics range from time management, study skills, computer literacy, math anxiety, how to communicate with your instructor and more.
“Clark State is exceeding our goals for student success and retention. Students who utilize extra services have a higher rate of success than students who don't. Sixty eight percent of the students who used tutoring over the summer passed their class with a C or better,” said Brendan Greaney, success center specialist, Clark State Community College.
In partnership with Greene County’s OhioMeansJobs, a new workshop series will be available to the community to educate participants on the college enrollment process.
“With the GED classes and OhioMeansJobs workshops, we're reaching out to a community of potential students who can see their lives drastically improved by connecting with Clark State,” adds Greaney.