The College of the Sequoias (COS) Community College District serves both Kings and Tulare Counties. The college is located in the San Joaquin Valley in central California. The philosophy of the college of the Sequoias is based upon a belief that all individuals are innately valuable and entitled to develop their full potential; that a healthy and vigorous society benefits from an informed appreciation of the cultural, racial and socioeconomic variations among its members; that a democracy depends upon a critical, questioning and informed citizenry; and that through its programs the college serves the individual, the community and society. In fall 2008, The College of the Sequoias had a population of 13,438 students, with 32.8 percent enrolled full-time. In spring 2008, 46 percent of the student population at The College of the Sequoias was Hispanic. Concurrently, the college is also experiencing a trending growth of students who are extremely underprepared for college coursework, even at the Basic Skills level.
Over the life of the grant, the College of the Sequoias proposes the following activity: The Student Excellence, Quality, Opportunity, Initiative, and Success (SEQUOIAS) Program to better meet the needs of Hispanic and other low-income students in its service area, help ensure their learning success, and bridge the disparity between student academic preparation and their academic goals. This activity will be achieved through three primary, inter-connected components:
1) Student Connections – Through the proposed centralized Student Success Center, COS proposes to augment our First Year Experience program, including enhancing Learning Communities (LCs), and initiating a Second Year Experience , inclusive of Learning Communities and support services designed to cultivate persistence, graduation, and transfer to 4-year institutions. An improved system for Orientation/Assessment/Placement will also be implemented, designed to target students with undiagnosed learning disabilities primarily due to language and learning barriers;
2) Faculty Development – Through the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC), COS proposes the formation of faculty communities to share instructional strategies and curriculum innovations, continuing work begun in developmental education, then expanding to transfer level courses. Faculty Inquiry Groups (FIGs) will be used to address diverse learning/teaching styles that will improve student retention and persistence; and
3) Management and Evaluation – Improvements to information systems and annual standardized surveys will allow for structured tracking of student outcomes. A contracted Grant Manager will be retained for the duration of the Title V grant.
College of the Sequoias is committed to the success of this Title V Project, and has accordingly committed the resources of its faculty, administration, staff and facilities to this end. The activity proposed, including the components and objectives, will be fully institutionalized and integrated into the College of the Sequoias strategic plan of increasing student access and success.
Carlos Albizu University – Miami Campus, FL
Grant Type: Individual Development Grant