Success class boosts retention

A redesigned class in success strategies is proving successful at Tulsa Community College, writes Thomas K. McKeon, the college president, in Community College Week.

Thirty percent of  first-time freshmen at the college need remedial reading and writing;  nearly seven out of 10 were placed in remedial math.

In 2008, we modified a college orientation class we offer called Strategies for Academic Success. We made the curriculum address the specific barriers identified by the students. Faculty teaching this course developed common course outcomes, designed course activities based on these outcomes, developed an online resource for course activity training materials, and implemented common assessments.

Eighty-five percent of first-time freshmen in SAS were still in school at the end of spring quarter, compared to 59 percent of new students who didn’t take SAS. The next fall, 61 percent of SAS students enrolled compared to 41 percent of non-SAS students.

SAS also were much more likely to complete six developmental and gateway courses with a “C” or better.