We will first look to augment the support students receive in their academic pursuits. We will seek to expand the availability, use, and efficacy of tutoring and supplemental instruction services provided to students. There are a few major ways we will approach this goal.
First, we need to enhance the technology available to our front-line staff. There are tools available that will enable our students to make appointments with student services electronically, manage early alert campaigns, and enable referrals across different services. These tools will typically enable us to track usage and determine how effective our services are. In addition to this tool, we will add a degree audit tool. By acquiring this software, we will empower students to create electronic plans that tie to graduation. The degree audit tool will additionally allow us to report on and understand what classes our students need to graduate and when they deviate from their pathways.
In addition to this, we will work to improve our processes and ensure we have the appropriate staff to provide great services. Over the past year, we have worked to dramatically expand the number of college advisors. We will also look to add a Wellness, transfer, and career center at every college; these services will ensure that students have the support they need to take the next steps from City Colleges and to remain in school when beset with outside-the-classroom challenges. The nexus of these services is the college advisor, so we will work to ensure that every advisor has a list of students with whom he or she is working.
- A registration process that in quick and simple for returning students and provides new students with an effective welcome to CCC.
- Every student should have a clear plan for their time at City Colleges.
- An effective prediction that an individual student will drop out and a remedy in the form of CCC student services
- Career advising, retention, internship, and placement services dedicated to occupational students and resourced by those with deep knowledge of the target industry
Early Alert and Appointment Management System
A new early alert and appointment management system is being adopted to help identify at-risk students and target them for faculty and staff support, from advising to tutoring, which can mean the difference between swimming and sinking.
Students who are at risk of failing will be flagged early in the semester so that college faculty and staff are aware of the challenge and need for action.
The system will keep track of advising services the student receives, as well as track the student’s use of other campus services, so that help can be monitored and re-directed as needed.
The system will support the ability of students to schedule appointments with advisors, tutors, and instructors, and the student will receive reminders via alerts on his or her preferred social media sites.
Expansion of Wellness Centers
Building off the successes of the Wellness Centers at Harold Washington College, Olive-Harvey College and Kennedy-King College, City Colleges is creating a Wellness Center at each one of its colleges. The Wellness
Centers provide critical supports for students, including one-on-one counseling, referrals to social service providers, and support groups that, combined with enhanced advising capabilities, help students overcome the challenges that could otherwise lead them to drop out or underachieve.
Intrusive Advising Model
From the time they enroll, students must work with advisers to define success for their educational experience, and work with them to chart their educational plan toward that success. A seminal decision was made not to rely on students seeking such support, but to provide it proactively on an ongoing basis in what we call “intrusive advising.”
More than fourteen advisors have been added across the seven colleges and are being supported by two assistant vice chancellors charged with ensuring students make informed choices in terms of both their goals and the courses they choose to achieve them. With a commitment to bolstering advising support City Colleges of Chicago will have cut its average student-to-advisor ratio in half, from 920:1 in 2010 to 450:1 in 2012.
In addition, recruiting staff is being added to relieve advisors of enrollmentrelated duties and allow them to focus on advising current students.
All seven City Colleges re-tooled their open registration processes for the fall 2011 semester to not only improve the student experience, but also help support positive educational outcomes by facilitating enrollment in needed and desired courses.
Comparison of Fall 2011 and Spring 2011 surveys showed a 38-percent increase in students rating open registration as “Far Exceeded” expectations, with a 56 percent decrease in students “Dissatisfied” with the process.
Work continues on improvements to the overall registration process, including the abilities to register early and online.