A few weeks back I presented at The RP Group's Strengthening Student Success Conference in Costa Mesa, California. I sat on a wonderful panel that included researcher Rose Asera, Los Medanos Mathematics Professor Tue Rust, and Chaffey College Student Success Center Associate Rob Rundquist. Our theme: Educating the Whole Person.
During my portion of the panel, I focused on the research framework, academic outcomes, and shifts in affective factors from 539 students participating in the Academy for College Excellence program at 7 community colleges that we've been studying. This research is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is providing initial confirmation that a shift in the affective domain is possible for college students, especially developmental education students. This finding is important because evidence is building that a number of affective factors (which can be measured) correlate to successful academic performance, e.g., Academic Self-Efficacy, College Identity, Goals, Hope, Mindfulness, and Team Leadership, to name a few. We had a great audience full of engaged community college instructors and administrators and after the close of the session I could feel the energy in the air.
Perhaps it comes as no surprise that talking about successful methods of bringing about student success can really get a crowd going. On my way to the airport I sat in a hotel shuttle with others who had attended the conference and, though these faculty members had not been at our panel, they were sharing what they had heard about it. When something's on fire it burns quickly!
We have made parts of this presentation (a good portion of our recording had to be scrapped due to poor audio quality) available through this 42 minute video. I recommend that, if moved to do so, you share it with other faculty and administrators at your college. At the end of the presentation I have outlined a series of discussion points you may want to consider regarding how this affective research might apply to your local community college.
If you are at all interested in how our affective measurement instrument can be configured to support the success of students at your college or a college near you, please contact ACE.
Additionally, if you are a faculty, administrator, or staff person at a Community College and are interested in learning how to address the affective needs of your students please consider registering for our next Faculty Experiential Learning Institute (FELI). This institute helps participants experience the ACE Intrinsic Model of Student Engagement and to begin envisioning how to apply this approach to their community college.