Presentations: Strengthening Student Success


The following video is of Diego Navarro’s presentation on measuring the affective domain at the Strengthening Student Success Conference in Costa Mesa, California on October 4, 2012.  At the end of the presentation we have outlined a series of discussion points for you and your colleagues to consider regarding how this affective research might apply to your community college.

A little background about the presentation: 

At the RP Group's 2012 Strengthening Student Success Conference in Costa Mesa, California, the keynote speaker Uri Treisman made the following points in his address:

  • We have done many assessments of the cognitive, but we are now finding that the non-cognitive can be a better predictor of student success
  • The first two weeks of college are the most important part in making the changes needed for completion

The non-cognitive or affective domain has become a buzz word of late.  With Paul Tough’s recent book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character and numerous articles on the topic making their way to the fore, apparent solutions to aiding students with an inability to focus and who come with behaviors that make their success in college challenging are being pushed into the spotlight. In addition, research is indicating that a change in the affective (non-cognitive) domain of younger students is critical to success.  But is there evidence to show that teaching to the non-cognitive in community college students can make them more academically successful? 

On Thursday morning at the Strengthening Student Success Conference, Rose Asera led a panel presentation that addressed the measurement and evidence of affective research going on in California community colleges. I participated in this panel and discussed 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 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.