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Subject:

Re: Help keep our center!

From:

"Neuburger, Jane A." <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 9 Nov 1998 17:27:30 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (114 lines)

Jane Neuburger
Center for Teaching and Learning
Cazenovia College
Cazenovia, NY 13035
[log in to unmask]

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Church, Paulette [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Monday, November 09, 1998 1:16 PM
> To:   [log in to unmask]
> Subject:      Help keep our center!
>
> As is frequently an issue on many college campuses, our college is
> experiencing the need to significantly cut expenses.  Once again, I
> need
> to justify the role of our center and justify the cost of keeping it
> open.  We have been an AA degree granting private college, but we have
> added, and plan to add more, BA programs.
>
> I need your help to address the critical assumption made by one key
> individual, who opposes our continuance.  He stated that most colleges
> are closing their learning centers.  He maintains that "good colleges"
> don't need learning centers because they have only good students.
> While
> he may be accurate, this isn't my perception.
>
> If you are at a BA degree granting institution, I would like to get a
> few pieces of information from you:
>
> Name of your college: []  Cazenovia College  []  - and we offer AS,
> AAs, and BA & BS degrees.  We, too, have been evolving from a
> predominatly AA degree institution to a BA degree institution, so we
> have had these same discussions along the way.
>
> How many years has your center been open: []  since 1979
>
> Is there a movement to close it?  If yes, why? []  not really.  This
> issue of "good students" pops up now and again.  I would strongly
> strongly recommend that you send your administrator and all
> administrators, especially his/her boss !!!a copy of any historical
> account of learning centers in this country - starting with Harvard in
> 1636.  []  You can find this in:
*        Martha Maxwell's  []  Improving Student Learning Skills chapter
1, Clearwater, Fla: H&H Publishing Co. 1997
> *       Milton G. Spann, Jr. and Suella McCrimmon
> "Remedial/Developmental Education: Past, Present, and Future" in  []
> A Handbook on the Community College in America []  , George A. Baker
> III, Ed., Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994;
*       [] Hunter R. Boylan,  "The Scope of Developmental Education"
Research in Developmental Education 12.4 (1995), available from the
National Center for Developmental Education if you don't have it
*       Hunter R. Boylan "Making the Case for Developmental Education"
RiDE (see above) 12.2 (1995)
*       []  Hunter R. Boylan and William G. White, Jr "Educating all the
Nation's People: The Historical Roots of Developmental Education Part I"
RiDE 4.4 (1987)
*       Hunter R. Boylan   []  The Historical Roots of Developmental
Education Part III" RiDE 5.3(1988)

        You will find that, whatever your level of incoming students,
some will always be "underprepared".  Historically, about 30 - 50 %.
> Approximately how many students do you serve, in terms of any units of
> measure you use? []  In developmental courses - about 30%.  A bit
> higher in math - about 50% (I think) test as needing pre-math, but you
> only have to enroll in pre-math if your program requires math.
> Currently, not all do, but that is under discussion.
>
        A population of HEOP, CSTEP, and Trio students are separate from
this.

> Do you include tutoring services? []  In tutoring, we see 50-70% of
> the entire population in any given year.
>
> What differences do you see occurring in terms of usage over the past
> 3-5 years? []    About the same.  Get testimonies from the "good"
> students who use your services as well as the underprepared students.
> What are the other questions I should be asking?
        []  Ask your IR person - or registrar or friendly administrator
(or do it yourself) to track retention (to soph year and beyond) of the
students who use your services versus those who do not.  I'd bet you
will find that your retention is higher.  Then do a cost analysis - how
much does it cost for all your services, spread between all those who
used your services and were retained.  Compare that amount to (get this
from admissions) how much it costs per capita to bring a new student
(frosh or transfer) onto campus.
        One caution - retention is the "money" issue here.  If you track
graduation, be sure not to stop tracking after 4 years!!!  Most students
now take 5.5 or 6 years to graduate - and certainly the at-risk students
often take longer to graduate.  I suppose it's unfortunate that we "take
their money" for 5+ years instead of 4, but some administrators won't be
sorried about that at all. . .
> What are other trends of which I should be aware?
        []  Hmmm  CUNY - remember that this has been blocked at the
moment, by the judge who ruled that the rights of those community
members who were not allowed to stay for the meeting or the vote on
relegating all DE courses to the community colleges were violated.  The
NY Times had been running stories on how much revenue will be lost by
each of the senior colleges when/if this plan goes into effect. I'm not
sure it will actually go forward; if it does, I predict a huge increase
in learning assistance to replace those offered in developmental
courses.

        In the meantime, continue gathering student and faculty
testimonials as to what value your program adds to the lives of the
students on campus.

        Also, compare your retention results  (and course completion
rates) to other programs' success.  See how you measure up.
        []
> hank you so very much.
>
> Paulette Church
> Waldorf College
> Forest City, IA  50436

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