ANNUAL REFLECTION
NARRATIVE
DUE: MAY 8, 2014
Contents
Instructions
2
Introduction
Completing and Submitting the Annual
Reflection
Feedback
Annual Reflection Narrative Questions
4
Appendix A:
Student Success Measures & Definitions
16
Appendix B:
ATD Data Template Example
19
Annual Reflection: Table of Contents
Questions
1
Instructions
INTRODUCTION
All Achieving the Dream institutions are required to submit an Annual Reflection (except
colleges that entered ATD in 2013 that will submit an Implementation Plan). The Annual
Reflection provides an opportunity to consider your institution’s student success progress
over the past year and to plan for the coming year. The Annual Reflection includes several
components to guide your institution in this reflective process: the Principles Assessment
Survey, Annual Reflection Narrative, Interventions Showcase Update, and Leader College
Application (if relevant).
COMPLETING AND SUBMITTING THE ANNUAL
REFLECTION
A. Principles Assessment Survey: To facilitate your review and reflection process,
Achieving the Dream provides the ATD Principles Assessment Survey, which should be
used to solicit stakeholder feedback and group reflection as well as discussion. We
recommend that your institution administer this survey to a representative group of
stakeholders (administrators, faculty, staff, students, etc.) who have been involved in your
reform work.
Administer the online survey by sharing the link (http://adobe.ly/1b9S6gt) and ask
stakeholders to submit their survey by April 10, 2014. Achieving the Dream will collect
the results for your institution and send an aggregated response summary to your Core
Team Leader by April 23, 2014. Please note that individual survey responses will be
anonymous to both the institution and Achieving the Dream. Even individual survey
responses will be identifiable only by an institution’s IPEDS Unit ID.
the Dream suggests that your institution engage a representative group of stakeholders to
review and discuss your student success and equity work, the results of the Principles
Assessment Survey, and your outcomes data for the five Achieving the Dream student
success measures. This discussion will be informative as you complete the Annual
Reflection Narrative.
B. Annual Reflection Narrative: Complete the Annual Reflection Narrative document and
save the document as “Institution Name_2014 Annual Reflection_Date” [ex: Mountain
Annual Reflection: Instructions
Once you have completed the survey and received the aggregated responses, Achieving
2
College_2014 Annual Report_5.10.14]. Return to the Annual Progress Site
(www.achievingthedream.org/annualprogress) where you will find a link to the Submission
Site. Click on the Submission Site link and sign in with your email address and your
institution’s IPEDS number, and upload the saved document.Also, be sure to have your
chart or graph ready to upload (see Question 5 and Appendix A). The file should be saved
as “Institution Name_2014 Annual Reflection_Data_Date” [ex: Mountain College_2014
Annual Reflection_Data_5.7.2014].
C. Interventions Showcase Update: Add new interventions and update existing
interventions by going to the Annual Progress Site and following the link to the Interventions
Showcase.
D. Leader College Application (if relevant): Institutions applying for initial Leader
College status and institutions required to apply for Leader College recertification must
also submit a Leader College Application with their Annual Reflection. More information
about the Leader College Application can be found at the Annual Progress Site.
FEEDBACK
Institutions will receive feedback on their Annual Reflection by early fall of 2014.
QUESTIONS
Annual Reflection: Instructions
If you have a question about the Annual Reflection, please send an email to
[email protected] or call 240-450-0075.
3
Annual Reflection Narrative Questions
Please enter your responses directly into the spaces provided below.
Note that the period covered by this Annual Reflection is May 2013 - April 2014. Please reflect on
activities during this time period throughout the narrative.
Institution Name: Grand Rapids Community College
1) Contributors to the Annual Reflection
Achieving the Dream suggests that your institution engages a representative group of stakeholders to review
and discuss your student success and equity progress, the results of the Principles Assessment, and data for
the five Achieving the Dream student success measures (as described in Question 5 below).
Names of Contributors to this Annual
Reflection
Titles of Contributors to this Annual Reflection
John Cowles
Dean, Student Success and Retention
Domingo Hernandez-Gomez
Associate Director, Title III/College Success Center
Janice Balyeat
Professor, English
Shanna Goff
Associate Professor, Mathematics
Andre Fields
Assistant Professor, Counseling
Eric Williams
Executive Director, Equity Affairs
Donna Kragt
Dean, Institutional Research and Planning
2) Student Experience
Question 2: Student Experience (2-3 Paragraphs)
Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) has made significant progress in improving student success and completion.
Along with participating in Achieving the Dream (AtD), academic leadership has committed to the Completion Agenda
and the GRCC Board of Trustees has made Student Success an End of the institution. In addition, GRCC was accepted
into the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Academy for Student Persistence and Completion.
As a result of these efforts, students at GRCC are supported with initiatives aimed at helping students to bypass
developmental education, supporting students placing into developmental education, strengthening the curriculum in
developmental reading, writing and mathematics, and efforts to increase the retention and completion of African
American males and Latina/o students.
Annual Reflection: Narrative Questions
In what ways is your reform work transforming the way students experience college?
4
3) Progress Statement
Please describe your institution’s progress in improving student success and completion over the past
academic year. Consider both the positive factors and challenges affecting the student success efforts at your
institution. This summary may include aspects related to the institution’s culture and environment such as
leadership changes, engagement of full and part-time faculty, staff additions or transitions, state or federal
influences, budget reductions, and reaffirmation of accreditation efforts.
Question 3: Progress Statement (No more than 2 pages; 1 page preferred)
Our English department continued to make improvements in curriculum, which have had a positive, and sometimes
mixed impact on student success. In addition, the department began a pilot of Accelerated Learning Project for
composition. Work also continued on our FastTrack program and making improvements in mathematics while
continuing with our African American male leadership program, Alpha Beta Omega (ABO). Data and findings are
below:
Data and Findings for A-COMP (ALP)





National model designed after Baltimore County Community Colleges
State of Michigan Success Center sponsored
Limited sample (11 students last semester, 11 students remaining this semester)
100% success last semester; 75% success (11/15) currently successful this semester
Enrollment currently biggest obstacle
Data and Findings for EN097
● Success rates (defined as a final grade of A through C-)for all students taking EN097 increased from 54% in
2011 to 60% in 2012; it maintained at 60% in 2013.
● Students less than 20 years old showed the best overall pass rates, which increased from 58% to 65% in
2012 and in 2013 to 67%.
● Success rates for students 20 – 24 years old improved from 2011 – 2012 from 49% to 60%; it dropped to 52%
in 2013.
● Students over 25 for the first time were the lowest achieving age group, with 51% achievement, slightly
increased from 50% in 2011 and again increased in 2013 to 53%.
● Success rates for black, non-Hispanic students increased dramatically from 2011 to 2012, from 36% to 50%
but still lousy; it decreased to 43% in 2013.
● Success rates for females increased from 2011 (60%) to 2012 (65%) to 2013 (66%); women continue to
perform better than males.
2013 (56%).
● Success rates for No Pell students increased from 2011 (64%) to 2012 (67%) to 2013 (70%); success rates
for Pell Grant recipients increased from 49% in 2011 to 57% in 2012, decreasing slightly to 56% in 2013.
Data and Findings for EN 100:
 Success rates (defined as a final grade of A through C-) for all students taking EN100 increased from 59% in
2011 to 64% in 2012 to 65% in 2013.
 Students less than 20 years old showed the best overall pass rates, which increased between 2011 and 2012
from 63% to 68% and to 71% in 2013.
 Students 20 – 24 years old continued to show the poorest overall pass rates, although the overall pass rate for
this group improved slightly from 2011 – 2012 from 50% to 52%; it improved to 59% in 2013, tying the success
rate of older students.
 Success rates for black, non-Hispanic students increased dramatically from 2011 to 2012, from 36% to 50%
(but still lousy); it decreased slightly to 49% in 2013 (and still lousy).
Annual Reflection: Narrative Questions
● Success rates for males also increased their success from 2011 (48%) to 2012 (57%) to a slight decrease in
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



Success rates for females increased from 2011 (63%) to 2012 (69%); it decreased slightly to 67% in 2013;
women continue to perform better than males,
Success rates for males increased from 2011 (56%) to 2012 (59%); to 2013(64%).
Success rates for No Pell students dropped from 2011 (70%) to 2012 (68%); it increased to 74% in 2013.
Success rates for Pell Grant recipients increased from 52% in 2011 to 61% in 2012; it dropped slightly to 59%
in 2013.
FastTrack Results
Our FastTrack program also continued to show impressive results. FastTrack is designed for students placing in the
upper levels of developmental courses. It consists of a three week, intensive review session and retesting with the
Accuplacer Placement test.



Saved a total of $112, 888 in tuition for students.
Saved a total of 16,440 hours of instruction for students who bypassed their placement.
Reduced a total of 13 sections of Developmental Education for the College.
Reduced the number of placements for students, thus extending their financial aid eligibility
Academically prepared 107 students to be successful in their Developmental Education placement (for
those who completed Fast Track but were unable to bypass their placement).
Students from cohort I - Summer 2012- had a higher fall to winter and fall to fall retention compared to the
overall developmental education population (Fall to Winter : 82.5% compared to 73%; Fall to Fall: 51% to
42%).
84% of Cohort II students – Summer 2013 -persisted to Winter 2014 semester.
Students who bypassed their placement through Fast Track had a higher course success rate in their
gateway courses compared to students who took the regular sequence of developmental education.
Developmental Mathematics
Students still have a variety of modalities to help them meet their math requirements, including extended time, extra
support, traditional lecture, computer enhanced classrooms (MA 095/6/7/8 and 107), as well as hybrid and online
courses (MA 098 and 107). Item analysis continues to be help instructors identify strengths and weaknesses and to
modify and improve instruction. Common final exams, syllabi and assigned problems and other common materials in
MA 095/6/7/8 have led to more consistency among sections of the same course and modalities. There have been
Annual Reflection: Narrative Questions
Benefits





6
increases in the computer assisted learning sections based on requests from students. We are still working on data
analysis of success in follow up courses comparing the different teaching modalities. There has been a slight
improvement in the MA 098 overall learning outcomes, based on the item analysis. The item analysis was used to
target the 10 weakest topics, and improvement in this area was 15% higher success on these topics.
Alpha Beta Omega (ABO)
ALPHA BETA OMEGA (ABO)
ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE SUMMARY (Fall 2013-Winter 2014)
Number who
took courses
Total
Number of
credit
hours
attempted
Total Number
of credit
hours
completed
with a C- or
better
Successful
completion
rate
ABO Member Totals (Winter
2014)
62
548
416
76%
ABO Member Totals (Fall
2013)
44
480
296
65%
GRCC Asian Totals (Fall 2013)
594
5,587
4,315
77%
GRCC White Totals (Fall 2013)
11,493
101,560
76,238
75%
GRCC Hispanic Totals (Fall
2013)
1,383
11,877
2613
68%
GRCC Native Americans (Fall
2013)
158
1,413
880
62%
GRCC Black Totals (Fall 2013)
1,956
16,638
9,256
56%
860
7,640
3,982
52%
16,566
146,192
105,571
72%
African American Males (Fall
2013)
ALL Students (Fall 2013)
Comparison data based on GRCC Fall 2013 Credits Attempted and Passed, by Subgroup
The successful course completion Rate for Winter 2014 was 76%. A total of 62 ABO members took courses this
winter. The total credit hours attempted for this group was 548. Collectively the group successfully completed 416
credit hours. A total of 7 members achieved a 3.5 gpa or higher. A total of 19 members achieved a 3.0 or higher. A
total of 28 members completed 100% of their courses with a C- or higher.
Summary
While progress on these projects have been good, there seems to be a lack of overall success in the ATD measures.
This is attributed to several factors: none of the projects have been brought to scale and when the economy worsened
just prior to GRCC joining ATD, this brought a flood of even more underprepared students. Many of these students
have now left GRCC as the economy has improved.
Annual Reflection: Narrative Questions
Winter 2014 Performance Summary
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4) Principles Assessment
For each principle listed below, please provide a brief analysis of your institution’s aggregate responses
regarding the principles inherent to the Achieving the Dream Student-Centered Model of Institutional
Improvement.

You may access complete definitions of each of the Five Principles here.
Principles Assessment Survey: Your answers to this question should be informed
by the Principles Assessment Survey, which assists institutions in gathering
stakeholder feedback.

Achieving the Dream recommends that your institution solicit feedback via this
survey to a representative group of stakeholders (faculty, staff, students, etc.)
who have been involved in your reform work.

All surveys should be submitted by April 10, 2014. Achieving the Dream will
provide a summary of the results by April 23, 2014 for institutions to use when
completing their Annual Reflection Narrative.

For more information about how to administer the survey, see the
Instructions section of this document.
Each principle summary should be no longer than 3 paragraphs and may also include a synopsis of your
institution’s group discussions regarding each principle.
How many people from your institution submitted an online Principles Assessment?
55
Question 4: Principles Assessment Analysis
Principle 1: Committed Leadership (2-3 Paragraphs)
Another area showing a decrease was in 1.2b-demonstrating willingness to support changes in policy, procedures
and resource allocation to improve student success-in 2013 this was 91.3% and in 2014 this fell to 81.7%. This is
puzzling for several reasons. In the 2013-2014 academic year, GRCC passed many policies that were supported by
the senior leadership to improve student success-examples include mandatory first-year experience, cut off of late
applications and late starts and the implementation of a $250,000 budget line for requests from the Strategic
Leadership Team.
Principle 2: Use of Evidence to Improve Policies, Programs, and Services (2-3 Paragraphs)
An area of increase in 2014 was seen in 2.1a-IT capacity is adequate to meet the demand for data and institutional
research. In 2013, 73.9% of respondents indicated it was increasing or higher. In 2014, 81.2% indicated it was
increasing or higher. Late 2013 and early 2014 saw an increase in training on the data warehouse. Department
heads, program directors and other faculty and staff received training on how to use the data warehouse.
Annual Reflection: Narrative Questions
In the area of CEO and leadership team actively supporting efforts to improve student learning and completion,
92.6% of the respondents agreed this was increasing—a lot. In 2013 30.4% indicated a lot and in 2014 33.3%
indicated a lot. Principle 1.1b-explicit policy commitment decreased slightly from 2013, down to 88% seeing
increasing through a lot.
8
Several areas in Principle 2 saw decreases: 2.1b-Policies and procedures, 78.1% in 2014 compared to 93.5% in
2013, 2.1d-IR staff effectively educates and assists, 81.7% in 2014 compared to 84.5% in 2013, 2.3a-College
routinely engages personnel from across the campus, 83.2% in 2014 compared to 86.4% in 2013, and 2.3b-College
routinely evaluates the effectiveness, 86.9% in 2014 compared to 90.7% in 2013. These decreases are somewhat
surprising given the increased policy making around student success, the creation of a new strategic plan around
student success and other student success initiatives. This could be due to several factors among those surveyed,
student success fatique and/or a communication failure.
Principle 3: Broad Engagement (2-3 Paragraphs)
In regards to Principle 3, GRCC saw increases in all areas in 2014, with the exception of 3.1d with a small decrease
from 2013. A large increase was seen in 3.1b-Faculty routinely assesses academic programs. In 2014, 86.3% of
those surveyed indicated this was increasing or higher. In 2013, 77.2% indicated this was increasing or higher.
GRCC programs are undergoing Academic Program Review, this coupled with a new faculty evaluation system has
resulted in an increase in this category.
Another increase was seen in 3.1c, Adjunct faculty are engaged in efforts to improve student success. In 2014,
65.8% indicated this was increasing or higher, compared to 56.9% in 2013. Likewise, item 3.1e-Alignment and
collaboration on efforts to improve student success between academic and student services increased over 2013. In
2014 84.8% indicated this was increasing or higher, in 2013, 79.6% indicated it was increasing or higher. Lastly, a
significant increase was seen in 3.2b-College secures input from external stakeholders. In 2014, 76.8% indicated
this was increasing or higher compared to 69.6% in 2013.
Principle 4: Systemic Institutional Improvement (2-3 Paragraphs)
Decreases were seen in much of Principle 4 in 2014, with the exception of 4.3a, b and c. Item 4.1b-Plans for a given
year are driven by a limited set of priorities, reduced by almost 6 points, down to 94.1% in 2014, from 100% in 2013.
With the new strategic plan for 2014-2015 and the reduction of plans, perhaps this will increase again in 2015.
Item 4.1g-Student success agenda is integrated with on-going accreditation activity decreased in 2014. In 2014,
90.4% of respondents indicated this was increasing or higher. In 2013, 95.6% indicated it was increasing or higher.
This is somewhat surprising as we joined the HLC Academy for Student Persistence and Completion in 2013 and
are using this academy for one or more of our AQIP Action Projects. The student success agenda at GRCC was a
centerpiece of our HLC Re-Accreditation site visit this spring.
A significant increase was seen on item 4.3c-College provides training to faculty and staff on using data and
research. In 2014, 75.3% indicated this was increasing or higher. This was up from 66.7% in 2013. This increase
can be attributed to the increased training around the use of the data warehouse, but is puzzling when looking at the
decrease on 2.1d in regards to IR assisting and educating.
Principle 5, Equity saw increases in all areas over 2013. This is due to several factors: all faculty hiring searches
must include the Director of Equity Affairs and must be advertised in diverse, national publications; College Action
Projects focused on increasing the diversity of hiring; GRCC has hired Rankin and Associates in 2013 to conduct a
campus climate audit; and ATD projects included improving the success of African American males and will now also
focus on Hispanic students.
Item 5.1b-Institution consistently demonstrates a commitment to equity for all students, increased about five percent
over 2013. In 2014, 96.2% of respondents indicated it was increasing or higher. Likewise, item 5.2b, Multicultural
perspectives are integrated, increased to 79.4% in 2014, up from 73.3%.
Annual Reflection: Narrative Questions
Principle 5: Equity (2-3 Paragraphs)
9
5) Student Success Data Trends
Please review and discuss your institution’s disaggregated data trends for the five Achieving the Dream
student success measures (see Appendix A)
 In an effort to better guide institutions in student cohort tracking, Achieving the
Dream has clarified the five Achieving the Dream student success outcome
measures. Please be sure to review Appendix A: Student Success Outcome
Measures and Definitions before running your data analysis to acquaint
yourself with these new specifications.
 Achieving the Dream recommends that each institution analyze at least four
years of disaggregated data for each measure.
 We realize that some of the newer Achieving the Dream institutions may not
have four years of disaggregated data available for each measure. If your
institution is not able to analyze at least four years of data for a measure,
we ask that you simply indicate this in the summary you give below.
.
I. For at least one measure, your institution will provide a chart or graph, which should be uploaded along
with this narrative as a separate document. Achieving the Dream has several tools to assist institutions with
creating charts and graphs that track student cohorts.
Please indicate by typing “x” next to the tool your institution will use in generating its chart/graph:
Achieving the Dream Data Template: An excel template that institutions can use to enter data and
track student cohorts. You can access the ATD Data template on the Annual Progress Site and see
an example of a completed template in Appendix B.
X
Achieving the Dream Data Products: Your institution has access to Achieving the Dream data
products. These data products are based on all student data submitted to Achieving the Dream
database by your institution. One of these data products is an Excel workbook provides summarized
data for ATD student outcome measures by student cohort and by subgroups (gender, ethnicity, Pell
recipients). To access these data products, please log on to the data submission site:
www.dreamwebsubmission.org.
Institution-generated chart or graph: Institutions may submit a self-generated chart or graph.
II. Please provide one response per outcome measure that includes the following:
(a) Description of your institution’s progress in comparison with previous year outcomes
(b) Explanation of your institution’s progress in closing achievement gaps among the disaggregated
student groups
Question 5.ii: Data Analysis Summary
Measure 1: Completion of remedial or developmental instruction (2-4 Paragraphs)
Annual Reflection: Narrative Questions
Note: Institutions that are applying for Leader College Status or Leader College
Recertification must use the ATD Data Template* and complete the accompanying Leader
College application.
 Institutions applying for Initial Leader College Status must complete the ATD Data
Template for at least ONE ATD measure (one tab)
 Institutions applying for Leader College Recertification must complete the ATD Data
Template for at least TWO ATD measures (two different tabs).
10
In regards to student completion of developmental math within two years, the rate remains unchanged from 201011 to 2011-12, 24%. In the four year summary, 2009-2010 was the highest year at 27%. It should be noted that
in 2009-2010, enrollment began a dramatic increase, bringing new students who were academically unprepared
for college. Developmental English success has increased from 33% to 45%, then fell in 2011-12 to 39%.
Reviewing completion of developmental math and English among the disaggregated student groups shows some
success and a few set-backs. In 2007-2008, 27% of students completed developmental math within two years.
Only 13% of Black students completed math in two years. For developmental English, 33% of students
completed in two years while 26% of Black students completed in two years. In 2008-2009, the gap worsened in
math, 24% completed while only 10% of Black students completed. The rate of completion for developmental
English was similar that year for all student groups. In 2009-2010, the overall gap rate for math and English
widened for Black students when compared to the overall rate: attempted math-27% versus 14%, English-45%
versus 32%. In 2010-2011, there was no significant gap. The gap returned in 2011-2012 for math and English.
Math was 24% for all compared to 10% for Black students. In English, the rate was 39% for all and 26% for
Black students. Efforts continue at reducing the achievement gaps in both subjects. It is noteworthy that no
significant gaps exist for the other gender, ethnic and financial aid groups.
Measure 2: Completion of college-level gateway courses (2-4 Paragraphs)
Completion of gateway math and English, as a percent of total students has fallen since 2007-2008. When
viewed as a percent of attempted, the numbers have remained mostly stable. In 2007-2008, 24% of the total and
69% of the attempted group completed gatekeeper math. In 2010-2011 (the first year of ATD participation), 20%
of the total and 65% of the attempted group completed gatekeeper math. For gateway English in 2007-2008,
46% of the total completed and 71% of the attempted group completed the course. In 2010-2011, 40% of the
total completed compared with 69% of the attempted group.
Reviewing completion of gateway math and English among the disaggregated student groups shows gaps for
Black students and for Hispanic students in gateway English as a percent of total. The gap analysis is 21 points
as a percentage of total for gatekeeper English and 20 points for Black students in completing gatekeeper
English (as a percent of attempted).
Measure 3: Course completion with a grade of “C” or better (2-4 Paragraphs)
Course completion with a grade of C or better has ranged from 16% in 2007-2008 to a high of 22% in 2009-2010.
In 2010-2011, the rate fell to 18%. As noted earlier, enrollment in the fall cohort grew substantially from 2007,
3,786 students to 5,139 students in 2010-2011. Many of the new students were not academically prepared. This
has decreased all five measures.
The information available for this workbook was incorrect on the JBL website. At this time, we do not have the
disaggregated breakdown.
Measure 4: Term-to-term and year-to-year retention (2-4 Paragraphs)
Academic
Year
Number of
Fall Students
in Fall Cohort
(N)
Persisted to
Next Term (N)
Persisted to
Next Term (%)
Persisted to
Next Fall (N)
Persisted to
Next Fall (%)
2007-08
3,786
3,029
80%
2,091
55%
2008-09
3,848
3,071
80%
2,054
53%
2009-10
4,798
3,866
81%
2,373
49%
2010-11
5,139
4,059
79%
2,440
47%
2011-12
5,252
4,014
76%
2,457
47%
2012-13
4,791
3,604
75%
Annual Reflection: Narrative Questions
As with all measures, term-to-term and year-to-year retention rates have declined since 2007-2008. The
following chart presents the data for retention.
-
11
Preliminary data, from fall 2013, shows the one-year retention rate has risen to 50.3.
In reviewing the disaggregated data, Black students are experiencing fall to fall persistence gaps far greater than
any other group. Fall to next term numbers remain strong for all student groups, with differences of 1-2 percent.
One exception was in the Fall of 2011 to Winter 2012, Black students experienced a 9% retention gap. Prior to
the start of Winter 2012 GRCC eliminated the Football Team. A significant number of African American males
left GRCC prior to the semester starting. Fall to fall for Black students feature gaps of 4 to 21%. No other
student group had a significant retention gap when compared to the all students group.
Measure 5: Completion of certificates or degrees (2-4 Paragraphs)
In regards to completion rates, there has been little movement from 2007-2008 through 2010-2011, with the
exception of the most recent three year rate, which has fallen to 8%. The table below presents the credential
data:
ATD Student Success Outcome Measurement 5:
Attain a credential (certificate and degree) within three years and four years
Academic Year
Number of Fall
Students in Fall
Cohort (N)
Completed an
Award within
Three years (N)
Completed an
Award within
Three years (%)
Completed an
Award within
Four years (N)
Completed an
Award within
Four years (%)
2007-08
3,786
352
9%
495
13%
2008-09
3,848
403
10%
525
14%
2009-10
4,798
503
10%
660
14%
2010-11
5,139
431
8%
-
Again, looking at the completion of a certificate or degree by student groups reveals that Black students have the
largest gaps. In 2007-2008 the gap was 4% for three years and 6% for four years. Om 2009-2010 this increased
to 5% for three years and 7% for four years. In 2007-2008, Pell recipients and Hispanic students had a 2% gap.
The 2010-2011 data reveals no gaps from the “all” group. The rate fell to 8% for completion in three years, that
rate was identical to all groups except female (10%), male (7%) and non-Pell recipients (9%).
Question 5.iii: Continuous improvement plans for building increases and addressing
decreases (No more than 1 Page)
GRCC plans to address decreases and achievement gaps by the implementation of a new strategic plan
focused on three areas or Ends: Student Success, Transfer Pathways and Workforce Pathways. For the
purpose of this report, Student Success is the most relevant end. This work is accomplished by the Strategic
Leadership Team composed of faculty, staff, administrators Board members and students. In May 2014, the
President of GRCC approved the new strategic plan. Each end is overseen by a Dean. The End of Student
Success is managed by the Dean of Student Success and Retention, who is also managing Achieving the
Dream and Higher Learning Commission’s Academy for Persistence and Completion initiatives. Under each
strategy are College Action Projects (CAPs) and those are led by an individual who assembles a team. Each
CAP is eligible to apply for up to $20,000 in funding to assist with one-time expenses.
End #1: Student Success Pathways
Annual Reflection: Narrative Questions
III. After reviewing your analysis of each of the five measures, outline your institution’s plans for sustaining
and building increases and addressing decreases and achievement gaps.
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A student-centered experience will ensure opportunities for students to learn the skills necessary to achieve
their educational goals.
Strategy 1.1
Access- Improve services and outreach initiatives to students considering GRCC
CAP #1.1.1: Improve outreach and recruitment of new students (HLC P & C project*)
CAP #1.1.2: Improve access through strengthening the GRCC brand
Strategy 1.2
Persistence – Provide college programs, resources and systems to support students
in their educational pathway.
CAP #1.2.1: Student success in developmental education
CAP #1.2.2: Retention of undecided students (HLC P & C project)
CAP #1.2.3: Increase the readiness of students taking on-line courses
CAP #1.2.4: Reduction of financial barriers for students
Strategy 1.3
Student Support – Improve support services to instill in students the skills necessary
to be effective learners, citizens and individuals
CAP #1.3.1: Improve the support systems for cohort groups of students (HLC P & C
project)
CAP #1.3.2: Create and improve student services for part-time, evening and weekend
students as well as at regional sites
CAP #1.3.3: Provide additional student support for Latino students (HLC P & C
project)
CAP #1.3.4: Support an academic leadership program (Alpha Beta Omega) to
support the success of the college’s most challenged students (HLC P & C project)
Strategy 1.4
Student Learning - Improve student success through the creation, revision, and
monitoring of curriculum and assessment
Strategy 1.5
Completion – Increase the number of students who earn degrees or certificates at
GRCC
CAP #1.5.1: Design graduation initiatives to increase degree or certificate completion
(HLC P & C project)
CAP 1.5.2: Develop a tracking system for “intent to complete” a degree or certificate
Indicators of Success:
1– Persistence rate (fall to winter, part and full time (NCCBP definition), Michigan metric
2 - Completion (150% graduation rate) for first time/full time students
Annual Reflection: Narrative Questions
CAP #1.4.1: Implement institutional assessment of student learning
3 - Course success rates (percent of A – C grades)
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4 - Students who enroll in AFP courses at GRCC are subsequently able to complete college level
work.
5 - Retention rate (fall to fall for first time, degree-seeking students)
6 – Student engagement benchmarks (CCSSE)
7 – Entering student benchmarks of effective practice (SENSE)
8 – Grant dollars for a full Pell Grant recipient are adequate to cover tuition, fees, and books for a fulltime student at GRCC
As can be seen from above, this new, three year, plan focuses attention, time and resources to increasing the
completion of developmental education, increasing completion of college-level gateway courses, increasing
term to term and fall to fall retention, and increasing completion of certificates and degrees. This culminates in
the integration of efforts around our strategic plan, our involvement with Achieving the Dream and our
involvement with the HLC Academy for Student Persistence and Completion.
6) Goals and plans for 2014-2015:
Based on analysis of your progress over the past year, including your student success data and stakeholder
input, please identify at least three goals for your institution’s student success work, 2 to 3 planned action
steps to advance these goals in the 2014-15 academic year.
Goal 1: Persistence—Provide college programs, resources and systems to support students in
their educational pathway



Improve student success in developmental education through FastTrack, OnTrack and other systemic
improvements to developmental courses
Increase the retention of undecided students through outreach, education and marketing of supports
Increase the readiness and success of students taking online courses
Goal 2: Student Support—Improve support services to instill in students the skills necessary to
be effective learners, citizens and individuals.



Provide additional student support for Latino students
Support an academic leadership program (Alpha Beta Omega) to support the success of the college’s
most challenged students
Create and improve student services for part-time, evening and weekend students as well as at regional
sites
Goal 3: Completion—Increase the number of students who earn certificates or degrees at GRCC
Design graduation initiatives to increase degree or certificate completion (HLC P & C project)
Develop a tracking system for “intent to complete” a degree or certificate
Annual Reflection: Narrative Questions


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7) Sharing
If you would like to share additional information about your institution’s progress and reflection process,
please use the space below.
Question 7
GRCC has multiple initiatives planned and underway to improve student success. The results of these
interventions will take time to move the five measures listed above. Because many of these measures are three
years or longer, it will take additional time to assess the long-term impact. One example of this is mandatory firstyear experience. GRCC adopted a policy that requires all entering students with less than a 3.0 high school GPA
to enroll in our FYE course. This policy went into force during Winter 2014. It will take time to see if this policy
requirement will move the retention and completion numbers.
With the work we are doing for ATD and HLC, as well as our new strategic plan, we are confident that our numbers
will improve in the years to come.
Annual Reflection: Narrative Questions
.
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Appendix A:
Achieving the Dream Student Success
Measures & Definitions
GENERAL STUDENT SUCCESS DATA SPECIFICATIONS
Achieving the Dream recommends:
 That each institution analyze at least four years of disaggregated data for each
measure.
 We realize that some of the newer Achieving the Dream institutions may not have four
years of disaggregated data available for each measure. If your institution is not able to
analyze at least four years of data for a measure, we ask that you simply indicate this in the
summary you give below.
 That data be disaggregated on at least three levels:
 Ethnicity/race, gender, and income status (Pell or non-Pell recipients).
For an example of how to disaggregate data within a cohort please see Appendix B: ATD
Data Template Example.
ANALYZING YOUR DATA
Achieving the Dream has developed the following tools to assist institutions with tracking
student success data and presenting results:
 Achieving the Dream Data Template
 Achieving the Dream Data Products
Institutions applying for initial Leader College status or Leader College Recertification must
submit a completed ATD Data Template along with the appropriate Leader College
Application and Annual Reflection narratives. You can learn more about the Leader
College application and recertification processes here.
Achieving the Dream has identified three ways for institutions to define their cohorts when
analyzing data for the Annual Reflection. It is expected that you would also disaggregate
data on at least three levels: ethnicity/race, gender, and income status.
 The ATD Cohort includes all students who are first-time degree or certificate-seeking
students new to your institution during the fall term, including students who were previously
enrolled as dual-enrollment high school students.
 First Time in College (FTIC) refers to any students who are in college for the first time
(any college)
 First-Time to Institution refers to any students who are new to attending your
institution
Annual Reflection: Appendix A
DEFINING COHORTS
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STUDENT SUCCESS MEASURES
In an effort to better guide institutions in student cohort tracking, Achieving the Dream has
clarified the five Achieving the Dream student outcome measures. Below you will find the
specifications for each.
Measure 1:
Successfully complete remedial or developmental instruction
Definition: Number and Percentage of Students Successfully Completing Developmental
Course Requirements within 2 years
 Successful completion is defined as earning a “C” or better.
Cohort Definition Options: Institutions should define the cohort of students that they track
in this measure by choosing one of the following cohorts:
 All students in the ATD Cohort referred to Developmental Math, English, and/or
Reading
 All FTIC students referred to Developmental Math, English, and/or Reading
 All First Time to Institution students referred to Developmental Math, English, and/or
Reading
Measure 2:
Enroll in and successfully complete the initial college-level or
gateway courses
Definition: Number and Percentage of Students Successfully Completing Gateway
Courses within 3 Years
 Successful completion is defined as earning a “C” or better in gateway English and/or
Math.
Measure 3:
Complete the courses they take with a grade of "C" or better
Definition: Number and Percentage of Students Successfully Completing Courses with a
“C” or Better
The measure is calculated as a ratio of all credit hours successfully completed to all credit
hours attempted.
Cohort Definition Options: Institutions should define the cohort of students that they track
in this measure by choosing one of the following cohorts:
 All students in the ATD Cohort
 All FTIC students
 All First Time to Institution students
Annual Reflection: Appendix A
Cohort Definition Options: Institutions should define the cohort of students that they track
in this measure by choosing one of the following cohorts and report gateway completion in
either English and/or Math:
 All students in the ATD Cohort
 All FTIC students
 All First Time to Institution students
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 All students in your institution
Measure 4:
Persistence
Definition: Number and Percentage of Students Persisting from Term-to-Term or Year-to-Year
Institution may define persistence in one of two ways:
(1) Term-to-term: first enrollment term to next major term (e.g. Fall to Spring)
(2) Year-to-Year (e.g. Fall to Fall)
Cohort Definition Options: Institutions should define the cohort of students that they track in this measure
by choosing one of the following cohorts:
 All students in the ATD Cohort
 All FTIC students
 All First Time to Institution students
 All students except those graduating or transferring
Measure 5:
Attain a certificate or degree
Definition: Number and Percentage of Students Attaining a Degree or Credential within 4 Years
Annual Reflection: Appendix A
Cohort Definition Options: Institutions should define the cohort of students that they track in this measure by
choosing one of the following cohorts:
 All students in the ATD Cohort
 All FTIC students
 All First Time to Institution students
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Appendix B:
Annual Reflection: Appendix A
Achieving the Dream Data
Template Example
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2014 Annual Reflection - Grand Rapids Community College