Victor Valley College Instructional PRAISE Report

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Victor Valley College
Instructional PRAISE Report
(English/Journalism)
Program: English, including the Writing Center (1501.00) and Journalism (0602.00)
Program Review Team Members:
Tim Adell
Bryce Campbell
Andrea Glebe
Patty Golder
Joe Pendleton
Judy Solis
P.J. Teel
Karen Tomlin, Chair
Pat Wagner
Submission Year: December, 2013
Budget Development Year: 2014-2015
The mission of Victor Valley College is to

cultivate intellectual growth, social responsibility, environmental stewardship, cultural
enrichment, and economic development.

create exceptional and accessible lifelong learning opportunities that afford students
within our expanding communities the attainment of knowledge and skills necessary for
success in the global economy.

embrace difference in our communities by integrating their wealth of multicultural
knowledge and wisdom into a cohesive and resourceful learning environment for all.

inspire innovative teaching and service with imaginative uses of collaboration and
technology, fostering vibrant programs that are measurably effective in addressing
student learning and community needs.

empower each student to learn by modeling academic integrity, democratic citizenship,
and meaningful contribution to society.
Program Mission:
The mission of the English Department at Victor Valley College is to empower all of our
students to learn to read critically, think critically, and write well, including those students
in basic skills, vocational education, general education, and transfer programs. The
faculty is dedicated to cultivating intellectual growth in students through varied
instructional methodologies in the context of our diverse institution and community.
Program Learning Outcomes (for programs that offer degrees and/or certificates):



Read Critically: analyze texts (such as non-fiction, fiction, drama, and poetry) within the
conventions of genre, language, and rhetorical devices; read college-level texts for main
points and supporting material; understand rhetorical strategies used in college-level
texts.
Think Critically: analyze a variety of sources for purpose, content and style; evaluate
source material for reliability; select and synthesize source material to support an
argument.
Write Effectively: produce a variety of college level writing projects which demonstrate
an understanding of purpose, audience, coherence, clarity and style; assemble and
synthesize diverse ideas from textual sources to create a unified essay, project, or oral
presentation; assess, revise and edit writing projects to meet the conventions of academic
discourse.
II. The Components of the Instructional Program Review PRAISE report
A. Section 1: The Program Overview
The Program Overview should be brief (2-3 pages) and reflect the consensus of the members
within the program. It is meant to provide a broad understanding of the program, current trends
related to the program’s mission, and how the program serves to meet the overall mission and/or
vision of Victor Valley College. List the short-term and long-term goals for the program. How
can these goals be achieved? How has analysis of SLO/PLO data and the PREs for the program
contributed to the identification of these goals?
Goals:
Our Program, including English, the Writing Center, and Journalism, plays a vital part in the
life of Victor Valley College. We are fully aligned with VVC’s Mission and are in full support of
VVC’s Educational Master Plan, especially the chapter entitled “Vision and Values.” Most
students who enter VVC are required to take one or more English courses, for good reason.
Critical reading, thinking, and writing skills are essential for study in all academic fields and in
most workplaces. We cultivate these skills at the appropriate level in all of our courses and in the
Writing Center (Mission: “Cultivate intellectual growth…” and EMP “Excellence” and
“Integrity”).
Analysis of our PREs reveals that our student retention and success rates are very close to
those of the college overall. This data affirms our need to improve the success rates of all
of our students, especially those students in on-line courses. This suggests, in part, that we reevaluate the process by which we assess and place students as they enter VVC; too many are
under-prepared for the courses in which they enroll. The data also confirms our need to increase
support services for our students, especially pre-college level students, and it reminds faculty to
continue to educate ourselves about current effective teaching strategies.
Assessment of our SLOs also confirms our need for more accurate initial assessment and
placement in composition courses and increased counseling and tutorial services for our students.
Discussion regarding SLO assessment has revealed the need for continued discussion among
department members, including our near 50 adjunct members, regarding what constitutes student
success. We also affirmed that English 102 students need to practice synthesis before writing a
full research paper; that English 6 and 50 students would benefit from more focus on reading
strategies; and that students from English 6 to 102 improve with revision and/or second
opportunities at a specific kind of assignment.
In order to address these and other identified needs effectively, we have set the following
goals:
English/Writing Center Long Term Goals
Faculty/Staff:
 5.5 tenure track faculty positions for English
 1 tenure track faculty position for the Writing Center
 1 tenure track reading specialist
 .5 IA position for the Writing Center
Facilities and Technology:
 Facility/building designed for the English department, including classrooms, offices and
the Writing Center
 Double the size of the Writing Center Facility
 4 more computer classrooms, this time with pods, not rows
 Updated computers for the Writing Center, classrooms, and offices
Instruction/Support:
 Re-evaluate assessment cut-off scores and prerequisites for English 6
 English 50 exit exam
 tutors in English 6 classrooms
 Budget for adjunct faculty to attend two 2-hour meetings for norming and assessment
each semester
 Further develop transfer curriculum for literature and creative and professional writing
classes
 Develop further support services for composition classes: tutors, workshops, study
sessions specific to classes



Discussion regarding coursework and assessment (including SLO’s and PLO’s),
cohesiveness and consistency with adjunct faculty
Evaluate on-line and hybrid courses
Budget for conferences and journals
English/Writing Center Short Term Goals:
 Hire one full-time faculty member per year for the next six years.
 Additional half time staff for writing center
 Two Smart carts (66B 5 and 6)
 Four Elmos (121-133 and 125 and 66B 5 and 6)
 Window coverings for 8 classrooms
 Update computers for offices, Writing Center and classrooms
 Offer an additional section of 109 each semester
 Write curriculum for Professional Writing and Creative Non-Fiction courses
 Institute an English 50 exit exam
 Offer tutorial support and workshops for individual classes
 Budget to offer at least two workshops per semester for discussion regarding coursework
and assessment (including SLO’s and PLO’s), cohesiveness and consistency with adjunct
faculty
 Renew dept. subscription to at least one professional journal
 Obtain a long term, renewable contract with Turnitin.com
Journalism Long Term Goals:
 1 tenure track position for Journalism/English or Journalism/Communications
 Add a second level lecture/lab course
 Revitalize Photo Journalism; create Mass Media based course
 Obtain a dedicated facility for this program
 Obtain technology appropriate for this program
Journalism Short Term Goals:
 Move Journalism to the Communications/Mass Media department
 Offer revised courses Spring 2014 or Fall 2014.
Alignment with Mission, EMP, ILO’s and PLO’s
It is imperative that we meet our goals of obtaining and updating the facilities and technology
essential for our pedagogy. English department members make full use of our computer
classrooms to teach writing, revising, editing, and research strategies. Most of us enhance our
lectures/discussions with information and images from the internet, if we are fortunate enough to
teach in classrooms which have smart carts. In addition, the English department offers about 24
sections of on-line or hybrid classes and 14 short term (8 or 13 week) sections each semester.
We frequently engage students in small group activities, empowering them to take charge of their
learning and to assist each other. We’ve recently begun a project to include tutors in English 6
classrooms to facilitate learning with basic readers and writers. Many of us are experimenting
with the Flipped Classroom model and other variations of student centered learning models. The
Writing Center offers peer tutoring, on-line tutoring, and peer led writing workshops (Mission:
“Inspire innovative teaching and service…” and EMP “Accessibility” and “Collaboration”).
We place very high value on academic integrity, dedicating much time, especially in our
100+ level courses, to teaching students the appropriate use of source material both to support
and challenge their own ideas. Turnitin.com is an essential tool for teaching students the
difference between plagiarism and the appropriate use of sources. The Writing Center provides
supplemental handouts regarding plagiarism and the MLA, and offers access to, and help with,
Turnitin.com (Mission: “Empowering each student…” and EMP “Excellence” and “Integrity”).
The English Department is integral to the fourth point in the “Goals” section of VVC’s
Educational Master Plan: “VVC’s courses, programs, and support services advance student
success.” Since English is required for an AA degree, for transfer, and for some certificates, our
program is clearly necessary for student success. Our department members take their roles in
each student’s success very seriously, often spending well over the required amount of time
grading papers and discussing writing with students individually. We must hire more tenured
faculty members to ensure the ongoing success of our program and students. We must also plan
for a tenured teacher assigned full time to the Writing Center and for additional tutors, as the
Center offers peer tutorial services to provide students with the additional support they may need
as they advance through our courses.
We advocate an approach to reading and writing assignments within our composition courses
which attends to diversity and ensures students opportunities to develop a critical understanding
of both their own views and values and those of others. We also offer courses specific to various
cultures and world views, such as World Literature, Native American Lit, Chicano/a Lit. and
African-American Lit. as well as American and British Literatures. As we develop our transfer
curriculum, especially in terms of literature courses, we pay attention to this aspect of our
mission and EMP. In the Writing Center, experienced Writing Center tutors provide help with
assignments pertinent to these courses. (Mission: “Embrace difference in our communities…”
and EMP “Diversity”).
The English Department’s PLO’s very clearly and directly align with VVC’s ILO’s,
especially the two dedicated to “Communication” and “Creative, Critical and Analytical
Thinking.” Each of our PLO’s (named above) specifically address the skills identified in these
two ILO’s, and all of our courses require assignments designed to practice these skills again and
again with increasing levels of complexity.
Since our discipline awaits State approval for our new AA-Transfer Degree, we are presently
not required to assess our PLO’s. However, we have a plan in place, and we agreed to practice
the process during the 2013-2014 year. English 104 has been designated as our capstone course.
We plan to use an instructor-created essay common to selected sections of this course as the
instrument with which to assess our PLO’s. The essay will be holistically evaluated by course
instructors using a common rubric.
Journalism:
We strongly encourage the College to provide the resources necessary for Journalism to
reach its goals and to become a vital, successful program. Journalism focuses on the research,
writing, and production of the Rampage, and thereby addresses all four points of VV’s Mission
Statement. Students grow intellectually as they learn to research and write carefully, and they
must learn to “integrate… [a] wealth of multicultural knowledge and wisdom” if they want to
produce a balanced and fair newspaper. Collaboration between reporters, editors, photographers,
and those who work in layout and design is essential to produce both on-line and print copies. An
admirable aspect of our Journalism courses is that they do train students with knowledge, skills,
and experience specific to a particular career path. Students may participate in four levels of lab
work, with increasing levels of skills and responsibility, promoting their success in this field, or
with transferable skills in another field of their choice.
Historical Background and Unique Characteristics
English:
Within our present culture of texting, sound bites, and short attention spans, our students
come to class less and less prepared to read complex literature or to write sustained arguments.
Consequently, teachers must engage students within their own worlds in order to help them make
the leap into the world of academics. Many of our teachers go well beyond the world of on-line
instructional resources such as UC Berkeley’s “Evaluating Resources” page to YouTube and
Taylor Mali, to inventive use of animoto, web-design, and, of course, blogs to find ways to
engage students. As we seek to make learning more student-centered, we adapt coaching
techniques, positive modeling strategies, collaborative projects, peer evaluations, and
presentations for appropriate use within our classrooms. Elmo and flash drives make it possible
to showcase student work as a focal point for discussion. Our students are active, so we may
incorporate “brief drama” to help students understand voice, position, point of view, and
audience response. We ask students to become reflective by asking them to write about their
goals for class and new insights they’ve gained. We seek to meet some of our most
disadvantaged students in prisons through CAHSEE and some of our most able students in
PACE and Honors. Our faculty members continually re-invent our courses, both in content and
in delivery, to speak to our changing student body.
Since we are in the midst of an economic crisis, we have not been awarded new tenure track
positions. We have, therefore, recently hired many more adjunct instructors (ratio tenured to
adjunct teachers: 8.5 to 49). We have worked very hard to foster collegiality and collaboration
between full and part-time teachers. Up to 25 adjunct faculty members have attended several
department meetings for fruitful discussion about teaching strategies, grading rubrics, and SLO
assessments for English 6, 50, and 101. We’ve also had good conversations about adding an
English 50 exit exam and tutors for English 6 students.
With a new state focus on student success through preparation for transfer, our department
has developed a model transfer curriculum, and we are awaiting state approval for our AA-T. We
want to develop further opportunities for transfer students and have created new courses such as
Women’s Literature, Mythology, and Young Adult Literature.
Writing Center:
Many current students appreciate a less formal learning environment with conversation,
support, and assistance from their peers. Trained Writing Center peer tutors facilitate such
opportunities by conducting workshops, providing individual tutoring in writing, and providing
on-line assistance while maintaining a level of professionalism appropriate for college students.
Many of our students, especially pre-college level, are underprepared both in reading and
writing skills. The Writing Center provides much needed tutorial support to these students, as
well as to proficient readers and writers who want to polish their work.
Journalism:
Historically, Journalism has consisted of one lecture course, Fundamentals of Journalism, and
an attached repeatable lab course. (We have on record a second lab course, Introduction to Photo
Journalism, which has not been offered in recent history.)With no full-time Journalism instructor,
these classes have been taught by adjunct faculty members for years, and these teachers deserve
all the credit for sustaining the program. Last semester, we updated the Fundamentals of
Journalism course for content, texts, and SLO’s. We also updated the lab component for the
same reasons. In order to meet new state requirements regarding repeatability, we created four
new lab courses to supplement the lecture course. The program now has a new structure,
description, and course outlines.
The nature of Journalism has changed dramatically, recently becoming much more visually
oriented and computer-based. For this reason, and to align more appropriately with the state
numbering system, the department chair of Mass Media/Communication Studies, the Dean, and
members of the English Department agree that this discipline would be better served within the
Communications Department. We hope to implement this change as soon as January, 2014.
Progress Toward Goal Attainment Since Last Program Review:
English:
In our last Program Review, we identified several goals regarding instructors,
assessment/placement, and sections. We asked for two full-time positions as a step toward
replacing the five teachers we’ve lost, primarily through retirement. We were granted, and filled,
one position last year. However, the newly hired instruct withdrew from the position, and the
administration did not allow us the opportunity to hire another teacher, but instead the position
was given to a different department. We’ve been asking for a full-time instructor to coordinate
the Writing Center since it opened, but the administration has never given this request serious
consideration. We cannot expand our services without additional staff and space. We have a
similar situation regarding reading instruction. One member was hired half time within the
English department to develop a reading program; however, we’ve never had administrative
support to move forward with this project. Since reading is technically a different discipline than
English, we’ve been asking for an additional instructor for several years. At this point, the trend
is to combine Reading and English departments. Since we are already combined, we would be
well-served to hire at least one full time reading instructor into our department to align with other
California Community College English departments.
On a positive note, for the past year we’ve been able to pay our adjunct faculty members to
attend several department workshops addressing grading standards, general assessment, SLO’s,
and PLO’s. We’ve had very good attendance and made much progress in addressing these
issues.
Our contract with Turnitin.com has been renewed because of support from the President and
Vice-President of Instruction. This tool is essential to teaching writing, and should become an
integral part of the campus.
All our classrooms except for 66B 5 and 6 have smart carts, but we still desperately need
them in these two rooms.
In the Spring of 2013, our department reopened a discussion with the former Dean of Student
Services, Tim Johnson, regarding placement and assessment. Along with Dean Paul Williams,
we agreed to, and were promised, funds for a common assessment exam for students finishing
English 50. This was to be a pilot project for Fall 2013. This project would both assist us in
SLO assessment and serve as a model for adding an essay component to our AccuPlacer
assessment to improve initial placement of our new students in the future. However, Tim
Johnson left, and we have not been able to secure funds to move forward with this project this
Fall.
We have made progress in our research regarding offering a lab as a co-requisite to our
English 6 courses. We have noted that students who spend at least three-five hours in a tutorial
or other directed activities in addition to classroom instruction demonstrate increased success in
the course. (Please see the attached minutes.) Another option for helping students succeed is to
embed tutors within our classes. Through the Basic Skills Initiative, we have been able to place
tutors in several of our English 6 classes. This is a first step toward incorporating additional
support services for our basic writing students.
Like many other departments, we repeatedly ask to be able to offer more sections. We want
to build our course list for transfer students as well as provide the required courses for all of our
students. However, only if the administration deems it necessary to gain FTES are we asked,
usually at the last minute, to add a few sections. Although extra sections are usually welcome,
we’d rather incorporate them through an intentional, planned process for growth than scramble at
the last minute to satisfy quotas.
Since our 2012 Annual Update, we have made good progress toward the goals identified in
this report. Our AA-T is at the Chancellor’s office; we await final approval. We have a
comprehensive draft of a recommended book list for our department, and our handbook has been
reviewed and updated. We will finalize both this academic year. Our Resource Room is in use,
complete with a phone and on-line access. As noted above, we have made progress toward reevaluating and re-envisioning our basic writing sequence. Topics under discussion include
establishing an assessment cut-off score for English 6, making Basic Skills 3 an alternative
prerequisite to placement scores, and adding a lab co-requisite. Inviting teachers to invite a tutor
into the classroom is a new project for this semester under the BSI grant. A review of English 65
is still on the agenda. Finally, however, as noted above, we have not been awarded additional
full-time faculty positions.
Writing Center:
The Writing Center staff has taken some initial steps to analyze and report on
documentation for on-line tutoring sessions and to analyze documentation for hours of service to
basic skills and DSPS students in order to help calculate student success rates within this
population. This work will continue this year.
The Writing Center and English department together held discussions and brainstorming
sessions with interested faculty to work toward lab components for English 6 and 50. Presently,
we cannot move forward with a lab component. Instead, we have placed tutors in some English
6 classrooms and have offered workshops specific to the classes of teachers who request this
service.
The Writing Center facilitator has written three more workshops for a total of 25 that are
offered in rotation throughout the semester. (See attached chart for topics and attendance.) The
tutorial staff has grown significantly to accommodate English 6 classes. We anticipate this
number will continue to grow. The Writing Center has also increased the number of visits to
summer school classes by 40%. The facilitator and staff have produced more accurate reports
this past year, and will continue to improve. (See attached Program Review Writing Center
Document).
Journalism:
In our 2012 Annual Update, Journalism requested a dedicated Mac lab and new software
(Adobe In Design); to date, neither have been approved. However, in spring semester 2013,
Journalism did make progress toward researching the use of advertising in the RamPage to offset
costs. Students and their advisor made grand strides in updating and improving the on-line
edition of the newspaper. They were working toward printing a “best of” edition. However,
with the lack on an instructor for Fall 2013, the Journalism program cannot work toward meeting
its goals this semester.
Current Strengths, Challenges and Trends
English:
Some of our “strengths, challenges, and trends” have been noted in the Program Overview under
“unique characteristics,” and others are noted below under “Curriculum and Instruction,” point
five. Additional points follow, with a focus on “challenges.”
One of our greatest challenges is trying to teach students who cannot read nor write at an
appropriate level for the courses in which they enroll. Many of these students cannot afford
books and supplies, have transportation problems, and are highly distracted by personal
technological devises. Topics such as assessment, placement, and the increasing need for
additional pre-college or college preparatory courses must be addressed college-wide as well as
within our department. Our faculty members consistently go the extra mile to meet the needs of
underprepared students, without extra compensation, materials or equipment, or support for their
work.
Most of our classrooms are substandard. Those in buildings 30 and 66 could be considerably
cleaner. They need new student desks, window coverings, light fixtures, and pencil sharpeners.
They also need insulation as the noise levels from surrounding classrooms interfere with
students’ ability to hear the instructor, and vice versa. If the class next door is listening to a film,
we may as well buy popcorn and enjoy it with them.
We need at least two more computer classrooms such as in 21-125 and 133, but we need the
computers arranged in pods, not rows, and chairs with wheels. We need blinds or curtains on our
classroom windows to eliminate glare both on computer screens and on projections. We also
need lecterns or podiums in all of our classrooms. Perhaps most desperately, we need smart carts
for our classrooms in 66B, rooms 5 and 6, and desks more suitable for writing than very old
computer tables which lack computers. Technology, both in the classrooms and in our offices,
must be updated.
With increased dependency on electronic sources for information, we’re experiencing an increase
in the number of students who plagiarize from these sources. Turnitin.com is currently the only
resource adequate to keep abreast of this problem. Our department, along with several others, is
grateful that our contract with Turnitin.com has been renewed this year. However, we should not
have to renew the argument every year: VVC must commit to a long term contract with
Turnitin.com.
Our on-line teachers are constantly challenged simply because Blackboard is down so often.
We’ve witnessed too many problems with the program management, in terms of teachers and
students being locked out of classes, of class duplications, of losing enrollment or assignments,
and so on. It’s difficult to teach students about completing assignments in a timely and
professional manner when we cannot model it due to problems with the program or the
management thereof.
Everyone in the department is now faced with one major challenge at the beginning of each
semester: how to persuade the bookstore to order required texts properly; that is, the correct
edition, in a timely fashion, and enough copies for all the students. The bookstore’s inefficiency
creates problems for both teachers and students in that, without books, we fall behind with lesson
plans, or are required (unfairly) to revise syllabi at the last moment, or to do make copies of
required reading materials.
Finally, one of our biggest challenges is to meet the needs of almost all the students who enroll
in VVC without enough full-time faculty members. Our department has been diminished from
15 members at our highest number to our present 8.5. Please see above and below for further
discussion.
We presently work within a culture which clearly neither understands nor appreciates our efforts
to remain current and engaging for a changing student body. Teachers suffer severe criticism
from community members and the media. We’ve read that we’re lazy, work only 15 hour a
week, and that we’re overpaid. However, our department remains committed and professional as
we seek to teach our students to think critically about current trends, values, and attitudes, and to
evaluate their validity.
Writing Center:
It’s always a challenge to run a full-time facility with a part-time facilitator. We need a faculty
member in the Writing Center full-time. This would provide an opportunity to further develop
and expand services. With limited space, it’s difficult to plan to add services such as more
writing labs that would bring in more students.
The Writing Center recently lost eight hours, or two shifts, of an Instructional Aide’s position.
Again, this limits the services we can provide and opportunities to grow.
The Writing Center, together with the English department, wants to extend further services to
basic skills students. However, the approval process for hiring tutors within the BSI is too slow
and cumbersome. This process must be streamlined.
While the IT staff has done a wonderful job keeping our computers in order, the equipment is
getting old and should be replaced within the next two-three years.
Journalism:
As noted above, Journalism needs a full-time faculty member, a dedicated Mac. Lab, and
updated software. We cannot serve interested students well without these elements in place.
Repositioning this discipline with the Communications/Media department will be a positive step.
Discussion Regarding What We’ve Learned through Program Review
English/Writing Center: Please see attached document: 2012-13 Assessment Dialogue
Journalism: The curriculum and SLO’s have all been revised and updated. However, the
classes were cancelled, so no assessment has occurred.
B. Section 2: Program Assessment
The Program Assessment provides a concise assessment of the program and should include the
following subsections:
Faculty and Staff

What is the management, faculty, and classified staffing structure of the program?
The English/Journalism department is a part of the Humanities Division, under Dean Paul
Williams. We have no classified staff assigned to our department. We had grown to 15
members, but presently we have only eight full-time and one tenured half-time faculty member,
which leaves us with a great need to hire more full-time faculty members. We were granted, and
we filled, one replacement position in the Spring of 2011. However, when the newly hired
faculty member withdrew his acceptance, the administration did not honor our practice of
inviting another candidate or re-opening the position, but instead gave the position to another
department. This means that we must continue to advocate for more replacement positions within
our department and begin the process again.
The Writing Center has only one 19 hour per week faculty Facilitator. In the Fall, 2011
semester, the Writing Center was awarded a second part-time staff member, providing the Center
with two part-time technologically informed IA's. However, eight hours of IA coverage was
recently dropped (Fall, 2013).
We have no full-time faculty member in Journalism, and it is difficult to find appropriate parttime teachers.

How does the current staffing structure affect, positively or negatively, the program’s
ability to fulfill its mission and goals?
English: The English department’s diminished number of full-time faculty means that we have
fewer members with the time and experience to serve on committees and to contribute to other
department and campus-wide projects. As we lose tenured members, we must hire more and
more adjunct faculty members, and while many are very fine teachers, many are brand new
teachers who gain training and experience at VVC. When these teachers gain professional
expertise after several semesters, many leave to find jobs at campuses closer to their homes,
usually in the greater Los Angeles, Riverside, or San Bernardino areas. We constantly hire, train,
and send forth new teachers, which, while good in itself, does not cultivate consistency or
coherence within our own department. As an aside, because one of our tenured instructors
whose position has not been replaced also taught French, that discipline now has no full-time
faculty member at all.
Writing Center: Because the Writing Center now employs two technologically informed IA's,
we have extended the time period in which students can receive help with word processing and
other computer-based questions. This also allows us to improve the Writing Center's website,
create more handouts for students, and organize our resources more efficiently. However, our
ability to expand our services to the Center’s fullest tutorial and instructional capacity is limited
because we lack a permanent full-time faculty position.
Journalism: Journalism has never been awarded a full-time faculty member. Therefore, our
ability to develop this program in any significant way has been severely limited. As noted above,
hiring appropriate part-time faculty for this discipline can be difficult; as a result, we’ve had to
cancel the lecture and four lab courses that constitute Journalism for Fall, 2013.

What is the full-time to part-time ratio of faculty within the program? (Determine the
ratio of sections taught by full-time faculty to part-time faculty.).
English: For the academic year 2012-2013, the ratio in English 1:6. English has 8.5 tenured
members and 49 adjunct teachers.
Journalism: The ratio is 0-1. Journalism has no full-time faculty member, and usually only one
part-time teacher.

How does this ratio affect, positively or negatively, the program’s ability to fulfill its
mission and goals?
English: As indicated above, we simply do not have enough full-time members to teach a
significant enough number of our classes, to fully represent the English department on campuswide committees, or to help design and implement projects such as developing assessment tools
or writing new curriculum that would help us fulfill our mission and to reach our goals.
Although many of our part-time teachers are very good, their time and expertise are spread
around several campuses, and they cannot be expected to volunteer too much time at any one
college. The current department chair spends many hours assisting brand new teachers, and
while this is very important, it leaves less time to help the department address other issues of
concern.
Journalism: Journalism has never had an opportunity to develop because this discipline has
never had a full time faculty member who understands its needs and who can serve as an
effective advocate. For this reason, the mission and goals of this program and the achievement
thereof remain limited.

What changes in management, faculty, and staff are needed to make this program more
effective and student-centered?
English: One change in management that would help to make the English department and
Writing Center more effective and student-centered would be to divide our division between
two deans so that each of the programs within the current division would have more
assistance and support at this level.
In terms of faculty and staff, the changes we need are additions, as per the following list:




We must hire at least 5.5 new members to fill tenure track positions left open by 5.5
members who have left or retired.
We must hire a full-time reading instructor.
We must hire and assign a full-time faculty member to the Writing Center.
We must hire an office assistant at least half-time to assist with the department’s clerical
work.
Journalism: Journalism should be moved to the Communications/Mass Media department
both in accordance with the state codes and to provide a more appropriate fit for this
discipline.
In terms of faculty and staff, the changes we need follow:
 Move from hiring temporary, part-time teachers to hiring a tenured faculty member to
teach these courses. Perhaps this tenured position could be shared between Journalism
and Communications Studies courses or between Journalism and English.
 Provide staff to oversee students as they do fieldwork and production for the
newspaper.
Curriculum and Instruction

Which educational paths do your course offerings provide in terms of degree, certificate,
transfer, certification, or employment?
English:

Degree: we are awaiting state approval for our new AA-Transfer degree in English.
Students may earn a Liberal Arts degree, emphasizing English.

Certificate/Certification: None offered.

Transfer: We offer all courses required for transfer, including English 101, 102, 104; a
variety of literature courses which meet general education requirements; and core
literature courses acceptable for transfer in the English major or as electives.

Employment: More careers in this field require at least a BA. Some include:
copy-writer, creative writer, editor, library reference worker, professional writer (for
newspapers, magazines, on-line publications, grants, technical work, and the like),
professor, proofreader, teacher.
Journalism:

Degree: None. Students may earn a Liberal Arts degree, of which Journalism is a part.

Certificate/Certification: Cancelled until program is revitalized and certificate can be
rewritten.

Transfer: Our Journalism courses transfer electives for general education.

Employment: More careers in this field require at least a BA. Some include:
copy writer, editor, library reference worker, professional writer (for newspapers,
magazines, on-line publications, grants, technical work, and the like), professor,
proofreader, teacher.

How do these offerings contribute to or affect the overall program’s mission and Victor
Valley College’s mission and vision?
Since English is required for all transfer students, for an AA degree, and for many other
programs, our offerings contribute to the intellectual growth of a majority of VVC’s
students. Our focus on critical thinking, reading, and writing about current and historic
ideas and concerns as reflected in the literary arts prepare students for life-long learning,
enhance multi-cultural awareness and cultural enrichment, and thereby help to prepare
students for success at four-year colleges or universities or in the professional world.
Employers request applicants who are able to think critically and communicate clearly,
skills we emphasize in all English courses. Although Journalism is not required, as a
research and writing based course, much the same can be said for this discipline.

Have course outlines of record been updated within the past three years? And what
changes, if any, were made? If not, when is the next curriculum review scheduled for the
program?
All the course outlines for both English and Journalism have been updated within the past
few years except those we no longer offer regularly (we will review those in Spring
2014). Changes include revising SLOs to meet new requirements; updating
recommended texts, course content, and sample assignments; and adjusting prerequisites
for consistency.

What methods are used for evaluating the program’s offerings?
For both English and Journalism:


Alignment with Cal. State and UC transfer requirements

Alignment with state requirements for AA-Transfer degree

Variety of courses comparable to other two-year colleges

Variety of courses of interest to our student population

Success of courses in the past

Effectiveness of courses in meeting changing needs of students
What are the program’s strengths and weaknesses in the areas of curriculum and
instruction?
English
Strengths:
 8.5 talented and dedicated tenured faculty members
 Variety of elective courses; consistent rotation of these courses
 Commitment to expanding and developing our courses and program
 Commitment to imaginative uses of collaboration and technology
Weaknesses:
 we need to add more talented and dedicated tenured faculty members



we need to further develop consistency and coherency in our expectations for student
success
we need to develop appropriate cut off scores and prerequisites for English 6
we need facilities designed specifically to meet the needs of the English Department and
Writing Center
Additional Note: CurricuNet is problematic to work with, to say the very least. VVC’s process
for inputting and gaining approval for new or revised curriculum needs to be simplified and
clarified, and completed in a more timely fashion.
Writing Center
Strengths:





talented and dedicated part-time tenured faculty facilitator
interested, responsible, and teachable tutors
extensive schedule of free writing workshops for students
drop-in and on-line tutoring services
computers and internet access
Weaknesses:


lack of a full-time talented and dedicated tenured faculty facilitator
lack of enough space to expand and develop services
Journalism
Strengths:


enthusiastic students, eager to learn
extensive update of all curriculum
Weaknesses:



lack of a full-time faculty member to teach and to develop the program
lack of an appropriate classroom/production room
lack of adequate computers, software, and photography equipment

What changes in the areas of curriculum and instruction are needed to make this program
more effective?
Most of the changes we require come in the form of additions and updates.
English:
 Hire at least five more full-time, tenure track teachers.
 Obtain required smart carts and computer updates for classrooms.







Expand course offerings to include improved variety of literature and creative and
professional writing classes.
Facilitate consistent discussion (including adjunct) about rubrics, grading norms, and
expectations for student success.
Update our department handbook.
Offer consistent training and support for adjunct teachers.
Continue work with Basic Skills and Assessment for appropriate placement of students.
Revise our grammar course.
Continue work with the Writing Center to expand and develop tutorial services,
workshops and other support services for the students.
Writing Center:
 Hire a full-time, tenure track teacher to facilitate the Writing Center
 Continue work with the English Department to expand and develop tutorial services,
workshops and other support services for the students.
 Update computers and software.
 Work with the BSI committee to streamline hiring process for basic skills tutors
Journalism:
 Hire a full-time faculty member to teach and guide the discipline
 Designate a classroom/production room for Journalism
 Purchase adequate computers, software, and photography equipment

What instructional strategic methods (such as in technology, distance education, etc) have
been used to improve instruction within the program?
Our faculty members work consistently to update and improve instruction.
English:
 Many faculty members are experimenting with the “Flipped Classroom” model.
 Most faculty members rely on computer assisted instruction in the classroom: internet
access for teaching research strategies, word processing for drafting and editing essays,
visual support materials from the internet, and a projection screen for instructor-created
materials.
 English offers about 24 sections of on-line or hybrid classes and 14 short term (8 or 13
week) sections each semester
 English has initiated an experimental project with the BSI to place tutors in English 6
classrooms.
Writing Center:
 Provides a variety of group workshops
 Provides individualized and on-line tutoring
 Promotes student competence in using computers for writing and research
 Trains tutors with both academic (classroom) and practical (writing center) experience
Journalism:
 Recent updates in curriculum, textbooks, and instructional methodology to conform to
changing practices in the field.
 Experiments with new software and work in a Mac. Lab.
 A move toward a more complete on-line environment.
Program Effectiveness and Student Success

Describe the trends in Retention, Success, Headcount, and FTES for this program for the
past three years (refer to the PREs)?
English Face to Face
Retention: For the past three years, retention in English has risen, with an increase of
2.4% in the Fall, 4% in the Spring, and 3.7% in Summer. This increase in retention rate
is very close to that of the institution, at 2.7% for Fall, and 4.4% for Spring. The English
department is ahead of the institution’s 1.7% increase for Summer.
Success: For Fall, English shows a 0.6% increase in success rates, and in the Summer, a
2% increase; however, for Spring, we show a decrease of 0.1%. This number is not
alarming, but we will watch for a trend in the future. The numbers for Fall and Spring
are slightly lower than those of the institution, but in summer are higher. The variances
are only about 1-2%.
Headcount: The headcount in English appears more stable than that of the institution
overall. Both show a decline in the Fall, but in English it’s only -3.6%, and that of VVC
is -11%. For Spring, English shows an increase of 2%, but VVC shows -10.9%. The two
are close in the summer, with English at a positive 6.7% and the campus at 5.8%.
FTES: Our FTES compare well to those of the institution. English has only a -3.8%
decrease, compared to VVC’s overall -10.3% for Fall. In the Spring, English shows an
increase of 2.7% compared to VVC’s -10.6%. For Summer, English shows a -4.3%
compared to VVC’s -8%.
English Distance Ed.
Retention: Retention rates in English are consistently lower than those of the college in
general. In Fall, English shows a drop of -1.5% to the college’s -0.1%; in Spring, English
shows an increase of 2.9% to VVC’s 3.6%, and for Summer, English shows an increase
of 2.5% to VVC’s 3.8%. We are pleased to see that our distance ed. retention is
increasing at a rate very close to that of the campus overall.
Success: Success rates for both English and the campus in general show a decline,
though in English the decline is steeper. For Fall, English shows a -7.7% to VVC’s 2.6%; for Spring, English shows -0.6% to VVC’s -0.8% and for Summer, English shows
a -0.9% to VVC’s improvement of 1/6%.
Headcount: The headcount in English is consistently higher than that of the campus
overall. For Fall, English shows a 5.1% increase to VVC’s 0.2%; for Spring, English has
a 9.8% increase in contrast to VVC’s decrease of -0.3%; and for Summer, English shows
an increase of 48.4%, and VVC shows a 33.2% increase.
FTES: English is even less than the campus in this category. In the Fall, English shows a
decrease of -10.2% and VVC an increase of .3%; in Spring, English shows a -4.2% to
VVC’s -1.3%; however, in the Summer, English comes out ahead with an increase of
47.3% to the college’s 34.8%.
Journalism: Face to Face Only
Retention: Retention in Journalism has decline by -10.6% in the Fall and by -2.5% in the
Spring between 2010 and 2012. We can attribute these figures, at least in part, to the fact
that our long-term part-time instructor left, and her immediate successor in the Fall of
2011 did not work out: students became discouraged and dropped the class. In Spring
2012-Fall 2012, we hired another part-time instructor, who worked out very well.
However, he began to change the nature of how Journalism had been taught in both the
lecture and lab courses, focusing more on instruction, rubrics, grades and professionalism
than what the students had grown used to over the years. A few students dropped when
they realized that the bar had been raised, but -2.5% is a big improvement over -10.6%.
Success: The success rate in Journalism declined by -27.3% in the fall and by -24% in
the Spring between 2010 and 2012. We can attribute this to the same factors as described
above. For one semester, the instructor was ineffective. Then, as we began delivering the
course in a more academic and professional manner, students were not always willing or
able to step up to this more appropriate delivery. Positive change occurs slowly; both
retention and success rates will improve as the courses become more stable.
Headcount: The headcount in Journalism declined by -27.3% in the fall and by -17.6% in
the Spring between 2010 and 2012. We can attribute this to the same factors as described
above, with the same expectations for improvement.
FTES: The headcount in Journalism declined by -30% in the fall and by -37.3 % in the
Spring between 2010 and 2012. We can attribute this to the same factors as described
above, with the same expectations for improvement.

After reviewing the program’s PREs, student success indicators, and assessments, what
changes (major or minor) were made in the program?
English/Writing Center:
The PREs indicate that our Summer sessions are successful. Therefore, it would be wise
to add additional sections of English 101, 102, 104 and 50 during the summer session.
This also indicates that we should experiment with more short term sections of these
courses during the Fall and Spring semesters.
As indicated in the Assessment Dialogue, after reviewing our SLO assessments,
instructors began collaborating with each other regarding creative and effective
assignments, methods of engaging students, and expectations for student success in a
more intentional manner. We are becoming increasingly student centered, and are
learning new ways to engage the electronic generation. We are working toward providing
more support services to basic skills students by working with the BSI committee, and
toward more effective assessment by working toward a common English 50 assessment
tool.
Journalism:
We intend to move Journalism into the Communications/Mass Media department. This
will provide a more appropriate context for changing and developing the program.

What are the program’s strengths or weaknesses in the area of student success?
English: Both student success and retention rates are consistently higher in face-to-face
classes than they are in on-line classes. Therefore, we must work toward improving both
in on-line classes. Overall, the success rates in English are marginally lower than those
of the campus generally. These numbers are not surprising. Students are often encouraged
to take English courses first, in preparation for success in other courses. However,
frequently, they enter college underprepared in reading and writing, most of them
assessing into English 50.
Journalism: The success rates in Journalism have decline recently. We can attribute this,
at least in part, to recent changes in the program. For one semester, the instructor was
ineffective. Then, as we began delivering the course in a more academic and professional
manner, focusing more on instruction, rubrics, grades and professionalism than what the
students had grown used to over the years, students were not always willing or able to
step up to this more appropriate delivery. Positive change occurs slowly; both retention
and success rates will improve as the courses become more stable.

What changes in the area of student success are needed to make the program more
effective?
English: The student success rate is consistently about 20% lower than the retention rate
in face-to-face classes, and between 25-30% lower in distance ed. classes. Obviously,
we’d like to close this margin. Changes needed: First, students must take more
responsibility for their educations; they must come to college prepared to study, to pay
attention in class, to do their homework, and to get help from appropriate support services
when needed. Secondly, VVC must hire more teachers and counselors; VVC, with
English, must improve assessment and initial placement; and VVC must ensure that the
bookstore provides required texts in a timely manner. Finally, instructors must continue
to change and adapt practices to best help each new group of entering students.
Journalism: VVC must make a commitment to hiring a tenured faculty member to teach
Journalism courses and to oversee the development of this program. We must house this
discipline within the Communications Studies department.

What has the program done to establish and maintain links with support services (such as
counseling, DSPS, EOPS, Early Alert, library support, and tutoring services) for
students?
English/Writing Center: We have established and maintain our Writing Center. Each
semester student tutors visit our classes to describe the Writing Center’s services and to
pass out flyers. Sometimes we take classes on “field trips” to the Center for an
orientation. We send our students regularly, and often require a verification form from the
Center to track students’ visits and progress. All our English 101 classes are required to
complete the Library Project, designed by the librarians to meet the Informational
Services requirement for graduation, often providing presentations tailored to a specified
topic. The librarians generously and frequently provide orientations for other classes
whose instructors request this service. They are also very attentive to our requests for
books or other media to support our courses. Most English instructors respond readily to
support DSPS and EOPS students, filling out forms and talking to counselors when
appropriate.
Journalism: Faculty members cooperate with representatives from these services as
appropriate. Student writers often report on these services, which helps to spread the
news of their availability.

How do the program’s goals integrate with educational master planning? Based on this
and previous discussions, identify resources necessary to fulfill this integration.
Please see above discussion for a description of how our goals integrate with the EMP.
We need the following resources to fulfill this integration:

5.5 tenure track faculty positions for English

1 tenure track faculty position for the Writing Center

1 tenure track reading specialist

1 tenure track position for Journalism/English or Journalism/Communications

.5 IA position

Long term, renewable contract with Turnitin.com

Two smart carts

4 more computer classrooms, this time with pods, not rows

Classrooms and offices designed for English courses and teachers

Updated computers for the Writing Center, classrooms, and offices

Four Elmos (121-133 and 125 and 66B 5 and 6)

Window coverings for 8 classrooms

$12,000 to initiate an English 50 exit exam

$12,000 to support tutors in English 6 classrooms

$17,600 to pay 40 adjunct faculty to attend two 2-hour meetings for norming and
assessment each semester
Click here to enter text.

Have courses been assessed and recorded in TracDat?
English: All courses which have been offered (and not cancelled) since our last Program
Review have been assessed and recorded in TracDat.
Journalism: These courses have not yet been assessed.
If no unique (authentic) PLO assessment(s) were implemented in the 2012 year, describe
the assessments that are planned, or may have been implemented in the spring 2013
semester.
At this point, the English department does not have a degree or certificate program and therefore
does not need to assess PLOs right now. However, we await state approval for our AA-T degree,
and have prepared for assessment. We plan to use specified assignments within a capstone
course, English 104, to assess our PLOs. Right now, we plan to use an essay assignment
common to all sections of 104 to assess our PLOs when our degree is approved.
The Journalism certificate has been withdrawn until the program can be revitalized. PLOs will
be written and assessed if and when the certificate is re-established.
How has the result of SLO mapping to PLOs and unique (authentic) PLO assessment led to
changes within the program to increase student success?
NA
How has the result unique (authentic) PLO assessment led to identification of resources
needed within the program?
NA
Discuss how the program engages in discussion of SLO and PLO data for program
improvement. Is there a dedicated meeting and discussion time identified for the discussion
(such as in department meetings, etc.)?
Our department has a history of dedicating a meeting to address such issues. More recently, we
have dedicated at least two meetings per semester, one including the adjunct faculty, to discuss
SLO’s, assessments and improvements. We will continue to do so, and we will include
assessment and discussion of PLO’s when the time comes.
Facilities, Technical Infrastructure, and Resources

How do the size, type, and/or quality of the program’s current physical space affect the
program’s ability to fulfill its mission and service its current offerings?
English:
As noted above, we lack enough classrooms with the proper equipment to fully serve our
students. We need two more designated classrooms, for a total of 10, and at least eight of
these should be computer classrooms with rolling chairs and smart carts for instructor
use. The computer desks should be arranged in pods, not in rows, so we can readily move
between computer work, lecture, and group discussions.
At the very minimum, we need smart carts for our classrooms in 66B, rooms 5 and 6.
The old equipment in these rooms has not worked properly in at least four years (see last
Praise Report). We also need desks more suitable for writing than the very old computer
tables (which lack computers) now in place. Technology, both in the classrooms and in
our offices, must be updated.
We need blinds or curtains on all our classroom windows to eliminate the glare both on
computer screens and on projections. Since more and more of our instruction combines
text-based sources with computer and media based sources, the lack of this equipment is
detrimental to our student service.
Two of our designated classrooms are located on lower campus. Since our instruction is
closely tied to both the Library and the Writing Center, this location is inappropriate. All
our classrooms should be located near the Library and Writing Center, ideally in the same
building.
In both the Lower Portables 66B 5 and 6 and in 30-11 and 13 the heating/cooling systems
are noisy. This makes it difficult to hear each other, thus disrupting conversation and/or
lecture. In building 30, the walls are so thin (no insulation) that more often than not we
have noise interference from the classes next door. There is so much interference that we
joke about the students getting two classes for the price of one: surely this is not good
practice.
Since we are English teachers, we do still work from texts. This means we need
bookshelves in our offices, and plenty of them. It also means that we need lecterns or
podiums in all of our classrooms.
Writing Center:
The Writing Center could easily expand if we had more space. We could increase the
number of students we serve by adding more workshops, tutors, lab courses, and
computers.
Journalism:
The Journalism program is one of the least well-served on campus. One major problem
is the lack of a dedicated Mac. Lab for both the lecture and lab components of this
course. Journalism students lack the appropriate equipment, storage space and equipment
for their work and work materials.

How do the amount, type, and/or quality of information technology available to the
program affect the program’s ability to fulfill its mission and service its current offerings?
English/Writing Center: The Library provides excellent support and resources for
information technology necessary for our courses. However, with more computer
classrooms, we could increase student access to these resources in an instructional
setting. Turnitin.com is integral to instruction on using sources, so we must keep our
contract updated.
Journalism: The above is also true for Journalism. However, this program is in need of
additional resources unique to its mission.

How do the amount, type, and/or quality of other resources available to the program
affect its ability to fulfill its mission and service its current offerings?
English/Writing Center: We depend upon tutorial services to provide support services for
our students. We also depend on Assessment and Counseling to place students in the
appropriate courses. Assessment/Placement determines which students enter which of
our composition courses their first semester of college. If students are placed
inappropriately, it impacts our ability to serve them well, and they do not succeed.
Counselors assist students in planning their schedules. In the past, English department
members have met with counselors to discuss the levels of work we expect in each of our
courses. Perhaps it would be helpful for us to meet again soon. An increasing number of
students seem unaware of the workload and time commitment required to successfully
pass our courses. The counselors are our best source of advice to students about planning
for the semester, and more communication between our departments would likely prove
as helpful as it has been in the past.
Journalism: No comment at present.

Have there been significant changes in the program’s facilities, technical infrastructure,
or other resources since the last review?
English:
The classrooms in the Liberal Arts Building (30) and in the Lower Portables (66B 5-6)
continue to disintegrate. The heating/cooling systems do not work well, and are very
noisy, often to the point of disrupting class. The walls in Bld. 30 lack enough insulation
to keep noise levels manageable. Floors, walls and ceilings appear dirty and worn.
The technology in 66B5 and 6 is deplorable. The computer carts and equipment are
dated and so difficult to navigate that most teachers assigned to those classrooms give up
within the first week of class. It would be a step up to return to overhead projectors; at
least they work. The equipment in both Liberal Arts and the ATC 125 and 133 needs
updating.
Writing Center: The Writing Center’s computers are aging. They will need to be
replaced within two-three years.
Journalism: Journalism classes are held in 21-133, an English classroom. The computers
and printers need updating and replacing, but, more importantly, Journalism needs a
dedicated classroom and a Mac Lab of its own.

What are the program’s projected needs in facilities, technology, or other resources, and
how are these needs related to the goals of the program?
Please see above discussions for a description of how these needs are related to the goals
of the Program. English/Writing Center needs the following resources:
Facilities:

A facility designed to house the English department, including offices and
classrooms designed specifically for English classes, and the Writing Center.

Classrooms dedicated to English 6 and 50, with space for tutoring and after-class
study sessions.

Study rooms for tutor-led group study session and group tutorials

Multi-media rooms for students to develop research projects.

4 more computer classrooms, this time with pods, not rows
Technology:

Two smart carts (66B 5 and 6)

Updated computers for the Writing Center, classrooms, and offices

Four Elmos (121-133 and 125 and 66B 5 and 6)
Other Resources:
5.5 tenure track faculty positions for English
1 tenure track faculty position for the Writing Center
1 tenure track reading specialist
1 tenure track position for Journalism/English or Journalism/Communications
1 full-time IA position for the Writing Center
.5 clerical assistance
Window coverings for 8 classrooms
$12,000 to initiate an English 50 exit exam
$12,000 to support tutors in English 6 classrooms
$17,600 to pay 40 adjunct faculty to attend two 2-hour meetings for norming and
assessment each semester
Journalism:
Dedicated classroom
Dedicated Mac.Lab. with 25 computers and Adobe In Design software
.5 tenured faculty position
Optional: Service, Community Outreach, and Economic Development
Note: Include this section only if this area is a part of the program’s mission or goals. Faculty
and staff in the program may or may not be tasked with community service, which can include
outreach, consulting or technical assistance, service-based instruction, or economic development.

How is the program’s academic and professional expertise extended to the public in the
surrounding communities?
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
How are faculty, student, or staff skills linked to challenges, issues, or concerns within
the community the program serves?
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
In what types of service, community outreach, or economic development activities does
the program engage?
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
How are vocational advisory committees’ recommendations used by the program?
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
What are the program’s strengths or weaknesses in the area of service, community
outreach, and economic development?
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
What changes in service, community outreach, and economic development are needed to
make the program more effective?
C. Section 3: Needs Assessment

How has the augmentation the program received last year, or the lack of augmentation,
effected the program?
We received no program augmentation; therefore it is difficult to reach even our modest goals.
We do not have enough faculty or resources, or appropriate facilities, equipment or technology to
best serve our students. We cannot move forward with assessment projects such as a common
essay assessment for English 50, or even project computer images or films without glare. We do
not have enough faculty members to represent our department and students on campus-wide
committees or other projects.

Write a brief 2-3 page summary of the needs assessment of the program. The needs
assessment should include (1) current status, (2) needed augmentations, and (3)
justifications (assessment and PRE data) for the following subsections as needed:
o Human Resources
o Instructional/Service
o Research
o Technical, Equipment and Other Resource
o Facilities
o Marketing and Outreach
o Other
.
English/Writing Center Summary
Human Resources: Our full-time faculty has dropped from 15 members to 11 in 2008-9,
to 8.5 members presently. We offer 128-132 sections each semester, so we could easily
employ 26 full-time members. Our headcount and enrollment have increased, even
though VVC’s overall enrollment has decreased in Fall and Spring, as per the following:
Fall 2010-Fall 2012:
Headcount: English 5.1% VVC 0.2%
Enrollment: English 5.7% VVC -1.8%
Spring 2011-2013
Headcount: English 9.8% VVC -0.3%
Enrollment: English 9.9% VVC-1.5%
Summer 2011-2013
Headcount: English 44.8% VVC 33.2%
Enrollment: English 48.4% VVC 37.4%
If we increase our percentage of tenured members to meet our increasing enrollment,
instruction, assessments, and expectations for student success would be more consistent;
our department would have adequate representation on campus committees, and our
campus as a whole would be well-served with faculty members committed to this
institution.

We need: 5.5 tenure track faculty positions for English

1 tenure track faculty position for the Writing Center

1 tenure track reading specialist

1 full-time IA position for the Writing Center

.5 clerical assistance
Journalism:

1 tenure track position for Journalism/English or Journalism/Communications
Instructional/Service
English:
We employ between 48 and 52 adjunct faculty members per semester. To enhance our
overall effectiveness, we want these teachers more fully integrated into the department,
compensating them for their time and expertise. As per our assessment discussions (see
attached), we need to make sure we are all on the same page regarding grading, assessing,
and creating assignments appropriate for each of our courses.
Necessary activities include:

Participation in norming/assessing an English 50 exit exam: $12,000

Participation in workshops for norming overall grading practices,
creating/renewing classroom assignments and practices, and discussion and
decision-making based on SLO/PLO assessment/evaluation processes.
$17,600
In addition, we want to extend tutorial support for basic skills instructors and students
within the classroom: $12,000 to support tutors in English 6 classrooms (in addition to
$12,000 from the BSI grant).
Finally, to keep up with computer-savy students, we need a long-term, renewable contract
with Turnitin.com.
Journalism: No discussion at present.
Research: No discussion at present.
Techincal, Equipment and Other Resources
English:
The classrooms in the Liberal Arts Building (30) and in the Lower Portables (66B 5-6)
continue to disintegrate. The heating/cooling systems do not work well, and are very
noisy, often to the point of disrupting class. The walls in Bld. 30 lack enough insulation
to keep noise levels manageable. Floors, walls and ceilings appear dirty and worn.
The technology in 66B5 and 6 is deplorable. The computer carts and equipment are
dated and so difficult to navigate that most teachers assigned to those classrooms give up
within the first week of class. It would be a step up to return to overhead projectors; at
least they work. The equipment in both Liberal Arts and the ATC 125 and 133 needs
updating.
Writing Center: The Writing Center’s computers are aging. They will need to be
replaced within two-three years.
Needed :





Two smart carts
4 more computer classrooms, this time with pods, not rows
Updated computers for the Writing Center, classrooms, and offices
Four Elmos (121-133 and 125 and 66B 5 and 6)
Window coverings for 8 classrooms
As we seek to serve more and more students, we must keep our facilities and equipment
up to date and designed to meet the needs of contemporary learning styles.
Journalism: Journalism classes are held in 21-133, an English classroom. The
computers and printers need updating and replacing, but, more importantly, Journalism
needs a dedicated classroom and a Mac Lab. of its own.
Needed:


designate a classroom/production room for Journalism
purchase adequate computers, software, and photography equipment
2012-2013 Assessment Dialog
Victor Valley College
Instructional Program Review/SLOAC
This document will serve to guide discussion of SLO and PLO assessments within programs
during the 2012-2013 year. These discussions should be included in the program’s 2013 Annual
Update or comprehensive PRAISE documents (depending on the program review track). Fill in
the sections below to discuss SLO and PLO assessments completed by the program during the
spring, summer and fall 2012 semesters as well as any 2013 assessments you’d like to include.
Access TracDat, department meeting minutes, electronic conversations, etc. to complete this
form.
Course-Level Student Learning Outcomes
Identify the courses that were assessed on the course level (SLO) within the 2012 year
(spring through fall).
All of our courses have been assessed except English 112, 128, 233, which were cancelled, and English
225, 231, 234, 245, and 246, which will be assessed within the next year as they are offered according to
our rotation cycle.
Discuss the types of assessment tools that were utilized in the assessments for the various
courses (i.e. quizzes, projects, portfolios, assignments). How do these types of assessment
tools provide meaningful data/feedback to the instructors?
We use the Library Workbook to assess SLO #1 for English 101. The scores show whether or not
students have learned how to locate sources in the library or on-line and find specific information within
the sources. The librarians have recently developed an on-line version which we have implemented Fall,
2013. This tool is very helpful in showing us the extent to which students have mastered skills necessary
to find appropriate resources for researched projects. We use a Researched Project to assess whether or
not students have learned how to evaluate, integrate, and document source material to support an
argument in most of our 100 and 200 level courses. The success (or lack thereof) in these projects reflect
students’ critical thinking and writing skills. In our basic writing courses, we use grammar exams and 2-3
page essays to indicate students’ improvement in learning and applying grammatical and rhetorical
principles. Our literature students write analytical essays and create various kinds of researched projects
which reflect their understanding of both content and critical methodology.
We noted that some assessment tools were loosely structured Reader’s Responses or regular quizzes.
While worthwhile for practice, these assignments may not be appropriate tools because students do not
take them seriously enough. We need to make sure that we use substantial, structured assignments (with
lots of points!) as assessment tools for more accurate data. Reader’s Responses or quizzes meeting these
criteria would be workable.
Discuss the results of the data collected from course level SLOs for courses assessed. In
which courses did the data indicate areas for improvement for the SLOs assessed? In which
courses did the data indicate that students have been successful in the SLOs assessed?
Data indicates various levels of success and need for improvement in all our courses. Examples of each
are discussed below.
To improve success rates for English 101’s SLO #1 using the Library Workbook as a tool, we must make
sure that students see the value of this exercise by previewing material before the library presentation, by
assigning appropriate points to the project (40-80, for example), and by integrating this project with a
major researched essay for the course. We must make sure students have enough time and assistance to
complete the project.
To improve success with SLO #3 in English 102, we must provide students with ample practice in
synthesis before they begin researched projects. To gain more accurate date with SLOs 1 and 2 in English
102, we must be sure to use assessment tools perceived as significant by students (exams or essays
heavily weighted for a grade) instead of quizzes or reader’s responses that seem to students to be less
important (although they are not insignificant in terms of contributing to overall grades or success in the
class).
To address SLO #1 in English 246, the students wrote two reviews of films based on period novel.
Student work demonstrated success in understanding concepts and applying principles addressed in this
SLO, especially in the second essay, indicating that the second round of instruction and practice was time
well spent.
A successful strategy to address SLO #1 in English 235 is to provide weekly quizzes which are structured
similarly but vary the contexts and increase the complexity of application questions. Students responded
well to the pattern, and improved their analytical skills and understanding of literary language through
repetition and practice.
In English 50, one strategy to help students improve with SLO #1 is to indicate student errors on a rubric
instead of the student’s essay, and then to ask the student to find and correct errors on the essay.
We agree that many student weaknesses, especially in English 6 and 50, result from their inexperience
with reading –anything. A solution would to be more intentional in our presentation of the reading
element built into English 6 and 50.
To improve success with English 6 SLO’s 1-3, we recommend that English 6 students receive instruction
and practice in writing complete essays from the beginning of the semester, not only during the last half
of the semester. We affirm the need to address study skills and college success with English 6 students
and that additional support services are necessary, both from counseling and in academics.
Give examples of courses in which the instructor(s) made a change for improvement based
on the results of an assessment. What type of change was made? How and when will the
change be implemented?
In English 102, we worked to improve student success with SLO 3. The assessment tool is a researched
project. One successful strategy is to review professional literary articles with students to help them
understand the language used and the theoretical background from which the language and ideas spring.
Students had more success finding, understanding and integrating appropriate source material after such
in-class practice and discussion. This has been implemented by one instructor with success (Spring 2012),
and has been shared with other department members for their consideration. In English 109, a stronger
emphasis on small group workshops during review of drafts and an oral presentation of their work has led
to stronger student writing and improved success with all three SLOs in this course (Spring 2012).
Give examples of courses in which loops of assessment have already been closed. Did the
outcome of the change implemented in the classroom improve student learning?
In English 50, one instructor used two quizzes (punctuation and grammar) as the method of assessing
SLO #1. In SP 2012 and SP 2103, the number of English 50 students on-line who passed both of the
quizzes was very low. In fact, the percentage of students who earned a passing grade on the second quiz
(grammar) ranged from 5% to 33%. Although both quizzes focused on fundamental grammar and
mechanics that students should have learned in elementary school and high school, the results of those
quizzes indicated that students were ill-prepared to conform to basic grammar conventions required for
the most basic of academic writing tasks. Consequently, this instructor instituted a new practice in her SU
2013 on-line English 50 class. In addition to weekly reading assignments (essays, short stories, and so
forth), she required students to read lecture notes, watch PowerPoint presentations, and use self-tests
focused on grammar and punctuation errors. Subsequently, the percentage of students who passed the
grammar quiz increased to 74.86%. As a result, the instructor will continue to use the strategies described
above and to include further similar assignments to ensure that students acquire the knowledge and skills
they failed to learn in elementary-high school so that they are equipped with skills necessary to
communicate effectively in academic and professional environments.
Describe how assessment results of courses assessed led to identification of
new/continuing/increased allocation of resources for the course.
Much of the discussion above relates to our need to provide students with more instruction and practice in
conducting, synthesizing, and documenting research in English 101, 102, and 200 level courses. Since most of our
research is computer-based, assessment results support our request for at least two more classrooms with student
computers, inter-net access, and updated smart-carts for all classrooms. Such equipment will also provide support
materials for face to face and hybrid English 50. English 6 as well as English 50 students should be introduced to
basic computer resources to better prepare them for higher level courses.
Enter any information that the above questions do not address.
Program-Level Program Learning Outcomes
List the PLOs for the program:
1. Read Critically: analyze texts (such as non-fiction, fiction, drama, and poetry) within the conventions
of genre, language, and rhetorical devices; read college-level texts for main points and supporting
material; understand rhetorical strategies used in college-level texts.
2. Think Critically: analyze a variety of sources for purpose, content and style; evaluate source material
for reliability; select and synthesize source material to support an argument.
3. Write Effectively: produce a variety of college level writing projects which demonstrate an
understanding of purpose, audience, coherence, clarity and style; assemble and synthesize diverse ideas
from textual sources to create a unified essay, project, or oral presentation; assess, revise and edit writing
projects to meet the conventions of academic discourse.
Describe how the SLOs for courses offered within the program align with the PLOs
identified. Is this alignment evident through mapping of the SLOs to the PLOs?
All of our SLOs clearly align with the PLOs since all are clearly integrated aspects of the reading,
thinking, and writing processes. Please see attached map.
Describe the unique (authentic) PLO assessment(s) that the program implemented in the
2012 year. What type of tool was used and how will the results provide the program with
meaningful information about student success?
We will implement PLO assessments when the AA Transfer Degree-English has been accepted by the
state. It is in progress now.
If no unique (authentic) PLO assessment(s) were implemented in the 2012 year, describe
the assessments that are planned, or may have been implemented in the spring 2013
semester.
We plan to use specified assignments within a capstone course, English 104, to assess our PLOs. Right
now, we plan to use an essay assignment common to all sections of 104 to assess our PLOs when the time
comes.
How has the result of SLO mapping to PLOs and unique (authentic) PLO assessment led to
changes within the program to increase student success?
NA
How has the result unique (authentic) PLO assessment led to identification of resources
needed within the program?
NA
Discuss how the program engages in discussion of SLO and PLO data for program
improvement. Is there a dedicated meeting and discussion time identified for the discussion
(such as in department meetings, etc.)?
Our department has a history of dedicating a meeting to address such issues; we will do so when the time
comes.
Praise Report
Writing Center
Submitted by Patricia Wagner
September 30, 2013
The Writing Center begins each semester with outreach to students and instructors across the
campus. Tutors schedule appointments to present the Writing Center’s services as well as
practical information such as what to bring and how to sign in. Though the Spring 13 numbers
were lower than usual, we usually average presentations in 50 classrooms. At 25 students per
classroom, we reach at least 1250 students per semester.
Fall 2012
Spring 2013
Outreach: Classroom Presentations
Classrooms Visited
Approx. # Students
51
1275
38
950
The tutors and staff in the Writing Center help hundreds of students each semester who come in
for multiple visits for extended periods of time. The use of the Writing Center by VVC students
during Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 was noteworthy for two reasons: The fall semester was one of
our busiest and the spring one of our slowest. The slow Spring 2013 semester is the one most
problematic, but in light of the numbers across campus, they seem consistent as our overall
enrollment was down.
Fall 2012
Reason Code
Online
Research
Tutoring
English 10
English 50
Totals
Visits
4124
1797
2409
332
1034
9696
Reason Code
Online
Research
Tutoring
English 10
English 50
Totals
Visits
3295
1485
2046
324
881
8031
Hours
3343
1870
2643
416
788
9055
Unduplicated Count
1020
607
844
29
191
2691
Hours
2561
1491
2169
345
698
7264
Unduplicated Count
1020
606
777
30
215
2648
Spring 2013
In addition to face-to-face tutoring, the Writing Center has an active online tutoring service.
Students send their essays and questions to the online tutor via the VVC website. Once there,
students fill out a form with their student and class information before submitting their work.
Based on this form and from our IT department, the Writing Center online tutoring form is the
2nd busiest form on the VVC website:
Fall 2012
Spring 2013
Online Tutoring Sessions
269 sessions
327 sessions
Note: These online tutoring sessions are not tabulated in any other data; these numbers are only
accessible through the online form and are therefore additional to the above semester numbers.
In addition to face-to-face and online tutoring, the Writing Center offers a supplemental lab and
workshops on various writing techniques. The lab in writing, English 10, is a one-unit lab that is
open to all students with writing intensive classes.1 This means that students from across the
curriculum sign up for the lab so that they may get consistent tutoring and time in the Writing
Center. This in turn means that the tutors are serving the whole campus community, not just
English students. In fact, there are instructors from history, guidance, psychology, child
development, sociology, art history, theater, and so on who require that their students come to the
Writing Center for individual tutoring—whether they are registered for the lab or not—and for
the workshops.
We have a total of 25 workshops that are rotated over 13 weeks. The workshops are informal and
give both theoretical and practical applications. Writing workshops start week three and take
place in the Writing Center, 21-177. There are two workshops on Mondays, Tuesdays,
Wednesdays, & Thursdays, 4:00-5:00 pm and 6:00-7:00 pm, and one workshop on Fridays,
12:00-1:00 pm.
The workshops were initiated in the Fall 2010 semester and continue to the present day. At first
the workshops were small with spotty attendance. As of Fall 2012, the workshops were so well
attended that they were too large. At our peak, we had as many as 17 students attending
workshops designed for 6-8. Though our overall numbers were lower, the Spring 2013 semester
was much the same; we had as many as 21 students attending workshops. These numbers
showed that though enrollment on the campus was down, the demand for the workshops
remained consistent and in some cases, even better than Fall 2012.
Fall 2012
Spring 2013
Writing Center Workshops
Workshops offered
112
114
Total Participants
676 participants
458 participants
Each workshop covers a little theory, goes over examples, and in most workshops, practices the
theory and examples covered.
1
See Visits, Hours, and Count for English 10 in the charts above.
Topic
APA: Introduction
Concepts Covered
Page Layout, Intro to Parenthetical Documentation
APA: References
Introduction, Page Layout, Elements, Entries
Comma Usage I
Comma Splices, Run-ons, Corrective Measures, Style Choices
Comma Usage II
Introductory, Parenthetical, Lists, Style Choices
Conclusions
Purpose, Styles, Qualities
In-Class Essays
Planning, Timing, Organization Choices, Proofing
Introductions I
Purpose, Structure, Qualities
Introductions II
Types: Definition, Quotation, Anecdote, Background, etc.
Language Considerations
Audience, Abstract/Concrete, Specialized Language
MLA: Intro
Page Layout, Intro to Parenthetical Documentation
MLA: Paraphrasing
Methods, Documentation, Plagiarism
MLA: Quoting
Methods, Tags, Documentation
MLA: Works Cited
Introduction, Page Layout, Elements, Entries
Organization
Outlines, Types of Organization
Paragraphing I
Paragraphing II
Parallelism
1st, 2nd, 3rd Person
Prewriting
Reading Skills
Sentence Combining
Taking Notes
Types of Sentences/Paragraphs, Subordination
Types: Narration, Description, Illustration, Definition, etc.
Definition, Words, Phrases, Sentences
Definition, Functions, Types
Writing Process, Brainstorming, Clustering, Free Writing
Annotating Texts, Main Ideas, Support, Study Skills
Sentence Types, Wordiness, Concise Language, Methods
Listening Skills, Body Language, Methods
Thesis Statements
Transitions
Vivid Language
Definition, Qualities, Placement
Phrases, Sentences, Pronouns, Placement
Active Verbs, Concrete Nouns, Extended Support
Contact: Bryce Campbell ([email protected]) Ext. 2786
11/28 update (2)
AA-T: English
18-20
Units
Required Core (Option 1)
English 102 OR H102 Composition and Literature
English 104 OR H104 Critical Thinking and Composition
6 Units
3
3
List A: Choose any two courses
English 230: Survey of American Literature 1600-1865
English 231: Survey of American Literature 1865-Present
English 245: Survey of English Literature
English 246: Survey of British Literature Romantic Period to 20th Century
English 240: World Literature 1
English 241: World Literature 2
6 Units
3
3
3
3
3
3
List B: Choose one course (or any in List A not already chosen)
English 109 Creative Writing
English/TA 116 Authors of the Theater
English 162 Native American Literature
English 220 Modern Fiction
English 225 Poetry
English 232 Chicano/a Latino/a Literature
English 233 African American Literature
English 235 Children's Literature
English 247 Shakespeare
3 units
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
List C: Choose one course (or any in Lists A or B not already chosen)
English 210 Fiction Writing
English 211 Poetry Writing
Journalism 108 Fundamentals of Journalism
TA 101 Introduction to Theatre
TA 104 Oral Interpretation of Literature
BADM 144: Business Communications
ASL 122 American Sign Language 1
ASL 123 American Sign Language II
ASL 124 American Sign Language III
ASL 125 American Sign Language IV
Fren 101 Elementary French
Fren 102 Elementary French
Fren 103 Intermediate French
Fren 104 Intermediate French
3-5 Units
3
3
4
3
3
3
4
4
4
4
5
5
3
3
Span 101 Elementary Spanish
Span 101A Fundamentals of Spanish 101A
Span 101B Fundamentals of Spanish 101B
Span 102 Elementary Spanish
Span 103 Intermediate Spanish
Span 104 Intermediate Spanish
Note: Students interested in completing a B.A. in English at a CSU are
strongly encouraged to complete a two-semester survey sequence in
American literature (230/231), English/British literature (245/246) or
World literature (240/241).
5
3
3
5
3
3
English Department
Informal Discussion Regarding English 6
Monday, March 25 4:00-5:00
Minutes
Present: Amy Azul, Jacob Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Louise Moore, Karen Tomlin, Pat
Wagner
Email Responses: Prince Ferguson, Audrey Holod, Julian Quarles, Cheryl Elsmore,
Tim Adell, Jayna Lascaibar
Karen invited Amy to present some ideas about support for basic skills students who are
at our English 6 level since she has had ample experience as an instructor and as a Basic
Skills coordinator.
Amy’s Points:
 The most cost effective ways to help English basic skills students would be to put
more tutors in the Writing Center AND add a lab component
 requiring a minimum of three hours of tutoring per semester increases success
rate
 TC’s (?)-tutors in the classroom and a follow-up hour per week for group
tutoring-best to meet before or after class; can discuss with teacher what to cover,
or develop a plan with the students; one group per class; usually 5-10 students
attend; “scaffolding”-plan courses integrating the tutors.
 Chaffey College requires five hours of lab per semester for English 6 level
students; they cover sentence structure; tutoring is available; DLA-directed
learning activity in lab ends with 15 minutes with a tutor; voluntary workshops
are available.
Nancy’s Points:
 Moreno Valley mandates 18 hours in the writing center per semester for students
at this level; they must summarize the college’s book of the year and participate
in DLA workshops.
 SBV has DLA’s but are not required; students who participate have a 10% higher
success rate—even with just one hour in the lab.
Louise’s Points:
 Copper Mountain has a 1 unit lab attached to the English 6 level class; a teacher is
in charge of it; students are required to pass both the lab (P/NP) and the class for
credit
Pat’s Points:
 Pat would like input from VVC English teachers regarding DLS’s; tutors would
use them with students
 Our department has explored imbedding a lab into English 6 to make it a 5 unit
course, but teachers do not want to spend three hours a week in the lab. We need
an alternative.

Another option is to write a lab component separate from the course. Teachers
English 6 as usual; students take the lab -1 unit-, which may be taught by
someone else. The lab could focus on grammar instruction and practice to
supplement what is covered in the course-or we could rely on the lab for this
instruction and focus more on using in terms of editing in the classroom-if we
have a regular curriculum for it.
Karen and Pat:
 Immediate Opportunities-the BSI grant could cover funds to hire tutors for the
classroom as a pilot project for the rest of the semester.
 BSI funds could also cover tutor led workshops for these classes; we would need a
room to meet
Follow-Up Plan:
 Karen will take all the above ideas to the English department more formally.
 Two adjunct faculty members present volunteered to pilot a tutor – in – theclassroom experiment after spring break if we get the ok.
Amy’s Correction:
Hi, Karen. This is great. The only comment I have is that the 10% success rate in students
completing a DLA came from Mt. SAC and not RCC. I'm not sure what RCC's success data suggests
with the completion of their DLAs. Please let me know if there is anything else that you need or have
questions about.
Best,
Amy Azul, M.A.
Instructor of English and E.S.L.
Victor Valley College
18422 Bear Valley Road
Victorville, CA 92395
Comments in Email:
Hi Karen, in response to the question about English 6 retention, I think having the lab as part of the
course is a good idea. In fact, this coming week my students are required to spend a least an hour a
week in the Writing Center doing their homework, and preparing their paragraphs and essays there. On
selected paragraphs and on all essays they must see a tutor. I was told by those at the writing center
that my class will be a test case. In addition, I think the English 6 students must be given a statement
from the department specifying the proper behavior (attendance and books) for the course and why
those are essentials for their success in the course. I still have students coming to class without their
homework or they can't respond in class because they do not have the textbook and have not troubles
themselves to go to the library and use the books on reserve for them. Best of luck!
Prince
HI Karen,
My experience with English 6 students after teaching the course for three semesters in a row, is
not necessarily that they are unable to understand the material, but many have a tendency to be
lazy and not take responsibility for their education. I had a difficult time getting students to show
up on a steady basis (of course this may be different for classes not offered on Saturdays like the
courses I teach), and when they turned in their work, they often made simple errors because they
repeatedly would not bother to proofread their work. I am even referring to difficulties with basic
requirements like having their writing assignments typed with the name at the upper left hand
corner. Of course this does not apply to ALL English 6 students, but these problems occurred
enough to make a notable impression of the problems instructors might be dealing with. It may
be helpful to have aids in the classroom, but I seriously doubt that students would dedicate time
and effort to outside lab hours, even if required.
I hope this information might be a helpful contribution to the conversation.
Audrey Holod
______________________________________________________________________________
_______
Karen! Hello. What does cummings say? ". . .it's spring. . ." Well, almost. I trust you're well. Now:
Received your email on the March 25 meeting re: buttressing for English 6 populations. Though I cannot
attend that meeting, I want to second the notion, at this point, of a required lab component. Nice idea.
With 'basic skills initiative funds' available, the lab could function as an adjunct (4 hours per semester?) to
whatever syllabus requirements instructors have in place currently. Students would attend, at their own
time arrangement, 4 modules, one hour per each, this sequence: functional grammar, paragraphing,
essay, MLA). Perhaps worth exploring.
Anyhow, my warm regards to you and yours. You are the best.
Julian
I am in Lancaster on that day, but I have
used Supplemental Instruction and found it helpful. A
tutor would come into my classroom and model what a good
student should do. Then she or he would have tutoring
sessions based on my handouts for any students who wanted
to go. Some did. Cheryl Elsmore
I would agree with tutors in classes. Saddleback has what they call an "embedded" librarian who
sits in on some of their classes and is ferrying students through the research process along with
the teacher. Perhaps a tutor could work in the same way, sitting in on classes where the important
concepts are running, looking for ways to help student progress. Unfortunately, I won't be able to
attend Monday. At 4:00 we'll probably be deep into the day's second to last session in New York.
Tim Adell
I am in favor of the required lab. I am teaching at RCC as well, and they have a lab requirement for all
English courses. I have noticed that my English 50 students at RCC benefit from this requirement. It
forces them to dig down and do the things that we really want them to do, like grammar and formatting.
~Jayna Rae
Original Letter sent March 19, 2013:
Good Afternoon!
Our department has been discussing ways to improve the retention and success rates of our
English 6 students. With some basic skills initiative funds available, it may become possible to
experiment with the following:
 Hiring, training, and placing peer tutors in the English 6 classrooms (if the instructor is
interested)
 Adding a required lab of some kind as a co-requisite for this course. It could focus on
tutorial support, or provide extra practice with grammar, or support instruction in the
writing process generally, for example.
We would like to hear about your ideas and experiences with these projects; how successful you
find them; how they are structured and implemented on other campuses; potential pitfalls; or
other points you may have.
I’m inviting as many of you who are available and interested to meet with me on Monday,
March 25 from 4:00-5:00 pm. Please let me know if you plan to come; that way, I’ll know
what size of meeting space we’ll need. I realize this is short notice, but we must make a start.
I realize that many of you teach during this time. Please send me your thoughts via the email, or
stop by when you can. I’d like to gather information to present at future department meetings.
Thank you,
Karen
Karen Tomlin,
Instructor | English
Victor Valley College
18422 Bear Valley Road
Victorville, CA 92395
Office:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (760) 245-4271 ext 2311
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