El Paso Community College Project Dream Office of Student Success

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El Paso Community College
Project Dream
Office of Student Success
Photo By: Fernie Garcia
Focus Group Sessions 2008
Facilitated by
Institutional and Community Planning
Institutional and Community Planning
Focus Group Report-2008
Table of Contents
Methodology/Background
Focus Group Methodology……...………………………………………………….3
Background Summer Bridge (Project Dream)……………………………….4
Summer 2008 Student Demographics…………………………………………5
Consolidated Session Notes and Common Themes
Common Themes ………………………………………………………………….…8
Campus Session Notes
Valle Verde Session I Notes………………………………………………………12
Valle Verde Session II Notes ………………………………….…………………16
Mission del Paso Session III Notes……………………….……………………19
Mission del Paso Session IV Notes ……………………….………………...…23
Transmountain Session V Notes …………………………………………….…27
Rio Grande Session VI Notes ………………………………………………...…31
Support Materials
Project Dream Focus Groups Schedule………………………………………35
Introductory Statement…………………………………………………………..36
Summer Bridge (Project Dream) Questions…………………………..……37
Overall Coordination
Coordination ……………………………………………………………………..…38
Office of the Vice President of Research and Development
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Institutional and Community Planning
Focus Group Methodology
The Office of Institutional and Community Planning at El Paso Community College (EPCC)
facilitated six focus groups in July 2008, to assist in the evaluation efforts of the Summer Bridge
Program (Project Dream). Project Dream is a student intervention program coordinated by the
EPCC Office of Student Success. Five focus groups were held on July 7, 2008, and one focus
discussion group was held on July 9, 2008, at Transmountain Campus.
The intent of the focus group sessions was to determine student perceptions of the EPCC
Summer Bridge program, characteristics that students perceived to be positive attributes, and any
program challenges students may have incurred. This initial qualitative evaluation effort will
assist Summer Bridge/Project Dream staff and the Office of Student Success in future program
evaluation efforts, and allow the Summer Bridge program to adapt as student needs may
necessitate.
In addition, positively perceived program factors can be built upon. Future quantitative research,
to include additional survey research, will be developed to measure student perceptions of the
program over time. The Summer Bridge program will seek long-term measures and continued
tracking of student success so that positive program attributes and components can be continued
with students over time.
Office of the Vice President of Research and Development
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Institutional and Community Planning
Background
Summer Bridge Program (Project Dream)
Program Summary
The Summer Bridge Program (Project Dream) was initiated by the Office of Student Success
during the summer of 2006. In the summer of 2007, the program was expanded to two sessions,
to offer a larger number of students the opportunity to participate. During the summer of 2008,
Project Dream held summer sessions for the third consecutive summer, with 118 participants
enrolled. Summer 2008 also resulted in an increase in participating high schools from 15 in
2007 to 18 in 2008. Enrollment in the program increased from 83 students in 2007 to 118 in
2008, a 10% increase.
The students recruited for program participation were from 6 public school districts in El Paso
County, Texas. The pool of potential students targeted for program recruitment were those who
were tested on the ACCUPLACER student college placement exam, and who did not achieve the
required “cut-off” score to enroll in regular college coursework at El Paso Community College
(EPCC). In effect, these students would be placed into developmental education courses upon
enrolling at either EPCC or the University of Texas at El Paso. For the first time in 2008, adult
students over age 20 who were first-time enrollees in college were also recruited.
The initial program was funded as a pilot project at EPCC by Achieving the Dream, a project of
The Lumina Foundation. Achieving the Dream nationwide involves thirty-five institutions of
higher education. Subsequent financial support was received from the Texas Higher Education
Coordinating (THECB) Board in the summer of 2007 to assist EPCC in hosting a second session
of the Summer Bridge Program (Project Dream). In 2008, THECB funded 75 percent of Project
Dream costs with EPCC funding 25% of costs via institutional support.
Among the goals of Project Dream was the expressed desire to help students place out of
developmental courses or improve their placement scores by offering a series of workshops to
help them academically and on a personal enrichment level by familiarizing them with college
resources.
Office of the Vice President of Research and Development
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Institutional and Community Planning
Summer 2008
Student Demographics
Students Enrolled:



133 students enrolled at the beginning of the program
At the census date, five days after the program began, 118 students
113 students graduated
Participating High Schools:

18 high schools: Americas, Andres, Bel Air, Burges, Chapin, Del Valle,
Eastwood, El Dorado, El Paso, Hanks, Horizon, Jefferson, Montwood,
Paso del Norte Academy, San Elizario, Bowie, Telles Academy and Tornillo
Participating School Districts:
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
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Ysleta ISD
Socorro ISD
El Paso ISD
Tornillo ISD
Horizon ISD
San Elizario ISD
Recruitment of Adult Students into Program (age 20 and above):

Eligible if first-time in College
Funding source:


75% from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
25% from EPCC institutional funds
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Institutional and Community Planning
Program Goals:

Project Dream is a summer bridging program that aims to improve the college
readiness of at-risk students. College readiness includes learning about
college expectations, learning about the services and programs available, and
developing basic skills. The project is funded by the Texas Higher Education
Coordinating Board (THECB), as an Intensive Summer Program (ISP) as well
as by El Paso Community College (EPCC). The THECB goal for offering
this grant is “to provide academically at-risk students opportunities to gain
skills associated with college persistence and success in first college-level
courses. ISP’s will accelerate college readiness and dramatically reduce the
amount of time needed to prepare for and complete college-level courses.”
Eligibility Criteria:
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


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Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Test (ACT) score that is
equal to or less than the national mean SAT national mean is 502 in Critical
Reading, 515 in Mathematics and 494 in Writing ACT national mean is 20.7
in English, 2.0 Mathematics, 21.5 in Reading, and 21.0 in Science
Have been awarded a Pell Grant
20 years of age or older at the time of enrollment in College (this may be in
August)
Enrolled or planning to enroll in college on a part-time basis or less than 12
college credits
Having placed into developmental course(s) in Reading, Writing or
Mathematics based upon the College placement test (ACCUPLACER)
Other at-risk factors that may lead to College exit
Program Beginning and End Dates:

June 9th to July 9th for four hours daily
Faculty Recruitment:

Reading, Math and Writing Instructors credentialed by EPCC
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Institutional and Community Planning
Student Stipends:
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$150 during the Program to assist students with expenses
$200 in scholarships to assist students in applying for the Fall semester
Mentor recruitment:
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
Recruited from last Summer Bridge Program completers
Word-of- mouth recruitment of qualified EPCC students
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Institutional and Community Planning
Consolidated Session Notes and Common Themes
Summer Bridge (Project Dream)
Student Focus Groups
Reviewing and synthesizing statements made by the participants in 6 student focus groups, a
number of common issues/themes emerged that were consistent for a majority of the students.
Some of the more prevalent perceptions and issues raised by the students included:
1. How did you find out about this program?
• EPCC orientation
• A high school counselor
• Through a friend
2. What made you decide to participate in EPCC’s Summer Project Dream Program?
• To score higher on the ACCUPLACER
• To avoid taking remedial courses
• To save money and time
3. What did you think about the Summer Project Dream Program?
• It was very helpful
• It was a good program
• Learned a lot
4. What did you like best about it?
• Meeting new people
• The stipend of $150 at the beginning and end of the program
• Got to learn a lot
• The Math Instruction
• Felt more comfortable with college and likely to enroll
5. Do you think the program was helpful, if so how?
• Yes, the program was very helpful
• Yes, because of the good mentors
• Yes, because I got familiar with the campus
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Institutional and Community Planning
6. Do you feel more prepared for college now then at the beginning of the program? Why or
why not?
• Yes, I felt more prepared and confident
• Yes, because the courses helped a lot
• Got an overview of what college is all about
7. Were you taught something you didn’t learn while in high school? If so, what?
• Yes, the Math was a lot easier to learn here at EPCC
• The material was more detailed and understandable
• Started a “bucket list” to look at life goals
8. Do you feel you were learning at the college level?
• Yes
• Learned more than expected
• Learned to think outside of the box
9. Do you feel the program will help you to become more successful as a student at the
college level?
• Yes
• I feel more confident
• I feel ready to go to college
10. Is the method of delivery of coursework adequate?
• Overall, yes
• Yes, but the Math instructor needed to be more organized and to explain the material
better and with detail
• Disliked that the Math instructor was replaced during the session
11. What about the types of courses? Was there anything that you would add or delete in the
courses?
• The time of day (afternoon) was difficult and not best for learning during a hot
summer
• Would like the program to last longer
• Would like more time to cover material deeply in the Math portion
• More focus toward individual needs
• Breaks for food/to recharge and improve concentration should be scheduled regularly
• Math was scheduled during the late afternoon; this was perceived as a time not
optimal-students would prefer to have Math in the morning
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Institutional and Community Planning
12. Did you feel that having a mentor helped you during the program? Why or why not?
• Yes, because the mentors were very helpful especially with tutoring
• Yes, because the mentors were supportive
• Yes, because the mentors found different ways to help us learn
13. How would you improve mentoring By students For Students?
• Need more mentors
• Recommends at least two permanent mentors for each class
• Need more involvement
14. What challenges or obstacles have you encountered this summer?
• Transportation, to include bus schedules via public transportation-schedule classes
when buses are readily available
• Jobs/Working
• Gas Prices
15. How do you think the program overall could be improved?
• The program should be longer – more weeks
• Classes should start in the morning rather than in the late afternoon
• More precise on timing and scheduling of classes and different subjects
16. Are you more likely to enroll in college now that you’ve been here at the Summer Project
Dream Program? Why or why not?
• Yes
• I feel ready to enroll in the college
• Material given in the program will be helpful when attending college
17. Did you know what the ACCUPLACER exam was before you took it?
• Had no idea the ACCUPLACER was a college placement exam prior to taking the
exam
• No, because I was not aware of it
• Didn’t know what it was used for
• Did not have any idea of what the test was really about
18. How did you find out about the exam?
• By my high school counselor
• By an orientation
• It was mandatory to take it during senior year
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19. What preparation did you have for the exam?
• I did not have any preparation
• Studied briefly right before taking the exam
• Took tutoring
20. Are you more confident going into your ACCUPLACER exam after participating in
Project Dream? Why or why not?
• Yes, because the program has helped a lot
• Yes, because I know what kind of questions to expect on the exam
• Yes, because I feel more prepared and confident
21. Is there anything else you would like to share with us about the program or El Paso
Community College?
• Didn’t like THEA exam because it was too long
• Schedule the classes in the morning
• More information about programs at EPCC would be helpful
• Didn’t understand use of THEA exam
Office of the Vice President of Research and Development
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Institutional and Community Planning
Valle Verde Campus
Summer Bridge (Project Dream)
Student Focus Group
July 7, 2008, 2:00 p.m.
Total of 20 students participated
10 females/10 males
1. How did you find out about this program?
•
•
•
•
•
From the freshman orientation from the college
Whenever you take the ACCUPLACER, exam you are obligated to attend the
orientation
The program was recommended to us
The counselors will call you if you need to take remedial courses
High schools are not aware of the program
2. What made you decide to participate in EPCC’s Summer Project Dream Program?
•
•
•
•
•
•
The money
To readjust to school
To place higher in the ACCUPLACER
To advance and get into a higher level
To have less classes
To have less money spent on remedial courses
3. What did you think about the Summer Project Dream Program?
•
•
Helped me a lot
It was good that the mentors were tutoring with us on one to one basis and when
we would need extra help we would alternate into going to the lab to get tutoring
through PLATO
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Institutional and Community Planning
4. What did you like best about it?
•
•
•
•
Learned a lot
I feel more confident
Meet new people
The money
5. Do you think the program was helpful?
•
Yes, it was very helpful
6. Do you feel more prepared for college now then at the beginning of the program? Why
or why not?
•
•
•
Yes, because the courses helped me
I feel more prepared
I can handle it now
7. Were you taught something you didn’t learn while in high school? If so, what?
•
•
Math was more easier here than at my high school
The instructors expected a lot from us without even explaining the assignments
given
8. Do you feel the program will help you to become more successful as a student at the
college level?
•
•
Yes, because of all the resources provided here at the College
The faculty were always available to assist
9. Is the method of delivery of coursework adequate?
•
Yes, but the Math instructor needed to be more organized and to explain the
material better and with detail
10. What about the types of courses? Was there anything that you would add or delete in the
courses?
•
No comment
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Institutional and Community Planning
11. Did you feel that having a mentor helped you during the program? Why or why not?
•
•
•
•
I thought they did not need any improvement
The mentor was very helpful - they would get us separated into 2 groups
We were able to relate to them
They were awesome
12. How would you improve mentoring By students For Students?
•
•
•
Need more mentors
Recommends to have 2 mentors per class
Worked on one to one basis with us
13. What challenges or obstacles have you encountered this summer?
•
•
•
Transportation
Working
Gas
14. How do you think the program overall could be improved?
•
•
•
Gave it a grade A program
The campus is nice
I think it was really good
15. Did you know what the ACCUPLACER exam was before you took it?
•
No, our high schools just told us we had to take an exam
16. How did you find out about the exam?
•
•
As juniors in high school, we have an option to take the exam
During our senior year, it is mandatory to take the exam
17. What preparation did you have for the exam?
•
•
No preparation (mostly everyone’s answer)
Tutoring was available through PLATO
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Institutional and Community Planning
18. Are you more confident going into your ACCUPLACER exam after participating in
Project Dream? Why or why not?
•
•
•
•
Yes, there was more improvement now after re-taking the exam
I improved by three levels
Learned a lot through PLATO
We are all prepared now for college
19. Is there anything else you would like to share with us about the program of El Paso
Community College?
•
•
The Police Department are over-zealous because I received parking tickets
Need to expand the visitors parking area because it is too small
20. Are you more likely to enroll in college now that you’ve been here at the Summer Project
Dream Program? Why or why not?
•
Yes, I am ready to enroll in college (everyone’s answer)
Office of the Vice President of Research and Development
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Institutional and Community Planning
Valle Verde Campus
Summer Bridge (Project Dream)
Student Focus Group
July 7, 2008, 1:00 p.m.
Total of 16 students participated
9 females/7 males
1. How did you find out about this program?
•
•
•
I received a phone call by an EPCC Counselor
By a freshman orientation from the College
Through a friend
2. What made you decide to participate in EPCC’s Summer Project Dream Program?
•
•
To get better grades on the ACCUPLACER so I won’t have to take the remedial
courses
To improve ACCUPLACER
3. What did you think about the Summer Project Dream Program?
•
•
A refresher
A good program
4. What did you like best about it?
•
The stipend of $150.00 in the beginning and at the end of the program
5. Do you think the program was helpful?
•
•
Yes (everyone’s answer)
It was very helpful
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Institutional and Community Planning
6. Do you feel more prepared for college now then at the beginning of the program? Why or
why not?
•
•
Yes, because the courses helped me
Now I know the campus well
7. Were you taught something you didn’t learn while in high school? If so, what?
•
•
•
It was a different style of teaching, for example, in high school I did not understand
grammar, but in this program the instructor was very explicit
Teacher was very detail
The teaching method was a lot better in this program
8. Do you feel the program will help you to become more successful as a student at the college
level?
•
•
Yes, because I feel more confident
We are ready to take courses and to enroll in college
9. Is the method of delivery of coursework adequate?
•
•
Yes, the Math instructor would play games to teach the methods
The reading instructor was really detailed and they also taught us by using visual
aids
10. What about the types of courses? Was there anything that you would add or delete in the
courses?
•
•
To add more classes
Too many exams, have less exams and more studying
11. Did you feel that having a mentor helped you during the program? Why or why not?
•
•
Yes, the mentor was very helpful
They were very nice
12. How would you improve mentoring By students For Students?
•
•
Nothing needed to be improved because the mentors were very helpful
The mentors worked with us throughout the day
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Institutional and Community Planning
13. What challenges or obstacles have you encountered this summer?
•
•
Jobs
Having a tight schedule
14. How do you think the program overall could be improved?
•
No improvement – we had plenty of help from our teachers, counselors and our
mentors
15. Did you know what the ACCUPLACER exam was before you took it?
•
•
•
•
I didn’t and I did
I had a preparation class
They just took me to a room and gave me the exam
We were not aware of the exam in our high schools
16. How did you find out about the exam?
•
•
•
I just took the exam without being notified
I was told about the exam a week before
I took it along with the SAT exam
17. What preparation did you have for the exam?
•
•
No preparation at all
I took a preparation class in my high school
18. Are you more confident going into your ACCUPLACER exam after participating in Project
Dream? Why or why not?
•
Yes, because I feel more prepared and confident
19. Is there anything else you would like to share with us about the program of El Paso
Community College?
•
No comment
20. Are you more likely to enroll in college now that you’ve been here at the Summer Project
Dream Program? Why or why not?
•
We are ready to enroll in college (everyone’s answer)
Office of the Vice President of Research and Development
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Institutional and Community Planning
Mission del Paso Campus
Summer Bridge (Project Dream)
Student Focus Group
July 7, 2008, 12:00 noon
A total of 10 students participated
7 females/3males
1. How did you find out about this program?
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
2.
A counselor at high school
New student orientation at EPCC
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Peer to peer
Word-of-mouth
A relative (sister) that works at the College
PA system at high school
EPCC flyer at the College
An EPCC counselor called me
What made you decide to participate in EPCC’s Summer Project Dream Program?
•
•
•
•
Wanted to show up my skills to improve myself
To get a better score in the placement test
To learn more Math
To benefit from the program
3. What did you think about the Summer Project Dream Program?
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Interesting
Helped a lot
I learned to socially interact
To form a community
Covered the subjects I expected
I looked forward to coming
Good start
Got to meet new people
Learned how things at the college level tie together
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Institutional and Community Planning
4. What did you like best about it?
•
•
•
•
•
Met different people
Social awareness
Learned how to learn
Time Management workshops
Learned how to schedule my time to study
5. Do you think the program was helpful, if so how?
•
•
•
Good mentor
Good instructor
Learning about the Career Center was great
6. Do you feel more prepared for college now then at the beginning of the program? Why
or why not?
•
•
Yes. The program helped me to realize that high school is totally different from
college. I will have to study in a different way and be more independent as far as
doing my homework and my studying.
The Summer Bridge Program gave me an idea of what I have to do in college.
7. Were you taught something you didn’t learn while in high school? If so, what?
•
•
•
•
Yes. I did obtain more Math skills. It will definitely help me in the Math portion.
The writing process - the logical way of writing
How Math ties together
I learned the use of Algebra
8. Do you feel you were learning at the college level?
•
•
Yes. Learned to think out of the box
Learned more than what I expected
9. Do you feel the program will help you to become more successful as a student at the
college level?
•
•
•
•
•
Yes
Learned more Math step by step
Talked about our own experiences with others
Practiced more on Math
Group work (Group interaction)
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Institutional and Community Planning
10. Is the method of delivery of coursework adequate?
•
Yes. We learned how to work in teams.
11. What about the types of courses? Was there anything that you would add or delete in the
courses?
•
•
•
•
•
•
I would like for some of the steps especially in Math to break it down further.
We would like to have more time to cover more deeply the Math portion.
We would like the program to be longer to have more time to study and cover
more Math material.
Time to go over feedback.
The subject matter on the Reading, Math and Writing was good and appropriate.
We would like the classes to be earlier in the day.
12. Did you feel that having a mentor helped you during the program? Why or why not?
•
•
•
Very helpful. Just break it down further
Found different ways to learn
A lot of personal experiences that will help me as a student
13. How would you improve mentoring By students For Students?
•
Have more than 1 mentor, if the class is too large, so the mentor can spend more
time with each student if needed.
14. What challenges or obstacles have you encountered this summer?
•
•
•
Gasoline is too expensive
Transportation to get here is a huge challenge
The 150 dollars incentive is excellent and it really will help me as a student
15. How do you think the program overall could be improved?
•
•
•
The way of teaching
The program should be longer than 4 weeks
Classes should be earlier in the day
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Institutional and Community Planning
16. Are you more likely to enroll in college now that you’ve been here at the Summer Project
Dream Program? Why or why not?
•
•
Yes
I wanted to explore more about careers and the program pretty much gave me an
idea of what programs the college offers
17. Did you know what the ACCUPLACER exam was before you took it?
•
•
•
•
•
•
Yes, in high school
I knew about the exam, but I did not know why I had to take the exam.
I did not have an idea of what was really on the test.
Instructor or personnel in high schools don’t know anything about the
ACCUPLACER.
I knew about it but did not know what it meant to my career.
Did not know what to study for the test.
18. How did you find out about the exam?
•
•
By having to take the test
Through experience
19. What preparation did you have for the exam?
•
•
•
•
Studied all week before the test.
Studied at home.
I called some friends for help to get ready for test.
I did gather my own resources.
20. Are you more confident going into your ACCUPLACER exam after participating in
Project Dream? Why or why not?
•
•
•
•
Yes. I really liked the program because I got helpful information.
Score higher in the Writing portion, thanks to the program and the help I received.
I finished the exam faster.
I knew what kind of questions to expect on the test.
21. Is there anything else you would like to share with us about the program or El Paso
Community College?
•
•
What is THEA?
I did not like the THEA Exam. It is too long.
Office of the Vice President of Research and Development
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Institutional and Community Planning
Mission del Paso Campus
Summer Bridge (Project Dream)
Student Focus Group
July 7, 2008, 1:00 p.m.
Total of 15 students participated
6 females/9 males
1. How did you find out about this program?
•
•
•
High School Counselor
By a friend
New student orientation at ASC
2. What made you decide to participate in EPCC’s Summer Project Dream Program?
•
•
Good warm up for the ACCUPLACER
Wanted to get started
3. What did you think about the Summer Project Dream Program?
•
Re-take the ACCUPLACER and able to score higher Grant dollars
4. What did you like best about it?
•
Met other people from other schools, like Tornillo, Horizon, Burges, Fabens & Cd.
Juarez
5. Do you think the program was helpful?
•
•
•
•
•
Yes, it was helpful
Math was a priority
Reading & LA –similar to High School
Counselors are available – not having to wait to see them
Able to become acquainted with the campus
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Institutional and Community Planning
6. Do you feel more prepared for college now then at the beginning of the program? Why or
why not?
•
•
•
Feels more comfortable and confident
Knows what to expect
It helps with the comfort level in attending college
7. Were you taught something you didn’t learn while in high school? If so, what?
•
To start a Bucket List- never give up on dreams
8. Do you feel you were learning at the college level?
•
•
Somewhat a mix
English was a review
9. Do you feel the program will help you to become more successful as a student at the college
level?
•
•
Math was too short a class period
Instruction did seem to be at a college level
10. Is the method of delivery of coursework adequate?
•
•
•
Yes, it was both High School and College level coursework
Math teacher was difficult to understand
Disliked that the Math instructor was replaced during the session
11. What about the types of courses? Was there anything that you would add or delete in the
courses?
•
•
•
PLATO software was not helpful, it was too independent
Prefers one on one tutoring or group interaction
Mentors were helpful
12. Did you feel that having a mentor helped you during the program? Why or why not?
•
•
•
Yes, the mentors were very helpful
They did help –got assistance from them
They knew what to expect before the course begun
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Institutional and Community Planning
13. How would you improve mentoring By student For Students?
•
Reserved for future educators and mentors must be willing to help others with
patience
14. What challenges or obstacles have you encountered this summer?
•
•
•
•
THEA
The ACCUPLACER was helpful
We made a great improvement
4 males got the same score
15. How do you think the program overall could be improved?
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Longer breaks between hours
Prefers to have three hours of class instead of four hours
Would study better if we would go in the morning for 3 hours
Recommends group projects
Recommends a field trip
At the end of the program, I suggest to have a picnic or a cookout
Bring together all the campus programs
16. Did you know what the ACCUPLACER exam was before you took it?
•
•
From High School Counselors
To get ready for College
17. How did you find out about the exam?
•
High School counselor
18. What preparation did you have for the exam?
•
No preparation for first Admission Exam
19. Are you more confident going into your ACCUPLACER exam after participating in Project
Dream? Why or why not?
•
Yes, because we have taken the program
Office of the Vice President of Research and Development
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Institutional and Community Planning
20. Is there anything else you would like to share with us about the program of El Paso
Community College?
•
•
•
•
•
More information about programs
More financial aid
More cafeteria choices
More room to sit down
More common areas for students
21. Are you more likely to enroll in college now that you’ve been here at the Summer Project
Dream Program? Why or why not?
•
•
•
Having the opportunity to enroll means we will come to EPCC
I will enroll in Automotive
I am going to study Law
Office of the Vice President of Research and Development
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Institutional and Community Planning
Transmountain Campus
Summer Bridge (Project Dream)
Student Focus Group
July 9, 2008, 1:00 p.m.
A total of 9 students participated
7 females/2 males
1. How did you find out about this program?
•
•
•
An orientation at Transmountain
At Andres High School
From our counselor
2. What made you decide to participate in EPCC’s Summer Project Dream Program?
•
•
•
•
Trying to get out of remedial
To save money and time
To get the experience
To do something in the Summer
3. What did you think about the Summer Project Dream Program?
•
•
•
It was very helpful
We understand the Math better
Basically we all understand everything in general
4. Do you think the program was helpful, if so how?
•
Yes, very helpful (everybody agreed)
5. Do you feel more prepared for college now then at the beginning of the program? Why or
why not?
•
•
Yes, we feel prepared now for College
The program treated us like a college student
Office of the Vice President of Research and Development
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Institutional and Community Planning
6. Were you taught something you didn’t learn while in high school? If so, what?
•
•
•
•
The classes were more challenging here at the program
Had to get acquainted with the campus
Learning at a college level
Little review – more understandable than in my high school
7. Do you feel you were learning at the college level?
•
•
•
•
The Math teachers were bad in high school
Learned some good Math tricks and shortcuts
Understands Reading now than before
It was a refresher
8. Do you feel the program will help you to become more successful as a student at the college
level?
•
Definite Yes (everyone agreed)
9. Is the method of delivery of coursework adequate?
•
•
•
It was more understandable
Teachers would stop if we needed more assistance
Suggests to have more time for Math
10. What about the types of courses? Was there anything that you would add or delete in the
courses?
•
•
•
A pretty good line up
It was all good
Since it is the ACCUPLACER – it was basically the class
11. Did you feel that having a mentor helped you during the program? Why or why not?
•
•
•
•
Yes, because they were very professional
Supportive
Not boring, very helpful
I think they need to interact more with the students-to be more talkative
Office of the Vice President of Research and Development
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Institutional and Community Planning
12. What challenges or obstacles have you encountered this summer?
•
•
•
•
•
•
Math was a definite challenge
Transportation
Have to take the bus to get on time for the 3:00 class
Time slot more conducive
Earlier classes would have been better
No problem with having short breaks
13. How do you think the program overall could be improved?
•
•
•
•
•
Create a recreational area
Have shorter class semesters
More sports
A pool
More affordable prices on the snacks
14. Are you more likely to enroll in college now that you’ve been here at the Summer Project
Dream Program? Why or why not?
•
•
•
•
•
More likely to come to College (all agreed)
To have something to do
To get an education
To get a career
To get away from her mom
15. Did you know what the ACCUPLACER exam was before you took it?
•
Yes
16. What preparation did you have for the exam?
•
I had some preparation here at the College
17. Are you more confident going into your ACCUPLACER exam after participating in Project
Dream? Why or why not?
•
Yes, I took the test already and I felt I did a lot better
Office of the Vice President of Research and Development
Page 29
Institutional and Community Planning
18. Is there anything else you would like to share with us about the program or El Paso
Community College?
•
Recommends to lower the air conditioners in the classrooms because it was very
cold and I couldn’t concentrate in class
Office of the Vice President of Research and Development
Page 30
Institutional and Community Planning
Rio Grande Campus
Summer Bridge (Project Dream)
Student Focus Group
July 7, 2008, 2:00 p.m.
An approximation of 23 students participated
1. How did you find out about this program?
•
•
•
•
Carlos in lab (ESL Lab)
Mom told me
EPCC orientation
High School Counselor
2. What made you decide to participate in EPCC’s Summer Project Dream Program?
•
•
•
•
To get into higher level
Improve
Higher grades
Be ready for ACCUPLACER
3. What did you think about the Summer Project Dream Program?
•
•
•
•
•
•
Too short (for all information given)
It’s good
3 days a week for 3 months would be better
Learned a lot
Should include lunch and/or shorter hours
Need breaks
4. What did you like best about it?
•
•
•
•
I got to learn a lot
Teachers are really good
Learned more
Met people who are starting college at same time
Office of the Vice President of Research and Development
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Institutional and Community Planning
5. Do you think the program was helpful, if so how?
•
•
•
•
•
Refresh memory (several people mentioned same thing)
ACCUPLACER preparation was helpful to place into higher classes
Learn more for regular classes
Know more about campus and programs
Presentations on college programs helpful
6. Do you feel more prepared for college now then at the beginning of the program? Why or
why not?
•
•
•
Yes (several people agreed)
Learned more
More open and confident about starting college (was scared before)
7. Were you taught something you didn’t learn while in high school? If so, what?
•
•
Yes (several people agreed)
Never went to high school
8. Do you feel you were learning at the college level?
•
•
No
Not too easy and not too hard
9. Do you feel the program will help you to become more successful as a student at the college
level?
•
•
Yes (several people agreed)
Learned more
10. Is the method of delivery of coursework adequate?
•
Better than ok
11. What about the types of courses? Was there anything that you would add or delete in the
courses?
•
•
•
Yes, good selection
Time (add another month)
More focused to individual needs (based on initial exams)
Office of the Vice President of Research and Development
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Institutional and Community Planning
12. Did you feel that having a mentor helped you during the program? Why or why not?
•
•
•
Yes
Assisted while teacher was busy with someone else
Could not answer some questions (was not informed on everything)
13. How would you improve mentoring By students For Students?
•
•
They could be more involved with the students in the class
Assist with the different levels of learning
14. What challenges or obstacles have you encountered this summer?
•
•
•
More time between classes (to eat)
Get paid faster
The schedule not adequate (time of day)
15. How do you think the program overall could be improved?
•
•
•
•
•
•
More time
Start in the morning at RG (besides PM scheduled class)
More than one session offered at RG
Some snacks
Give checks out at the beginning of the classes (to help with transportation)
More precise on timing and scheduling of classes and different subjects
16. Are you more likely to enroll in college now that you’ve been here at the Summer Project
Dream Program? Why or why not?
•
•
Yes (several people agreed)
Material given will be helpful to go over later
17. Did you know what the ACCUPLACER exam was before you took it?
•
Did not know what it was used for (just guessed at the answers the first time I took
it)
18. How did you find out about the exam?
•
•
•
Orientation
Counselor
PLATO
Office of the Vice President of Research and Development
Page 33
Institutional and Community Planning
19. What preparation did you have for the exam?
•
No preparation the first time
20. Are you more confident going into your ACCUPLACER exam after participating in Project
Dream? Why or why not?
•
•
Feel I can take on anything
Learned more than what I knew at the beginning
21. Is there anything else you would like to share with us about the program of El Paso
Community College?
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Thank you for this program
Incorporate computer classes
We were given the knowledge of college courses without the pressure of college
courses
Time of THEA testing not adequate (need more time)
Scheduling of classes in the morning
Did not like THEA (too long)
Like the dinner they had for us
Office of the Vice President of Research and Development
Page 34
Institutional and Community Planning
Project Dream Focus Groups Schedule
2008
Date
Campus &
Time
Facilitator
Note-taker
Location
(Monday)
Valle Verde Campus
July 7, 2008
Room B170
(Monday)
Valle Verde Campus
July 7, 2008
Room B171
(Monday)
Mission del Paso
July 7, 2008
Room B109
(Monday)
Mission del Paso
July 7, 2008
Room B112
(Wednesday)
Transmountain
July 9, 2008
Room 1809
(Monday)
Rio Grande
July 7, 2008
Room A127
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Charlie Mejia
Sandy Mejia
1:00 – 2:00 pm
Charlie Mejia
Sandy Mejia
12:00 – 1:00 pm
Dr. Jaime Farias
Esperanza Gomez
1:00 – 2:00 pm
Dr. Dolores Gross
James Valdez
1:30 – 2:30 pm
Dr. Dolores Gross
Sandy Mejia
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Elizabeth Steele
Jessie Arellano
Office of the Vice President of Research and Development
Page 35
Institutional and Community Planning
Introductory Statement
Thank you for agreeing to stay for a few minutes after your class to talk about your experiences
during Project Dream at El Paso Community College. The purpose of our visit is to get
information directly from you about what benefits and challenges you’ve experienced while in
the program. This information will be used to help the Office of Student Success work with
students, mentors, and instructors to have more success through the Project Dream Program.
We will be asking you general questions about enrollment in the program, your classes, testing,
and other relevant issues.
Your participation is confidential, and your name will not be used in any way. Your instructor’s
name will also not be used. Your instructor, or mentor will not have access to individual student
comments and results of this session will not be released until the program has been completed.
We are interested in your opinions and ideas and will take notes only to be sure we don’t miss
any valuable information. Please feel free to raise issues and concerns as we talk; this is your
opportunity to share your experiences.
Now let’s talk about when you first enrolled in this program.
Office of the Vice President of Research and Development
Page 36
Institutional and Community Planning
Summer Bridge (Project Dream) Questions
General
1.
2.
3.
4.
How did you find out about this Program?
What made you decide to participate in EPCC‘s Summer Project Dream Program?
What did you think about the Summer Project Dream Program?
What did you like best about it?
Program Content
5. Do you think the program was helpful?
6. Do you feel more prepared for college now then at the beginning of the program? Why or
why not?
7. Were you taught something you didn’t learn while in high school? If so what?
8. Do you feel the program will help you to become more successful as a student at the
college level?
9. Is the method of delivery of coursework adequate?
10. What about the types of courses? Was there anything that you would add or delete in the
courses?
11. Did you feel that having a mentor helped you during the program? Why or why not?
12. How would you improve mentoring By students For students?
Challenges
13. What challenges or obstacles have you encountered this summer?
14. How do you think the program overall could be improved?
15. Did you know what the ACCUPLACER exam was before you took it?
16. How did you find out about the exam?
17. What preparation did you have for the exam?
18. Are you more confident going into your ACCUPLACR exam after participating in
Project Dream? Why or why not?
19. Is there anything else you would like to share with us about the program or El Paso
Community College?
20. Are you more likely to enroll in college now that you’ve been here at the Summer Project
Dream Program? Why or why not?
Office of the Vice President of Research and Development
Page 37
Institutional and Community Planning
Coordination
The Summer Bridge Program (Project Dream) Focus Groups were planned and
facilitated by the office of Institutional and Community Planning at El Paso
Community College. Special thanks to volunteer facilitators and note-takers.
Facilitators
Dr. Jamie Farias
Dr. Dolores Gross
Charlie Mejia
Elizabeth Steele
Note-takers
Jessie Arellano
Esperanza Gomez
Stephanie Manriquez
Sandy Mejia
James Valdez
Office of the Vice President of Research and Development
Page 38
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