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Community college programs in Pasadena and Santa Barbara honored

November 19, 2012 |  6:31 pm

Community colleges in Pasadena and Santa Barbara have been honored for helping new and underprepared students reach their educational goals.

The First Year Pathway program at Pasadena City College and Santa Barbara City College’s Express to Success program were given the 2012 Chancellor’s Student Success Award at the Community College League of California’s annual convention in Los Angeles.

The Pasadena program guarantees placement of participants in hard-to-obtain English and math classes during the fall and spring semester of their first year and provides counseling and other support services. Data show that participants progressed through the math sequence at a faster rate than a comparison group. In 2012, more than 800 students enrolled and the college is seeking to expand the program.

Students in the Santa Barbara program take remedial English and math together with the same teacher and commit to taking at least 12 units each semester. Participants completed accelerated math or English at higher rates than those taking traditional courses, and 90% of students who started in the fall of 2011 continued their studies through the next spring.

California's 112 community colleges, hit in recent times by severe budget cuts and plagued with low student success, have embarked on a number of efforts systemwide to improve student outcomes. 

“It is wonderful to see these innovative student success approaches work,” said Chancellor Brice W. Harris in announcing the awards. “The students have clear educational goals and pathways to reach them, and the data show they are succeeding. I applaud these colleges for the work they have done setting up the programs and for blazing the trail with models that can be used by the entire community college system."


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