UPDATE 3: Initiatives that Impact Students

Dear Colleague:
This is the third in a series of emails about student success work at CSCU and in Connecticut overall, including the implementation of Guided Pathways. [For all colleges other than Gateway: We appreciate your hosting us to talk about Guided Pathways implementation. By mid-December we will have visited all 12 CSCU community colleges.]
Previous emails are available online:
- Update 1: KPIs
- Update 2: Program Consolidation
- News & Updates
     - Areas of Study
     - College and Career Success Course
     - Transfer and Articulation Policy (TAP)
- Individuals from Your Campus
- Get Involved
- In Our Next Issue


News and Updates

This email highlights three academic initiatives that your colleagues from around the system are leading. All three initiatives are aligned with CSCU’s Guided Pathways goals:

  • Helping more students complete courses and, ultimately, complete credentials that lead to jobs with value in the labor market
  • Advancing equity in our colleges and in our state so all students have the education, skills, and resources necessary for economic advancement


Areas of Study

Historically, we have tried to offer students a great number of program options, but we now know that having too many choices overwhelms most students. Instead, Guided Pathways helps students made informed decisions with “meta-majors,” which organize degree programs into a limited number of categories.
In Spring 2018, the Guided Pathways Choice Architecture team proposed grouping programs into six broad categories called Areas of Study. The Choice Architecture team includes faculty, staff, and students from the 12 community colleges.
The six proposed Areas of Study are:
  • Health Careers
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
  • Manufacturing and Applied Technology
  • Business and Hospitality
  • Humanities and Creative Arts
  • Social Sciences and Public Service
These Areas of Study give students a more manageable entry point to their college experience by helping them explore and then focus their educational and career interests early in their academic journey. Because academic programs within each Area of Study can share course requirements and foundational skills, course sequencing can be structured to allow students to complete one or more semesters of exploration before having to choose a specific major. The Areas of Study also help to ensure that students register for the courses they need to complete their degree programs, increasing the likelihood of completion.
You can learn more about “meta-majors” here {link: http://www.ct.edu/gp#resources}. To ask questions or provide feedback about the the proposed Areas of Study, contact your Choice Architecture team representatives {link: http://www.ct.edu/gp#groups} or the team leads, Francine Rosselli-Navarra {link: frosselli-navarra@manchestercc.edu} and Heidi Zenie {link: hzenie@trcc.commnet.edu}.


College and Career Success Course

Successful completion in college requires that students have clear academic goals and understand what they need to do to achieve those goals. Some students start college with clear academic goals, some have a general sense of their interests, and some want to explore their options. Whatever their starting point, most students need help navigating college.
Many colleges have First Year Experience programs that address these and other issues so students get a strong start to their college experience. Faculty and staff from the 12 community colleges are developing a new College and Career Success course that will help students set academic goals; explore career options; and develop essential 21st century skills, such as critical thinking and information literacy. Like many existing student success courses, this new course will help students navigate college, develop study skills, and learn about campus support services. It is different, however, in that it is aligned with General Education outcomes and focuses on career exploration and academic planning. In the course, students will research and evaluate education and career options, and they will develop an individualized semester-by-semester academic plan that they can follow to complete their degree or choose to modify as they make decisions about their future.
For questions or comments about the College and Career Success course, contact Gayle Barrett {gbarrett@mxcc.commnet.edu}, Mike Buccilli {mbuccilli@gatewayct.edu}, Francine Rosselli-Navarra {frosselli-navarra@manchestercc.edu}, and Heidi Zenie {hzenie@trcc.commnet.edu}.


Transfer and Articulation Policy (TAP)

TAP Transfer Tickets, available since fall 2016, are Connecticut Community College degree programs that transfer to Connecticut State Universities and Charter Oak State College with the guarantee that students will not lose credits or be required to take extra credits in their major to complete a bachelor’s degree.
More than 5,200 students are enrolled in a Transfer Ticket Degree Program in one of 26 majors. This fall saw the successful transfer of the first small cohort of Transfer Ticket students to the CSUs.
Also this fall, TAP Manager Ken Klucznik visited most of the CSCU campuses to provide updates and listen to questions, concerns, and challenges. One significant challenge was identified by most schools: Like most of our students, many Transfer Ticket students are not using advising services, even when they are directly invited to meet with an advisor. It is our hope that the implementation of Guided Pathways, Areas of Study, and the College and Career Success course will lead more students to use advising services.
Finally, faculty work groups are developing three more majors — in Biochemistry, Economics, and Geography — to add to the list of Transfer Tickets available for students. For more information, see the TAP Handbook and visit the Transfer Navigator site . Ken Klucznik {kklucznik@manchestercc.edu} also is available to answer questions or discuss concerns.

Individuals from your campus

As noted above, a team of your colleagues has been developing the College and Career Success course. This team has worked since the spring (including work through the summer) on this new type of First Year Experience course. They include:
  • Catherine Babbitt, Gateway
  • Gayle Barrett, Middlesex
  • Marie Basche, Capital
  • Donna Bontatibus, Middlesex
  • Caitlin Boger-Hawkins, Northwestern
  • Vicki Bozzuto, Gateway
  • Mike Buccilli, Gateway
  • Marie Buchta, Norwalk
  • Jodi Calvert, Three Rivers
  • Linda Cocchiola, Capital
  • Jonah Cohen, Gateway
  • Tamika Davis, Tunxis
  • Lisa Dresdner, Naugatuck Valley
  • Dave Ferreira, Northwestern
  • James Gentile, Manchester
  • Samantha Gonzalez, Manchester
  • Jaime Hammond, Naugatuck Valley
  • Forrest Helvie, Norwalk
  • Heath Hightower, Quinebaug Valley
  • Mary Ellen Jukoski, Three Rivers
  • Louis Lombard, Naugatuck Valley
  • Adrienne Maslin, Middlesex
  • Steve McDowell, CSCU
  • Michaela Mullarkey, Asnuntuck
  • Jane O’Grady, Northwestern
  • Julia Petitfrere, Naugatuck Valley
  • Rebecca Rodriguez, Housatonic
  • Francine Rosselli-Navarra, Manchester
  • Jill Rushbrook, Asnuntuck
  • Rebecca Samberg, Housatonic
  • Jason Scappaticci, Manchester
  • Tim St. James, Asnuntuck
  • Kathy Taylor, Naugatuck Valley
  • Joanne White, Manchester
  • Pam Williams, Three Rivers
  • Marguerite Yawin, Tunxis
  • Heidi Zenie, Three Rivers

Getting involved

Given the volume of work in front of us, we are regularly building teams to engage in this effort. In building these teams, we aim to include faculty, staff, and administrators with diverse perspectives and skills. If you are interested in joining one of these teams, contact successcenter@ct.edu.

In our next issue:

In CSCU Student Success Update #4, which we’ll email at the beginning of next semester, we’ll look at our Holistic Student Supports Redesign team as well as our partnership with Achieving the Dream and the upcoming development of twelve Campus Student Success Teams.