Standard II.C. Student Support Services
The institution regularly evaluates the quality of student support services and demonstrates that these services, regardless of location or means of delivery, including distance education and correspondence education, support student learning, and enhance accomplishment of the mission of the institution. (ER 15)
Evidence of Meeting the Standard
Student Support Services are Regularly Evaluated
Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) offers a wide range of support services designed to meet the diverse needs of its student population. The quality and comprehensiveness of student support services are regularly evaluated to ensure that the support services provided to students are adequate, appropriate, support student learning, and enhance the College's ability to accomplish its stated mission. Several, main avenues are used to measure the quality of services including the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE), the College's annual Graduation Survey, and the Student Services and Instructional Support Services Planning for Institutional Effectiveness (PIE) ( II.C.1-1 pg. 4, II.C.1-2, II.C.1-3).
The CCSSE, a nationally normed survey, provides valuable information about students' levels of engagement from both the perspective of classroom instruction as well as campus services. The results are reviewed by administrative teams who have oversight of student support services as well as the Student Preparation and Success Council, the primary governance group that is tasked with reviewing results of the survey. Students' views about the adequacy of support services as well as their satisfaction with the level of engagement in the classroom enable College leaders to assess students' experiences and address students' concerns. Compared to the 2016 CCSSE national cohort, Mt. SAC students reported (often/very often) higher student engagement in working with classmates outside of class to prepare for class assignments (34.3 percent compared to 25.4 percent) ( II.C.1-1 pg. 4).
The College's annual Graduation Survey is a locally developed survey that graduating students take to provide information about their experiences and satisfaction with their education at the College. The format of the survey is structured to align with the College's institutional level outcomes (ILOs), formerly referred to as general education outcomes (GEOs). The Annual Graduate Survey also compiles students' opinions and feedback related to support services. For the 2015 Graduate Survey, several programs had the highest ratings: Counseling/Advising (Counseling Center), 96 percent, Financial Aid, 79 percent, Math Resource Center (MARC), 68 percent, Writing Center, 65 percent. A large majority of students (99 percent out of 655 respondents) marked that they were either very satisfied or satisfied with their experiences at Mt. SAC ( II.C.1-2).
All student services and instruction departments complete annual Planning for Institutional Effectiveness (PIE) reports that detail accomplishments, goals, outcomes, trends, challenges, and future plans. The College's departmental PIEs assist in evaluating and measuring goals and outcomes as well as include plans for further development of services based on students' needs. Information related to students' satisfaction with services provided, data related to service utilization, and internal and external impacts to providing services are included. A comprehensive summary is completed in the Vice President of Student Services Summary PIE report which is reviewed by the Institutional Effectiveness Committee that serves as the major planning and outcomes measurement document for the Student Services Division and departments. Noncredit student support efforts are similarly documented through their Division PIE Summary.
Many student support programs are required to submit annual reports to state and federal government agencies detailing the progress and outcomes for their particular programs. Submission of these reports enables the College to maintain oversight of compliance issues as well as outcomes measures and demonstrate success in meeting grant related objectives. These include:
- Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP) for financial aid,
- Student Success and Support Program (SSSP),
- Student Equity,
- Annual Federal Department of Education Performance Reports for TRiO Upward Bound and SSS ACES and AANAPISI Arise ( IIC.1-4, II.C.1-5, II.C.1-6, II.C.1-7, II.C.1-8, II.C.1-9, II.C.1-10, I.B.1-30, II.C.1-11, II.C.1-12, II.C.1-13, II.C.1-14, II.C.1-15, II.C.1-16 II.C.1-17).
Several student services departments are audited by independent, fiscal auditors who conduct governmental audits representing county, state, and/or federal agencies to ensure compliance with federal, state, and county accounting standards as well as compliance with federal laws and regulations and state Education Code and Title 5 regulations. The College has experienced excellent results of external audits over time, with few, if any, audit findings or recommendations.
Programmatic surveys are conducted regularly by programs and departments to measure students' satisfaction, outcomes, and usage of services as part of the annual PIE process. These surveys include noncredit measures ( II.C.1-20, II.C.1-21, II.C.1-22, II.C.1-23, II.C.1-24, II.C.1-25).
Student Services also conducts surveys related to support services. Students entering/exiting the Student Services Center answer quick survey questions related to the quality and availability of support services. The 2016 survey results indicate that the support service area used by most students is the Library, followed by the Writing Center, Counseling, and Financial Aid. Because the survey was taken in the Student Services Center, which houses Counseling and Financial Aid, the frequency of these services is expected. However, utilization of learning support services is encouraging as students are both familiar with their availability and report high frequency of usage. Overall, support services were rated as outstanding by 44 percent and good by 52 percent (96 percent favorable rating) with less than 1 percent reporting poor or very poor. Students are desirous of more places to study and more student activities and clubs.
Surveys are also used to evaluate specific events such as Seniors Day, New Student Orientations, student success workshops, Cash 4 College, financial literacy workshops, Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English as a Second Language Career Conference surveys, and Accessibility Resource Centers for Students (DSPS) ' Planning for College ( II.C.1-26, II.C.1-27, II.C.1-28). Student focus groups (International, Bridge, Outreach, Older Adults, ABE, and Vocational English as a Second Language) have been conducted to provide critical student input and feedback to assist in both evaluation and planning ( II.C.1-29, II.C.1-30).
Mt. SAC Student Services developed its own comprehensive planning and outcomes model to ensure comprehensive delivery of services to students and access avenues for students to receive necessary support services. The APPPS model stands for: Access + (Participation + Progress + Probation) = Success (APPPS or AP3S). Access covers all activities and supports that enable students to access information about the College as well as to successfully navigate entrance and enrollment in a welcoming, supportive environment. Outreach services include: high school outreach, Mountie Fast Track (information sessions), financial aid Cash4College, community outreach activities, and on-campus in-reach activities. Participation references providing opportunities for students to become engaged at the College and develop relationships as well as leadership skills. Student Life, Bridge, DSPS, Student Health Services, Arise, ACES (Achieving in College, Ensuring Success), and Aspire deliver many services in this area. Progress refers to providing students with the tools and information to successfully enroll and pass classes, having a road map through an educational plan and participating in specialized workshops, counseling and advising sessions, and receiving information both in print and online. Counseling, Financial Aid, and all categorical and grant-funded programs and services have progress components. Persistence refers to the programs and services that Student Services provides to ensure students stay in school and reach their educational goals. They include: follow-up services, interventions coordinated with Basic Skills, Career Technical Education, and Instruction, along with progress monitoring through specialized programs (e.g., Extended Opportunity Programs and Services), Financial Aid, ACES, Arise, Aspire, Bridge). Success incorporates all activities related to assisting students to successfully earn a degree or certificate and/or transfer to a four-year university, and to obtain career employment. Coordinated transfer efforts to enable students to understand requirements and processes as well as university visits, job and career fairs, transfer fairs, and job search workshops including interviewing techniques and resume writing are included in this component. The Student Support for Educational and Employment Development (SSEED) program, supported by Student Equity, provides students with job and career preparation skills. Work preparation conferences enable all student workers, including students in CalWORKs, to gain skills and knowledge about career employment. The APPPS model is also tied to Accreditation Standards, division and departmental goals, student level outcomes (SLOs) and administrative unit objectives (AUOs). The APPPS model and document is reviewed and revised once per year around the beginning of the year.
Services Support Student Learning Regardless of Location or Means of Delivery
The main manner in which the College's Student Support Services Programs (SSSP) support student learning is represented through the development and tracking of SLOs and AUOs. Every department within Student Services and Instruction has established SLOs which are recorded through the College's TracDat system as well as referenced in the annual department Planning for Institutional Effectiveness (PIE) reports. Many Student Services departments also complete AUOs for particular activities that are not directly tied to student learning but serve to measure the outcome and effectiveness of a particular service. These are included in the annual PIE reports as well as through surveys and department reports such as Language Learning Center annual survey, Adult Secondary Education post-program and concurrent student's project. SLOs and AUOs articulate the manner in which various departments and programs support student learning be it through instructional efforts or the provision of services ( II.C.1-3).
Changes are made to program services, business processes, Administrative Procedures and Board Policies based on department and program reports, surveys and assessment of outcomes. For example, in order to increase the number of students completing mandatory student education plans, the Counseling Department amended its procedures to allow students to develop their own education plans and to submit them online for review and approval. Implementing this strategy has not only enabled the College to meet compliance with state regulations, it has increased the College's ability to more directly meet the needs of students by providing them with timely direction related to academic planning.
Student Support Services at Mt. SAC offer many opportunities for students to access services and functions through online applications. From the application for admission using Open CCCApply, to the ability to make online appointments for counseling, orientation and assessment (placement testing), students are able to complete required steps online. Students can also stay informed through the student portal (my.mtsac) by checking on their financial aid status, determining their registration date, and learning of any holds or obligations. Students are able to complete the New Student Orientation online as well as probationary Student Success Workshops. Most importantly, once students have a completed, approved educational plan, they are able to view it online, and use the colleges Mountie Academic Plan (MAP) to do “what if” queries and degree audits to ascertain courses still needed. In addition to online counseling services, students are also able to create their own draft educational plans online and submit them electronically to counseling for review and approval.
Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) invests extensive resources and efforts in student-oriented learning services with complementary on-campus and online options to equally support traditional and distance learning students ( II.B.1-1 pg. 6). On-campus options are distributed campus wide to provide easy access to tutoring, library collections, information competency instruction, computers, software, printing services, and are open day, evening, and week-end hours ( II.B.1-2). Online options to learning services include online tutoring, 24/7 online chat reference services, access to electronic library resources and databases, directed learning activities, and remote scheduling and registration to learning activities. The library and tutoring centers help ensure that students are informed about the learning options and services available to them. Noncredit students also have access to library services and resources. The Adult Basic Education Department has embedded library services as part of its high school coursework. Librarians at Mt. SAC are essential for ensuring that quality services and resources are available to all students regardless of their location, curricular and research needs, and levels of library skills. To support this assumption, the College has recently hired three additional librarians to ensure that student needs are met. In 2012-13, the College hired an online learning librarian to support online library initiatives through distance learning. In 2014-15, a second librarian was hired to support all areas of the library with a focus on student services, reference and instruction, and the use of library technology. A third librarian will join the full-time faculty in 2016-17. This position will provide outreach to students to ensure that they are aware of library resources and services, identify and remove barriers that prevent students from taking advantage of library services, and partner with constituent groups and special programs that serve specific populations to ensure that underserved populations have equal access to library resources, information competency instruction, and individualized research and reference assistance. Funding for adjunct librarians has also been well supported by the College. Over 3,000 adjunct hours were budgeted for 2015-16 to ensure that the library is open day and evening hours during summer and winter intersessions, Saturday and Sunday hours during the primary terms, and that there is adequate adjunct librarian support for 24/7 chat reference follow-up for distance learning students, database management, collection development, and evening information competency workshops. Additional funding through Student Equity funds will be available for 2016-17 to support ongoing Sunday library hours and information competency opportunities for students ( II.B.1-10).
Services are Designed and Evaluated to Support the College Mission
Student Support Services are designed and evaluated to support the College mission. Both credit and noncredit program faculty and support staff assist students in determining their educational and career goals by completing Student Education Plans and Noncredit Student Educational Plans. Additionally, counseling classes, career assessments, career exploration, and transfer assistance enable students to further clarify their goals and the requirements necessary to reach their goals. Student leadership and student engagement are provided through numerous programs and activities, most notably through participation in the Associated Students, student clubs and organizations, and the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Program ( II.C.1-31). Special programs such as Arise, Aspire, Bridge, ACES, and Upward Bound also offer leadership development through various activities, trainings, seminars, and retreats.
The College has implemented several strategies that are based on collaboration between Student Services and Instruction. Learning communities that integrate student support services (counseling, advising, peer mentoring, tutoring, supplemental instruction, and study groups) with instruction in English, reading, and math have been highly successful. The Pathways to Transfer program enables students to more seamlessly enroll in the required sequence of basic skills and general education courses needed for graduation and transfer and enable students to meet their goals in a timely fashion, with high success rates. Persistence and pass rates for students enrolled in the Bridge Program's learning communities (Summer Bridge, English Bridge, Math Bridge) range, on average, between 82 percent to 100 percent. Similarly, Pathways to Transfer program classes have persistence and pass rates in English and math ranging from 59 percent to 94 percent, depending on the time period in which students took the accelerated section ( II.C.1-32, II.C.1-33).
Several initiatives and programs enable the College to provide a supportive learning environment for students from diverse origins as well as students with diverse educational needs and abilities. The DSPS, EOPS/CARE, CalWORKs, Arise, Aspire, ACES, Dream, REACH Foster Youth, Veterans Resource Center, Minority Male Initiative, SSEED, and LGBTQ programs and initiatives serve to directly provide students with support services as well as referrals to essential support services. Specialized events encourage under-served and under-represented students to improve their civic engagement, critical thinking and career direction through participation in cultural experiences and exploratory opportunities they would not otherwise realize (e.g., transfer field trips, Summer Science Transfer Academy, screening of films such as “They Call Me Malala” and “Spare Parts,” and attendance at A2MEND, NASPA, APAHE conferences) ( II.C.1-34).
DSPS formed a planning group several years ago that meets monthly to review the department's SLOs and AUOs and critically review services and identify gaps, inefficiencies, and stakeholder satisfaction (students, general faculty, administration, and DSPS employees). This group also plans the annual DSPS Planning Day to provide an opportunity for all DSPS employees to come together as a group to work on specific action plans that require input from multiple DSPS employees ( II.C.1-35).
Analysis and Evaluation
Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) regularly evaluates the quality of student support services and demonstrates that these services, regardless of location or means of delivery, including distance education and correspondence education, support student learning and enhance accomplishment of the College's mission. Based on the narrative above, the College meets Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges' Eligibility Requirement 15.
Accomplishments and Outcomes
- SAC offers a wide range of support services designed to meet the diverse needs of its student population.
- The main manner in which Student Support Services supports student learning, regardless of location or means of delivery, is through the development and tracking of student learning outcomes and administrative unit outcomes.
- Student Support Services are designed and evaluated to support the mission of the College.
- There is an integration of Student Support Services and Instruction which allows the College to improve its efficiencies and student success
List of Evidence
The institution identifies and assesses learning support outcomes for its student population and provides appropriate student support services and programs to achieve those outcomes. The institution uses assessment data to continuously improve student support programs and services.
Evidence of Meeting the Standard
The College Identifies and Assesses Learning Support Outcomes
Support services at Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) are provided across the campus for students at various academic levels – from credit to noncredit, from basic skills to honors. Services are provided for students from a variety of backgrounds – from recent high school graduates and reentry students to senior citizens, from students with limited English and low literacy or no high school diploma, to students accessing honors courses, from low-income and first-generation college students to students with disabilities, from undecided students and undocumented AB 540/Dream students with uncertain futures to students with clear goals and knowledge about transfer. To address the many student needs, the College has a wide range of support services and programs from academic/learning support to counseling/advisement and intrusive efforts for targeted student groups (e.g., veterans, Dream, students of color, low-income students, and students with disabilities).
Assessment of learning support outcomes is largely based on the annual PIE review which includes the assessment and reporting of both learning outcomes and outcomes related to the delivery of services to students. This process assures that each program or department has an outcomes measurement system in place to assess students' learning support outcomes. All student services programs and departments develop learning support outcomes as student learning outcomes (SLOs) when programs produce direct student learning, and administrative unit outcomes (AUOs) to measure the effectiveness of supporting student learning. SLOs and AUOs are regularly reviewed to ensure that data is being collected, data analysis is being conducted, outcomes are being appropriately measured and reported and that continuous improvement is in process. Student support areas such as Counseling, DSPS, and Bridge (learning communities) have clearly-developed outcomes that measure students' learning based on enrollment in courses. The results of these outcomes are used to address and, in many cases, modify pedagogical and or curricular structures that influence student learning. Other student support programs also develop learning support outcomes based on student learning of specific information such as financial aid and scholarship requirements, career search, student leadership training, and health services ( II.C.2-1). Additionally, many student support programs develop and measure administrative unit outcomes (AUOs) to document particular activities and processes and related outcomes. Surveys, student participation rates, program utilization information, and other evidence are collected to support the data analysis. Evaluation of outcomes is conducted based on clearly defined outcome measures supported by factual data such as student profile information, persistence and retention rates, success rates and satisfaction ratings ( II.C.2-2).
The annual Planning for Institutional Effectiveness (PIE) process demonstrates that each unit within the College is establishing goals and measurements of outcomes. Within the PIE reports, sections related to goals, accomplishments, analysis of trends, and impacts of internal and external forces are evidence used to make changes to programs and services. Documentation of needs leads to resource requests which are included in the department's PIE and serve as the basis for putting forward prioritized requests through the College's budget process (new resource allocations). All College departments and programs complete PIE. Vice presidents develop an overall summary of their respective department PIEs which is used to measure achievement of goals, outcomes, and to make specific changes and improvements in student support programs and services ( II.C.1-3, II.C.2-3, II.C.2-4).
The College Provides Support to Achieve Its Outcomes
Support services are provided for both credit and noncredit students at all times of the day – from in-class instruction and support services during the morning, afternoon, evening, and weekends, to online services including instruction, counseling, and orientation. Traditional support services such as Admissions and Records, Assessment, Student Health and Student Life/Activities are available to all students. Most recently, the College added Sunday library hours, which were immediately successful. This change was made as a result of discussions with various students who shared a need for access on Sundays due to work schedules and other obligations ( II.C.2-5).
Services designed for specific students, such as low-income, first-generation, basic skills and students of certain ethnic identities are also provided. Counseling services are provided through the general Counseling Department as well as through many other support programs (EOPS, DSPS, TRiO ACES, Aspire/Umoja, Arise/AANAPISI, Bridge) and School of Continuing Education programs including ESL, ABE, and Short-term Vocational (STV). Tutorial support, group study space, and access to computers are provided throughout the many special support program efforts as well as through campus wide tutorial centers and open computer labs ( II.C.2-6).
First-generation and low-income students are assisted through many integrated sources with specialized efforts such as university transfer field trips, financial literacy seminars, scholarship application workshops, transfer application workshops, and transitional seminars for noncredit, disabled, and high school students. The TRiO Upward Bound Program for high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds offers comprehensive College information services such as college application assistance, financial aid and scholarship information, college and university visits and a senior retreat focused on transitioning from high school to college ( II.C.2-7).
Mt. SAC is a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) with an enrollment of 60.8 percent Hispanic students (2015-16, Credit Enrollment, N=38,414). Improving enrollment, retention, persistence, and completion rates has depended on how students transition to college, the support and direction they receive, and the mastery of critical basic skills (English and math). The College's Bridge Program has developed a freshman experience effort that focuses on incoming students who are low-income, first-generation, and basic skills (developmental) students. Instruction faculty work closely with Student Services faculty, staff, and managers to offer integrated cohort learning communities supported with specialized classroom-based instructional assistance, peer mentoring, supplemental workshops, and study areas with computer resources. Students enrolled in the Bridge Program, the majority of whom are Latino, have first-time pass rates of required, sequential basic skills classes in English and math of 91.5 percent and 81.0 percent (summer 2015), respectively. Bridge students demonstrate higher course success and retention rates when compared to non-Bridge students ( II.C.2-8). The Bridge Program serves approximately 824 (2015-16) students annually through the Summer Bridge, English Academy, and Math Academy structured learning communities. The number served is close to 20 percent of all new students.
The noncredit Adult Basic Education Department, in collaboration with the WIN program for student athletes, also provides incoming students transitioning to credit programs with basic skills math and English boot camps prior to taking placement exams or enrolling in College courses ( II.C.2-9). These boot camps are open to any students, including incoming student athletes. Data show that for students who attended boot camps, there were positive outcomes on course success and basic skills progression. This is especially important given student athletes have a limited time to complete degree transferrable math and English courses ( II.C.2-10).
Student development of leadership skills and identity development are coordinated through efforts between Student Life, Aspire (Umoja), Arise (AANAPISI grant), ACES (SSS TRiO grant), Dream Center, Foster Youth REACH, and Bridge (learning communities). A wide range of opportunities for student leadership development, student activities, and student government is in place through the office of Student Life. The College has over 55 active student clubs on campus and has consistently had a very active Associated Students organization that provides over 25 events or activities per semester that connect students, facilitate a sense of belonging, and increase student engagement in campus life ( II.C.2-11). Additionally, many special support programs (Arise, Aspire, ACES, Bridge) offer student leadership components wherein students participate in concentrated leadership training including off-campus retreats. The TRiO Programs provide participants the opportunity to gain leadership skills and practice civic engagement by offering hands-on experience through community improvement projects such as The Compton Initiative, the home/school beautification project, food pantry distribution, and Heal the Bay ( II.C.2-7). Peer mentoring is a key component to many support programs (Foster Youth, Arise, Aspire, and EOPS) ( II.C.2-12 pg. 2). The Counseling Department teaches an exploring leadership course, Lead 55.
Student Services and Instruction work collaboratively to provide integrated services such as learning communities and academic support programs from tutoring and supplemental instruction to peer mentoring and counseling. Several academic learning support efforts are provided to students based on their area of study (math, English, speech, science, career technical education, languages, general education subjects) and their area of identification (disabled, veterans, athletes, Bridge, EOPS) ( II.C.2-13). One-to-one tutoring, group tutoring and study areas with computer access are provided in a variety of settings across the College.
School of Continuing Education programs provide extensive support services to students enrolled in noncredit coursework ( II.C.2-14). Embedded counseling, soft-skills, tutoring, assessment, and access to specialized courses are provided to English as a Second Language, Adult Basic Education, and short-term vocational students needing to complete high school graduation requirements, improve basic skills, or gain vocational skills ( II.C.2-15, II.A.8-12). For 2016-17, with the increase of noncredit Student Success and Support Program funds, the School of Continuing Education was able to hire five additional full-time counselors to increase much needed student support for noncredit students. Moreover, Mt. SAC's Adult Education Regional Plan has as one of the primary objectives to increase support services to the above mentioned noncredit programs as well as older adults in vocational programs and adults with disabilities ( II.C.2-16).
Specific groups of students who have special needs are addressed through an integrated system of support services. For example, mental health services are frequently coordinated through a case conferencing mode with DSPS, the Student Health Center, and Student Life based on students' presenting problems and issues. The Behavioral Health and Wellness Team is composed of representatives from the Student Health Center, DSPS, Student Life, and Public Safety who meet regularly to review particular cases and issues. The team also responds to emergencies related to student safety issues ( II.C.2-17).
Mt. SAC is home to one of the largest concentrations of deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) students in the state ( II.C.2-18). Design efforts are in place to create program space that is uniquely designed for DHH individuals to encourage communication and collaboration as well as access to services. Incorporated into the provision of services is a well-developed training program to ensure that interpreting services are comprehensive and accurate.
The College has been responsive to the needs of many emerging communities by developing core services and hiring staff trained to serve the unique needs of specific populations of students. The Veterans Resource Center offers a unique blend of informal engagement and structured support through single and group study space and access to technology. The Veterans Resource Center provides wrap-around services such as on-site Veterans Affairs (VA) counselor and partnership efforts to coordinate VA appointments with the Veterans Success on Campus (VSOC) program to offer assistance with a VA representative ( II.C.2-19, II.C.2-20).
The School of Continuing Education has remained as the single point of entry for displaced, unemployed, and low-income individuals who are referred by Workforce Development Boards). A case management approach is utilized by staff who are knowledgeable about Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act and Employment Development Department regulations, which is critical because students have a limited time period to complete programs. Counselors guide students in educational planning for credit and noncredit programs as well as provide support in navigating College programs ( II.C.2-21 pg. 3, II.C.2-17).
In response to both the increase in the number of Dream students and the changes in state and federal policies related to undocumented students, the College established a coordinator position, has designed a Dream Center, and is providing counseling support to meet the needs of this student population. As a partner with the Dream.US, in our first year, six students received $12,500 to attend Mt. SAC and two students received $25,000 to transfer to a designated university, for a total of $125,000.
To provide immediate services to the former/foster youth student population, the College established the REACH (Reaching, Empowering, Achieving with Completing with Heart) Program, hired a program coordinator, immediately set up temporary quarters, and developed a plan to integrate efforts with ongoing programs (financial aid, EOPS, TRiO-ACES). This strategy provides a networked source of support for a student population that is highly volatile and largely unnoticed. Through the provision of assistance with financial aid, counseling services, community outreach and wrap-around services such as housing, the College has been able to embark upon a concentrated effort to assist a highly at-risk student population.
The College Uses Assessment Data to Continuously Improve Services
The College's Planning for Institutional Effectiveness (PIE) process provides a process to consistently analyze data related to programs and services. Through each department's PIE, a consistent analysis of data related to students' preparation, use of services, outcome measurements and success rates is documented. Additionally, the PIE process allows departments to analyze particular trends, external and internal forces impacting their work, and planning processes to make critical changes and development of new efforts as well as to request needed resources ( II.C.1-3).
Across the College, there are several means through which assessment data is collected, analyzed, and used to amend procedures and policies, implement particular changes, and develop additional interventions and support services. The Student Services Division hosts three division wide meetings annually – the start of the fall semester, the start of the spring semester, and an annual spring professional development and training day. Student Services managers meet weekly, and a broader, cross-divisional meeting with program leads takes place monthly. These meetings enable key individuals to discuss issues, challenges, trends, and needs in order to develop coordinated approaches and problem solve.
In its approach to student success, the College began by hosting College wide leadership meetings to discern the key areas of concern. Prior to the state-required Student Support and Success Program (SSSP) plan, Mt. SAC had developed a Student Success Plan focusing on three major areas: student engagement and persistence, students' development of their own goals, and completion of basic skills sequence courses ( I.A.2-5).
In approaching the development of the College's Student Equity Plan, the College hosted a convening of College leaders (faculty, staff, managers and students) to develop priorities for each of the five student equity goal indicators ( II.C.2-22, I.A.1-12, II.C.2-23). The Research and Institutional Effectiveness department provided a plethora of data and reports related to disproportionality and particular groups of students, which aided writing teams and the Student Equity Committee to ensure that the Student Equity Plan was comprehensive and based on assessment data. The Student Equity Committee continues to focus on assessment data related to the success, or lack thereof, for specific profiles of students ( I.B.1-52).
One example of the use of assessment results to make significant changes is the manner in which the Counseling Department re-vamped its New Student Orientation. Through many discussions, planning meetings, and a review of student surveys, the department concluded that their orientations needed to be more comprehensive and more engaging with students. An effort to expand the New Student Orientation to 4.5 hours in length at first appeared successful, but after reviewing student survey data, it was determined that the length of the session was too long and some of the topics could be covered differently. The current New Student Orientation is 3.5 hours in length. Assessment of student satisfaction continues, as does further development, such as the consideration of bifurcating the orientation in order to provide more upfront career development efforts prior to the development of the education plan and subsequent registration for classes ( II.C.2-24).
The School of Continuing Education (SCE) holds bi-annual advisory meetings to address trends and to focus on division improvements. Faculty, staff, and managers evaluate the school and department with respect to its annual PIE reports, considers external and internal factors affecting student success and services, and makes recommendations on improvements to Instruction and Student Services. One of the key themes from the meeting that emerged from SCE department unit PIEs and advisory group discussion was the importance of implementation and delivery of core services to noncredit students ( II.C.2-25 pg. 5).
Departments analyze trends in enrollment, participation and satisfaction to measure the appropriateness and effectiveness of various programs and services. In addition to recording trends in PIE, departments also articulate specific external and internal factors that impact their work and ability to provide support services to students. Student surveys are a common means by which programs and departments receive input about the effectiveness of their services. These are included in both the PIE process as well as incorporated into the student learning outcomes and administrative unit objectives process ( II.C.1-3).
Several departments/programs have advisory committees that consist of on-campus individuals as well as community members. EOPS, DSPS, CalWORKs, Career and Transfer Services, veterans, Arise (AANAPISI), foster youth, athletics, and noncredit programs have ongoing advisory committees that provide insights to services that are effective and suggestions to improve efforts. Many community partners bring their knowledge and resources to the College which assists in ensuring that services are appropriate and comprehensive. Numerous advisory committees are active at the College:
- EOPS, CalWORKs, DSPS, International Students, and Arise all have ongoing advisory committees ( C.2-26, II.C.2-27)
- Advisory Committee Minutes Webpage ( C.2-28)
Analysis and Evaluation
Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) identifies and assesses learning support outcomes for its student population and provides appropriate student support services and programs to achieve the outcomes. The College uses assessment data to continuously improve student support programs and services.
Accomplishments and Outcomes
- All Student Services programs and departments develop student learning outcomes and administrative unit outcomes which are regularly reviewed to ensure that data is being collected, data analysis is being conducted, outcomes are being appropriately measured and reported, and that continuous improvement is in process.
- Support services are provided for both credit and noncredit students at all times of the day – from in-class instruction and support services during the morning, afternoon, evening, and weekends, to online services including instruction, counseling, and orientation.
- The College's Planning for Institutional Effectiveness (PIE) process provides a process to consistently analyze data related to programs and services.
List of Evidence
The institution assures equitable access to all of its students by providing appropriate, comprehensive, and reliable services to students regardless of service location or delivery method. (ER15)
Evidence of Meeting the Standard
The College Assures Equitable Access
Equitable access is addressed at Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) by a networked system of support services designed to assist students in learning about the College's programs and services and in matriculating to the College. High school outreach efforts are well-developed, serving 4,000 students annually from 18 district and 45 high schools ( II.C.3-1). Integrated into outreach efforts is the College's Cash 4 College program through Financial Aid, which serves 2,500 students and their families annually. This effort enables a high percentage of entering freshmen to complete both the Board of Governors' Fee Waiver and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act applications by the financial aid priority deadline, thus enabling them to be prepared to start college with the confidence of having financial support. Financial Aid also conducts over 200 financial aid/hands-on FAFSA workshops at high schools and other agencies each year to ensure our reach spans out to those who are in need of assistance the most ( II.C.3-2).
The College understands that accessing a community college education, especially in light of new mandates related to the state's Student Success and Support Program (SSSP), can be confusing to students. The Mountie Fast Track program was initiated in order to assist students in fully understanding the processes and steps required to fully matriculate to the College. This does not take the place of the New Student Orientation which is coordinated by the Counseling Department. Rather, this effort provides essential information to students immediately after they apply to the College. For the fall 2016 term, over 1,500 new students to Mt. SAC completed the fast track sessions. On a pre-post assessment, the greatest increase in knowledge was the steps to becoming a “Mt. SAC Mountie”, the steps to apply for financial aid, and the steps for registering for classes ( II.C.3-3)
At Mt. SAC, 43 percent of credit students receive Pell grants, and 73 percent receive some form of financial aid (e.g., Board of Governors fee waivers, grants, scholarships, loans); these rates have been consistent for the past five academic years ( I.A.1-18). As one of the largest community colleges in California, with a high proportion of low-income students, the College was invited to participate in a project funded by The Institute for College Access and Success and MDRC titled Aid Like a Paycheck. This was a national pilot project to determine if financial aid programs can help low-income college students achieve academic success and complete their degrees ( II.C.3-4). Mt. SAC was one of only two community colleges nationally to participate in this pilot project, in which students had their financial aid disbursed at regular intervals, similar to a paycheck. Additionally, support meetings were held with students to assist them in financial and educational planning. In their published report, MDRC stated that the pilot's findings showed that students felt that being in the program helped them to spend their money wisely, decrease work hours, and focus on their studies. Based on a partnership between the College's Financial Aid, Fiscal Services, and Information Technology departments, Mt. SAC was able to demonstrate that revising financial aid protocols and providing greater guidance to students can have a positive impact on student success ( II.C.3-5).
The College Provides Appropriate, Comprehensive, Reliable Services Regardless of Location or Means of Delivery
The College has identified clear pathways of entry to the College for high school students, other new, first-time college students and transfer students. Serving 12 K-12 districts and 51 high schools, the College's High School Outreach Department has a comprehensive approach to informing high school students regarding entry to the College and provides direct assistance to meeting the required matriculation procedures.
The Connect 4 Program is based on maintaining close working relationships with area high schools. High school students participate in information sessions at their high schools and receive direct assistance in applying to the College. Students receive information in preparation to take the College's placement tests. Placement testing can be completed either at the students' high school or at the College. When completed at the College, students are able to complete assessment on computers and are provided with a tour of the College ( II.C.3-6).
All Connect 4 students must also complete New Student Orientation at the College. Upon completion of orientations, students are provided follow-up services and contacts throughout the summer in order to prepare them for registration in mid-July. Students completing Connect 4 are provided with second-day priority registration (following statutorily-granted priority to particular student groups). The program has continued to grow in size and participation. Efforts to improve the rate of return are proving successful based on the 2015 results.
Additionally, High School Outreach recruits students to enroll in specialized summer programs such as Summer Bridge, Pathways, and Summer Transition Enrichment Program (STEP). These efforts are designed to provide a more extensive introduction to College as well as to provide instruction in a core basic skills area. This enables a substantial percentage of recent high school graduates to receive strong support as they enter college for their freshman year. Students are better acclimated to the College learning environment, feel welcomed and accepted, know faculty members and counselors, and better understand College processes and policies (“college knowledge”) ( II.C.3-7, II.C.1-32, II.C.1-33, II.C.3-8).
Although the net enrollment, percent of students who complete assessment and orientation and complete registration, was 3 percent less in 2016 than 2015, the overall numbers completing assessment have steadily risen since 2014.
In addition to partnering with High School Outreach (HSO) to encourage students with disabilities to participate in Seniors' Day and Cash4College events, DSPS collaborates with High School Outreach on a Planning for College event for high school students with disabilities who have Individual Education Plans (IEPs), or 504 Plans, and their parents to assist them in transitioning to college. HSO offers student-to-student “ambassadors,” some with disabilities, who act as role models to the incoming high school students. These ambassadors visit the local high schools along with HSO staff to assist all students, including those with disabilities, to apply to the College. High school Special Education Local Planned Area (SELPA) directors and special education teachers are invited to the Planning for College event as well as are invited to participate in the High School Educators Conference. DSPS provides substantial assistance to students as they matriculate to the College, especially in assistance with registration and identification of accommodation needs in advance of enrolling in classes. For example, for high school students who were in special education or have 504 plans, DSPS offers expedited temporary DSPS eligibility and accommodations to complete placement assessments to ensure the students are able to matriculate through in a timely and accessible manner. Temporary eligibility allows students the necessary time they need to compile their records, meet with DSPS counselors, and establish their accommodations simultaneous to meeting the requirements of the Student Success and Support Program.
The College has developed on-boarding efforts which include Mountie Fast Track sessions and learning communities designed for first time freshmen who are first-generation, low-income, and basic-skills students ( II.C.3-9). The Mountie Fast Track sessions are designed to reach students immediately after they apply to the College to assist them in completing all of the required core services of SSSP. Through much study and evaluation, the College has determined that students frequently do not know the steps they must take to actually enroll in the College. Mountie Fast Track sessions have proven highly effective in addressing this college knowledge gap.
The College's Student Success and Support Program/Matriculation process defines specific services that new students receive to assist in preparing them for success, which includes orienting them to the College, and advising them on clear pathways to reach their goals. Specifically, the following services are provided ( I.A.2-5):
- Educational plan development
- Follow-up: declaration of goal; basic skills progression
As specified in the Noncredit SSSP Plan, students enrolled in School of Continuing Education programs (noncredit ESL, Adult Basic Education, short-term vocational, high school programs) are provided with core services. Students receive comprehensive orientation sessions, educational planning, counseling support and intervention, assessment and placement assistance, post-program support, and tutoring assistance both during the day and evening hours. A goal of the plan is to increase access to core services as well as provide support so that noncredit students can reach their educational and career goals ( II.C.1-17). Students who wish to attend credit programs or employment are guided through the transition from noncredit. Moreover, counselors provide support services to any student taking courses in off-campus locations. In summer 2016, the School of Continuing Education (SCE) assigned ten counselors to 29 high school campuses where students took Mt. SAC noncredit high school courses. Counselors conducted noncredit educational planning and provided follow-up services ( II.C.3-10, II.C.3-11).
Because of the many barriers facing noncredit students (i.e., many enter, exit, and re-enter within an academic year), educational planning must be an ongoing activity. For example, all ESL students update their educational and career goals each semester, and ABE students are provided career counseling at any time during their enrollment to guide them towards their chosen pathway. ( II.C.3-12) Career development and college workshops are also offered throughout the semester to assist students with work skills and college success skills ( II.C.3-13, II.C.3-14).
The School of Continuing Education serves Career Development and College Preparation (CDCP) students such as ABE, ESL, and short-term vocational students by providing comprehensive orientations with all required core services as noted in the Noncredit SSSP Plan. The goal of the plan is to increase access for core services as well as provide support so that noncredit students can reach their educational and career goals ( II.C.1-17).
Students who enter college classified as “unprepared” need additional support in order to reach success as first-time freshmen students. The College has developed extensive efforts to address this student population. Students in the highly successful Summer Bridge Program enroll in a six-week, intensive summer experience in which they complete 6-7 college units of counseling and basic skills courses (reading, English, math). For the summer of 2016, the Summer Bridge program served 327 students with a retention rate of 97.3 percent and an average successful pass rate of 89.6 percent. Of note is the basic skills English pass rate which averaged 88.8 percent. Although higher than the College overall, the basic skills math pass rate averaged 74.8 percent. For the prior summer, 367 students participated in Summer Bridge with a 99.1 percent retention rate and average successful pass rate of 93.3 percent.
Other new students, especially recent high school graduates who do not enroll in Summer Bridge, have the opportunity to enroll in STEP. Over 200 students participate by enrolling in an Introduction to College class that is taught over two weeks, enabling students to attend on a consistent basis in order to build direct linkages to the College, the counseling faculty, and other students. Follow-up studies of the STEP program indicate that 98 percent of students agreed that they felt ready to start college, knew at least two resources of support at the College and knew how to search for classes using the online registration system. Ninety-four-percent of students reported being knowledgeable about what their placement test scores meant and 95 percent reported knowing what a course prerequisite meant ( II.C.3-15).
Student support services are provided across the College campus, from 7:30 a.m. through evening hours, which range from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., depending on the particular department. Weekend classes and some services are provided. Most recently, funding has been provided to maintain Sunday afternoon and evening hours for the library. The College does not have satellite or other off-campus centers. Online services are available to transact business such as applying to the College, requesting official transcripts, counseling, orientation, and student success workshop for students on probation and signing up for appointments for assessment, orientation, and counseling. The College has “auto award” – a process whereby students who have met the qualifications for a degree or certificate matching their educational goals are automatically awarded the degree and/or certificate.
After enrollment, the College offers comprehensive services (counseling, tutoring, group study, peer mentoring, leadership activities, specialized accommodations assistance, special events) to students who qualify for specific programs such as Aspire (Umoja), Arise (AANAPISI), Foster Youth, and Dream DSPS, EOPS, CalWORKs ACES (TRiO). The ease of availability for counseling allows for more in-depth and frequent counseling sessions, thus increasing the likelihood of improved graduation and transfer rates. All students have access to general counseling, career planning and placement, transfer assistance, student health, and student activities. Student Life collaborates with High School Outreach to provide a new student welcome event to facilitate student transition, establish a sense of belonging, and to help new students get connected with the support services available at the College. Tutorial support services are provided to students enrolled in specific programs (WIN, EOPS, Arise, DSPS, Bridge) as well as general student support through the Writing Center, Academic Support and Achievement Center, Language Learning Lab, the Math Activities Resource Center (MARC), and ESL ( II.C.2-13). Based on students' backgrounds and needs, the College has support services to provide necessary assistance.
The College has embarked on a Minority Male Initiative in response to Mt. SAC students' articulated need to feel supported in successfully completing their college goals. Based on African-American, Latino, Pacific Islander, and Native American students' recommendations to focus on peer-to-peer interventions, the College has re-directed resources to establish minority male student ambassadors. Ambassadors are found in key locations across the campus, making direct connection with students, answering questions, providing pertinent guidance information, and connecting students with support services. Group study halls allow for minority male students to study in an environment where they feel comfortable and have access to computers and other resources. Students have embraced the notion of working together and accessing readily available assistance, motivating them to continue toward their goals ( II.C.3-16).
The College conducts several surveys to enhance knowledge of students' needs and to ensure equitable access to the College, its programs, and its services. The Cooperative Institutional Research Project (CIRP) survey along with 15 institutional questions are provided to new students in order to measure profiles and needs of entering, new freshmen students. Some of the recent findings from the CIRP have served to assist the College in providing support services. For example, when asked what type of support students need to reach their goals, counseling and educational advisement was the number one response. Mt. SAC has recently increased significantly the number of counseling faculty partially based on the CIRP findings. Another area where students needed support was in financial aid or job on campus. Based on these findings, there have been efforts to work with departments on campus to increase the number of jobs available for student workers ( II.C.3-17).
Annually, the College tracks and analyzes assessment/placement levels of incoming students, most specifically entering students from high schools. This assists the College in planning appropriate sections of basic skills courses, tracking any trends in changes of entering students, as well as provides detailed feedback to local high schools. Discussions with high school representatives relative to the need for high school students to enroll in four years of high school math have emanated from a review of this assessment data ( II.C.3-1).
Also emanating from this review was the development of test information and test preparation sessions in English and math in order to assure greater accuracy in student placement ( II.C.3-18). The College matriculation process was amended in order to increase students' participation in these preparation sessions. Between April 2015 and April 2016, 700 students have attended the Assessment of Written English test information sessions and 798 students have attended the math test information sessions. The ABE department also supports incoming student athletes and matriculating noncredit students with summer math and English review sessions and boot camps to assist them in achieving the most appropriate college placement. Surveys indicate a high degree of satisfaction with boot camps. Follow-up support is provided to students attending the review sessions. All credit students have access to online student support services, including application to the College, signing up for appointments for assessment and orientation, completing online new student orientation, and participating in online counseling and advising. Students may pose questions online that are responded to within a matter of hours or a day (during the work week). Additionally, students are able to submit a draft education plan online for review and possible approval by a faculty counselor. Student Services faculty and staff work collaboratively with distance education faculty and campus leaders to ensure students understand all aspects of enrolling in and succeeding in distance learning classes.
Students are able to electronically apply for and track their progress in qualifying for student financial aid. Submitting the FAFSA for federal student aid also provides for the student to be considered for the California Board of Governors Fee Waiver. Once submitted, students may track their progress online through their student portal to know if further documentation is still required as well as to view when they are funded and when funds are available for them to access.
Accessibility Resource Centers for Students (DSPS) provides a variety of support services, academic strategies courses, access to technology, and outreach and in-reach efforts to encourage students to apply for services so that students with disabilities and medical conditions have equal access to all of the College's curricular and extracurricular activities as per the mission of the College ( II.C.3-19).
In order to assure equitable access for students with disabilities, the College works with DSPS leaders to identify campus wide remedies and accommodations such as facilities modifications, alternate media and captioning, classroom accommodations, and technologically appropriate tools and devices. Assistance with completing assessment, orientation, and identifying accommodations needs is also provided. In consultation with DSPS, the College also provides non-classroom related accommodations as many students with disabilities participate in sports, debate, music, dance and other competitive teams in addition to Student Life activities, such as clubs and student leadership.
DSPS has continually advocated to institutionalize universal design in every facet of the College ( II.C.3-20). Designing facilities, curriculum, and educational products taking into account the universe of diversity that presents at the College benefits most of the population and minimizes the need for specialized adaptions or accommodations. Specific to curriculum, universal design strategies include varying the methods by which information is presented to students, offering students options to demonstrate learning, and truly engaging students in the classroom.
Universal design is one of many topics in a class that DSPS offers faculty called Accommodating Students with Disabilities in the Classroom. This class has and continues to be highly regarded and very popular among faculty. In eight weeks or less, faculty are provided information and opportunities to apply this information in their own classrooms to assist all students, especially those with diverse backgrounds. The course's learning objectives are that faculty/students will be:
- knowledgeable about some of the legislative aspects surrounding public higher education and disability;
- able to describe a minimum of three accommodations per disability group covered in the class;
- knowledgeable about adaptive technology and accessibility issues relevant to creating web pages, and be able to locate pertinent resources;
- able to identify which universal design strategy(ies) you use in your teaching;
- choose more universal design strategies that fit your curriculum; and
- developing an in-depth understanding of the Accessibility Resource Centers for Students Department.
Via course evaluation, faculty/students self-report their progress on the above-stated objectives. Several years of data show that faculty/students have a much higher degree of understanding the issues as well as the strategies in working with students with disabilities in the classroom ( II.C.3-21).
The College's Student Equity Plan consists of research that delineates disproportionality in attaining equitable student success for specific profiles of students. The plan specifies goals, activities, and projected outcomes to address these inconsistencies ( I.A.1-12). Prior to the development of the Student Equity Plan, the College participated in the Equity for All project through The University of Southern California Center for Urban Education. The College's Equity for All research project indicated a below-average equity rating for African-American, Latino, and Pacific Islander males. Data showed that these groups were less likely to graduate/transfer because they were either not enrolling in or not passing higher-level math classes. In response to these findings, Mt. SAC implemented efforts to provide a structured model for improving the math skills of these students, who have a strong tendency not to seek help on their own. These include: two self-paced, computer-based math instruction programs (ALEKs), math information overview sessions, and a six-week summer boot camp to prepare students for the math placement exam and subsequent enrollment in math classes. During boot camps, participants interact with peer mentors, tutors, and math faculty to assess their math abilities and learn strategies to improve math knowledge and increase confidence ( II.C.3-22).
During 2014-15, more than 500 students participated in the three math refresher efforts offered. Over 70 percent were non-white, and 54 percent were male. Survey responses and data on number of hours participating, number of units completed, and pre-post math assessments have demonstrated an overwhelming improvement in attitude toward math and confidence in math abilities. This success enabled many students to enroll in higher-level math classes, accelerating time to goal completion. By Fall 2015, 61 percent of students who had participated in math preparation activities had enrolled in a math class. Preliminary results from Summer 2016 indicate similar outcomes and increase of over 600 students participating in these activities. ( II.C.2-10, II.C.3-23).
Other math initiatives include the development of pathways and resources targeted at completion of roadblock math courses. Statway, which focuses on transfer math for non-math majors, was institutionalized and secured articulation to the two state university systems ( II.C.3-24, II.C.3-25, II.C.3-26).
The College has a comprehensive, integrated approach to guiding students toward reaching transfer goals. The transfer process is clearly outlined during the New Student Orientation and continues to be reviewed and presented through counseling classes, counseling appointments, workshops, and special programs. Transfer college visitations occur throughout the year with students participating through the Transfer Center as well as specialized programs such as Aspire (Umoja), EOPS, ACES (TRiO). In meeting the ACES TRiO grant objectives, all students are offered eight university visits focusing on transfer, support services and financial aid. The Transfer Center is a focal point of contact for students to visit and receive information and guidance. Students may sign up for Career and Transfer Listserv in which regular transfer information is sent to them electronically. Transfer guides and transfer requirements are contained in the College catalog and the student handbook as well as individual hand-out materials. Campus-wide efforts, such as transfer fairs, enable students to speak directly with college and university recruiters. The Transfer Bridge program provides an avenue for students to complete a critical transfer course while experiencing the transfer experience by living in residence on a university campus for part of the course ( II.C.3-27, II.C.3-28).
The Career Placement staff is integrated with the Career Technical Education (CTE) instructional departments by working with students in the CTE department areas. Counselors have participated in extensive professional development with CTE departments and have liaison assignments with particular departments. Both College-wide and department-specific career search workshops are presented to assist students with developing and honing their resumes and interview skills and learning about the career search process. Students may sign up for the Mountie Career Source in order to look up jobs and internship opportunities, career events and job fairs, employer information sessions, resource library, extended job search, workshops, and employer profiles ( II.C.3-29).
Comprehensive efforts are also conducted with high school personnel through regular communication and special events/training opportunities. The High School Educators Conference brings counselors, special education, and math and English department chairs to the College to learn about College programs like Reaching Empowering, Achieving and Completing with Heart for foster youth ( II.C.3-30). Sample topics include: New Student Orientation, financial aid, special admits, CTE programs, credit recovery, Bridge, Aspire, Dream, Honors, DSPS, and transfer program information. In addition, tutoring, common core, English and math placement, and discipline-specific breakouts are offered for English and math faculty to better prepare their students for college. The High School Principals' Breakfast provides principals and assistant principals with critical information related to the placement levels of their most recent graduates entering the College and first-year performance data on students entering the College the previous year. Common issues such as articulation, transfer, assessments are discussed.
Annually, the College's President and Board of Trustees meet with school district superintendents and school district Board of Education members to share issues of mutual concerns, new developments in both systems of education, and reinforcement of partnership efforts such as dual enrollment.
As a spin-off to the High School Educators Conference, the College has embarked on a new initiative to develop dialog between College faculty and high school teachers in the math and English disciplines. These discussions cover issues such as assessment rubric and course levels at the community college, understanding curricular reforms in K-12, and how best to prepare high school students for the academic rigor of the community college. Additionally, discussions related to the Common Core, and Smarter Balanced Assessments and the new statewide assessment program (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress - CAASPP).
Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) invests extensive resources and efforts on student-oriented learning services with complementary on-campus and online options to equally support traditional and distance-learning students ( II.B.1-1 pg. 6). On-campus options are physically distributed throughout the campus to provide easy access to tutoring, library collections, information competency instruction, computers, software, printing services, and are open day, evening, and weekend hours ( II.B.1-2). Online options to learning services include online tutoring, 24/7 online chat reference services, access to electronic library resources and databases, directed learning activities, and remote scheduling and registration to learning activities. The library and tutoring centers also participate in other campus functions to ensure that students are informed about the learning options and services available to them. Noncredit students also have access to library services and resources. The Adult Basic Education Department has embedded library services as part of its high school coursework. Librarians at Mt. SAC are essential for ensuring that quality services and resources are available to all students regardless of their location, curricular and research needs, and levels of library skills. To support this assumption, the College has recently hired three additional librarians to ensure that student needs are met. In 2012-13, an online learning librarian was hired to support online library initiatives through distance learning. In 2014-15, a second Librarian was hired to support all areas of the library with a focus on student services, reference and instruction, and the use of library technology. And finally, an additional librarian focusing on student equity and outreach will join the full-time faculty in 2016-17. This position will provide outreach to students to ensure that they are aware of library resources and services, identify and remove barriers that prevent students from taking advantage of library services, and partner with constituent groups and special programs that serve specific populations to ensure that underserved populations have equal access to library resources, information competency instruction, and individualized research and reference assistance. Funding for adjunct librarians has also been well-supported by the College. Over 3,000 adjunct hours were budgeted for 2015-16 to ensure that the library is open day and evening hours during summer and winter intersessions, Saturday and Sunday hours during the primary terms, and that there is adequate adjunct librarian support for 24/7 chat reference follow-up for distance learning students, database management, collection development, and evening information competency workshops. Additional funding through Student Equity funds will be available for 2016-17 to support ongoing Sunday library hours and information competency opportunities for students ( II.B.1-3).
Analysis and Evaluation
Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) assures equitable access to all of its students, as it provides appropriate, comprehensive, and reliable services to students regardless of service location or delivery method. Based on the narrative above, the College meets Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges' Eligibility Requirement 15.
Accomplishments and Outcomes
- Equitable access is addressed at Mt. SAC by a networked system of support services designed to assist students in learning about College programs and services and in matriculating to the College.
- All of the services provided to students are appropriate, comprehensive, and reliable.
- No matter if students are online or in the classroom or off campus, Mt. SAC has support services available to them.
List of Evidence
Co-curricular programs and athletics programs are suited to the institution's mission and contribute to the social and cultural dimensions of the educational experience of its students. If the institution offers co-curricular or athletic programs, they are conducted with sound educational policy and standards of integrity. The institution has responsibility for the control of these programs, including their finances.
Evidence of Meeting the Standard
Co-curricular and Athletic Programs are Suited to the College's Mission
As a community college, Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) has a plethora of opportunities and avenues in which students can be actively involved in co-curricular and athletics programs. These efforts are in concert with the College's mission by ensuring that comprehensive and quality programs and services exist that support students' achievement of their goals. Furthermore, the extensive nature of support services ensures that the College meets both the general and unique needs of its students by offering services in a variety of modes, breadth, and depth.
There is a balance of extracurricular and co-curricular programs and activities provided: men's and women's athletics, academic teams (Forensics, Robotics, Turf), student clubs and organizations and student government. The Office of Student Life coordinates opportunities for students to be involved in leadership experiences as officers and senators for the Associated Students, Inter-Club Council, and the Student Court. There are currently 59 student club/organizations including cultural, religious, vocational, general interest, and scholastic ( II.C.2-11).
The athletics department is highly recognized, both internally and externally. Examples of internal recognition are through publications, articles, awards, notices, and communication regarding successes of various competitive teams. Teams, coaches, and individuals are regularly presented and celebrated at College Board of Trustees meetings ( II.C.4-1 pg. 2, II.C.4-2 pg. 3, II.C.4-3 pg. 3). Mt. SAC captured the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup for the 2014-15 season. There are 675 two-year colleges vying for this award which is presented to the top overall athletics program in the nation. This is the most prestigious award that can be bestowed upon an American collegiate athletic program and has only been in existence for four years. Mt. SAC was also named the National Association of Two Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA) Cup Champions for the fifth time (three in a row) in 12 years of the award ( II.C.3-9).
Mt. SAC currently has 66 state championships along with numerous conference and regional championships. The College is regularly honored in the South Coast Conference as supremacy award winners ( II.C.4-4).
Each year, coaches and athletes are named conference coach or player of the year along with regional, state and national recognition quite often ( II.C.4-5, II.C.4-6). Mt. SAC has a very prestigious Hall of Fame that has inductees that are professional and Olympic coaches and athletes, Medal of Honor recipients, and leaders in industry ( II.C.4-7).
Academically-based competitive teams and groups provide students with experiences to hone specific skills ranging from music to forensics to turf management. These teams and groups have opportunities to participate in competitions both locally, nationally and internationally. In addition to excelling in competitions, students gain leadership skills and have tremendous experiences in learning how to relate to others from differing backgrounds and lifestyles. Examples of academic-based competitive teams and groups include: Turf Team, Robotics, and Chamber Singers. The Stars of Excellence program provides extensive funding per year for students to attend competitions. Examples of uses of these funds are provided ( II.C.4-8 pg. 2). A District instructional competitive event takes place as part of the regular season schedule of College intercollegiate athletic teams or a sponsored event among intercollegiate competitive academic or vocational teams. Such events are part of the instructional program. Admission to these events may be charged and retained by the sponsoring team; however, all admission and ticketing procedures must be controlled by the central box office. All expenses for technical and operational support of District athletic events are covered through the general fund budget of the Event Services Office, by approval through the Stars of Excellence fund, or other identified sources. Expenses for additional athletic events as a result of postseason playoffs and championships require additional funding to cover the cost of technical and operational support. Such funding is allocated from the Stars of Excellence fund following existing practices.
The Students Sports Turf Management Association (STMA) Chapter (aka Mt. SAC Turf Team) is designed to advance student professionalism in sports field management and safety through education, awareness programs, and industry development. STMA Student Participant Code of Conduct and Eligibility requires all participating students to conduct themselves in a professional, courteous, and responsible manner while at the STMA conferences, exhibition, and team-sponsored events. Should a student be deemed to be in violation of policies by authorized STMA staff or volunteers, the team/school that the student represents may be disqualified from current and future STMA student challenge competitions.
The mission of the Mt. SAC Robotics Team is to represent Mt. SAC as a highly capable and competitive robotics team. Students get hands-on experience with engineering and computer science concepts and applications through designing, building and competing using the VEX Robotics System. Mt. SAC competes against teams composed of students enrolled in four-year universities and post-grad students. To compete effectively, students must apply skills learned in their science, technology, engineering, and math classes to solve complex problems. The Robotics team represents Mt. SAC at the most rigorous robotics competitions, which are watched by future Mt. SAC students, industry leaders and prestigious universities. Mt. SAC has qualified for the World competition every year since its inception. Competing on the world stage prepares students for their future careers by improving interpersonal skills and working to optimize designs which meet and exceed the team's goals. Robotics Team members are also expected to perform in high pressure situations, adapt to changing conditions, and overcome limitations of the competition and robotics components.
Safety is the number one priority on the Mt. SAC Robotics Team. All team members are briefed on proper handling of tools, battery charging procedures, and what to do in the event of an emergency. Certain team members are also trained in proper techniques for using power tools, since there are often metal pieces that need to be cut. Adherence to safety regulations of the VEX U organization throughout competitions includes the use of eye protection during matches, electrical/power restrictions on the robots themselves, and various other regulations to ensure participant safety.
Chamber Singers, which was formed in 1994, consists of 38 auditioned singers who perform works from the Renaissance through the 21st Century. During the past 21 years, the Mt. San Antonio College Chamber Singers have been extremely active, winning numerous awards and receiving special performance invitations, including: eight American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National and Regional Conventions in Reno, Honolulu, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Tucson, Dallas and Santa Barbara; five California State Conventions; five European tours with performances in Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, the British Isles, Bulgaria, and Italy; headliners at the Canadian Rocky Mountain Music Festival in Banff and at the Australian National Choral Association Convention in Port Macquarie; they won two platinum medals at the Xinghai Prize International Choir Championships in Guangzhou, China, along with performing numerous tours throughout the United States. The Chamber Singers follow all of the Mt. SAC policies. The director writes, “Integrity is extremely important to me, and my students are held to a very high standard of appropriate behavior and high expectations.”
Student development occurs through many avenues. Student leadership efforts are provided through experiences for students to serve as athletic and academic team captains, participate in the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) program and to serve as officers and program leaders in various clubs and programs. In addition to the annual Associated Students Leadership Retreat, other programs provide opportunities for leadership development through specialized programs, workshops and retreats (Arise, Aspire, ACES, Bridge).
Associated Students (AS) provides on-going civic engagement and enhanced social justice awareness through their monthly programming which includes: student government orientations to introduce students to notions of leadership through service and advocacy; Red Cross blood drives to support the need for life-saving donations for the community; AS Visibility booths to introduce and inform student of the opportunities and current initiatives that affect them; Mountie Mondays that promote campus pride and belonging; and Pizza with the President affording students the opportunity to voice concerns and gain perspective from the College President. In additional to the standing monthly programming, each AS senator provides leadership direction to a specific event throughout the year to enhance the co-curricular learning experiences of students. These additional events are collaborative efforts with campus departments including Athletics, DSPS, Foundation, academic divisions, as well as student services equity programs (TRiO-ACES, Arise, Aspire, Dreamers, EOPS, Foster, HSO, and Veterans).
Peer advisors/peer mentors are hired, trained and assigned in several support services programs (Bridge, Arise, High School Outreach, EOPS). They receive specialized training and serve as a critical bridge between the teaching faculty member or counselor and the student and program staff in terms of monitoring progress, providing support and interventions, and improving students' sense of connectedness to the program/College. Based on extended discussions with minority male students, as part of the Minority Male Initiative (a Student Equity project), a recommendation to develop student ambassadors was implemented in the fall of 2015. In addition to providing timely information to students, the student ambassadors are ethnic representatives of the College's most under-served students: African-Americans, Latinos, and Pacific Islanders ( II.C.3-16).
Co-curricular and Athletic Programs Contribute to Social and Cultural Dimensions of Student Education Experience
Through activities organized by Student Life, student clubs, and Student Services programs, the College offers comprehensive opportunities for students to develop the social and cultural dimensions of their educational experience. Cross-cultural activities include: Dia De Los Muertos (MEChA), Black History Month Speech Contest (BSU, Aspire), Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration (Arise), Cultural Fair (Associated Students), International Education Week (International Students Center). Other cross-curricular activities include: Foster Youth Open Mic event, AB 540/Undocumented Students Seminars, Student Equity Convenings, Pride Day (Lambda), May Day/Coming out of the Shadows (IDEAS) ( II.C.4-9, II.C.4-10).
Athletic teams abide by established rules and regulations and remain in 100 percent compliance through the state California Community Colleges Athletics Association (CCCAA) compliance exam and R-1, R-2 process ( II.C.4-5). Ninety-seven coaches, administrators, counselors, and trainers successfully completed the R-2 process in 2014-15 ( II.C.4-11).
Mandatory orientations and meetings are required of athletes on competitive teams to ensure their working knowledge and compliance with various regulations and standards related to both their academics and conduct. The Mt. SAC Athletic Handbook comprehensively covers a range of topics from expectations of behaviors for student athletes, concussions, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), convictions declaration, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), harassment and discrimination, important dates, how to register, WIN Center (tutoring), Mountie Academic Plan (MAP), Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) transfer policies, and College policies and financial aid scholarships process and availability. Athletic directors, athletic trainers, counselors, and Health Center personnel all present to the athletes at these meetings ( II.C.4-12, II.C.4-13, II.C.4-14).
Character development and academic success standards are a part of the team training. Coaches spend an extensive amount of time teaching and reviewing standards of behavior and performance to maintain eligibility as well as to uphold the expectations, ethics, and integrity of the athletic department. Eligibility technicians regularly review athletes' scholastic eligibility. In order to ensure that student athletes are aware of their academic standing, the Athletics Department worked with IT to develop an electronic progress report system whereby coaches, staff, and student athletes will be notified about their course progress during the term.
Counselors working with athletes are full participants and are trained through California Community College Counselors/Advisors Academic Association for Athletics (3C4A). The Mt. SAC athletic counseling component is one of the original programs in the state of California. Faculty counselors provide academic advisement, eligibility information, and personal interventions to assist athletes to maintain satisfactory academic standing and progress toward goal completion. The WIN program, under the direction of the School of Continuing Education, provides extensive tutoring and learning support services to athletes ( II.C.4-15).
Student athletes are required to attend an athletic orientation in order to become acclimated into the academically and athletically rigorous Mt. SAC Athletics program. The three-hour-a-day, four-day orientation is offered throughout the month of June each year and is a requirement in order to receive priority registration for the fall semester. Topics include: educational planning (including introduction to major and career options), Mt. San Antonio College policies and procedures, financial aid, and NCAA rules for eligibility, graduation, and transfer. Students are also introduced to Athletics department faculty and staff and to the variety of available support programs ( II.C.4-16).
Programs are Conducted with Sound Educational Policy and Integrity
College policies require students to be in good standing in order to participate on competitive athletic teams. Many other competitive teams also have processes by which students must remain in good standing in order to participate. The College's enrollment priority procedure requires that any student who is a part of a specialized group, team, or program must maintain satisfactory academic standing in order to receive a higher order registration priority. Foster youth students are exempt from this requirement. ( II.C.4-17, II.C.4-14).
Student success workshops are an academic intervention program required for student-athletes who have been identified as failing or at risk of failing course(s) based on progress checks submitted by at least one of their course instructors. Workshop topics include, but are not limited to: motivation, study skills, behavior, note-taking, probation, and progress to degree/transfer. Workshops are provided in formats that allow individual sign up or full team participation and often include team coaches and staff, who provide additional leadership and support ( II.C.4-18).
Student academic progress is also monitored through regular progress checks for specific student programs (athletics, student government officers, EOPS, CalWORKs, ACES, Bridge, Aspire, Arise, DSPS, REACH). These programs make immediate, direct contact with students upon notification of their lack of attendance and academic progress. The College's Early Alert efforts provides a mechanism in which students can be alerted to their standing in a course and receive referrals for tutoring and counseling ( II.C.4-19, II.C.4-20, II.C.4-21).
The WIN tutoring program is especially designed for the student-athletes of Mt. SAC. The program promotes the academic development of student-athletes by providing them with a learning environment equipped with a computer lab, textbooks, tutorial assistance, and additional staff support. One of the program's focuses is the thorough tracking and monitoring of students' academic progress by several methods, including semester progress checks, team and individual academic information reports, attendance reports, and several basic skills projects. Program goals span increased transfer, graduation completion, course success and completion, and eligibility rates ( II.C.4-21, II.C.4-22).
Generally, five-minute athletic team check-in meetings are conducted throughout the semester and are designed to provide quick, timely information to students. These team meetings promote unity among student athletes, athletic counselors, coaches, and team staff. Topics could include important upcoming dates such as drop, withdraw or registration, counseling reminders, WIN hours, and progress checks.
The Office of Student Life is responsible for overseeing student conduct. Students who have been referred for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct can participate in a Character Counts intervention workshop as part of fulfilling student discipline requirements. The topics covered in the workshop include Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. This framework for learning provides interactive dialogues and activities designed to help create safer College environments.
The College has Responsibility for Control of Programs, including Finances
Oversight of the College's extra-curricular and co-curricular activities and programs has well-developed control mechanisms to ensure compliance with all College polices and financial requirements and accounting practices. The College's Fiscal Services Department oversees the finances for all athletics and competitive co-curricular programs. The Associated Students' financial directives describe how funding requests are submitted and approved. The allocation and expenditure of funds is managed by College staff from the Student Life office and Fiscal Services. This ensures the appropriate expenditure of funds allotted for all activities funded through the Associated Students budget ( II.C.4-23).
In accordance with the California Community Colleges' fees manual, the College authorizes the collection and expenditure of fees based on what is allowable ( II.C.4-24). Credit students are allowed to opt out of the Associated Students activity fee, as specified in the manual. The Associated Students officers hold extensive budget hearings from which they make recommendations related to expenditures of funds for the upcoming year. Revenues are based on the actual dollars received in the prior fiscal year. Funds are allotted for Associated Students staff and activities, as well as campus wide activities, programs and teams. In 2015, based on a majority of votes from credit students, the Associated Students passed a mandatory transportation fee which was later approved by the College's Board of Trustees. This fee allows all credit students to ride Foothill Transit company buses seven days/week, 24 hours, on lines specified in the approved Memorandum of Understanding. The collection of fees and the oversight of the contract is strictly managed by College administrators.
Fiscal Services has established policies and procedures related to fees, expenditures, and oversight of funds for both the Associated Students, student clubs, Athletics and student teams. The College auditors regularly review the College's process for collecting and accounting of fees and revenues generated from ticket sales and related activities from Associated Students and Athletics. Staff receive training to ensure accurate record keeping, issuance of receipts, and managing of funds for special activities and events. Please refer to Standard IIID for more detailed information.
Analysis and Evaluation
Co-curricular programs and athletics programs are suited to Mt. San Antonio College's (Mt. SAC's) mission and contribute to the social and cultural dimensions of the educational experience of its students. Co-curricular or athletic programs are conducted with sound educational policy and standards of integrity. The College has responsibility for the control of these programs, including their finances.
Accomplishments and Outcomes
- Co-curricular and athletics efforts are in concert with the College's mission by ensuring that comprehensive and quality programs and services exist that support students' achievement of their goals.
- SAC offers comprehensive opportunities for students to develop social and cultural dimensions of their educational experience.
- College policies require students to be in good standing in order to participate in competitive athletic teams.
- Oversight of the College's extra-curricular and co-curricular activities and programs has well-developed control mechanisms to ensure compliance with all College polices and financial requirements and accounting practices.
List of Evidence
The institution provides counseling and/or academic advising programs to support student development and success and prepares faculty and other personnel responsible for the advising function. Counseling and advising programs orient students to ensure they understand the requirements related to their programs of study and receive timely, useful, and accurate information about relevant academic requirements, including graduation and transfer policies.
Evidence of Meeting the Standard
The College Provides Counseling and Academic Advising Programs and Prepares Faculty and Other Personnel Responsible for the Advising Function
Counseling and advising services are well developed and established across Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC). Faculty counselors and classified staff advisors meet with students individually, through counseling classes, in small groups, and through larger group meetings to provide counseling and advising information. Counseling and advising services are in numerous locations, are integrated with programs, and are available during all school hours and at off-campus locations and are coordinated across Student Services programs. For School of Continuing Education programs, including English as a Second Language, Adult Basic Education, and Short-term Vocational programs, counseling and advising services are embedded in programs and are available during all school hours and at off campus locations. Many noncredit students face obstacles to entry and persistence, so counselor interactions are critical. Thus, counselors collaborate with students to identify barriers and strategies to ensure these obstacles do not affect retention ( II.C.5-1). As such, counseling and advising services are held in at least 18 different programs and departments in support services, and as an extension of every instructional division.
Counselors in General Counseling have liaison assignments with particular departments and programs, and career specialists from Career and Transfer Services are assigned to work with students in particular academic and career programs such as Allied Health programs, including nursing, business, and other CTE programs and departments. Counselors also teach several classes designed to provide further personal development of students:
- Counseling 2—College Success Strategies,
- Counseling 5 – Career/Life Planning,
- Counseling 7 – Introduction to the Transfer Process
- Counseling 51 – Career Planning.
Counselors conduct various workshops throughout the year which cover topics from undecided majors to understanding the transfer process. In addition, counselors have made themselves available utilizing walk-in time in the Career/Transfer Center to assist students each fall with their personal statements related to the transfer application process. Counselors in categorical programs, specifically, EOPS, CalWORKs and DSPS, attend professional development opportunities relative to their particular areas ( II.C.5-2, II.C.5-3, II.C.5-4).
Counselors from all departments and divisions meet regularly to receive training and to collaborate on counseling interventions. Departments (EOPS, DSPS, NonCredit) hold regular meetings with their program counselors as well. All faculty counselors and educational advisors are provided opportunities to attend professional development opportunities from CSU and UC Counselor Conferences to other professional conferences and meetings to keep them informed and prepared to counsel and advise students appropriately. Counselors assigned to specialized programs attend specific conferences related to their student populations (Veterans, DSPS, EOPS, CalWORKs, TRiO, Dream, Arise, Aspire). The General Counseling department holds planning retreats related to critical issues such as pathways, student success, articulation, educational planning, CTE awareness.
Online counseling is available to all students. Online counseling services have been developed with much success and involvement by the Counseling Department. Students are able to pose a question to counselors, and within three business days, students receive a response from a counselor. These responses take the form of a short answer, referral to a source for more information, and referral for the student to make an appointment with a counselor. Students can have an email chat with a counselor as well as complete their New Student Orientation online and a Student Success Workshop online. Students are also able to log into the student education plan (MAP) to develop their own education plans that are then sent electronically to a counselor for feedback and approval. Additional online tools and functionality are continuously under development.
Educational advising has been in place at Mt. SAC for many years. The purpose of educational advisors is to provide more direct access to students to find out specific course requirements needed for particular areas of study, including transfer. Educational advisors are provided with technical training related to graduation and transfer requirements, as well as differentiating between advising and counseling and when and how to transition students to counseling. Advisors do not provide comprehensive counseling with students but rather assist students in understanding academic information and requirements and assist with the development of students' education plans. Counselors and educational advisors attend university workshops related to updates regarding transfer and articulation. Advisors in the Financial Aid office assist students in meeting satisfactory academic progress standards and monitoring the enrollment of students into courses delineated on their approved education plans.
Processes are in place in which veterans are seen immediately to assist them in the development of their education plans in order to expedite their processing for benefits. Several counselors support the counseling services provided to international (F-1 visa) students. The College most recently (2015) hired a full-time Veterans Counselor and a full-time International Students counselor. Dream (AB 540) students have specialized counseling services provided for them through existing faculty counselors and programs as do foster youth students. A full-time, tenure-track faculty counselor is assigned to the Dream Center. Several full-time, tenure-track faculty counselors coordinate providing counseling services to foster youth students.
As part of the educational planning process, noncredit counselors oversee workshops on career planning, success in College credit programs, financial aid, and other topics related to college and career. English as a Second Language counselors also hold an annual ESL Career conference in which guest speakers in various educational and career fields present in breakout seminars. Student satisfaction and attendance with this annual conference has been high, as evidenced by survey results. Adult Basic Education counselors also hold Career Week. Students identify career interests, and professionals from these fields serve as guest speakers. College Days held every semester assist students in the credit matriculation process ( II.C.5-5).
Mt. SAC maintains strict adherence to the probation and dismissal policies. Students who fail to pass (academic) or complete classes (progress) and find themselves on probation after one semester are contacted by the Counseling Department. There are two forms of probation: academic probation and progress probation. Upon recording of academic or progress probation, a student has his/her registration restricted and is required to participate in a prescribed counseling intervention. While on probation, students can be limited to enroll in a maximum of 12 units in subsequent semesters, and four units in a winter or summer session. In 2014-15, a total of 4,179 (97 percent) of probation students received follow-up services via an online Student Success Workshop, in-person Success Workshop, Re-instatement Workshop, or through individual counseling appointments ( II.C.5-6).
A student who is subject to dismissal may request an appeal of dismissal through the Counseling Department by the stated deadline prior to the beginning of the following semester. If approved, the student will be required to participate in a prescribed counseling intervention and complete a contract, which shall include the number of units in which the student shall enroll. If the student chooses not to make the request, or the request is denied, the student shall be dismissed for at least two semesters.
A dismissed student may request reinstatement through the Counseling Center after two semesters. If approved, the reinstated student shall be required to participate in a prescribed counseling intervention and complete a contract for reinstatement, which shall include the number of units in which the student shall enroll. A reinstated student shall remain on a probationary, reinstated status until clearance of probation and must see a counselor with an academic progress report for unit clearance prior to every registration period. A reinstated student shall also remain on contract until clearance of probation. Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the contract may result in subsequent dismissal.
Students enrolled in the Adult High School Diploma program are attempting to complete their high school credentials. Previous educational experiences were clearly not successful so students often struggle with retention and completion. In an effort to assist students in completing their high school education, the Adult Basic Education Department adopted a progress policy for those who demonstrate slow to no progress. Faculty and staff initiate an early alert which results in ongoing counselor interventions. Results have shown that this policy has improved success and provided the much needed structure for students who struggle with completion and retention ( II.C.5-7).
The College's Academic Senate has established an Early Alert Task Force that continues to actively work with IT, faculty, instructional departments, and support services (tutoring, counseling) in order to provide timely notification to students of their standing in class. To date, referrals to tutoring and to counseling have been established. As this is a directed focus of the Academic Senate, increasing use of the system by faculty is anticipated ( II.C.4-19, II.C.5-8).
Through the College's annual Planning for Institutional Effectiveness (PIE) process, all counseling and advising services are evaluated. As part of the College's Student Success and Support Program (SSSP) Plan, the College regularly tracks the provision of counseling and advising services to students.
Counseling and Advising Orient Students to Ensure They Understand Requirements Related to Programs of Study
New Student Orientations are provided to all new students entering the College credit program ( II.C.2-24). Specialized orientations are provided to students participating in student support programs such as Aspire/Umoja, Arise/AANAPISI, EOPS/CARE, CalWORKs, Veterans, Foster Youth, ACES/SSS TRiO. The ACES TRiO Program has a mandatory new student orientation focused on teaching students the history of TRiO, the requirements for participation, the goals/mission of the program, team building, and College student success resources.
New Student Orientation has been mandatory for new students to Mt. SAC since 1996 and is continuously reviewed for quality of service. Counselors meet monthly to update and enhance both the content and delivery methods of orientation. In addition to other information provided at orientation, the College has included each of the eight designated topics, policies, and procedures in the orientation checklist.
In 2014-15, the counseling faculty redesigned the in-person orientation sessions to a 3.5-hour format from a 4.5-hour format in order to improve student retention of information and to increase student engagement as they entered college for the first time. Information on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was included in the redesign.
The topics covered in New Student Orientation are:
- Academic expectations and progress and probation standards
- Maintaining existing registration priority
- Prerequisite or co-requisite challenge process
- Maintaining Board of Governors Fee Waiver eligibility
- Description of available programs, support services, financial aid assistance, campus facilities, and how they can be accessed
- Academic calendar and important timelines
- Registration and college fees
- Available education planning services: educational and career counseling, career planning courses, DegreeWorks (Mountie Academic Plan online service), course of study pathways (i.e., Associate degrees, transfer)
- Time management
- Campus resources: academic, student, and support services
- College culture: Mt. SAC mission
- Interpreting and understanding placement test results as they relate to course planning
- Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) pursuant to legislation that sought to improve criminal justice and community-based responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking in the United States.
To increase visibility, access, and facilitate the registration process for in-person orientations, online scheduling for in-person orientations is available through the Mt. SAC counseling website and the Mt. SAC student portal via the Student Success channel ( II.C.5-9).
School of Continuing Education students receive comprehensive in-person orientations for Career Development and College Preparation Programs (CDCP) including ABE, ESL, and Short-term Vocational programs ( II.C.5-10 pg. 2-3). The optimum method to deliver orientation services to these students is in person, either individually or in groups, because many of them have academic or personal challenges that can more effectively be addressed through personal interaction. All receive comprehensive information regarding academic progress and success from the counselors. The orientation is integrated with the diagnostic assessment process for incoming students on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, scheduled to accommodate daytime and evening students. Content for orientation includes program mission, student learning goals, program overview and guidelines, attendance and progress policy, academic and career counseling services, parking and ID card procedures, important dates, records and privacy information, student complaint and grievance policy, standards of conduct, and next steps to enroll in classes. ABE students are also given an overview of the progress policy which is intended to provide structure to students in danger of failing. Students work with professors and counselors to create a guided plan to complete their current course and program ( II.C.5-11, II.C.5-12, II.C.5-13).
Mt. SAC partners with all feeder high school districts to offer the Connect 4 program for graduating seniors ( II.C.3-6). In the past, the Connect 4 program was offered exclusively in the summer. After consulting with the feeder high schools staff, the High School Outreach team and Mt. SAC administrators and Counseling faculty, the Connect 4 program was offered over a five-month period (January-June of 2015). This change provided students with additional options to complete the mandatory orientation.
The Mountie Academic Plan (MAP) enables students to work either one-on-one with a counselor or education advisor, on their own, or in a group or class setting to understand what courses are remaining to meet their goals and to develop a plan to complete requirements. MAP consists of both an abbreviated education plan and a comprehensive education plan that is accessible by all counselors and advisors as well as by students in an online format ( II.C.5-14).
The Degree Audit Function, as part of MAP, allows students to track their progress toward reaching their associate degree goals. This enables students to not only track their own progress but to become more responsible about their own educational planning. This functionality enriches the quality of counseling sessions because students are more informed and engaged based on this first-hand knowledge of their academic standing and progress toward reaching their goals.
Students Receive Timely, Useful, and Accurate Information about Relevant Academic Requirements, Including Graduation and Transfer
Online and hard copy Articulation Agreement materials are available to assist students in understanding transfer requirements and general education certification (IGETC, CSU GE certification). Access to online resources enables students to fully understand transfer requirements ( II.C.5-15, II.C.5-16, II.C.5-17, II.C.5-18).
The following processes provide students with information about their academic standing:
- Graduation evaluations: students are able to file and meet with graduation evaluators to measure progress toward reaching academic goals
- Electronic messaging: students are provided with email/portal notifications regarding their academic status, including approaching completion
- Early Alert: students are alerted and referred to tutoring and counseling by faculty
- Auto-Award: students who meet the requirements for a certificate and/or Associate Degree are notified and the awards are posted to their transcripts
At the Aug. 30, 2016 President's Cabinet meeting, the College's Director of Marketing and Communication and the Chief Technology Officer discussed text messaging to students ( II.C.5-19). The system has worked well for communicating financial aid information and enrollment information. Students are given the choice to opt out of receiving text messages, but—fortunately—few are doing so. In July 2016, of the 23,280 text messages sent to students only 1.6 percent opted out. There are 22 messages scheduled for 2016-17. The College's text messaging team oversees the process and agrees on the wording of the messages. Going forward, the College needs to make two upgrades. First, install technology that will allow the College to have separate opt-out lists for financial aid and enrollment messages. Second, track click-through results from links embedded in the text messages to auto redirect pages so that we can measure the impact of text messaging. The text messaging list for emergency notifications is already on a separate server.
Counselors are Trained to Provide This Accurate Information
Counseling faculty must meet state-required minimum qualifications, are evaluated as part of the College's contractual process, and participate in training on a regular basis. Regular department meetings are held to review critical information and requirements to assure that counselors' knowledge remains timely. Faculty counselors participate in trainings and planning meetings held several times a year in a concentrated format.
The Mt. SAC counseling faculty and staff educational advisors have a range of experiences and backgrounds that enable them to attend to both specific and unique needs of the College's student population. Counselors and educational advisors speak the following languages: Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Samoan, Swahili, and American Sign Language (ASL). Counselors and advisors also have specializations in serving certain student populations such as veterans, disabled, international, CalWORKs, EOPS, foster youth, DREAM, honors, athletes, and financial aid recipients.
Some of the programs that counselors are assigned to have additional minimum qualifications they must meet in order to be employed at Mt. SAC. For instance, DSPS counselors and other DSPS faculty must have graduate units in their areas of specialty in addition to the general counselor's or professor's minimum qualifications. Those who are hired as counselors who have a degree other than rehabilitation counseling need to show an additional 12 units in counseling or rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities or two years of full-time experience in counseling individuals with disabilities ( II.C.5-20).
Faculty and staff regularly attend professional meetings and conferences on and off-campus related to transfer information and requirements, career technical education programs and requirements, specialized counseling issues related to veterans, students on financial aid, international students, student athletes, Latino, Asian Pacific Islanders, and African Americans. Faculty counselors assigned to specific program areas participate in professional meetings specific to their assignment (EOPS, CalWORKs, DSPS, ACES (TRiO, athletics, noncredit programs, ESL, etc.). Some faculty also attain various professional certifications in areas such as career counseling and crisis intervention.
DSPS faculty (counselors and instructional specialists) have regular monthly meetings as well as attend monthly DSPS program staff meetings, where professional development informally occurs. New laws pertaining to disability in higher education, new trends in accommodations, and general sharing of difficult student cases are discussed.
The Counseling Department organizes and holds regular meetings for all counselors (including those outside of their department) to review concerns, practices, policies, and procedures. Larger meetings are held monthly to include counselors and advisors from all areas. Sharing of critical curricular information, transfer requirements, and other articulation updates are agendized. Guest speakers and presenters from other departments attend these meetings in order to provide training to counselors and advisors.
Counselors who desire to obtain additional training are supported through the College's Professional Development program as well as through the Student Services administration. Counselors participate in College-wide governance committees such as Curriculum and Instruction, Student Learning Outcomes, Distance Education, Student Preparation and Success Council, Student Success and Support Program Advisory, and Board of Appeals.
Counseling faculty also provide professional development sessions for faculty, staff, and administrators on campus issues related to educational planning and specialized topics such as crisis management, veteran students, and accommodating students with disabilities.
Educational advisors are hired and evaluated through established criteria and procedures pursuant to Human Resources and the collective bargaining agreement for California School Employees Association 262. Clarification of roles of advisors and counselors are delineated in their job descriptions as well as in the State Academic Senate document ( II.C.5-21). Educational advisors participate in regularly scheduled meetings with faculty counselors to review technical information related to graduation and transfer requirements and educational planning, including the use of the Mountie Academic Plan (MAP) and the recording of activities for Management Information System data collection.
Counseling and advising services are evaluated through annual Planning for Institutional Effectiveness (PIE) reports, student satisfaction surveys, and specific evaluations related to New Student Orientation, counseling classes, and regular reviews conducted by the various departments (Counseling, DSPS, EOPS/CARE, CalWORKs, Arise, Noncredit/Continuing Education, Athletics, Noncredit, Veterans, etc.) ( II.C.1-3).
Analysis and Evaluation
Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) provides counseling and/or academic advising programs to support student development and success and prepares faculty and other personnel responsible for the advising function. Counseling and advising programs orient students to ensure they understand requirements of their programs of study and receive timely, useful, and accurate information about relevant academic requirements, including graduation and transfer.
Accomplishments and Outcomes
- Counseling and advising services at Mt. SAC are well developed and established across the College.
- New Student Orientations are provided to all new students entering the College credit program.
- Online and hard copy Articulation Agreement materials are available to assist students in understanding transfer requirements to other colleges.
- Counseling faculty must meet state required minimum qualifications and are evaluated as part of the College's contractual process and training occurs on a regular basis.
List of Evidence
The institution has adopted and adheres to admission policies consistent with its mission that specify the qualifications of students appropriate for its programs. The institution defines and advises students on clear pathways to complete degrees, certificate and transfer goals. (ER16)
Evidence of Meeting the Standard
The College has Adopted and Adheres to Admission Policies Consistent with Its Mission and that Specify Qualifications Appropriate for its Programs
General admission to Mt. San Antonio College's (Mt. SAC's) credit program aligns with state standards. Students must be 18 years of age or older or possess a high school diploma or the equivalent. General admission to noncredit programs align with program requirements for Adult Basic Education, High School Diploma Program, and noncredit ESL.
The College's Board Policies (BP) and Administrative Procedures (AP) cover eligibility, enrollment of high school (K-12) students, transfer of credits/acceptance of credits, and articulation ( II.A.10-2, II.A.10-6, II.A.1-2). Qualifications for acceptance to specific programs such as course prerequisites, grades, and other qualifications are specified for particular groups of students as well as particular academic majors such as: International, Allied Health (Nursing, Radiology, and Respiratory), Fire Technology, EMT, and Aviation. These are delineated in the College catalog, on the College website, portal, MAP, student handbook, and within department and program information. Orientation and information sessions are held to assist students in understanding both the requirements and the process to gain admission to particular career programs, and this information is also available in the College catalog, the web portal, the student handbook, and the Mountie Academic Plan. Course prerequisites to enter specific programs are detailed in Board Policies and Administrative Procedures as well as the College catalog related to non-resident, F-1 student visa students and concurrent enrollment/special admission of high school students ( II.C.6-1, II.C.6-2).
Special admission students (concurrently enrolled high school students) are provided with assistance through specialized orientation and counseling from the Counseling Department. Board Policy 5011 and Administrative Procedure 5011 detail the College's requirements and procedures related to the enrollment of special admission and under-age students ( II.C.6-3). Required documentation is maintained in compliance with Ed Code 48800 and Title 5 76002 by ensuring that students are approved by designated high school professionals and parents prior to enrolling. The College has developed a list of courses for which it believes high school and other under-age students can benefit.
International (F-1 visa) students are provided with clear information related to their admission and matriculation to the College ( II.C.6-4, II.C.6-5, II.C.6-6). Students are required to complete either the IELTS (International English Language Testing Service) or the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with acceptable scores to be admitted to the College. International student applicants are guided by College staff to understand and submit required documentation related to financial resources, health insurance and visa information in order to complete their requirements for admission.
In School of Continuing Education programs, students' ability to benefit is determined by the purpose and intent of individual noncredit or community programs. Furthermore, a program's purpose also determines how students enter the programs and are advised. In some programs, such as Education for Older Adults, Language Learning Center (LLC), and Fee-Based, students do not require comprehensive student support services or they can more readily access counseling and advising from other noncredit student services offices at Mt. SAC. These programs offer thorough registration support, referrals, and follow-up services, but students may not require intensive, ongoing counseling and advising services. Noncredit ESL, Short-term Vocational, and ABE have as a primary purpose to advance students in college and careers. Therefore, they are provided with more comprehensive admissions and enrollment services that thoroughly outline the program expectations and available services.
From 2003-04 to 2015-16, Mt. SAC increased the number of students attaining an associate degree from 1,332 to 2,087 (56.7 percent increase); increased the number of students successfully transferring to a baccalaureate degree-granting institution from 1,850 to 2,604 (40.8 percent increase); and increased the number of students completing all career certificates from 725 to 1,383 (90.8 percent increase).
A partnership between Student Services and Instruction faculty and staff allowed for the creation of comprehensive requirements, more effective communication with students, and clearer pathways to goal completion. The Counseling Department has developed liaisons with instructional departments to assist in sharing of information, requirements, and integrating services to students completing degree, certificate, and transfer programs.
Through the ongoing, coordinated work between the Counseling Department, Articulation Officer, and Curriculum and Instruction Council, the College maintains current articulation agreements and course equivalencies with the top 30 transfer universities. This information is regularly inputted to the College's Banner system as well as the electronic educational plan system, the Mountie Academic Plan (MAP). Additionally, evaluators in the Admissions Office maintain updated records to assess students' incoming transcripts for course equivalencies, meeting prerequisite requirements, and analysis of coursework remaining to complete a degree or transfer program through Mt. SAC.
The College has added 13 Associate Degrees for Transfer, and faculty are developing several more. These degrees are designed for community college students who plan to complete a bachelor's degree in a similar major at a California State University (CSU) campus. Students who complete an A.A.-T or A.S.-T degree are guaranteed admission to the CSU system. Students transferring to a CSU campus that accepts the A.A.-T or A.S.-T will be required to complete no more than 60 units after transfer to earn a bachelor's degree. The degrees serve a dual purpose of increasing the number of students graduating and increasing the number of students accepted for transfer ( I.A.2-19).
The College Defines and Advises Students on Clear Pathways to Complete Goals
Mt. SAC provides clear pathways for students to understand requirements for degree and certificate completion, transfer requirements, and the transfer process. Most notably, the College has a mandatory New Student Orientation program for credit students in which first-time college students are advised of College policies, procedures, and specific educational pathways to complete certificates, degrees, and transfer requirements ( II.C.2-24). Specialized orientations are provided to students enrolling in particular programs such as EOPS, CalWORKs, DSPS, Athletics, ACES (TRiO), and veterans. These program orientations cover both College information as well as specific program services and requirements. International (F-1 visa) students are required to complete a two-day orientation that includes a review of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requirements as well as assessment and counseling for course enrollment.
The College has successfully instituted an electronic education plan, the Mountie Academic Plan (MAP), in which students are able to complete both an abbreviated education plan and a comprehensive education plan with a counselor in a one-on-one session or group/classroom setting ( II.C.5-14). The College's efforts at electronic education planning have enabled students to conduct their own degree audits and to develop education plans detailing all courses required to meet their goals. As of June 30, 2016, 52,981 abbreviated and comprehensive education plans have been completed. Streamlining the process for students to apply for certificates and degrees, including an automatic award feature, has also helped to increase the number of completions.
Students are provided opportunities to develop an abbreviated student education plan of one to two terms in length. All new students to Mt. SAC who are non-exempt, first-time students are able to complete an abbreviated Student Education Plan (SEP) during the New Student Orientation or educational planning workshop, which are delivered in group formats. During the sessions, students learn about educational pathways, available educational planning services, associate degree and transfer general education patterns, and available assistance with identifying course of study and will complete an abbreviated SEP. The abbreviated education plan addresses the individual student's needs by clarifying the assessment placement scores, indicating appropriate courses based on placement and assisting the student to embark on a course of study related to the student's initial or preliminary education and career goals. The content of the comprehensive plan includes, but is not limited to, appropriate course load, assessment for placement, basic skills courses, appropriate counseling courses, prerequisites or co-requisites, and courses relevant to students' interests and skills. The comprehensive plan is developed as a result of in-depth career counseling and exploration that assess students' personality, interests, skills, and values. Students are able to engage in career exploration and COUN 51 Career Planning, or through small group workshops in preparation for the comprehensive plan. The development of both the abbreviated and comprehensive plans are guided by sound counseling principles and practices.
Students also develop abbreviated education plans through many programmatic efforts including High School Outreach's Connect 4 Program, Summer Bridge, DSPS, EOPS, ACES (TRiO), Veterans. Aspire, Arise, Dream and other special student programs. Educational planning may occur in one-on-one or group counseling sessions, as well as in appropriate counseling courses. Students who complete an online orientation are notified and encouraged to make an appointment to attend an Educational Plan Workshop or to enroll in a counseling course. Students in the Bridge, DSPS, EOPS, ACES (TRiO), Veterans, Aspire, Arise, Dream programs are able to develop comprehensive educational plans with their respective counselors.
Students are able to develop a draft of their education plans online and submit them electronically for review and approval by a counselor. Degree audit and “what if” functions are available on MAP to enable students to judge their progress in reaching their academic goals and to consider other goal options and opportunities.
Printed materials (general education information sheets, new students' handbook) and online sources (College website, Assist.org, College equivalencies and articulation agreements, catalog) provide students with details about enrolling and about course, certificate, degree, and transfer requirements. Articulation agreements and equivalencies provide clear course requirements to graduate and transfer, especially for coursework taken at other colleges to be accepted, or coursework that will need to be transported to other colleges and acceptance of courses completed at regionally accredited institutions. Course prerequisites are specified in the catalog and schedule of classes and during online registration. The College introduced an on-line catalog in fall 2016. Print catalogs will be available during the pilot year with plans to be primarily on-line by fall 2017.
Advanced placement and credit by exam policies and practices allow students to enter based on completion of particular exams or meeting other articulated criteria, including license holders in particular career areas and military experience. Evaluations by College evaluators, advisors, or counselors provide students with knowledge about their progress toward completion of CSU GE or IGETC transfer requirements, graduation, and certificate completion.
The Career/Transfer Center offers transfer workshops to help student understand the transfer process to the university system ( II.C.5-3). Topics of these workshops include the general transfer and application process and information on Transfer Admission Guarantee programs. University representatives make regular visitations to the Transfer/Career for one-on-one appointments and group workshops to advise students on the transfer process.
The Counseling Department coordinates with the Nursing Program to assist students in the application process ( II.C.6-7). Admitted students are required to complete an educational plan to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met prior to the completion of the nursing program. The counseling department also works with prospective Radiology and Respiratory Therapy students by completing a prerequisite checklist that indicates all prerequisites and general education requirements for graduation. The Radiology and Respiratory Programs require this checklist as part of the admission process.
School of Continuing Education Career Development and College Preparation (CDCP), Adult Basic Education (ABE), English as a Second Language (ESL), Vocational ESL (VESL), and Short Term Vocational (STV) programs ensure that students are provided educational planning that includes clear pathways to work and college. Students seek counseling support for such reasons as career assessment and goal planning, academic guidance, information and resources pertaining to post-program transition to credit, application guidance, and referrals to both on-campus and community resources. Common information topics include review of the Mt. SAC policies and procedures regarding completing credit applications through CCCApply, Mt. SAC Portal account claim, and educational requirements for A.S. and A.A. degrees and certificates – both credit and noncredit. Counselors and educational advisors in ABE create educational plans for those entering credit using the Mountie Academic Planning tool (MAP).
Educational planning for noncredit and Community Education students is focused on guiding students towards a college or employment pathway. Students in noncredit CDCP programs complete Noncredit Student Educational Plans (NSEP) with counselors ( II.C.6-8, II.C.6-9, II.C.6-10). ESL and Adult High School Diploma programs currently offer plans electronically, with other noncredit programs having the option of paper plans. Counselors discuss with students information regarding credit programs, career exploration and options, foreign degree evaluation resources, completing the CCCApply form, educational requirements for A.S. and A.A. degrees and credit/noncredit certificates, and personal issues that may require referral to a community resource. Embedded counseling is common within noncredit programs, so counselors often provide the information above as part of classroom presentations. Some noncredit program students are offered specialized information to guide their pathways. For example, ESL counselors discuss with students information regarding the VESL Career Paths program as a first step in their career or college transition. Other students are referred to career development workshops as a means to obtain immediate employment.
Analysis and Evaluation
Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) has adopted and adheres to admission policies consistent with its mission that specify the qualifications of students appropriate for its programs. The College defines and advises students on clear pathways to complete their goals. Based on the narrative above, the College meets Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges' Eligibility Requirement 16.
Accomplishments and Outcomes
- General admission to Mt. SAC's credit program aligns with state standards.
- SAC provides clear pathways for students to understand requirements for degree and certificate completion, transfer requirements, and the transfer process.
List of Evidence
|I.A.2-19||Associate Degrees for Transfer|
|II.A.10-2||AP4051 Course Equivalencies and Variances|
|II.A.10-6||AP4270 Use General Ed Courses Completed at Other Institutions|
|II.C.2-24||New Student Orientation|
|II.C.5-14||Mountie Academic Plan|
|II.C.6-3||AP5011 Admission and Concurrent Enrollment of High School and Other Young Students|
|II.C.6-6||AP5012 International Students|
|II.C.6-7||Nursing Program Application|
|II.C.6-8||Noncredit ESL Student ED Plan Form|
|II.C.6-9||Noncredit ABE AD Student ED Plan Form|
|II.C.6-10||Noncredit STV Student ED Plan Form|
The institution regularly evaluates admissions and placement instruments and practices to validate their effectiveness while minimizing biases.
Evidence of Meeting the Standard
The College Regularly Evaluates Admissions Instruments
Annual reviews and results of admissions data and statistics are reviewed as part of the enrollment management process at Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC). Regular reviews of admissions-related policies and procedures are conducted by the Admissions and Records department as well as through committee work (Student Preparation and Success Council) to maintain currency and compliance with state and federal laws. Through continuous administrative review of the development and submission of the state 320 Attendance and Accounting Report, the College regularly conducts planning and analysis of enrollment numbers and targets. The Registration Work Group, Student Preparation and Success Council, and Enrollment Management Task Force meetings focus on improving enrollment processes and analyze trends in enrollment from term to term ( II.C.7-1 pg. 34).
The College's special admissions and dual enrollment processes are regularly reviewed for compliance with state laws and regulations. College auditors frequently review these efforts to ensure that accurate and complete documentation is in place. Special programming has been put into place to better monitor the enrollment of high school students.
Special programs admissions requirements are based on industry-based standards and certifying agency requirements. Based on the particular program, students will need to have satisfactory completion of program prerequisite courses and may need to meet specific physical requirements related to agility, fitness, and eyesight. Students are provided with detailed information through the College catalog, website, department hand-outs, and department information sessions. Additionally, counselors and advisors have received training pertinent to advising students of program eligibility requirements.
International student admission policies and procedures are detailed in Board Policies and Administrative Procedures as well as the College catalog, the College website, and International Students Center program information. College staff in the Admissions and International Students Center provide follow-up information to prospective international students to assist them in meeting the admission requirements in a timely manner in order to qualify for enrollment in the upcoming term ( II.C.6-6).
International student admissions requirements are reviewed on a regular basis to ascertain compliance with federal and College standards and to stay current with current practices within higher education. The College added the ability for students to complete the IELTS (International English Language Test) as it was determined that this was a more popular, available, and valid measure of English language abilities. Additionally, the College researched and instituted mandatory health insurance for students based on industry standards and common practices at other California community colleges. The College's insurance policy provides excellent coverage to students and is integrated with the College's Student Health Center ( II.C.7-2).
The College Regularly Evaluates Placement Instruments and Validates Their Effectiveness
The College has a well-established process to review and submit locally managed placement instruments for state Chancellor's Office approval as well as for third-party instruments. Validation studies on the Assessment of Written English (AWE), Degrees of Reading Power (DRP), MATH, California Chemistry Diagnostic Test (CCDT), and the noncredit ESL Computer Adaptive Placement (CAP) test are conducted on a six-year cycle. All these placement instruments received full approval from the California Community College Chancellor's Office in 2014 and 2015 for another six years. Data from placement satisfaction surveys and disproportionate impact studies are collected to measure the validity and appropriateness of placement instruments in determining student's readiness in skills and knowledge for college-level courses, especially in sequential courses such as English and math. With much effort and collaboration among departments, Mt. SAC has streamlined the multiple measures process by implementing the Mt. SAC Student Success Inventory, a locally developed online multiple measures assessment survey, available in the student portal, with an automatic scoring system that ensures placement assessment is based on multiple factors rather than a testing instrument itself. Student responses to questions on the Student Success Inventory are used in conjunction with student test scores to determine final placement into math, writing, and reading classes. The questions on the Student Success Inventory were determined by faculty after researching factors related to student success in courses. Students are given instructions on how and when to complete the inventory. If students have not completed the inventory by the time arrive for testing, they are given the opportunity to complete it at that time (II.C.7-3, II.C.7-4, II.C.7-5 pg. 2, II.C.7-6)
The Validation Process Included the Minimizing of Biases
Bias analyses are conducted as a part of the validation process for all locally managed placement instruments. This data is submitted for review and approval by the Chancellor's Office for approval on a six-year rotation cycle. Disproportionate impact studies and student placement satisfaction surveys were also conducted on each placement instrument to monitor the potential bias against tested students of specific demographic backgrounds. Additionally, the Director of Assessment works with the individual instructional departments to review the appropriateness of cut scores for placement.
When evidence surfaces or complaints are lodged by students about the potential bias of either the test instrument (writing prompts) or the evaluation of the students' work (writing samples), a thorough review is conducted. The scoring process for the Assessment of Written English (AWE) follows a well-defined rubric with two separate ratings conducted by trained readers, in order to ensure fairness in scoring. If they do not agree, then a third reader is asked to evaluate the work.
Analysis and Evaluation
Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) regularly evaluates admissions and placement instruments and practices to evaluate their effectiveness while minimizing biases.
Accomplishments and Outcomes
- Annual reviews and results of admissions data and statistics are reviewed as part of the enrollment management process at Mt. SAC.
- The College has a well-established process to review and submit for state Chancellor's Office approval locally managed placement instruments as well as third party instruments.
- Bias analyses are conducted as a part of the validation process for all locally managed placement instruments.
List of Evidence
|II.C.6-6||AP5012 International Students|
|II.C.7-1||320 Attendance Report pg. 34|
|II.C.7-2||Insurance Policy for Students|
|II.C.7-3||Multiple Measures Support by Academic Senate|
|II.C.7-4||Multiple Measures Survey Automation|
|II.C.7-5||Multiple Measures SSSPAC Minutes pg. 2|
|II.C.7-6||AWE Validation Study|
The institution maintains student records permanently, securely, and confidentially, with provision for secure backup of all files, regardless of the form in which those files are maintained. The institution publishes and follows established policies for release of student records.
Evidence of Meeting the Standard
The College Maintains Student Records Permanently, Securely, and Confidentially with a Provision for Secure Backup
College policies and procedures provide for student records in Admissions, Financial Aid, Student Discipline, and other programs to be maintained based on particular requirements related to permanency, security, and confidentiality ( II.C.8-1, II.C.8-2, II.C.8-3, II.C.8-4). The College maintains processes to record and secure records through document imaging and custom databases. Student records are maintained electronically with certain hard copy documents imaged and stored in the document imaging system. College procedures specifying the secure backup of all files are closely followed. Prior, hard copy records are stored in secure storage.
The College securely maintains student records and documents through hard copy until the completion of the optical imaging process. Only permanent, trained staff members have access to enact changes to student's grade records. Student records, transcript papers, and faculty records are kept in a secure location in the Admissions and Records office or at an offsite secure records optical company. While the records are on campus, the locations are secured at the close of business each day. Employees of the College who have received appropriate clearance are able to access these records remotely through the College's various enterprise software systems.
Student medical records are locked in a metal file cabinet at Student Health Services. The clinic is a locked facility, in which medical records are only accessible to Health Services staff. Charts of the patients that have not been seen in one year are scanned electronically and the paper record is confidentially destroyed.
Accessibility Resource Centers for Students (DSPS) follows the same record-keeping procedures as Student Health Services. DSPS has paper files of DSPS students. They are kept in fire proof medical file cabinets within the program's area. Older, inactive files are scanned electronically ( II.C.8-5).
Board Policy 5040 and Administrative Procedure 5040 provide for compliance with applicable federal and state laws related to the Student Rights and Privacy Act. These policies and procedures define how students have access to their records, the release of student records to identified individuals or entities, and the notification to students regarding the release of information. Directory information is described in Board Policy 5040 and Administrative Procedure 5040, is included in the College catalog, and defines what particular information is made available to the public about individual students.
The Data Center for the College (which hosts the Banner production and related databases) is a climate-controlled and secure site which has a dedicated generator for backup power. Data is regularly archived to tape and securely transported off-site by a contracted service provider. Authorized users can only access the data while on-site; off-site access is limited to those functions that are self-service in nature. Departments have network file shares that are restricted to authorized users and regularly archived. Audits of user account and access permissions are performed on a regular basis by the security administrator.
The majority of student applications for admissions are stored electronically through secure and protected procedures. Transcripts submitted by students from other institutions are stored securely, optically imaged, and then appropriately destroyed. Students have the ability to place restrictions on access to their information.
School of Continuing Education has developed databases over time to cover gaps in record keeping for Adult Basic Education and ESL programs. Administrators have worked closely with Information Technology (IT) staff to ensure the security of these records. They are kept on secure servers with additional safety measures applied to ensure the records are protected and backups done on a regular basis. Data elements for Management Information System reporting are uploaded into the mainframe system of the College.
All data are stored in a secure environment with multiple security-level password access for employees. The data are backed-up and stored off-site in case of local emergencies. Access to these systems is only from on-campus computers unless special permission is granted and accommodations made. The Luminis web portal allows employees and students to access their approved information (e.g., address, vacation accrual) from anywhere in the world via a password protected environment. This secure environment and the defined admissions and record-keeping processes enable the College's compliance with the federal mandate on authenticating students who take distance learning classes.
Systems are reliable and housed in a secure data center with dedicated power. All data is regularly backed up and securely stored off-site, user access is documented and tracked within the system, and programs cannot be changed without being reviewed and approved by Fiscal Services, the Supervisor of Application Support and the Database Administrator.
The College Publishes and Follows Established Policies for Release of Student Records
Board Policy 5040 and Administrative Procedure 5040 specify the College's compliance regarding FERPA and HIPAA and the release of student records ( II.C.8-3, II.C.8-4). These College procedures provide for defining students' and the public's rights to particular student information. The public notice of policies related to the release of student records from Admissions and Records to health-related records is regularly reviewed and monitored for compliance. Directory information for students is made available on an ongoing basis. No student record information is released to the student or any other individual without clear, written, original proof that the requestor is allowed to make the request and receive the records.
Board Policy 5040 and Administrative Procedure 5040 provide for compliance with applicable federal and state laws related to the Student Rights and Privacy Act. These policies and procedures define how students have access to their records, the release of student records to identified individuals or entities, and the notification to students regarding the release of information. Directory information is described in Board Policy 5040 and Administrative Procedure 5040, is included in the catalog and defines what particular information is made available to the public about individual students ( I.A.4-1 pg. 428-429).
The Financial Aid Department discloses information from the student's financial aid
educational record to a third-party only with written consent from the eligible student
or as allowed under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) law. Mt
SAC's Financial Aid Department does not disclose Financial Aid educational records
to a parent without the written consent of the eligible student even if the student
was claimed as a dependent under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules. Parents who
wish to discuss their child's financial aid may only do so if listed on a Mt. San
Student FERPA Information Release Form signed by the eligible student.
Administrative Procedure 3300 outlines procedures for requesting to inspect or copy public records ( II.C.8-6). A request by a member of the public may be delivered by mail or in person to the Human Resources Office.
Administrative Procedure 5035 allows the Director of Admissions and Records to withhold student records and registration privileges from any student or former student who fails to pay a proper financial obligation to the College ( II.C.8-7). The student shall be given written notification and the opportunity to appeal if the financial obligation is in error.
The Student Health Center collects health information about patients and stores it electronically and in a chart. This is their Protected Health Information (PHI), or medical record. Patients have a right to privacy at the Student Health Center; PHI is confidential, and it is not part of the students' academic record. Aside from the Student Health Center staff, no one on campus has a right to see their PHI or know the treatment a student is receiving without his/her written permission.
Analysis and Evaluation
Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) maintains student records permanently, securely, and confidentially. There is a provision for secure backup of all files. The College publishes and follows established policies for release of student records.
Accomplishments and Outcomes
- The College securely maintains student records and documents through hard copy until the completion of the optical imaging process.
- Board Policy 5040 and Administrative Procedure 5040 specify the College's compliance regarding FERPA and HIPAA and the release of student records.
List of Evidence
|I.A.4-1||Catalog 2016-17 pg. 428-429|
|II.C.8-1||BP3310 Records Retention and Destruction|
|II.C.8-2||AP3310 Records Retention and Destruction|
|II.C.8-3||BP5040 Student Records, Directory Information, and Privacy|
|II.C.8-4||AP5040 Student Records, Directory Information, and Privacy|
|II.C.8-5||DSPS Students Rights and Responsibilities|
|II.C.8-6||AP3300 Public Records|
|II.C.8-7||AP5035 Withholding of Student Records and Registration Privileges|