Survey charts student success

Engagement is crucial

ccsse.inddThe results of the Community College Survey of Student Engagement, showing Los Medanos College excelling in multiple categories in comparison to other junior colleges in the district were revealed in a meeting held Monday, Sept. 19 led by both Contra Costa County Community College District’s Director of Research Collaboration Marilyn Sargent and Sr. Dean of Research and Planning Greg Stoup.
Roughly 2,500 students participated, 700 of which attend LMC. In addition to comparing the schools, there are specific findings about LMC students and their connection to the campus.
Sargent acknowledged that this is as accurate as she could make it and knew she “couldn’t catch everything.”
The CCSSE is the first district-wide survey.
“Some very interesting findings are emerging from this,” said Stoup. There are five key CCSSE benchmarks referred to in the report. They include student effort, academic challenge, student-faculty interaction, support for learners and active and collaborative learning.
Compared to the top performing colleges, which are schools that have “scored within 10 percent of the cohort by benchmark,” LMC isn’t far behind. In student effort, the top performing colleges collectively have a success rate of 59.6 percent while LMC’s percentage rate is at 57.5. In support for learners, LMC is only four percentage points down from the collective 59.8 percent. With the remaining results regarding the benchmarks, LMC’s success rates are within a seven-point range when compared to the stats from top colleges.
The survey results also focused on basic facts about the students. Approximately 33 percent of students are at LMC to earn their associate’s degree while the goal of over 50 percent of students attending to be able to transfer to a four-year institution.
Of the surveyed participants from LMC, DVC and CCC, 24 percent of students attempt 12 units their first semester but only 13 percent in their first and second semester.
Sargent explained these results “measures how the students are spending their time – they’re reporting their experiences.” She said these findings could be very beneficial to improving all three campuses.
Some of the findings relative to all campuses were group specific. For instance, the survey information indicated that female students had higher success rates at all schools. Also, in certain categories, Latino and African-American students rated higher than their Caucasian counterparts.
Sargent mentioned that even though there are areas that could be improved upon, ultimately students from each school are excelling.
“Keep up the good work,” said Sargent, ending this part of the meeting.
For more stats and details, you may contact Stoup at [email protected] or Sargent at [email protected]