With its planning phase funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation under the former initiative Texas Completion by Design, the Dallas County Community College District Texas Completes team worked this past year to identify key District policies and procedures that would promote student success and completion of certificates and degrees. Rather than create new committees, the team has worked with existing groups that are implementing broad-based systemic change efforts to dramatically improve student success and completion. The follow represents a status report on action items as of Fall, 2012.
Core Curriculum Development: Reduce core curriculum to 42 hours to meet state requirements, involving DCCCD curriculum and discipline committees in making final recommendations.
Each of the DCCCD colleges hosted Core 2014 Listening Exchanges between Oct. 15 and Nov. 2, 2012. The Listening Exchanges are a part of the planning process to bring the DCCCD Core Curriculum into compliance with the THECB state requirements by Fall 2014. The Listening Exchanges are an opportunity for staff, students, and faculty who are not on the discipline committees to provide feedback on the draft plans that have been submitted by the discipline committees. All comments will be compiled and forwarded to appropriate discipline committees to help them revise their plans for final submission by Feb. 1, 2013, with a final DCCCD CORE 2014 plan going to the Vice Presidents' Council May 2013.
The EDUC 1300/Human Development curriculum committee is also developing methods to Integrate degree and career planning components in EDUC 1300, Human Development and related courses.
Advising & Faculty Professional Development: Develop new advising model, incorporating new methodology, technology and faculty advising; provide training for advisors and faculty.
The DCCCD Academic Advising Council, with the support of DCCCD Texas Completes, has been consulting with the National Association of Academic Advising to analyze current academic advising and develop a common academic advising syllabus, including a definition of academic advising, common goals, expectations for advisors and expectations for students. Each campus will be further discussing the implications of this syllabus for advising practice and organizational structure.
In collaboration with DCCCD Texas Completes, the District Faculty Development Committee sponsored live and video streamed workshops with Dr. Terry O'Banion on August 27, focused on the completion agenda and best practices for faculty. The DCCCD Faculty Development Committee also co-sponsored a District-wide workshop on "Improving the Academic Advising Model" with the Academic Advising Council and DCCCD Texas Completes.
Program of Study Guidance: Provide guidance to program of study selection. Reinforce program of study through curriculum and provide clear pathways to completion.
The HB 3025 Committee has implemented web-based processes to inform students of the need to select a program of study as soon as possible. With continued communication each semester they register, including the legislation requirements related to program of study selection, students will receive numerous notifications to assist in encouraging timely decisions.
The EDUC 1300/Human Development curriculum committee is also developing methods to Include program of study selection information and degree and career planning components in EDUC 1300, Human Development and other "student success" courses. Cedar Valley College is taking the lead with this initiative in Fall, 2012 and Richland College will also be involving Career Services in Spring, 2013.
Automatic Graduation and Reverse Transfer: Develop process for alerting students with 30+ credit hours on status toward certificate or degree completion and offer a more streamlined, automatic graduation and reverse transfer process.
Reverse Transfer Process: The HB 3025 committee, chaired by Nancy Faris and Jamie Templeton, determined that the best way to make this happen was to start using Standardization of Postsecondary Education Electronic Data Exchange (SPEEDE) to receive transcripts. They also recommended to the state SPEEDE folks that a code be included in any transcripts sent for reverse transfer purposes, so they may be properly prioritized. A consultant was used to help District Information Technology with the programming of SPEEDE (still in process).
New Graduation Requirements Effective Spring, 2013: Students should apply for graduation prior to the term in which they intend to graduate. Application for Graduation may be filed at the Admissions Office of the college from which a student plans to graduate. Students who have met all TSI requirements, degree/certificate, and graduation requirements will be awarded their degree or certificate of completion at the end of the appropriate term. Students are recommended to apply for graduation to receive a graduation audit. This audit may include course substitutions, appropriate transfer courses, notification of graduation activities and commencement. Each college may graduate current and former students who have met graduation requirements with or without the student's permission.
Technology Applications for Advising and Graduation: Develop new technology applications and programming to improve advising and increase automation of graduation process.
DCCCD District IT will utilize a combination of technologies to further the goals of Texas Completes:
- Colleague's Retention Alert module will be used by faculty and success coaches to facilitate outreach to students at risk.
- Colleague's Degree Audit module will be used to inform students of completion opportunities and automate awarding of degrees once the necessary processes have been developed and data entry completed.
- Zogotech's Estudias student tracking system will be used to augment the Colleague student information system to provide an aggregated view of a student's academic record and their student service interactions.
- Colleague's Campus Portal product will be implemented to provide a unified, single sign-on web interface to a wide range of information and services.
- Colleague's Self-Service Student Plan module will be considered for implementation to provide a set of web-based tools for student management of their academic program as well as eAdvising services.
Eastfield College is taking the lead in obtaining/developing an online financial tool for students. This online tool will allow information about grants, scholarships and other financial assistance opportunities to be loaded into a new system. The development of this tool could be expanded to make it available to students district-wide. Eastfield's I T Director is developing a completion webpage draft.