Reports and Publications Assessment Report 2000 I. Executive Summary Since 1995, enrollments in developmental courses at Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) have increased at a rate that significantly exceeds the growth of enrollments in non-developmental courses and growth in the total student population. An increasing percentage of students 18 - 21 years of age are being enrolled in developmental courses. A study tracking students who completed developmental math courses and subsequently took a college-level math course indicates that the pass rate for developmental students exceeded the total pass rate for two out of the three cohorts formed for the study. These pass rates are in accord with faculty expectations and advisement concerning appropriate developmental math prerequisites. Assessment results have been used to improve student learning support systems and to make changes in testing policies. The pass rate of students who completed developmental English courses and subsequently took ENG 111 exceeded the total pass rate in each semester, sometimes significantly so. Students who completed ESL reading and writing courses passed college-level composition and selected reading-based courses at a rate that dramatically exceeds the total pass rate. Assessment results have been used to adjust cut-off scores on placement tests, to advise students in appropriate course selection, and to establish exit-level ESL writing criteria. Studies of scores on standardized reading pre- and post-tests demonstrate growth in reading skills in both developmental reading courses and in ESL reading courses. Faculty, however, place more confidence in reading portfolios as documentation of students' preparedness for college-level reading. Tracking studies highlight the difficulty in linking the reading performance of students in developmental reading courses directly to their reading performance in college-level courses. Assessment results have been used to enhance the use of reading portfolios and in establishing exit criteria for writing goals at each level of ESL. About 80% of the students who transfer from the college to a senior institution perform well and are in good standing. Generally, the GPA of transfer students is not as high at the senior institutions as it was at NVCC. However, the drop in GPA is not as large as has been reported in previous Assessment Reports. The GPA of Black students is lower than any other racial group while at NVCC and at the senior institution. Assessment results have been used in program evaluations and in reviewing articulation agreements. Since 1995, there has been a yearly increase in the number of recent high school graduates who attended NVCC. About 15% of the students who graduated from local high schools enrolled in NVCC. About half of those enrolled in one or more developmental courses. Most of the high school graduates enrolled at NVCC in 1997 98 attended full-time and took classes during the day. Five percent of this cohort received a high school General Equivalency Diploma (GED) and 19% came to NVCC from out-of-state and foreign countries. About half of the recent high school students enrolling at NVCC did not choose to be placed in a program. Of those who were program placed, fifty-two different programs were selected with General Studies being the most frequent choice (32%), Liberal Arts the second most frequent (27%), Business Administration the third (18%), Computer Science the fourth (14%) and Science the fifth (9%). Students enrolled in developmental courses were retained at a higher level than those not taking developmental courses. There was only a slight difference in the retention of the male and female populations. However, there were significant differences in the retention of racial groups. Black students were retained at a rate below that of any other racial group while Asian students were retained at a rate higher than any other racial group (except for Native Americans, who are less than 1% of the student population). The differences in retention rates has been a special interest of the college in recent years. II. Remedial Education Data provided by the Office of Institutional Research (OIR) indicates that in Fall 1995, 28% of the first-time students enrolled at the college were enrolled in one or more developmental courses. That percentage has steadily increased and in Fall 1999, 34.5% of first-time students at NVCC were enrolled in one or more developmental courses. Since 1995, enrollments in developmental courses have increased at a rate that significantly exceeds the growth of enrollments in non-developmental courses and growth in the total population. This enrollment trend has continued for the last five fall semesters and the increase has been especially dramatic the last two years. This data does not include students enrolled in ESL courses as this population is addressed in a separate section of this report. An increasing percentage of students in the 18 - 21 year-old age group is being placed in developmental courses. Almost one third of the students in this age group who enrolled at the college in Fall 1998 were enrolled in developmental courses. The 18 - 21 year old age group makes up almost 60% of the developmental student population but only about 30% of the total student population. The enrollment rate of Black and Hispanic students in developmental courses is higher than that of White and Asian students. The enrollment rate of Hispanic students in developmental courses is approaching 20%, twice that of White and Asian students. A January 1999 OIR study analyzed retention patterns of first-time, full-time students enrolling at the college in 1994 and tracked over three years. In all racial groups, students taking a developmental course were retained at a higher rate than those students not taking a developmental course. In a similar manner, students enrolled in ESL courses were retained at a higher rate than those not enrolled in ESL courses. Math Courses Tracking Study Data provided to the Assessment Office by the Office of Institutional Research formed the basis of a tracking study of students who passed a developmental math course and subsequently took a college-level math course. A three-year time frame was used to form cohorts which could then be tracked. For example, students who passed a developmental math course in Fall 1994 and subsequently took a college-level math course by Fall 1997 form the 1994/97 cohort. The chart below displays the percentage of students who passed a developmental math course and subsequently passed a college math course within the next three years. The "pass rate" of developmental students in college math courses is also displayed. As an example, of the students who passed MTH 002 in 1994 and had taken MTH 120 by Fall 1997, 60% passed MTH 120 with a C or better (developmental pass rate). In Fall 1997, 58.8% of all students who took MTH 120 passed with a C or better (total pass rate). The total pass rate includes any developmental students who took MTH 120 in Fall 1997. Table 1: Passing Rates in College-level Math Courses Cohort by MTH 002/120 MTH 003/151 MTH 004/151 MTH 004/163 MTH 004/166 three-year Total Pass Dev Pass Total Pass Dev Pass Total Pass Dev Pass Total Pass Dev Pass Total Pass Dev Pass time frame 1994/97 58.8% 60.0% 63.2% 73.5% 63.2% 62.0% 50.4% 46.9% 50.5% 59.9% 1995/98 1996/99 66.7% 64.6% 57.1% 45.8% 61.2% 62.9% 70.7% 70.8% 61.2% 62.9% 61.0% 63.2% 50.1% 47.4% 56.0% 53.6% 55.8% 53.8% 53.6% 55.9% The pass rate for MTH 002/120 has steadily decreased from 60% to 45% and is lower, in some cases much lower, than the total pass rate. (MTH 003 is the recommended prerequisite for MTH 120.) While not as dramatic, there has also been a decrease in the pass rate of MTH 004/166 from about 60% to about 56%. However, the pass rate for developmental students exceeded the total pass rate for two out of the three cohorts. The pass rate in MATH 151 has remained fairly constant but higher for students who went from MTH 003 to MTH 151 than for students who went from MTH 004 to MTH 151. The pass rate of students who went from MTH 004 to MTH 151 is very close to the total pass rate for MTH 151. The pass rate of students who completed MTH 003 before taking MTH 151 was higher than the total pass rate for MTH 151. The pass rate for MATH 004/163 has increased somewhat and remains close to the total pass rate for the course. These pass rates are in accord with faculty expectations and advisement of students concerning appropriate course prerequisites for college-level math courses. However, an issue that is raised by the data is whether there are strategies that might be employed to increase the pass rate for students in math courses. Special Study on Recent High School Graduates and Developmental MTH Courses Supporting data concerning the success of students enrolled in developmental math courses is provided by an extensive study conducted by the Office of Institutional Research on 1997 Planning District Eight (PD8) high school graduates enrolling at the college. In Fall 1997, 38% of the recent PD8 high school students who enrolled in a developmental math course successfully completed the course. By the end of the Fall 1998 semester (three semesters later), 45% of the students who had initially completed a developmental math class had not enrolled in any college math class. Of the students who had enrolled in a college level math class after completing a developmental math class, 47% successfully completed the course with a "C" or better. Students' tendency to postpone taking a college-level math course after completing a developmental math course is problematic. It has been well-documented that math skills are quickly forgotten when not used. The math faculty will be asked to explore strategies to increase the number of students who successfully complete a developmental math course in their first semester. Additionally, the faculty will be asked to develop strategies to encourage students to enroll in a credit math course within two semesters of completing remediation. Use Of Assessment Results from the Mathematics Discipline Review Goal/Objective Assessed Students will be able to reason through applied problems. Students will be able to estimate an answer. Evaluation Methods Common questions on final exams in selected MTH courses Common questions on final exams in selected MTH courses Common questions on final exams in selected MTH courses Analysis of course content summaries. Math Faculty Survey. Nonmath. Faculty SurveyDiscipline discussions Findings Actions Taken or To Be Taken Students’ reasoning Many course content skills were weak. summaries were revised to include application problems. Students’ estimation Many course summaries were skills were weak. revised to include estimation of answers before calculations. Students scored Each math course is expected to poorly on questions have at least one writing requiring written exercise. explanations. There was a need to reach consensus with programs served by MTH courses on the level of technology required for student success. Two of the three campuses were not able to provide adequate lab support. The Math Cluster met with the Engineering Cluster and reached consensus on the use of calculators and CAS. Extrema has been introduced in MTH 163/6. Students will be able to read, write, listen to and speak mathematics, appropriate to the level of their course. Students will be able to use appropriate technology to enhance their mathematical thinking…. Students will be able to find Resource Inventory adequate sources of support from their campus Student Survey math lab and tutorial services. Math Faculty Survey Four campuses have independent math labs. Space has been a problem at the fifth campus. Equipment has been upgraded as funds were made available. Student interns have been hired. Students will receive Math Faculty survey appropriate advisement and placement. Non-math Faculty Survey Counselor survey Discussions with counselors Students were not aware of course prerequisites. Some counselors were not aware of course prerequisites. The college now has a policy of issuing one free copy of the catalog to each student. Math prerequisites are required to be listed in the Schedule of Classes. Discussions with counselors were initiated. Counselors are invited to Math meetings on some campuses. Recommendations for Math faculty include providing counselors with relevant memos and e-mails, using an "Early Alert Form" to report at-risk students, reviewing prerequisites and cut-off scores with counselors periodically. A committee of Math faculty continues to reevaluate COMPASS scores and recommend changes in cut-off scores when it is indicated. Students will receive COMPASS appropriate advisement and placement testing placement. records Tracking studies Pass rate in developmental courses Student Survey Math Faculty Survey Non-Math Faculty Survey Students will receive COMPASS appropriate advisement and placement testing placement. records. Tracking studies COMPASS cutoff scores need to be monitored. Students need to be surveyed concerning A student survey on course the appropriateness placement and prerequisites will of their course be administered in the Fall 2000 placement. semester. Pass rate in developmental courses Students will receive Math Faculty Survey Faculty did not have Request has been made to appropriate advisement and easy access to provide access through placement. "PeopleSoft." Discipline discussions students' math history Since math skills are This change in policy has been quickly forgotten made. without use, placement test scores should be valid for only one year. Writing Courses Tracking Study To track the success of developmental students in ENG 111, a three-year time frame was used to form cohorts. For example, students who passed ENG 003, the exit level writing course, in Fall 1994 and subsequently took ENG 111 by Fall 1997 form the 1994/97 cohort. The chart below displays the pass rate for students who passed ENG 003 and subsequently passed ENG 009/111 or ENG 111 within the next three years. For comparison purposes, the total pass rate is given as the percent of all students (including developmental students) who took the course in the last fall semester of each cohort and earned a C or better in the course. Table 2: Passing Rates of Student in ENG 111 After Passing ENG 003 Cohort 1994 - 1997 1995 - 1998 1996 - 1999 ENG 003/ENG 009/111 ENG 003/ENG 111 num % num % 109 78 109 74.3% 84.6% 78.9% 138 51 109 80.4% 66.7% 75.2% Total Pass ENG 111 num % 2368 2499 2469 65.8% 68.5% 65.5% The pass rate of students successfully completing ENG 003 and subsequently taking ENG 111 within three years is very good ranging from a low of 66.7% to a high of 80.4% for an average of about 75% over the semesters for which the data was gathered. Students taking ENG 111 with individualized instruction in writing (ENG 009) had an even higher average passing rate of about 79% over the years for which the data was gathered. The pass rate of the developmental students exceeded the total pass rate in each semester, sometimes significantly so. Writing Assessment For a number of years, a college-wide writing assessment test has been administered to students in ENG 003. The tests consists of a two-hour writing sample and was administered at the beginning of the course and at the end. The tests were blind graded holistically by a committee of faculty. Samples over the past two years indicate that students who persist in Developmental Writing courses make significant improvements in writing. A sampling of students who completed both the pre and posttest samples yielded the following results: Semester Number Fall 1997 80 Spring 1998 50 Fall 1998 50 Spring 1999 50 % Passed 85% 71% 90% 84% Average gain 1.1 1.4 1.0 1.1 These results, along with the data from the tracking study, indicate that Developmental Writing students do make significant improvements in their writing skills during their enrollment in ENG 003. Portfolio Assessment Over the past few years, more instructors in developmental writing have begun to use portfolios as the primary tool for assessing student progress for the following reasons: 1.Portfolios encourage process writing, allowing students to carefully revise their own writing in response to the questions of others. 2.Portfolios help students have a much clearer sense of audience. Students realize that they are not just writing for the course instructor; they understand they must be explicit in the writing in order to communicate clearly with other readers. 3.Students are evaluated by other instructors, allowing for a more impartial reading of the individual student’s work. 4.Students develop a pride in the ownership of their own writing when they assemble their work for presentation. 5.The exchange of portfolios allows instructors to see what is happening in other classes, and the process also opens up lines of communication among instructors. According to instructors, portfolios have been extremely valuable in helping new parttime instructors see what types of assignments are required by more experienced teachers. 6.The exchange of portfolios within a department can help all faculty members by providing a common basis for a discussion of the progress of students in writing classes. It also allows instructors to evaluate writing assignments and how they relate to the goals and objectives of the Developmental Writing program. A majority of the members of the Writing Assessment Committee agreed that COMPASS would not be a reliable instrument for assessing students at the end of the writing courses. COMPASS was emphatically rejected by most of the members of the committee because they felt that the test was primarily an examination of editing skills. Members restated their position that it was absolutely essential to assess a piece of writing from each student at the end of exit-level courses. Special Study on Recent High School Graduates and Developmental ENG Courses Supporting data concerning the success of students enrolled in developmental ENG courses is provided by a study conducted by the OIR on 1997 Planning District Eight (PD8) high school graduates enrolling at the college. In Fall 1997, 68% of the recent PD8 high school graduates who enrolled in a developmental English course completed it in their first semester. By the end of the third semester, (Fall 1998), 71% of these students had also completed ENG 111. Only 13% of the students did not successfully complete ENG 111. The remaining 16% had either left NVCC or had not yet enrolled in ENG 111. Use Of Assessment Results To Improve Student Learning, Instruction, Programs, and Services in Writing Goal Being Assessed Evaluation Method Findings Students will demonstrate Writing assessment test Test results from a improved writing skills. sample of students Portfolios indicated that an Research paper Actions Taken The exit test will be continued with some revision in prompts and in administrative procedures. average of 82% passed. The use of portfolios will Portfolios have numerous continue and will be advantages as an encouraged for all faculty assessment instrument. including adjuncts. The research component has helped students improve their writing, reading, and thinking skills. Faculty concern was raised concerning the appropriateness of the COMPASS cut-off scores. A research paper will continue to be required in all exit-level developmental writing courses. A faculty committee revised the cut-off scores to ensure better placement. ENG 111 plus lab (009) will continued to be recommended for students who complete ENG 003. Students will be placed in Discipline Review the appropriate ENG course Students completing Tracking study ENG 003 will be prepared for ENG 111 PD8 Study In general, students who complete ENG 003 satisfactorily are prepared for ENG 111. Reading-based Courses Pre/Post-Testing Some faculty who teach ENG 005, the exit level reading course, administer the NelsonDenny Reading Test to check that students have been placed into the appropriate ENG courses while others have chosen alternative in-class assessments. Those who administered the Nelson-Denny Reading test to validate placement have been encouraged to administer an alternative form of the test at the end of the course to measure growth in reading skills. The Assessment Office gathered data for a paired sample of 238 students who took both the Nelson-Denny Reading pre-test and posttest for the Fall 1998, Fall 1999, and Spring 2000 semesters. The publishers of the Nelson-Denny Reading test recommend that scale scores be used to assess growth over a period of time. The raw scores for the paired sample were converted to scale scores using a table provided by the test publishers. The correlation of the pre-test scale scores on Form G of the test and the post-test scale scores on Form H of the test was .76, indicating a strong correlation. The scale score mean of the pre-test sample was 185.91 and the scale score mean of the post-test sample was 190.55. A t-test indicated that the difference in means on the pre-test and post-test is statistically significant at the .05 level of significance (p-value = 0.00). Thus, it can be concluded that the reading skills of this sample of students as measured by the Nelson-Denny Reading Test improved after taking ENG 005. A pilot study was conducted in the Fall 1999 and Spring 2000 semesters using COMPASS as a pre/post-test measure of growth in reading skills. Data was collected for 76 students who enrolled in ENG 005 in the Spring 1999 and Fall 1999 semesters and who took both the COMPASS pre-test and the COMPASS post-test. The pre-test mean of the sample was 66.8 and the post-test mean was 70.25. The correlation of the COMPASS pre-test and post-test scores was .37, indicating a weak correlation. A t-test found that the difference in the COMPASS pre-test mean and post-test mean of this sample was not statistically significant at the .05 level of significance (p-value = .12). Data was then gathered for a paired sample of 67 students who took the both the COMPASS pre-test and post-test and the Nelson-Denny Reading pre-test and posttest. The mean of the sample on the COMPASS pre-test was 70.18 and the mean on the COMPASS post-test was 72.08. A t-test indicated that the difference in means on the pre-test and post-test was not statistically significant at the .05 level of significance (p-value = .041). Additionally, there was a weak correlation (.09) between the COMPASS pre-test and post-test scores of this sample. The scale score mean of this sample on the Nelson-Denny Reading post-test was slightly lower (188.45) than the scale score mean (188.75) on the Nelson-Denny Reading pre-test. A t-test showed that this difference was not statistically significant at the .05 level of significance (p-value = .92). However, there is a strong correlation between the Nelson-Denny Reading pre- and post-test scale scores of this sample (.82). In order to compare the scores from the two tests, the raw scores were converted to scale scores and then to z-scores. A t-test showed that there was no statistically significant difference in the means of the sample on the COMPASS post-test and the Nelson-Denny post-test at the .05 level of significance (p-value = .95). The weak correlation of the COMPASS pre- and post-tests would seem to caution against using COMPASS as a measure of growth in reading skills. However, given the small sample sizes (n = 67 in COMPASS/NelsonDenny post-test sample and n = 76 in the COMPASS pre/post-test sample), further research needs to be done on the use of COMPASS as a valid pre/post measure of improvement in reading skills. The results of this pre/post-testing study highlights the inadvisability of using such tests to measure growth. While there was no statistically significant difference in the means of the COMPASS or Nelson-Denny Reading pre- and post-tests, it is not the case that these students did not demonstrate improved reading skills. In addition to the pre- and post-tests, a reading portfolio was used to assess students' reading skills. No student is permitted to pass ENG 005 without submitting a portfolio which includes assignments which require students to provide a letter describing how their reading strategies have changed, a self-evaluation of their portfolio, a written summary of a reading selection, and a description of a study-reading system. Other assignments may include skimming for the main idea, outlining, a literary analysis, and a research project. The portfolios are graded using a holistic scoring grid and are considered satisfactory only if each of the assignments demonstrates competence. To pass the course, students must achieve a score of 3 or 4 on a four-point scale, indicating the ability to successfully complete college-level reading assignments. Students who receive less than a score of 3 on the portfolio are required to repeat the course even in those cases where there are significant gain scores on the post-tests. Of the 61 students in this sample who submitted portfolios, 58 (95%) received a score of 3 or 4. Thus, while the pre/post-tests scores did not indicate a statistically significant difference in the performance of the sample on the pre-tests and post-tests, the portfolio assessment indicated that at least 95% of the students in this sample did demonstrate not only improvement in reading skills but also the ability to complete college-level reading assignments. Tracking Study Data provided by the Office of Institutional Research formed the basis of a study tracking students who passed a developmental ENG course and subsequently took a college-level, reading-based course. When monitoring the success of developmental students in college-level, reading- based courses, it is important to consider that reading skills do not manifest themselves in a visible product in the manner that writing skills are manifested in a writing sample or math skills are manifested in the solution of a problem. Reading skills must be assessed indirectly, and there are many variables unrelated to reading ability which may confound the assessment. Therefore, it is difficult to link the reading performance of students in developmental reading courses directly to their reading performance in college-level courses. The reader is cautioned to keep this caveat in mind when considering the data below. The chart below displays data for students who passed a developmental reading course (either ENG 004 or ENG 005) and subsequently passed a college-level, reading-based course selected for this study. A three-year time frame was used to form cohorts of developmental students which were tracked. For example, students who passed a developmental reading course in Fall 1994 and subsequently passed one of the selected college-level, reading-based courses by Fall 1997 form the 1994/97 cohort. The "pass rate" is defined as completing the course with a "C "or better and is displayed as the percent of developmental students who passed the developmental course and subsequently passed the college-level course within three years. For comparative purposes, a "total" pass rate is displayed. This is defined as the percentage of all students who took the course in the last fall semester of the cohort time frame and passed with a C or better. Table 3: Student Success After Passing ENG 004 or ENG 005 Cohort ENG Dev BUS Total 100 Dev Total Dev HIS Total 101 Dev Total Dev HIS Total 121 Dev total 1994/97 1995/98 1996/99 1994/97 1995/98 1996/99 004 004 004 005 005 005 num num Pass Pass num num Pass Pass num num Pass Pass 20 1046 60.0% 67.3% 9 525 22.2% 58.7% 21 1212 66.7% 67.1% 56 1166 60.7% 69.2% 27 508 40.7% 59.2% 81 1307 59.3% 63.9% 37 1257 37.8% 66.6% 4 567 50.0% 56.9% 46 1345 43.5% 67.2% 99 1046 56.6% 67.3% 59 525 50.8% 58.7% 154 1212 55.8% 67.1% 91 1166 67.0% 69.2% 50 508 52.0% 59.2% 179 1307 66.5% 63.9% 94 1257 56.4% 66.6% 40 567 57.5% 56.9% 111 1345 54.1% 67.2% With few exceptions, the pass rates of students who passed ENG 005 and subsequently took one of the college-level courses selected for this study are somewhat below that of the total pass rate. The pass rates of students who passed ENG 004 are also below that of the total pass rate, sometimes significantly so. Much caution must be exercised when comparing pass rates. Note that the developmental students passing a college-level course selected for this study within three years of passing a developmental course are relatively few in number and took the courses over a threeyear span. On the other hand, since the total number of developmental students passing the course is so low compared to the total number of students taking the course in last fall of the cohort time frame, they do not unduly influence the total pass rate. Use Of Assessment Results To Improve Student Learning, Instruction, Programs, And Services in Reading Goal Being Assessed Evaluation Method Findings Actions Taken Students who complete a Pre/post standardize The reading skills The Nelson-Denny Reading developmental reading test students as measured by Test is being used as one of course will demonstrate the Nelson-Denny several criteria to determine improved reading skills Reading Test improved whether a student should exit after taking ENG 005. ENG 005. Portfolios Students needed to learn Students are taught effective strategies for various reading strategies for different types of reading types of reading situations and situations. must be able to state these strategies in writing before exiting the course. Comparative study There was no statistically Reading faculty will continue to of COMPASS and significant difference in rely primarily on portfolios to the means of the document students' Student who complete a developmental reading course will demonstrate improved summarizing skills. COMPASS or Nelsoncompetency in reading skills. Denny Reading pre- and Nelson-Denny prepost test scores of a post-tests of this sample. paired sample of 67 students. Tracking Study The pass rates of Tracking studies will students who passed continue to be used with ENG 005 and caution to monitor the subsequently took a college-level course are performance of developmental reading below that of the total pass rate. The pass students in college-level rates of students who courses. passed ENG 004 are also below that of the total pass rate. Portfolios Students' summarizing More summarizing skills needed activities were included in strengthening. Student who complete a developmental reading course will demonstrate improved note-taking skills. Portfolios ENG 005. Students are now required to summarize editorials from the Washington Post or articles from Newsweek. Students needed to Five different text-book learn alternative note-taking systems are textbook note-taking now taught. Students systems. Students may demonstrate mastery needed to learn to by choosing the system take notes on they find most valuable. lectures. Instruction on taking lecture notes has been added to the curriculum. Students were experiencing difficulty in organizing materials for the portfolio. Reading and writing skills needed to be integrated. Students are taught how to keep an organized note book and create a table of contents for their portfolios. Student who complete a Portfolios developmental reading course will demonstrate improved organizational skills. Students who complete a Portfolios developmental reading course will demonstrate improved literacy skills. Students who complete a Portfolios developmental reading course will demonstrate improved study skills. Students will demonstrate Classroom basic computer Assessment competency skills. Most sections of ENG 005 now require a written essay about a literary work as part of the portfolio. Some faculty felt a need Faculty may choose to to test for improved study administer a Study Reading skills. Skills test to determine whether students have mastered this requirement. Some students needed Computer assisted to improve their basic learning and research computer skills. skills using computers have been introduced into ENG 005. Programs to reinforce reading skills such as Focus on Grammar and the Ultimate Speed Reader have been purchased. ESL Population Northern Virginia Community College has a relatively large population of students whose primary language is not English. The percentage of first-time students enrolling in one or more ESL courses has increased from 741 students or 7.8% of first-time students enrolling at the college in Fall 1995 to 948 students or 9.5% of first-time student enrolling in Fall 1999. Pre/Post-testing The Assessment Office collected data from three semesters (Spring 99, Fall 99, and Spring 2000) for 212 students enrolled in ESL 017, the exit level ESL reading course, who had taken both the Nelson-Denny Reading pre-test and the Nelson-Denny Reading post-test, the same test administered in ENG 005, the exit level developmental reading course. Since the publishers of the Nelson-Denny Reading test recommend that scale scores be used to assess growth over a period of time, the raw scores for the paired sample were converted to scale scores using a table provided by the test publishers. The correlation of the pre-test scale scores and the post-test scale scores was .82 indicating a strong correlation. The scale score mean of the pre-test sample was 182.38 and the scale score mean of the post-test sample was 187.27. A t-test indicated that the difference in means on the pre-test and post-test is statistically significant at the .05 level of significance (p-value = 0.00). Thus, it can be concluded that the reading skills of this sample of students as measured by the Nelson-Denny Reading Test improved after taking ESL 017. The scores of this cohort were then compared to the scores of the cohort who had taken ENG 005. A t-test for differences in two means indicated that there is no statistically significant difference in the post-test scale score means of the two populations at the .05 level of significance (p-value = 0.0827). Thus it could be concluded that the reading skills of ESL students completing the exit level ESL reading course are about the same as those of the developmental students completing the exit level developmental reading course. Tracking Study Language skills in ESL courses are assessed in a variety of ways. ESL courses at all levels include grammar tests, writing assignments including in-class writing, class presentations, and reading journals. Several campuses rely primarily on portfolios which are graded by several instructors to assess students in the exit-level reading course (017) and writing course (013). At one campus, students in the exit-level writing course (ESL 013) are required to pass the exit test, a three-hour, in-class essay. The test is graded by two full-time faculty members. Students are not graded by their own teachers. To track the success of ESL students in ENG 111, a three-year time frame was used to form cohorts. For example, students who passed ESL 013, the exit level ESL writing course, in Fall 1994 and subsequently took ENG 111 by Fall 1997 form the 1994/97 cohort. The chart below displays the pass rate for students who passed ESL 013 and subsequently passed ENG 111 with ENG 009 (individualized instruction) or ENG 111 within the next three years. For comparative purposes, the pass rate of developmental students and the total pass rate are also shown. Table 4: Comparative Pass Rates for ENG 111 Three-year ESL 013 (ESL Writing) ENG111/009 Cohort ESL 013 (ESL Writing) ENG 111 ENG 003 (Dev. Writing) ENG 111/009 % num % ENG 003 (Dev. Writing) ENG 111 num % Total Pass ENG 111 num % num num 2368 2499 2469 % 65.8% 68.5% 65.5% 1994 - 1997 1995 - 1998 1996 - 1999 201 194 188 87.1% 89.2% 88.3% 108 109 94 80.6% 77.1% 84.0% 109 78 109 74.3 84.6 78.9 138 51 109 80.4% 66.7% 75.2% The pass rate of students passing ESL 013 and subsequently taking ENG 111 within three years is very good ranging from a low of 77.1% to a high of 84% for an average of about 80.6% over the semesters for which the data was gathered. Students taking ENG 111 with individualized instruction in writing (ENG 009) had an even higher passing rate of about 88.2% over the years for which the data was gathered. The pass rate of the ESL students in ENG 111 or ENG 111/009 dramatically exceeded the total pass rate for ENG 111. The pass rate of ESL students also exceeded the 75% pass rate average for developmental students taking ENG 111 and the 80.4% pass rate average of developmental students taking ENG 111/009. Clearly, students who pass the exit level ESL writing course are prepared to take college composition. The chart below displays the pass rate for students who passed ESL 017, the exit-level reading course or ESL 013, the exit-level writing course, and subsequently took a reading-based, college-level course selected for this study within the next three years. For comparative purposes, the pass rate of developmental students and the total pass rate for the courses are also shown. Table 5: Comparison of Pass rates for Students Completing ESL Courses Cohort ESL ESL BUS Total 100 ESL Total ESL HIS Total 101 ESL Total ESL HIS Total 121 ESL total 1994/97 1995/98 1996/99 1994/97 1995/98 1996/99 013 013 013 017* 017* 017* num num 100 132 129 84 98 116 1049 1166 1257 1049 1166 1257 Pass Pass num 82.0% 67.3% 81.8% 69.2% 79.8% 66.6% 77.4% 67.3% 82.7% 69.2% 74.1% 66.6% 57 40 40 50 31 41 num Pass Pass num num Pass Pass 525 71.9% 58.7% 145 912 78.6% 67.1% 508 77.6% 59.2% 115 1307 78.3% 63.9% 567 65.0% 56.9% 134 1345 72.4% 67.2% 525 74.0% 58.7% 122 912 82.0% 67.1% 508 80.6% 59.2% 106 1307 79.2% 63.9% 567 68.3% 56.9% 110 1345 74.5% 67.2% In every instance, the students who had completed the ESL courses passed at a rate dramatically higher than the total pass rate for each of these courses. While the number of ESL students do not constitute a statistically significant sample of the total number of students who took the college-level courses, their numbers are large enough to sufficiently document that students completing the ESL courses perform well in college level-courses. Use Of Assessment Results To Improve ESL Student Learning, Instruction, Programs, And Services Goal Being Assessed Evaluation Method Students completing Comparative ESL courses will study of demonstrate pre/post competency in reading test language skills. scores. Tracking studies Findings Reading skills of ESL students completing the exit level ESL reading course and developmental students completing the exit level reading course were about the same as measured by the Nelson-Denny Reading Actions Taken The Nelson-Denny Reading test will continue to be used to monitor the reading skill level of students completing the exitlevel ESL reading course. Comparative studies of the performance of ESL students and native speakers in reading will continue. Exit level criteria for reading goals for each level of ESL will be completed .An ESL Curriculum Issues Committee will adjust curriculum in non-exit level courses so students entering exit-level courses will have the prerequisite skills. Test. Pass rates of ESL students in ENG 111 exceed those of other students. Students completing ESL Discipline Students' oral language Faculty shared successful teaching ESL courses will Review skills needed methods at an oral Communication demonstrate strengthening. Workshop. A pronunciation lab was competency in oral established on the Annandale campus; language skills. students can now use three software programs to improve their pronunciation. The pronunciation lab at Alexandria now keeps longer hours. A Conversation Partners Program was established at Alexandria providing students with opportunities to practice oral communication with native English speakers. ESL 008 and 009 are now Students completing Portfolios ESL courses will demonstrate competency in oral language skills Students completing Discipline ESL courses will Review demonstrate appropriate skills at each course level offered on both the Annandale and Alexandria campuses. Collaborative learning activities such as group reports are encouraged. Reading and writing ESL 017, a five-credit course, was created skills need to be to replace ENG 107, a three-credit integrated. course. Writing and reading skills are integrated. Portfolios are used to determine whether students are eligible to exit the course. Criteria for writing goals at each level of Assessment of ESL have been established. Work on student other skill areas continues. Uniform exit achievement in non- criteria and assessment methods for all exit level ESL campuses have been established. courses was needed. Students will be Discipline placed in ESL Review courses appropriate to their skill level. Administration procedures for placement tests varied by campus. The COMPASS ESL placement test is being piloted on two campuses. Once the administrative problems with the placement test have been resolved and appropriate cut-off scores and administration procedures have been established, COMPASS will replace other placement tests now in use. III. Transfer A Fall 1998 report from the State Committee on Transfer on the migration of community college students within the state from Fall 1996 to Fall 1997 indicates that of 35,337 students enrolled in Fall 1996 at NVCC, 2,758 were enrolled in a different institution in the state in Fall 1997. Of those NVCC students who transferred to another institution within the state, 195 (7%) were enrolled in a private institution, 2,381 (86%) were enrolled in a public four-year institution, and 182 (7%) were enrolled in a public two-year institution other than NVCC. Among the private institutions, Marymount University enrolled the largest number (114) of former NVCC students. Among the public fouryear institutions, George Mason University enrolled the largest number of former NVCC students (1,504). Guideline 8 data on transfer students is provided to the college by twelve senior reporting institutions. The number of senior institutions reporting each year varies. Data for 1998 - 1999 is available from only three reporting institutions and data from 1999 2000 is available from only one reporting institution. Over the years of 1992 - 1998, at least 8218 NVCC students have transferred to the twelve reporting institutions. (Note: data for 1996 - 97, 1997 - 98, 1998 - 1999 and 1999 - 2000 is incomplete as not all senior institutions reported in those years.) The chart below displays the available Guideline 8 data. Table 6: Students Transferring 1992 - 99 1270* 1208* 1998 - 99 168* * Data was not received from all reporting institutions. Of the twelve reporting institutions, George Mason is by far the institution to which most of our students transfer. The number of students enrolling at that institution 1992 - 93 through 1997 - 98 varies from a high of 1036 students in 1995 - 96 to a low of 881 students in 1996 - 97. In second place is James Madison with a high of 275 students in both 1993 -94 and in 1995 - 96 to a reported low of 44 students in 1997 - 98, although the 1997 - 1998 data may be incomplete. Transfers to Virginia Tech ranged from a low of 63 students in 1993 - 94 to a high of 89 students in 1998 - 99. 1997 - 98 Year 1992 - 93 1993 - 94 1994 - 95 1995 - 96 1996 - 97 Number of Students 1404 1410 1405 1521 Most NVCC students who transfer do so before graduating. Indeed, for each reporting institution, the number of students who transferred before graduating exceeded the number students who graduated first and then transferred. Almost half of the students who transfer are not program placed, an indication that they did not intend to earn a degree or certificate from NVCC. The number of program-placed students who graduate before transferring varies rather significantly from institution to institution. For example, 75% of the program placed students who transfer to George Mason graduate before transferring while 54% of program placed students who transfer to James Madison graduate before transferring. The program the student transfers into at the receiving institution and the existence of articulation agreements may be factors influencing whether program placed students graduate before transferring. The percentage of Asian students in the transfer student population exceeds their percentage of the total student population. The same had been true of the White student population, but that seems to be a trend that is changing. In 1996 - 97, the percentage of White students in the transfer student population (61%) more closely mirrored the percentage of White students in the total NVCC student population (65%). While the percentage of Hispanic and Black students in the transfer student population has never exceeded their percentage of the total NVCC student population, there is an increasing percentage in both the total student population and the transfer student population. Table 7: NVCC Transfer Student Population by Race, 1992 - 97 Race White Black Percent of Total Enrolled Transferred Enrolled 1992-93 1993-94 1994-95 1995-96 1996-97 71% 68% 65% 63% 61% 80% 76% 71% 69% 65% 11% 12% 12% 13% 13% Transferred American Indian Enrolled Transferred Asian Hispanic Other Enrolled Transferred Enrolled Transferred Enrolled Transferred 5% < 1% < 1% 10% 11% 5% 4% 2% 1% 5% < 1% < 1% 12% 12% 6% 4% 3% 3% 7% < 1% < 1% 13% 15% 7% 5% 3% 3% 7% < 1% < 1% 13% 15% 8% 6% 3% 3% 8% < 1% < 1% 13% 18% 8% 5% 4% 3% Performance of NVCC Transfer Students at Senior Institutions About 80% of NVCC students who transfer to a senior institution perform well and are in good standing. The chart below displays the academic standing of those students for which the senior institutions reported. Note that data for 322 NVCC transfer students was not provided by the reporting senior institutions Table 8: Academic Standing of NVCC Transfer Students Reporting Year 1995 - 96 1996 - 97 1997 - 98 1998 - 99* Number and Pres. List Percent num % num % num % num % Dean's List Good Standing 191 13.0% 200 19.5% 218 18.6% 1 0.60% 974 66.3% 598 58.3% 724 61.8% 144 85.7% Warning Probation Suspension 30 2.0% 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0.% 0.0 0.0% 165 11.2% 122 11.9% 134 11.4% 6 3.6% 57 3.9% 66 6.4% 50 4.3% 16 9.5% 53 3.6% 39 3.8% 46 3.9% 1 0.6% *Data was not provided by senior institutions for 322 students. However, NVCC students who transfer perform slightly less well, as a group, at the senior institution than they did at NVCC. Over the four years for which data was provided, the four-year mean GPA of these students at the senior institution was about .48 lower than their mean GPA at NVCC. This is less than the 1.00 drop in mean GPA reported in past NVCC Assessment Reports. For the years 1995 - 1998, the NVCC mean GPA of Black students was lower than the mean NVCC GPA of any other racial group. Similarly, the mean GPA of Black students who transferred is also lower than other racial group. Another source of information concerning the success of NVCC students at senior institutions is the Course-Based Model of Transfer Success (CBMTS), a project directed by Michael Quanty. CBMTS provides data gathered during 1997 - 1998 on students who had taken prerequisite courses at a community college and subsequently took courses at one of six senior institutions: Christopher Newport University, James Madison University, Old Dominion University, Radford University, George Mason University, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The purpose of the project was to determine how well prerequisite courses taken at community colleges prepared students for subsequent courses taken at senior institutions. The CBMTS project computed the success rate in targeted courses and disciplines for students who completed prerequisites for specific targeted courses at the transfer institution, for students who completed the prerequisites at NVCC, and for students who completed the prerequisites at another community college. Data for targeted courses cover the academic years of 1993 - 1994 through 1996 - 1997. “Success rate” was defined as receiving a grade of A, B, C, S, or P. The following parameters of the data must be kept in mind: Only the first grade earned by a student in the course at the senior institution is included in the data. The grade of “W” for students who withdrew from a course is considered to represent unsuccessful completion of the course and may artificially lower the success rate of community college students A student who took a prerequisite course at NVCC was considered to be a NVCC student regardless of the number of credits the student may have earned at NVCC. The unit of analysis in the project is the course, not the student. That is to say, what is being counted in the study is the number of grades and not the number of students. For example, in a targeted discipline which included four courses, the four grades counted may have been those of one student who took all four courses or four students each of whom took one course. The table below displays the total number of grades for native, NVCC, and other community college students included in the project along with an overall success rate over the years covered by the study. It is important to note the total number of grades in each cohort as well as the success rate for the cohort. For example, the grades of the NVCC cohort represent about 1% of the Christopher Newport grades included in the study while other the grades of community college students represent about 23%. However, at George Mason the grades of the NVCC cohort represent 27% of the grades included in the study while the grades of other community college students represent only about 1%. Table 9: Comparison of Overall Success Rates by Institution Transfer Institution C. Newport James Madison George Mason Old Dominion Radford Virginia Tech Total Native Student Grades 7016 20143 26971 15151 33662 57325 Native Success Rate 80.0% 84.5% 84.1% 82.6% 80.4% 80.4% Total NVCC Student Grades 94 623 10373 716 1367 1307 NVCC Success Rate 70.2% 74.6% 86.0% 75.0% 77.8% 78.1% Total Other Other CC Success Rate 82.6% 79.6% 78.7% 81.3% 81.2% 76.9% CC Student Grades 2128 1500 548 6537 5849 4029 In the targeted disciplines, the success rate of NVCC students who transferred to George Mason, the institution to which most NVCC students transfer, slightly exceeds that of native students and that of other community college students. The success rate of the NVCC cohort in the targeted courses at Virginia Tech is slightly lower than that of native students and slightly higher than that of other community college students. The number of reported grades for the NVCC cohort represents about 2% and other community college students’ grades represent about 6% of the total number of Virginia Tech grades included in the study. At James Madison the success rate of the NVCC cohort in the targeted courses is lower than that of native students by about 10% and lower than that of other community college students by about 5%. NVCC students’ grades represent about 3% and other community college students’ grades represent about 7% of the total number of James Madison grades included in the study. In the six disciplines in which the NVCC grades represent a statistically significant sample of the total number of grades recorded in the CBMTS project, the NVCC success rate was higher than the native rate in two disciplines (mathematics and statistics) about the same in three disciplines (economics, English, psychology), and lower in one (marketing). Additional information on the success of NVCC transfer students at James Madison is provided by the James Madison Office of Institutional Research in a report entitled “Community College Transfer Performance at JMU,” July 1998. That report indicates that in Fall 1996, 53 NVCC students transferred to JMU. No other two-year public college had more transfer students at JMU than did NVCC. The second largest number of transfer students (43) came from Blue Ridge Community College, and the third largest number (34) came from Lord Fairfax Community College. At the end of their first year, 80% of all transfer students were either in Good Standing, on the Dean’s List, or on the President’s List. Of the NVCC transfers, 81% of the students were in Good Standing or above, 78% of the Blue Ridge transfers were in Good Standing or above, and 76% of the Lord Fairfax transfer students were in Good Standing or above. The report states that 91% of all undergraduates at JMU were in Good Standing or above. Use Of Assessment Results To Improve Student Learning, Instruction, Programs, And Services Goal being Evaluation Assessed Method Students CBMTS in transfer programs Guideline 8 will be data adequately prepared for transfer Findings Data provided by the CBMTS has significant limitations and must be interpreted with caution Actions taken or to be taken The Biology Discipline and the Engineering Program Guideline 8 data has limited use for improving student learning, instruction, used the data to research programs, and services. the alignment of the NVCC EGR courses with those at the sr. institutions. This data will continue to be used to monitor the general performance of NVCC students at transfer institutions. Distribution of the data to administrative officers, clusters, and program faculty will continue. In program reviews, transfer programs are required to include data indicating how well the program prepares students for transfer Clusters are requested to review articulation agreements each year. An analysis of transfer data Compilation Performance of NVCC students at the of transfer institutions is generally good Guideline 8 but needs continual monitoring. data and data from the CBMTS was presented to the Curriculum Committee and was distributed to the president, academic dean, provosts, members of the Administrative Council, and division chairs. IV. Special Topic: High School Graduates The NVCC Office of Institutional Research (OIR) does not provide data via the VCCS Research and Assessment Data Support System (RADSS). Therefore, the RADSS reports requested by the guidelines for this assessment report were not available. However, the NVCC Office of Institutional Research completed a study in June 1999 on the performance of Planning District 8 High School Graduates (PD8) who enrolled at the college. Additionally, in August of 1998, OIR completed an extensive study of all 1997 high school students enrolled at the college. Special Study of Planning District 8 High School Students Of the 2,156 students who graduated from PD8 high schools in 1997, 14.9% enrolled in NVCC in the Fall 1997 semester. Of those, 55% enrolled in one or more developmental courses. This percentage is very close to the 54.1% of the high school graduates enrolling in one or more developmental courses in Fall 1994. More high school students enrolled in developmental English courses than in developmental math courses. While the data provided by NVCC OIR and by RADSS is somewhat different, there seems to be a downward trend in the percentage of high school students enrolling in developmental courses. This is especially true in of high school graduates enrolling in ESL courses. However, OIR data indicates that in Fall 1997, eight high schools had 10% or more of their graduates enrolled in NVCC ESL courses during the Fall 1997 semester. Table 10: High School Graduates Enrolled in Developmental Courses Year Data from NVCC OIR Data from RADSS Devel. Devel. ESL Devel. Devel. Math Math Eng. Eng. Fall 1994 Fall 1995 Fall 1997 51% 53% 44% 29% 19% 31% 15% 28% 7% 42% 39% NA 27% 25% NA In Fall 1997, 68% of the students enrolled in a developmental English course completed it in their first semester. By the end of the third semester, Fall 1998, 71% of the students enrolling in Fall 1997 who had passed a developmental English course had also completed ENG 111. Only 13% of the students were not able to complete ENG 111. The remaining 16% had either left NVCC or had not yet enrolled in ENG 111. Of the PD8 high school students enrolling in a developmental math course in Fall 1997, 38% successfully completed the course. Three semesters after enrolling in a developmental math course, 45% of the students in this cohort had not enrolled in any college level math course. Of the students who did enroll in a college-level math course, 47% successfully completed it with a C or better. Only 10% of the students completed a developmental and college-level math course by the end of their third semester. Of this cohort, 1053 students (49% ) were program placed in their first semester. Of these students, most (51%) selected an A.S. degree program. About 21% chose an A.A. degree program and about 22% chose an A.A.S. degree program. A few students (4%) chose a certificate program and about 2% chose an A.A.A. degree program. Fiftytwo different programs were selected with General Studies being the most frequent choice (32%), Liberal Arts the second most frequent (27%), Business Administration the third (18%), Computer Science the fourth (14%) and Science the fifth (9%). Special Study of High School Graduates In an August 1998 OIR study, high school graduates were identified by selecting firsttime enrollees on the Institutional Research System (IRIS) files and matching their identification numbers with the NVCC Master File to find the 1997 high school graduates and their high schools. The number of public high school graduates in Virginia was obtained from the Virginia Department of Education. OIR staff members contacted private high schools for the number of their 1997 graduating classes. Demographic information, GPA, and developmental course enrollment were extracted from the IRIS files for the 1997 - 1998 academic year. This study found that since 1995 there has been a yearly increase in the number of recent high school graduates who attended NVCC. In fall of 1997, a total of 3, 907 students who had recently graduated from high school attended classes at NVCC. Most of these students (73%) came from public high schools in PD8. Overall, NVCC enrolled 19.1% of all 1997 high school graduates from PD8 during the 1997 - 98 academic year, about the same as in the previous five years. If projections of public high school graduates in Virginia prove correct, it is expected that high school graduates will continue to enroll at NVCC in increasing numbers perhaps necessitating expanded faculty and academic and student support services. Most of the high school graduates enrolled at NVCC in 1997 - 98 attended full-time and took classes during the day. Fifty-two percent enrolled in one or more developmental English, mathematics, or ESL courses during their first semester at NVCC. Five percent of this cohort received a high school General Equivalency Diploma (GED) and 19% came to NVCC from out-of-state and foreign countries. Non-US citizens comprised 36% of the Alexandria campus population and 21% of the Annandale campus population. With the exception of the Alexandria campus, over 50% of this cohort were not program placed in a curriculum at the end of their first semester. In contrast, 36% of all NVCC students were not program placed. About 74% of the students who were program placed were enrolled in a program leading to an A.A. or A.S. with 25% in an A.A.S. degree program and less than 1% in a certificate program. The 1997 high school graduates did not attain a semester mean GPA of above 2.0. Full-time students had a Fall 1997 semester mean of 1.9 and Spring 1998 mean of 1.8 while part-time students had a Fall 1997 mean of 1.6 and Spring 1998 mean of 1.8. In comparison, other new students had a Fall 1997 semester mean GPA of 2.2 regardless of full-time/part-time status. Other new full-time students had a Spring 1998 semester mean of 2.1 and other new part-time students had a spring semester mean of 2.2. In each semester, the GPA of the high school graduates who took both developmental and non-developmental courses was lower than the GPA of other new students who took both developmental and non-developmental courses as was the GPA of the 1997 high school graduates who took no developmental courses when compared to other new students who took no developmental courses. Retention Rates Retention rates of the Fall 1997 high school gradates enrolled at NVCC in the Fall 1997 semester and re-enrolling in the spring 1998 semester varied by high school ranging from a high of 90% retention to a low of 60%. The overall retention rate for this cohort was 71%. The GED students had one of the lowest return rates (49%). There was only a slight difference in retention of the male and female populations. However, there were significant differences in retention of racial groups. Black students were retained at a rate below that of any other racial group while Asian students were retained at a rate higher than any other racial group, except Native Americans who made up only 1% of this cohort. The table below displays this data. Table 11: Retention of 1997 High School Graduates by Race Racial group White Hispanic Asian Black Fall 1997 1690 302 298 249 Spring 1998 1208 222 228 141 % Return 71.3% 73.5% 76.5% 56.6% Native Am. Others 38 137 31 107 81.6% 78.1% The PD8 research report, which reported only on 1997 graduates from Planning District 8 high schools, reveals an even greater disparity in the retention of these students by racial groups. That report tracked the 1997 PD8 cohort over three semesters, Fall 1997 to Spring 1998 and Spring 1998 to Fall 1998. The largest minority groups in the entering cohort were Asian (269 or 12.5%) and Hispanic (260 or 12.1%). The 194 Black students in this group accounted for 9.0% of the entering cohort Over 75% of the Asian and Hispanic students returned for the second semester (Spring 1998) and about 73% of the White students returned, but only 58.2% of the Black students returned. By the third semester, over 63% of both the Asian and Hispanic students returned and only 43.4% of the black students and 55.4% of the White students returned. The chart below displays this information. Table 12: Return Rate for Spring 1998 and Fall 1998 Semesters By Race # At NVCC Race White Black Native American Asian Hispanic Other Total OIR Research Report No. 4-98 # Return % Return # Return % Return Fall 1997 Spring 1998 Spring 1998 Fall 1998 Fall 1998 1,292 941 72.8 % 716 55.4 % 194 113 58.2 % 84 43.3 % 35 28 80.0 % 24 68.6 % 269 208 77.3 % 181 67.3 % 260 197 75.8 % 164 63.1 % 106 84 79.2 % 79 74.5 % 2,156 1,571 72.9 % 1,248 57.9 % The differences in retention rates of racial groups has been a special interest of the college in the last several years. Studies conducted by the Assessment Office and the Office of Institutional Research are continuing to contribute to our understanding of the issue. Additionally, data on the performance of PD8 high school graduates has been sorted by high school and shared with the appropriate school administrators in a meeting initiated by the college president.