Require students whose diagnostic assessments show a lack of readiness for college to participate in a support resource, such as a student success course, learning community, or other sustained intervention, provided by the college for new students.
A student’s readiness for college is based on several factors in addition to their academic proficiency in English and mathematics. College readiness includes other variables that can influence a student’s ability to successfully complete credit-bearing, college-level coursework. The extensive work done by Dr. David Conley’s Education Policy Improvement Center at the University of Oregon defines four dimensions of “college knowledge” critical to student success: (1) Key cognitive strategies, including analysis, interpretation, precision, problem solving, and reasoning; (2) Specific types of content knowledge, most importantly the ability to read and write critically; (3) Attitudes and behavioral attributes, including study skills, time management, awareness of one’s performance, persistence, and the ability to utilize study groups; and (4) Contextual knowledge about college resources and expectations and how to successfully adjust to navigating the college environment.
Community colleges have tested numerous models of supporting under-prepared students, both inside and outside the classroom, through college success courses, first-year experience programs, learning communities, and campus-wide initiatives. These efforts promote critical thinking skills and behaviors, or “habits of mind” essential to college success. Experience within the CCC system and nationally demonstrates the effectiveness of such deliberate interventions in supporting student persistence and success.