Basic Skills Handbook



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Constructing a Framework for Success:

A Holistic Approach to Basic Skills


A Detailed Outline

Cover page (completed)

Introduction   (completed)

  • How to use this handbook

  • Definition of Terms

  • Further Info/websites etc


Chapter 1       Who are the Students with Basic Skills Needs?  (completed)

  • Who are the Students with Basic Skills Needs?

  • Demographics

  • How Diverse are Students with Basic Skills Needs?

  • So How Well are we Doing in Addressing these Diverse Students with Basic Skills Needs?

  • Successful Completion Rates

  • Why MUST we Improve these Numbers?

  • What Happens if we Don't Meet these Needs?

Chapter 2       Planning for Success and Developing a Culture of Inquiry (completed)   

  • Planning for Success and Developing a Culture of Inquiry

  • Quiz

  • Creating a culture of Learning and Inquiry on your Campus

  • We Teach by Modeling

  • Creating Inquiry Teams

  • Organizational Learning and Equity

  • Organizational Learning and BSI

  • Summary of a Few Useful Definitions

  • We all Love a Mystery

           Solve the Mystery - Basic Skills Case Study

           Solve the Mystery: A Campus Organization that Centralizes and Coordinates

  • So who has successfully coordinated these efforts?

Chapter 3       Starting Points: Digging the Foundation  (completed)

  •  Where are you now?

  • Self-Assessment Quiz

  • Student Services, Instructional Faculty, and Administrative Rubrics

  • A Word about the Rubric Titles

  • Where is your College?

  • Where do you fit into your institution’s picture as an engaged or mentor faculty, staff or administrator?

Chapter 4       Student Services: Redesigning the Structure (completed)        

Part 1: The Importance of Student Services: A National Perspective on Good Practices

  • Student Learning and Engagement – A Holistic Approach by the Entire Institution

  • Engagement, Communication of Expectations and Student Success

    • Quiz 1: Student Engagement

  • What Do We Mean by Student Engagement?  What does it mean for Student Services?

    • Quiz 2: Student Services Good Practices

  • Principles of Good Practice for Student Services  

Part 2: Student Voices About Student Services

  • Lessons Learned – the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE):

  • Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE) – What matters most to Community College Students as they enter the institution?

    • Relationships are What Matter Most

    • Strategies that Work –and their Implications for Student Services

    • Setting High Expectations and Clear Goals:

Part 3: Promising Practices in California Community Colleges' Student Services

  • Promising Practices in Financial Aids

    • Quiz 3: Promising Practices in Financial Aid

    • Michael MacCullum, Long Beach City College

    • The Institute for College Access & Success

    • Santa Barbara City College

  • Promising Practices in Library Services

    • Increasing Student Success Through Library Usage at Pasadena City College

    • Incorporating Library Services and Information Competency into Basic Skills Plans at San Francisco City College

  • Promising Practices in EOPS

    • EOPS and CARE Program Description and Outcomes

    • Crafton Hills EOPS: Developing Student Learning Outcomes for Student Services that Focus on the WHOLE Student – Focusing on Affective Outcomes

  • Promising Practices in Disabled Support Programs and Services (DSPS)

    • Promising Practices in DSPS at Bakersfield College

    • San Diego Mesa DSPS Program Student Learning Outcomes Assessment

  • Innovation and Improvement Through Assessing Student Services SLOs 

    • Department Specific SLO examples from California Community Colleges

    • Closing the Loop

  • Does Your Student Services Structure Need Redesigned?


Chapter 5       Effective Practices for all Disciplines: Common Building Materials (done)

  •  A Little Background: Neuroscience and Learning Theory

  • Student Preconceptions and Misconceptions

  •  Mastery of Content Specific Information

  • Active Learning

  • Deep Learning

  • Assessment and Learning

  • Metacognition

  • Student Self-assessment: A Metacognitive Strategy 

  • More Metacognitive Techniques for College Readiness

  • Student Learning Styles

  • Group Work to Enhance Active Learning and Multicultural Experiences


Chapter 6     Integrating Student Services and Instruction: Functional Wiring  (Completed)

  • A Necessary Foundation: Learning about Developmental Learners

  • Traditional Silos of Practice

  • Transformational Learner Development: Integration of Instruction and Support Services

  • Student Directed Programs

  • Faculty Directed Collaboration Activities

  • Shoring Up the Rebar: Learning Assistance Programs


Chapter  7     Effective Practices English : Specialty Supplies  (completed)

  • Introduction

  • Raising the Stakes: New Graduation Requirements

  • A little Quiz

  • A Little More Background

  • The Writing Process

    • Using the Writing Process

    • Drafting

    • Revising

    • Editing

    • Writing Practice

    •  Tips and Tricks

  • Grading Tips

  • Research Backed-Practices

  •  Writing Strategies

  • Learning Communities

    • Integrated Reading and Writing

    • Integrated Reading and Writing with Athletes

    • A Twist on Integrated Reading and Writing

    •  Departmental Integrated Reading and Writing

    • Institutional Integrated Reading and Writing

  •   Professional Organizations

  • Assessment

  • Completing the Assessment Loop

Chapter  8     Effective Practices ESL : Specialty Supplies  (completed)


A Quiz on Pertinent English as a Second Language Facts

What is Academic Literacy?

Acquiring a Second Language

Who are the ESL Students?

Generation 1.5

Data on our ESL Students Success

Effective Strategies

  • ·         Start Up Activities

  • ·         Metacognitive Activities

  • ·         Useful Techniques in the teaching of writing and grammar

  • ·         Useful techniques in the teaching of reading and vocabulary

  • ·         Useful techniques in the teaching of listening, speaking


Chapter  9     Effective Practices Mathematics : Specialty Supplies  (Completed)

  • Introduction to New Perspectives in Teaching Mathematics

  • A Place for All Mathematics Students and Faculty to Start: Pólya’s 4-step problem-solving process:

    •          Understanding the problem

    •          Developing a plan to solve the problem

    •          Carrying out the plan

    •          Looking back to see if you solved the problem

  •  Creating a Mathematics Course that Focuses on Success Using Student Learning Outcomes

  • Assessing SLOs: Creating Success

  •  Effective Practices: Creating a Mathematics Course that Focuses on Success Using Student Learning Outcomes

  •  Using Rubrics to Clarify Expectations for Work in   Mathematics and Enhance Success

  • Looking Back to See if We have Solved the Problem

Chapter  10   Effective Practices Reading : Specialty Supplies (Completed)

  • Start with a QUIZ

  • Part 1: The Reading Process

  • Part II: Effective Practices in Reading

  • A Reading Toolbox that Works

  • Metacognition in Reading - before, during and after reading practices

  • Part III: Specific Approaches that Employ Metacognitive Techniques

  • Reading Apprenticeship

  • Integrated Reading and Writing 

  • Reading and Mathematics

  • Maricopa Community College Reading Rubric

 Chapter  11   Basic Skills and Noncredit: Constructing A Bridge to College and Career Opportunities (Completed )

  • Who are Noncredit Students?

  • A Little Background  

  • Who Offers Noncredit?

  • How Many Community College Students are Enrolled in Noncredit?

  • The Need for Noncredit for High School Students

  • Instructional Delivery

  • Noncredit Delivery Modes: Open Entry/Open Exit and Managed Enrollment

  • Instructional Components and Supports for Noncredit Instruction

  • Funding for Noncredit

  • College Transitions

  • Noncredit Student Services

  • Noncredit ESL Pathways

  • Effective Practices in Noncredit Basic Skills and ESL

  •  Curriculum

Chapter  12   Tracking Student Progress through Basic Skills: A Discipline Framework (Completed)

  • A Mystery Emerges

  • Coding for Course Levels below College/Transfer level: CB 21 Coding

  • A Potential Solution: CB 21 Coding Rubrics

  • Guidelines or Philosophy for the Use of the CB21 Rubrics

  • Rubric Development: We Have a DRAFT!

  • Vetting the Rubrics

  • Where are We Now?

  • What Did We Learn?

Chapter 13   Working with Basic Skills Students in Career Technical Education: Completing the Building Part I (Completed)

  • Clearing up a few Common Misconceptions

  • Scans Skills

  • Learning Communities

  • DLA- Directed Learning Activities

  • Contextualized Instruction

  • Why Incorporate Contextualized Basic Skills into CTE Courses?

  • Where Have Contextualized Basic Skills Programs Been Used Successfully, Both Here in California and Nationally?

  • What is the process to develop contextualized instruction?

  • Taking Steps to Serve all our Students.

Chapter 14   Working with Basic Skills Students in Transfer Courses:            Completing the Building  Part II (Completed)

  • Students with Basic Skills Needs in Transfer Courses

  • But First, Assessing Your Own Attitude

  • What is Expected of Freshman level College Students?

  • ICAS Competencies 

  • Diagnosing Basic Skills Needs

  • Pedagogies that Address Basic Skills Needs

  • Metacognition

  • Set up a Research Study

  • Prerequisites: Recognizing Student’s Basic Skills Needs and Guiding them to Success


Chapter  15  Course Assessment Basics: Evaluating Your Construction (Completed)

  • Assessment as an Advocate

  • SLOs versus Course Objectives

  • Onward to Assessment

    • Formative vs. Summative Assessment

    • Direct vs. Indirect data

    • Qualitative versus Quantitative

  • Applying Assessment Basics to Real Life (examples: basic reading, counseling)

  • Closing the Loop

  • Final Advice

    Advanced Assessment: Multiple Measures (coming soon)·        Learning Communities

    ·        Writing, Reading, ESL and Tutoring labs

    ·        Setting Pre-requisites

    ·        Interdisciplinary Program coordination

    ·        Basic Skills Programs as a whole

    ·        Capstone Courses

 Chapter 16 Scaffolding and Foundational Support for College Success: The Role of Prerequisites

  • What is the Role of Prerequisites?

  • Student Views Concerning Prerequisites

  • What Now?

Chapter 17 The Role of Adjunct (Part-time) Faculty in Basic Skills (Done)

  • The “State of the State” of Adjunct Faculty in California Community Colleges

  • How Many Adjuncts Teach in California Community Colleges and How Many Teach Basic Skills Courses?

  • Let’s Begin with a Reality Check

  • A Check on the Legal Status of Adjunct Support - Another Quiz

  • The California Education Code
  • What are the Minimum Qualifications Required for All Faculty to Teach a Course in the California Community Colleges?

    • Minimum Qualifications

    • Assigning Courses to Disciplines

  • As An Adjunct, What Am I Legally Mandated To Do?

    •  A Note on Evaluations

  • What Other Info May You Need?  Some Tools and Suggestions for Adjuncts from Adjuncts!

    • Adjunct Survivor Tips: Getting Organized

  • Know the Basic GOOD PRACTICES in Basic Skills

    • Teaching Strategies

    • Use Professional Organizations to Keep Up To Date

  • The Big Picture Concerning Reliance on Adjuncts in Basic Skills

  • What Can College’s Do to Address Adjunct’s Role in Basic Skills?

 Chapter 18   More on Basic Skills Coordinators: Sustaining the Architect (Done)

Part 1:

  • Who will coordinate the basic skills efforts?

  •  Characteristics of Basic Skills Coordinators in California Community Colleges

  • Selection of Basic Skills Coordinators

  • What criteria are used to select Basic Skills Coordinators?

  • How do the Basic Skills Coordinators fund their tasks or who has a budget?

  • What do the Basic Skills Coordinator budgets fund?

     Part 2:

  • Examining the Most Common Practices in Relation to Identified Effective Practices

  • Is There a Significant Difference in the Basic Skills Success Rate of Colleges Based Upon Action Planning?

     Part 3:

  • What challenges are Basic Skills Coordinators facing?

  • Basic Skills Action Plans

  • Where is Your Campus or What is Actually Happening in the Field?

 Chapter 19  Administrative Role in Basic Skills Programs: Earthquake-proofing the Structure (completed)

  • Administrative Self Assessment Rubric
  • Examples of organizational and administrative effective practices
  • A chart of current basic skills funds and an explanation of funding categories
  • Where are colleges planning to spend their basic skills funds
  • Examples of how colleges might compliment the BSI funds with other funds in their budget.
  • Implementing the Downstream Cost/Revenue Model
  • Minimum Qualifications and Basic Skills Faculty


Chapter 20  Where to go from here: Maintenance and Expansion (Done)

  • Re-do Self Assessment: Where are you now?

  • Examining our Practices - Where are you on the rubric of good practices?

  • Sustaining the Effort

  • Where to go to further your learning

  • Professional Development as a Sustainable Practice to Improve Success - Rose Asera of the Carnegie Institute for the Advancement of Teaching

  • Additional Resources

  • The Role of The Academic Senate

  • Talking Points on the Basic Skills Initiative from the Chancellor's Office



Chapter 21            Workshops to Order: Renewing Your Supplies in Specific Areas (coming soon)