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Facilitating Probationary Students' Success: Design, Evaluation, and Impact of Probationary Student Re-Orientation

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Title: Facilitating Probationary Students' Success: Design, Evaluation, and Impact of Probationary Student Re-Orientation


1
Facilitating Probationary Students' Success
Design, Evaluation, and Impact of Probationary
Student Re-Orientation
  • Esau Tovar ? Merril A. Simon
  • Presentation for the
  • 2004 NACADA Pacific Region Conference
  • Pasadena, CA ? April 21-23, 2004

2
Contact Information
  • Esau Tovar, M.S.
  • Faculty Leader/Counselor, Assessment Center
  • Project Director, Student Enhancement
    Educational Research Project
  • Santa Monica College
  • 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405
  • (310) 434-4012 tovar_esau_at_smc.edu
  • Merril A. Simon, Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology and
    Counseling
  • California State University Northridge
  • 18111 Nordhoff St. Northridge, CA 91330-8265
  • merril.simon_at_csun.edu
  • Note A full report addressing the design,
    evaluation, and outcomes of this project can be
    found at
  • http//homepage.smc.edu/tovar_esau/esauprof/SEER2
    0Counseling20Based20Interventions.doc

3
Presentation Abstract
  • Budgetary constraints continually force colleges
    to design more effective interventions to serve
    the most students possible. With up to 35 of
    first-time students at this urban, diverse,
    public California community college ending up on
    probation after their first semester, a
    probationary student re-orientation was
    developed to address their specific needs.
    Participants attended a two-hour orientation
    (based on collaborative/problem-based learning)
    by engaging them in small group counseling
    discussions on factors leading to their poor
    academic performance readiness, motivation, and
    commitment for college understanding
    institutional expectations balancing personal,
    academic, and social commitments and connecting
    with students and faculty. Compared to controls,
    participants were retained, persisted, made
    greater academic gains, and overcame probation to
    a significantly higher degree. Orientation
    content and methods will be shared.

4
Presentation Objectives
  • Participants will leave session with a better
    understanding on how to work with at-risk college
    students.
  • Participants will leave session with concrete
    ideas on how to implement a successful
    probationary student re-orientation.
  • Participants will be provided with an overview on
    how to design a comprehensive assessment/evaluatio
    n plan to measure the effectiveness of the
    orientation program and its impact on student
    success, course completion, and retention.
  • Participants will be given the opportunity to
    brainstorm and consider possible
    counseling/advising strategies during a
    question-and-answer period.

5
Intervention Strategies Rationale
6
Pre-Program Decisions
  • Follow-up of three year study on the effects of
    extended orientation intentional instructor and
    counselor involvement to create greater social
    and academic integration increased retention,
    persistence, and GPA resulted.
  • Successful, so undertook this study of
    first-time, first-semester probationary students
    to assess effect of select intervention
    strategies on same outcomes.

7
Rationale for Program Development
  • 35 of all first-time students are on probation
    at the end of their first term.
  • 54 - 73 success rate for first semester students
    based on ethnic breakdown)
  • Persistence rate of 54 from semester one to
    semester two.
  • Commitment by institution to successfully serve
    students.

8
Factors Underlying High Probationary Rates
  • Initial orientation to college does not meet
    students needs
  • Lack of social and/or academic integration
  • Delayed or flawed educational planning and
    undefined career goals.
  • Need for intrusive advisement and mandatory
    assessment
  • Delayed completion of math and English courses
    but needed for success in other courses

9
Program Goals
  • The aim of the Student Enhancement Educational
    Research Project (SEER)mainly through the
    re-orientation program was to increase the
    percentage of probationary (i.e., academic
    probation, progress probation, disqualified)
    students who
  • Completed courses successfully (i.e.,
    retention)
  • Persisted in higher proportions to the subsequent
    semester
  • Attained higher grades that would allow them to
    overcome their probationary status.

10
Strategies Designed
  • The intervention strategies designed and
    implemented included the following
  • Development of an innovative probationary student
    re-orientation
  • Use of intrusive and developmental advising
  • Assessment of students readiness and motivation
    to change existing patterns of unsuccessful
    behaviors and
  • Increase rate of assessment of students writing,
    reading, and mathematical skills.

11
Funding Support
  • Provided by
  • Santa Monica College
  • Fund for Instructional Improvement of the State
    of California

12
Counseling Faculty Training
  • Developmental, intrusive advisement strategies.
  • Using flashpoints
    (Hirsch, 2001)
  • Student involvement and I-E-O Model (Astin,
    1993)
  • Retention strategies (Basham Lunenburg,
    1998)
  • Social academic integration
    (Tinto, 1993)
  • Training on the administration and interpretation
    of the College Student Inventory
    (Stratil, 1988)

13
Characteristics of Programs Addressing Academic
Performance
  • Hirsch (2001) indicates that such programs must
  • Use a holistic approach to diagnosing causes for
    academic difficulties
  • Be cost-effective
  • Account for students motivation and readiness
    for change
  • Individualized interventions given the type of
    difficulty
  • Interventions based on study learning skills
    development (cognitive and affective).

14
Probationary Student Re-Orientation
  • Researched existing programs for probationary
    student in community colleges and four-year
    institutions.
  • Intended to address the specific needs of
    continuing students.
  • Discussed topics including commitment to college,
    motivation to succeed, understanding of
    institutional expectations, balancing, school,
    work and personal commitments and connecting
    with faculty members and peers (social and
    academic integration).

15
Re-Orientations Conducted
  • Summer 2002 (small pilotfocus group based 150
    students)
  • Winter 2003 (350 first semester students)
  • Summer 2003 (850 students)
  • Winter 2004 (fully institutionalized 700
    students)

16
Participant Invitations
  • Invitations for re-orientation sent to all
    students who had enrolled for the first time and
    were placed on academic or progress probation
    after their first semester follow-up phone call
    reminders to those who didnt respond.
  • Re-Orientation based on small group format
    focusing on problem-based-learning and
    collaborative learning strategies.
  • 10-15 students per group/20-30 group sessions
  • Led by a professional counselor

17
PBL Defined
  • Problem-based learning (PBL) is an instructional
    method that challenges students to "learn to
    learn," working cooperatively in groups to seek
    solutions to real world problems. These problems
    are used to engage students' curiosity and
    initiate learning the subject matter. PBL
    prepares students to think critically and
    analytically, and to find and use appropriate
    learning resources.
  • -- Barbara Duch (Editor of The Power of
    Problem-Based Learning)

18
Re-Orientation Beginning
  • Distribution of demographic questionnaire
    focusing on
  • Time/Distance to college Parents/Guardians
    educational level of attainment
  • Hours employed per week
  • Hours studied per week
  • High school GPA (approximate)
  • Students reason for probation and strategies for
    success
  • Introductions
  • Brief introduction of counselor and student
    worker
  • Overview of Orientation/Purpose of Program
  • Counselor briefly explained the purpose and
    history
  • Counselor presented an overview of orientation
  • Discussed What is Probation handout

19
Icebreaker Exercises
  • Gave students five minutes to write down a
    response to one of the following two questions
  • What was your biggest adjustment in starting
    college?
  • What is something important thing you have
    learned about yourself since starting college?
  • Volunteers from the group shared their responses.

20
Re-Orientation Discussion Questions (1 of 2)
  • After icebreaker activities, the following
    questions/topics were discussed
  • How many people have jobs? For those of you who
    do work, how does working affect your academic
    and social experience at SMC?
  • If you found yourself having trouble keeping up
    in class this coming semester, what would be the
    most effective method of improving your
    situation? Why would you choose this method?
    What has worked in the past? What has not
    worked?
  •      Distributed Math and English Tutoring
    Schedule Reminder of English/Math placement
    tests completion
  • Each semester, about 3,500 new students are
    placed on probation. What factors will those
    students need to address to become successful in
    college?
  • Distribute Calculating Your GPA handout

21
Re-Orientation Discussion Questions (2 of 2)
  • What does time management mean to you? How do
    you manage your time so that you can study enough
    hours each week?(If relevant, distribute Time
    Management handouts)
  • Have your instructors or counselors talked with
    you about effective study skills? What study
    skills would you recommend to others in your
    group?(If relevant, distribute Study Skills
    handouts)
  • Research has shown that college students face
    many personal obstacles while working to achieve
    their academic  goals. How do you deal with
    personal obstacles so that they  do not impede
    your progress towards your goals?

22
College Student Inventory
  • All students were asked to complete the
    assessmentand all but two did.
  • Version B100 items.
  • Assesses motivation, coping skills, and
    receptivity to support services. Provides a
    general overview of students likelihood to
    dropout and experience academic difficulty.
  • Takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.
  • Student and counselor will discuss results in a
    subsequent appointment.

23
CSI cont.
  • Norms for the CSI are available for four-year,
    and two-year schools.
  • Results include profiles for advisors and
    profiles for students with suggested
    interventions.
  • Also available is a full-length version (A164
    items). May be completed online or sent in for
    processing.

24
Completion of Re-Orientation
Process
  • Orientation Evaluation
  • Students completed evaluation and answered final
    demographic question when they finished their
    assessment
  • Based on what you learned here today, what do
    you plan to do differently next term?
  • Encouraged students to make an appointment to
    speak with a counselor during the following
    semester to solidify goals.

25
Financial Aid Information
  • Answered student questions regarding financial
    aid.
  • Distributed and discussed the green paper titled,
    Warning Being on Academic Probation Does Affect
    Financial Aid
  • Distributed Financial Aid Myths pamphlet

26
Campus Resources
  • Distributed and discussed the Contact
    Information Handout
  • Distributed and discussed the Campus Resources
    Handout
  • Including program-provided math English
    tutoring.
  • Showed dates and deadlines in SMC catalog
    (encouraged the students to buy one) and the
    Schedule of Classes.
  • Showed Student Planning Guide and where to get
    it on-line.
  • Showed Student Plannerbuy in the bookstore.

27
Evaluation Results
  • Reasons given for being on probation were
    assessed in terms of attribution theory with four
    areas (and a general-non-categorized) identified
  • Course Specific
  • Internal-Stable-Specific Attributions
  • Internal-Unstable-Specific Attributions
  • External-Stable-Specific Attributions
  • External-Unstable-Specific Attributions

28
Course Specific Attributions
  • Student states obvious reasons for lack of
    success (e.g., probationary status) in the
    following ways
  • Withdrew from too many courses
  • Low Grade Point Average

29
Internal-Stable-Specific Attributions
  • Student identifies an aspect of him/herself which
    contributed to poor performance, and seems to
    impact only a given course or only college.
  • Lack of Academic Preparation for Course
  • Adjustment to college
  • Too much fun
  • Lateness or attendance problems
  • Enrolling in too many classes

30
Internal-Unstable-Specific Attributions
  • Student identifies an aspect of him/herself
    which contributed to poor performance in course,
    but not other aspects of school.
  • Lack of Enthusiasm or Interest in the Course

31
External-Stable-Specific Attributions
  • Student states specific conflicts that
    contributed to poor performance and attributes
    lack of success to these entities.
  • Persistent Work Conflicts
  • Another person made me do it
  • Unreliable transportation/Distance

32
External-Unstable-Specific Attributions
  • Student states multiple conflicts that
    contributed to poor performance, but did not
    affect other aspects of life.
  • Poor performance (changed throughout) in class
  • Lack of studying
  • Poor time management
  • Family, personal, financial problems

33
Program Assessment
  • Outcomes Based on Winter 2003 Re-Orientation
    Attendees

34
Study Control Groups
  • Study Group
  • Students attending college for the first time in
    fall 2002 and subsequently placed on academic
    and/or progress probation at the conclusion of
    the semester AND participated in the probationary
    student re-orientation conducted in winter 2003.
  • Control Group 1
  • Students attending college for the first time in
    fall 2002 and subsequently placed on academic
    and/or progress probation at the conclusion of
    the semester AND DID NOT participate in the
    probationary student re-orientation conducted in
    winter 2003.
  • Control Group 2
  • The cohort of first-time college students placed
    on academic and/or progress probation after
    completing the fall 1999 semester.

35
Orientation Participation Demographics
  • 29 of invited probationary students attended
    orientation.
  • 80 were strictly on academic probation (lt 2.0
    GPA)
  • 315 students completed the College Adjustment
    Inventory




36
Gender Ethnicity
  • No Gender X Ethnicity differences found for
    participation.
  • Attendees were predominantly Latino (39).
    However, they constitute 26 of SMC students.
  • Age 93 were 22 or younger (M 19.5, SD 3.5).

37
Demographics (cont.)
  • Male and females differed on self-reported HS GPA
    (Female 2.8 vs. 2.7, p lt .05).
  • Ethnic differences in Distance traveled, travel
    time, and self-reported HS GPA (p lt .05).
  • Mode of Transportation 27 use public
    transportation to get to the college 55 drive
    13 are driven by another person and 5 walk or
    ride a bike.

38
Course-Taking Characteristics
39
Outcomes Attained
  • Effect of Re-Orientation on Select Student
    Outcomes

40
Re-Orientation Participation by Probationary
Outcomes
  • Although study and control group 1 students
    completed their first semester with a similar
    standing, those participating in the
    re-orientation were more likely to decrease their
    probationary rates
  • Academic Probation status
  • Participants 40 percentage point decrease in
    just one semester
  • Non-Participants 25 percentage points decrease

41
Re-Orientation Participation by Probationary
Outcomes
42
Influence of Re-Orientation Participation AND
Counseling on Probationary Outcomes
  • Probationary students attending the
    re-orientation meeting with a counselor
  • Accounted for fewer cases of academic probation
    in subsequent semester
  • 34 for participants vs. 42 for
    non-participants
  • Accounted for a greater proportion of good
    standing cases
  • 24 for participants vs. 18 for non-participants

43
Influence of Re-Orientation on Course Completion
  • Participants completed more coursework
    successfullyC or betterafter the
    re-orientation intervention
  • 57 for P vs. 47 for NP in spring 2003 and
  • 73 for P vs. 65 for NP in summer 2003
  • Increased significantly higher when also
    accounting for counseling intervention
  • 60-63 for P vs. 53 for NP in spring 2003 and
  • 75-87 for P vs. 64 for NP in summer 2003

44
Influence of Re-Orientation on Semester GPA
  • GPA increased from a mean first-semester GPA of
    1.09 to
  • 1.53 mean GPA in one semester
  • Higher when also accounting for counseling
    intervention
  • 1.65-1.66 for those meeting with counselor in
    second semester vs. 1.45 for those not meeting
    with one
  • 2.29-2.21 for those meeting with counselor in
    summer session vs. 1.61 for those not meeting
    with one
  • Significant because of mathematical difficulty in
    raising GPA.

45
Influence of Re-Orientation on Persistence to
Subsequent Semesters
  • Participants persisted to a significantly higher
    degree than non participants
  • Fall to Spring
  • 72 for P vs. 23 for NP--a near 50 percentage
    point difference
  • Fall to Fall
  • 43 for P vs. 14 for NP--a 30 percentage point
    difference.
  • Accounting for counseling Intervention,
    participating students meeting with counselor
  • Fall to Spring
  • 71 for those not meeting and 74 for those
    meeting 1 times
  • Fall to Fall
  • 39 for those not meeting 44 for those meeting
    1 51 for 2 times

46
Re-Orientation Participation by Success Outcomes
47
Adjustment Findings Student Receptivity
  • Outcomes for
  • Gender Ethnicity

48
CSI Composite Scales
  • Ethnic differences in dropout proneness,
    predicted academic difficulty, and educational
    receptivity. Educational stress, not
    significant.
  • Latino students are most likely to dropout and
    experience academic difficulties however, are
    also more willing to accept assistance.
  • Asian students are under somewhat more
    educational stress than other students.

49
CSI Academic Motivation Scales
  • Consistent with theory, students with poor
    academic achievement, these students generally
    express a low tolerance toward instructors.
    Latinos had a slightly more favorable
    impressions than other students. African American
    students had the least impression.
  • White students expressed a higher degree of
    verbal confidence compared to African American
    and Latino students. This is particularly crucial
    as it impacts students attitudes and subsequent
    success in courses where extensive reading,
    writing, and public speaking is expected.
  • Regardless of ethnicity, females expressed a
    higher degree of intellectual interests (i.e.,
    enjoys the learning process). Men, on the other
    hand, expressed higher degrees on confidence in
    their perceived capacity to do well in math and
    science, and where communication skills are
    highly emphasized.

50
CSI Coping Scales
  • No statistically significant differences were
    found for gender or ethnicity in the General
    Coping scales. This indicates that all students
    have developed similar coping mechanisms, albeit
    not particularly favorable.
  • As such, counselors must work all the harder with
    these students through personal work as we strive
    to find the flashpoint (Hirsch, 2001) to effect
    change and ensure student success.

51
Receptivity for Institutional Help
  • African American and Latino students are more
    receptive to discuss means by which to increase
    financial resources to pay for college.
  • Asian students express a higher need to discuss
    problems of a personal nature (e.g., personal
    problems, dating, family problems, school) with a
    counselor. This finding is consistent with their
    high degree of educational stress.
  • Latino students are more willing to readily to
    engage in the social communities of the college
    by meeting other people and participating in
    group experiences.

52
MANCOVA Results
53
ANCOVA Results
54
Estimated Means
55
References
  • Astin, A. (1993). What matters in college Four
    critical years revisited. San Francisco
    Jossey-Bass.
  • Basham, V., Lunenburg, F. (2001, Aug.).
    Usefulness of the College Student Inventory as a
    needs assessment tool in community colleges.
    Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the
    National Council of Professors in Educational
    Administration. (ERIC Document Reproduction
    Service No. ED457211)
  • Dutch, B. J., Groh, S. E., Allen, D. E. (Eds.).
    (2001). The power of Problem-Based Learning A
    practical how to" for teaching undergraduate
    courses in any discipline. , Herndon, VA Stylus.
  • Hirsch, G. (2001). Helping college students
    succeed. Philadelphia Brunner-Routledge.
  • Pascarella, E., Terenzini, P. (1991). How
    college affects students. San Francisco
    Jossey-Bass.
  • Stratil, M. (1988). College Student Inventory.
    Coralville, IA Noel-Levitz.
  • Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college Rethinking the
    causes and cures of student retention. Chicago
    University of Chicago Press.
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