CSCC Awarded SERS Grants

Friday, May 19, 2017

Cleveland State Community College received good news in the form of two new Student Engagement Retention and Success Grants. The first grant is targeted toward establishing pathways-focused learning communities for new adult students, while the second is for the CSCC Honors program expansion. 

The first grant awarded titled “Communities of Success: Establishing Pathways-Focused Learning Communities Targeted at New Adult Students,” was in the amount of approximately $33,500. This grant will enable the college to establish one pathway-focused learning community in each of the college’s pathways: fine arts and humanities, social sciences, education, business, advanced technologies, STEM and health sciences. Each learning community will served approximately 25 students. These learning communities will be designed as part of an intensive training and planning process to ensure that the courses are focused on student success. These will solve the problem of engaging students with content specific to their pathway as early as possible by implementing material within a college success course, a general education course and a course specific to the pathway. The college will further support these learning communities by embedding success coaches, tutors, advisors and supplemental instructors within them to ensure that students who are fully engaged with their proposed path of student and with the college personnel who can support their success. 

In order to achieve Governor Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiative, officials said CSCC must increase the number of adult graduates. “We believe that for adults engaged in University Parallel programs, one challenge is a perceived lack of connection between courses in the first semester and students’ academic and professional goals,” stated Dr. Robert Brandon, dean of humanities and social sciences. “By creating learning communities tied to our guided pathways, we can assure that students not only have the opportunity to take a course within their major in the first semester, but also have a series of general education courses which use the students’ pathways to guide the instruction of the course.”

The second grant for the CSCC Honors Program Expansion was in the amount of $27,500. This grant will enable the college to renovate an existing classroom to be used as honors education space. Not only will the space be used for honors classes, but it will also be used to hold preparatory workshops focused on scholarship applications, transferring from CSCC to four-year colleges and universities, as well as conference preparation.

Officials said these initiatives reinforce CSCC’s commitment to the 2020 Community First Plan, the college’s strategic plan. The creation of a dedicated honors classroom speaks to Goal II of the strategic plan, which states that “CSCC will provide state-of-the-art learning environments that promote student success.” Implementing honors faculty recruiting, coordination, and training speaks to Goal III of the plan which reads, “CSCC will be considered a top-performing college for effective educational practices and a thriving campus community through campus engagement.” The efforts toward conference preparation speaks to Goal V of the strategic plan, which reads “CSCC will offer relevant programs that satisfy the needs of students…and deliver them in modes that maximize student engagement and completion.”

Dr. Brandon continued, “Both of these grants focus on widening the use of high-impact student learning and engagement practices on our campuses and on expanding already successful programs to include more students. One grant will allow us to add new elements to our Honors Program that will allow us to achieve the highest possible state ratings. The other will develop six new, career-community focused student learning communities, which allow real-life learning opportunities for students interested in engineering, health care, business, mass communication, and social sciences. These two grants are exciting additions that connect with our mission to provide the highest possible educational experience for our students.”


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