Atlantic Cape Initiatives Target Success
In an effort to assist more students to achieve their dream of a college degree, Atlantic Cape Community College developed a series of initiatives aimed to promote student retention and success. These Student Success Initiatives promote both academic achievement, career development and assistance where they need it the most. Atlantic Cape joined the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network (ATD), dedicated to helping more community college students succeed with an emphasis on change and focuses on measurable outcomes, especially closing achievement gaps. “By focusing attention on creating an institutional culture on success, these initiative are achieving significant results,” says Dr. Mitchell Levy, Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Atlantic Cape. Accelerated Learning Program The Accelerated Learning Program is focused on students who place into ENGL080 Reading/Writing II. It is intended to both accelerate their progress and improve their success by mainstreaming them into an ENGL101 Composition I class when they also take the ALP support course, ENGL099. Accelerated Math Math099 is intended to promote student success and retention by decreasing the amount of time students need to reach college-level math courses. Students who successfully complete the course are permitted to start a college-level math course the ninth week of the semester. Career Development To improve student success, the college increased the focus on providing students with career assessment and career development services. By assisting students in making informed career decisions, they find increased empowerment and motivation, in addition to ownership of their educational goals. Early Alert This collaboration between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs offers faculty a forum to refer students that are exhibiting behaviors not conducive to academic success as soon as they are observed. This early reporting enables immediate intervention to assist the student in completing the course. Honors Program The Honors Program is designed for students who excel academically and want to work more intensely in a small class environment. Honors courses offer high-achieving students the opportunity to participate in engaging and creative learning environments that extend beyond those of the regular classroom. K-12 Partnerships The K-12 partnership is a two-pronged approach. “Speed Up” is geared toward students in high school who have proven to be college ready. They take part in the College’s dual credit and articulation agreements. “Catch Up” is the model for students who are needing development work. These students often drop out because they do not see the value of remedial courses toward their certification or degree. The college is initiating early intervention programming in some high schools so students can complete developmental work before they graduate and receive career planning advice. Math Boot Camp Studies at Atlantic Cape show if students can succeed in mathematics courses they are more likely to graduate. The College implemented Math Boot Camp, which uses MyFoundationsLab software in the summer for students who test near the cutoff for college-level math. This program was cited by Gov. Chris Christie as a model for College Readiness Now initiatives. Prior Learning Assessment Prior Learning Assessment allows students the opportunity to seek credit for life and professional experience and previously earned credentials. Students who demonstrate college-level knowledge and competencies from experiences outside a traditional post-secondary education may be awarded up to 25 college credits toward a Technical Studies, Associate in Applied Science degree. These competencies can include military training, employer training programs, union apprenticeships, professional certifications and licensures, independent study, or volunteer/community service. A separate application is required for admission to this program. The Student Success Initiatives are an outgrowth of the College’s participation in the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network, which Atlantic Cape joined in 2012. Achieving the Dream is a national network dedicated to helping more community college students succeed and recently designated Atlantic Cape as a “Leader College.” This national honor recognizes three years of steady improvement in student success outcomes. Atlantic Cape is a comprehensive, two-year college offering flexible, affordable learning for students of all ages since 1966. Atlantic Cape serves students at three campuses located in Mays Landing, Atlantic City and Cape May Court House; and offers 44 degree programs, as well as 18 degrees available entirely online. The Academy of Culinary Arts, a nationally recognized culinary school, is located at the Mays Landing Campus. For more information about Atlantic Cape Community College, visit atlantic.edu.