Sunday, July 14, 2024
The RP Group

 2024 RP Group Awards RP Group Awards

California Community Colleges (CCC) Institutional Research, Planning,F and Effectiveness (IRPE) community. Each year, The RP Group recognizes colleagues and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to student and institutional success through community college research, planning, and institutional effectiveness efforts.

We are proud to recognize projects and professionals who have made significant contributions to overall institutional effectiveness; positive campus climate; infrastructure for continuous assessment and improvement; student success and equitable student outcomes; fostering professional growth and development of others; and local, regional, or statewide policy or practice.

 2024 Award Winners & Honorees

2024 IRPE Professional Leadership Award
Dr. Hannah Lawler

Dean of Institutional ResearchHannah Lawler - 2024 IRPE Leadership Award
Santa Monica College

For nearly two decades, Dr. Hannah Lawler has served as a notable force in institutional research. Her contributions and service to the IRPE community and its advancement have positively impacted the professional growth and development of others, helped build community in social justice and equity, and informed regional and statewide practice.

Dr. Lawler holds two degrees in psychology—a Bachelor of Arts from Pepperdine University and Master of Arts in California State University, Long Beach. She also holds a doctorate in education from University of Southern California. Dr. Lawler was selected as one of the 2020–2021 fellows of the California Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP).

Dr. Lawler worked as Research Analyst for Long Beach City College for nearly five years. In 2005, she joined the Center for Urban Education at University of Southern California (USC), where she worked as a part-time research consultant for 15 years. She also served as an adjunct Assistant Professor at USC for one year. Dr. Lawler joined Santa Monica College (SMC) in 2009, first serving as Director of Institutional Research for nearly four years before being promoted to Dean of Institutional Research in 2013. For more than 10 years, Dr. Lawler has provided strategic vision and leadership, overseeing the college’s research and effectiveness functions and providing leadership on campus efforts related to racial equity, program review, and accreditation.

Dr. Lawler has contributed significantly to SMC, providing both research- and non-research-related leadership across several initiatives. She has led projects on her campus to elevate and amplify the student voice and empower others using data and information to support student success and equity efforts. These efforts included reimagining what shared governance meant for students and ways to uplift and empower students to actively engage and make their voices be heard in these spaces; codesigning and implementing one of the first robust data coaching and empowerment programs in the community colleges; and supporting the staff with their equity and antiracist journeys through facilitated workshops and the creation of affinity spaces. Dr. Lawler models her passions to inspire others in their professional growth and development, as well as in their community-building efforts.

Dr. Lawler co-founded and co-leads one of the pioneer data coaching programs in the California Community Colleges (CCC) system. She is currently working with the CCHALES Research Collective at San Diego State University to provide support and coaching for 17 CCCs in the writing and implementation of the 2022–2025 Student Equity Plan. Dr. Lawler consults with organizations—including The RP Group, USC Race and Equity Education, Puente Project and other CCCs—to provide research, assessment, and evaluation support and/or training on equity-minded inquiry. She has provided thought partnership and resources to other colleges on data coaching, infrastructure, and resource considerations by generously sharing how SMC has carried out its work and helping inform the content of many of the CCCs' data coaching resources and guides. As a field liaison and service volunteer to The RP Group’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee on matters related to equity, she has been a great thought partner and direct contributor to the development of several RP resources, including the EDI Glossary of Terms and Students Shaping Change resources.

For every project she has worked on for The RP Group, Dr. Lawler partners with her team members to uplift their expertise and experience while generously sharing her knowledge and experience. She has a very collaborative and proactive leadership style that enables herself and anyone she works with to thrive. It is with great pleasure that The RP Group celebrates her efforts with the 2024 IRPE Professional Leadership Award.

Norco College - 2024 Outstanding Project Award

Led by Project Team Members:
Dr. Greg Aycock, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness
Caitlin Busso, Institutional Research Specialist

Project Title: Faculty Impact on Black Student Success
Watch the Norco College team discuss their project.

Project Description: The Faculty Impact on Black Student Success project had an overarching goal to use a data-guided approach in exploring what factors have a significant impact on Black students’ success in college courses. Initially, the study explored the impact of faculty ethnicity on these students’ success rates and how it varied by each faculty group. Preliminary findings seemed to show a significant difference in students’ success rates in courses taught by Black faculty compared with courses taught by faculty of all other ethnicities. However, upon further scrutiny through a predictive model, faculty ethnicity was not a significant predictor of success. Based on these findings, a faculty inquiry group was convened, composed of those with the highest Black student success rates, to explore what they thought might be the reasons for their success with this student population. The areas explored were as follows:

  1. The Human Side:

  • Personal experiences with discrimination or prior teaching with high-risk, low-socioeconomic status students.

  • Professional training that may have influenced their ability to work with Black students.

  • Bringing in the faculty’s personality and personal life/background for students to observe.

  1. Pedagogy:

  • Flexibility for students (e.g., deadlines, grading practices, expressing care/concern for students individually)

  • Approaches/attitudes that value and show kindness to those who are struggling

  • Valuing error as opportunity to learn

  1. Course Materials/Documents/Assessment:

  • Access to textbooks, resources, individualized help.

  • Looking at disaggregated course results, student centered approaches, tests not heavily weighted.

  • Integrating music or other cultural sources.

  • Providing feedback through all modalities including voice and video.

  • Students creating original work.

  • Sharing grading rubrics in advance.

Results of the faculty inquiry group were recorded and converted to the Faculty Impact Survey (FIS) comprised of thirty items addressing what was shared in the group session. The FIS was distributed to all faculty participating in the group, and they provided feedback on the completeness and accuracy of the survey compared to what was shared in the group. Once a finalized version of the FIS was agreed upon, it was distributed to faculty in fall 2022 and fall 2023. Responses of faculty on the survey were then integrated into a predictive model for Black students in their classes during those terms. The results of the FIS, along with faculty ethnicity and the other factors in the previous predictive model, were regressed against Black student success. At this time, only two variables (both FIS items) were found to significantly predict Black student success:

  • “I set high expectations for all students in my class.” (-)

  • “It is important that students show accountability in my classroom.” (+)

In discussions with faculty and other constituencies regarding these results, possible explanations center around faculty roles and agency given to students. In the first statement, the focus is on the faculty’s expectations, whereas in the second statement, the focus is on the student to demonstrate agency in some way. This project is ongoing.

Riverside City College

Led by Project Team Members:
Wendy McEwen, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness
Mia Armenta, Student
Emily Escoto, Student
Joudi Sawas, Student

Project Title: Amplifying Student Voices—Riverside College’s Student Street Team

Project Description: In an effort to become more student centered, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness at Riverside City College (RCC) includes a three-student Street Team. These student workers provide valuable, direct feedback to inform planning, communication, student equity, and how to better connect students with RCC’s supports. Having students embedded in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness (IE) has encouraged more student-centered research and several “aha” moments. The students have helped staff collect and share student feedback, amplifying student voices. They have also created solutions to some of the gaps they have identified.

The Street Team project began in fall 2022 as a partnership between IE and marketing. The Street Team shared direct feedback on how the college can better communicate with students in a wide variety of areas including catalog design, website and social media, and helping students connect classes to careers.

As the Street Team’s role evolved, it began collecting student feedback via weekly surveys. These surveys have helped inform the college about student perspectives on a wide variety of topics including student–professor communication, study habits, preferred messaging methods, and enrollment in transfer-level math and English.

When the Street Team’s efforts identify gaps, the team works with college employees to create student-centered solutions. For example, the Street Team identified that students need to be more aware of available supports. Working with marketing and graphics, they created a “Student Wealth Map” with support locations and QR codes. Another example is when the Street Team worked with marketing to create short videos about campus academic supports.

San Diego College of Continuing Education

Led by Project Team Members:
Dr. Jacqueline Hester, Dean, Child Development Emeritus, San Diego College of Continuing Education
Marc Grabiel, Research and Planning Analyst, San Diego Community College District
Dr. Masahiro Omae, Dean, Behavioral & Social Science, Consumer and Family Services, San Diego City College
Amertah Perman, Dean, Workforce Development, San Diego Community College District
Rachel Rose, Faculty/Department Chair, Child Development, San Diego College of Continuing Education

Project Title: Noncredit to Credit Alignment Lab—A Framework to Equity for Noncredit Students

Project Description: The primary goal of the Noncredit to Credit Alignment Lab (NCAL) at San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) is to foster a culture shift that recognizes noncredit students as valuable contributors to the educational system and eliminates any institutional barriers that impede their progression to credit-bearing colleges. The initiative seeks to address the systematic inequities that have historically marginalized noncredit students by implementing the core principles of the NCAL framework: (1) treating all students as students, (2) building pathways between noncredit and credit credentials, (3) aligning departments and governance, (4) making programs credit worthy or credit based, and (5) removing barriers to transition.

The initiative utilizes a mixed-methods approach to gather data and insights at the local level. Since spring 2022, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Research has played a pivotal role to ensure that the application of the NCAL framework was data informed. Traditional and nontraditional research methods were used to describe the noncredit student experience. This includes qualitative methods to understand the lived experiences of noncredit students, quantitative methods to analyze patterns and trends, and mapping student journeys or curriculum.

The project focuses on noncredit students within SDCCD but has impacts for all students. The stakeholders involved are diverse, encompassing faculty, administrators, and support staff from across the district. Any community college that offers noncredit courses can benefit from the project’s findings, particularly those with noncredit Career and Technical Education (CTE).

Key Findings:

  1. Critical Areas of Support: The project has identified three critical areas of support for noncredit students: (a) early outreach, (b) onboarding support, and (c) comprehensive support services. Recognizing the specific needs of noncredit students in these areas is crucial for creating an inclusive and equitable educational environment.

  2. Culture Shift and Leadership: The NCAL initiative has evolved from a lab to a leadership model, indicating transformative change in the institutional approach toward noncredit students. This shift has been driven by the success and potential uncovered in the initial implementation, particularly in the child development department.

  3. CTE Pathways Expansion: SDCCD expanded from two CTE pathways to an additional six. This expansion showcases the exciting potential and positive impact on students, encouraging the integration of noncredit and credit pathways across various fields.  However, there are some pathways that provide challenges to expansion, such as Nursing.

  4. Pathway Alignment: Each CTE pathway has a unique decision-making process by noncredit students as well as a post-secondary educational opportunity. Certain institutional practices can be improved through NCAL’s core principles, but the interests and outcomes of specific pathways cannot have a one-size-fits-all approach or vision of successful alignment.

  5. Data-Informed Decision-Making: The insights gained through mixed methods have not only validated the need for change but also provided a foundation for ongoing improvements in serving noncredit students.

The Noncredit to Credit Alignment Lab at SDCCD is making significant strides in promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion by treating noncredit students as integral and valuable parts of the educational community. The project's success lies in its comprehensive, collaborative, and data-informed approach, leading to tangible improvements in support services and pathways for noncredit students.

  Application Process

The RP Group Awards program seeks to achieve the following:

  • Promote exceptional work

  • Emphasize project and IRPE leadership impact on institutions/students

  • Recognize projects and professionals who have made a significant impact on student and organizational outcomes

This year The RP Group Awards will focus on two award categories:

  • Outstanding Project Award

  • IRPE Professional Leadership Award

Download a full description and criteria for this year’s awards.

Nominations are reviewed by the IRPE Professional Development Steering Committee, composed of RP Group board members and volunteers from the field with extensive experience and expertise in institutional research, planning, and effectiveness.

  • Award winners and honorees will be posted to The RP Group Awards page.

  • Award winners and honorees will be recognized at a ceremony at RP Conference 2024, April 10–12, 2024 at The Westin Long Beach.

  • The Outstanding Project Award winner will receive a presentation slot at RP Conference 2024 as well as a follow-up webinar.

Please contact Adore Davidson, Marcell Gilmore, and Brad Trimble, IRPE PD Steering Committee Tri-chairs.

 Past Years' RP Group Awards

Carol Rains-Heisdorf, M.Ed.Carol Rains-Heisdorf, M.Ed. - Former Senior Research and Planning Analyst Fresno City College
Former Senior Research and Planning Analyst,
Fresno City College

For nearly a decade, Carol Rains-Heisdorf has been essential to the growth and success of the Institutional Research, Planning, and Effectiveness department at Fresno City College.

Carol received her Bachelor of Arts in women's studies/victims services, magna cum laude, as well as her Master of Education in leadership and administration, with honors, from California State University, Fresno. She joined Fresno City College in 2014 and has served in many capacities, including Director of Institutional Research and Planning, Senior Research and Planning Analyst, and Planning Analyst.

During her tenure, Carol was known as one of the most student-focused and equity-minded individuals within the campus community and for her empathetic, kind, and steady leadership. She worked closely with the college’s Student Equity and Achievement Office to ensure that data were disaggregated and consistently helped in identifying gaps that students of color were experiencing. Carol also worked closely with faculty and classified professionals to ensure that they understood how to read and use data to inform their decisions and program reviews. Most importantly, she taught them how to use data to create solutions to serve students from marginalized communities. Her ability to communicate complicated and difficult data, concepts, and situations in kind and empathetic ways made a huge contribution to the institution.

In her role as interim Senior Director of Institutional Research, Planning, and Effectiveness, Carol was able to make many changes to the institutional research office to ensure the campus had more accessible data for campus decision-making. She hired additional researchers to work on specific equity projects and grants that now allow the college to always have access to data to ensure successful outcomes. As a result of her dedicated efforts, Carol helped to build one of the largest institutional research offices in the region.

In 2015, Carol conducted focus groups with students from disproportionately impacted student groups (African American, Latinx, Southeast Asian, and LGBTQ). This work helped better understand the lived experiences of students and shaped how she approached planning at the college. She served on various DEI committees and taskforces and was essential to the completion and approval of many important plans, including the Educational Master Plan, the 2017 and the 2021 Strategic Plans, the ACCJC Institutional Self Evaluation Report, Enrollment Management Plan, and various Student Equity Plans. As these important college-wide plans were developed, Carol ensured that every one of these plans included specific, measurable goals for increasing student success among these core student groups.

Carol always played an important role in campus planning and accreditation. She was a fierce advocate for change as a part of the college’s strategic planning process and worked to match the school’s Vision for Success goals and many other campus plans. She also played a crucial role in the five-year development of the college’s new governance structure and was instrumental in the implementation and evaluation during its pilot phase. She credits much of her professional success to skills learned while participating in The RP Group’s professional development activities, including the Leading from the Middle Academy, the Summer-to-Summer Institute, and the annual RP Conference and Strengthening Student Success Conference.

Carol spent hundreds of hours working with college units and programs to ensure they were making improvements that enable students to better achieve their educational goals. Additionally, she was tremendously instrumental in moving the college forward with Guided Pathways and student equity. As a manager, she was extremely invested in the professional growth and development of others, encouraging her staff to engage in equity and technical professional development, which transformed the way the department operated. Most of her work revolved around continuous assessment and improvement due to her substantial involvement in accreditation, program review, outcomes assessment, strategic planning, and college governance. The newly approved Fresno City College mission, vision, and core values now include transformative language that is socially just, anti-racist, and equity-minded, which would not be the case without Carol’s advocacy.

While her service spans across the college, including accreditation, participatory governance, and strategic planning, Carol Rains-Heisdorf has made positive contributions to the overall institutional effectiveness of Fresno City College, especially in advancing student equity and anti-racism. She has spent her whole career creating a positive atmosphere in which other team members can thrive, and she has an outstanding record of leading for positive change in her work on accreditation and strategic planning at the college and for the district.

It is with great pleasure that The RP Group celebrates her efforts with the 2023 IRPE Professional Leadership Award.

Irvine Valley College - 2023 Outstanding Project of the Year Award

Led by Project Team Members:

Vinh Nguyen, Senior Research and Planning Analyst;Loris Fagioli, Director, Research, Planning, and Accreditation
Kevin Hsu, Research and Planning Analyst; Amanda Romero, Career Center & Adult Re-Entry Program Coordinator/Counselor

Project Title: Crossing the Finish Line: On the Power of Information and Monetary Incentives to Motivate Action

Project Description: According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, California is home to 6.4 million adults with some college and no credentials. Within Orange County, the labor market is tight, with a historically low unemployment rate of 2.7%. Locally at our college, enrollment is down 17% since 2017, with the pandemic accelerating much of the decline. Although enrollment is a critical marker of a college's viability, our mission is to help students attain their educational goal and gain meaningful employment with a living wage. With that in mind, we strategically focused our efforts this past summer on students close to completion: those that are two courses away from a certificate or four courses away from a degree. Our approach centers around removing

  1. The information barrier (communicating to each student the specific courses needed for each certificate/degree they are close to completing);

  2. The cost of enrollment (covering tuition; plus $200 per course to cover books, materials, food, and gas); and

  3. The cost of attendance (trading off potentially meaningful wages today for deferred cash awards at completion).

The overarching goal is twofold: to boost enrollment and to boost completion. With that in mind, we focused on two distinct student groups: currently enrolled students and those that have stopped out since the pandemic.

The first key hurdle in implementing this initiative was to develop the capability of identifying courses needed for completion. Absent of a degree audit system with batch-processing capability, this involved transcribing award requirements onto a spreadsheet and leveraging internal transcript data to perform a "degree audit" on all students and all programs, taking into account major course requirements and general education (GE) course requirements (Intersegmental GE Transfer Curriculum, California State University GE, or local GE patterns). To gain trust around the developed logic and to improve the accuracy of the prototyped capability, expert counselors were asked to audit the missing courses on a sample of students and provide feedback in multiple iterations.

In our implementation, randomized-controlled experiments were set up to evaluate the effectiveness of different incentive offerings and the effectiveness of various modes of communication. That is, in addition to driving enrollment and completion, our office sought to understand the effectiveness of various aspects of the campaign in order to more efficiently allocate resources for future campaigns.

Results show that personalized, action-specific messaging combined with monetary incentives helps in re-engaging stopped out students and guides them to enroll in courses that lead to degree completion.

San Diego Mesa College Bachelor's Degree Program - 2023 Honorable Project Mention

Led by Project Team Members:

Hai Hoang, Lead Researcher, CCC Bachelor’s Degree Program/Acting Dean, Institutional Effectiveness, San Diego Mesa College; Davis Vo, PhD Student, School of Education & Information Studies, UCLA; Cecilia Rios-Aguilar, Professor, School of Education & Information Studies/Associate Dean of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, UCLA

Project Title: Benefits and Opportunities: California’s Community College Baccalaureate Programs

Project Description: Behind this publication is a lesser-known story about the research supporting SB 850, SB 77, and AB 927. In 2014, SB 850 was enacted to allow 15 community colleges in California to launch a pilot Bachelor's Degree Program (BDP), with an evaluation by the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) due by July 2022. This evaluation was critical in determining the future of the statewide program. However, in July 2019, SB 77 moved the final evaluation date up by 17 months. As there was no established research infrastructure or organizational structure, the 15 colleges immediately held an in-person meeting. At this point, Hai Hoang, Research and Planning Analyst at San Diego Mesa College, volunteered to lead the statewide data collection process to produce the results that could be used by the LAO. Given the tight timeline, Hai opted to create a survey centered on the absent data elements mandated by SB 850, such as employment metrics and loan information, in addition to data regarding program efficacy and underrepresented populations. During the next four months, Hai coordinated the data request from the LAO, developed the Employment Outcomes Survey in collaboration with various stakeholders statewide, managed the survey collection process , analyzed the data, and submitted the results to the LAO in November 2019. Unfortunately, not all the rich data collected from this effort were included in the LAO report, which featured other dimensions of the BDP.

Due to COVID-19, the California legislature postponed the BDP discussion until 2021, which provided more time to collect data. Two years were spent developing a more comprehensive plan, including an entry survey, an exit survey, and an employment outcomes survey, and the collection and analysis of additional data, such as cohort and demographic information. These findings were shared with key leaders to advocate for the program in the state legislature.

In 2021, a research partnership with UCLA was established to further advocate for and improve the BDP. This began with a research brief on the program focusing on employment and graduation information. In October 2021, AB 927 was signed into law, making the BDP permanent and allowing for the establishment of more programs annually. This was truly a historical milestone for California’s higher education system. In 2022, the research brief was published by UC Davis Wheelhouse: The Center for Community College Leadership and Research, providing a reputable source of public documentation on the BDP's outcomes. Based on institutional records, Management Information System (MIS), a comparable dashboard from the California State University system, and three years of survey data (above 82% response rate), the research brief demonstrated many favorable outcomes of the program. For instance, half of the survey participants stated that they would not have pursued a bachelor’s degree without the program, over 70% identified as belonging to at least one special population group, 67% of students who began upper-division courses earned a bachelor’s degree within two years (and 78% within three years), and graduates reported a 37% increase in salary (equivalent to $18,400 more) upon program completion. This initial data showed that the Bachelor's Degree Program has significant potential to advance equity and opportunity in a new higher education pathway.

This new pathway requires education researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to evolve their understanding of the ways in which students interact with the community college system. The partnership with UCLA represents an important step toward conducting a new wave of research that will closely examine the program implementation, with the ultimate goal of strengthening racial equity in all aspects of the program. It is imperative that the state and other entities allocate additional resources to support the ongoing efforts and establish a sustainable research infrastructure to advance our understanding of and to enhance BDP.

Daylene Meuschke, EdD, 2022 IRPE Professional Leadership AwardDaylene Meuschke, EdD
Associate Vice President, Institutional Research, Planning, Effectiveness and Student Experience Redesign
Co-Chair, Institutional Review Board
College of the Canyons

Daylene Meuschke initially began her service at College of the Canyons (COC) in 2001 to support the writing and production of a Title III grant for the college. Shortly thereafter, she was hired as a full-time Research Analyst owing to her immediately apparent skills, keen mind, and educational acumen. In the 20 years since, Daylene served as a Senior Research Analyst, Director of Institutional Research, and Dean of Institutional Research. She became the Associate Vice President for Institutional Research, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness (IRPIE) in August 2018 and, as of January 2022, now serves as the Associate Vice President for Institutional Research, Planning, Effectiveness and Student Experience Redesign.

Daylene’s passion for education is shown in her ongoing professional development and learning. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Drury University in Missouri. Studying a Global Perspectives curriculum in the Midwest was not enough. Daylene wanted to be part of a more diverse community, which led her to pursue her Master’s degree in Psychology at Pepperdine University. After joining COC, Daylene continued her studies to earn a doctorate in Educational Psychology, with an emphasis on learning and motivation, at the University of Southern California. She has participated in many professional development programs at COC, including the very first class in their Leadership Education in Action Program (LEAP) in 2008, and she has also participated as both a mentee and mentor through its mentorship program.

Daylene has co-authored hundreds of research reports at COC and continues to supervise the annual production of countless research items, surveys, and analyses through the IRPIE team. Daylene, with support from COC, has helped cultivate a formidable research, planning, and institutional effectiveness team that serves as a model for other colleges, and her staff proudly share her reputation as hard-working and data-savvy practitioners. She has developed an extraordinary reputation for her research talents and abilities, assisting any and all departments or inquirers with focused data needs.

Daylene also helps to lead the Institutional Effectiveness and Inclusive Excellence (IE)2 Committee at COC, which has played a key role in many of the college’s priorities including Guided Pathways, equity, student support and experience redesign, and the California Community Colleges (CCC) Chancellor’s Call to Action. Both her local and statewide reputation for excellence are known through her participation in The RP Group and multiple Partnership Resource Teams in support of other community colleges. Daylene has served on the executive team for the CCC Chancellor’s Office Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative and as a Board member and volunteer with The RP Group.

Daylene believes relationships matter and strives each day to build bridges that help connect the dots between people and efforts on campus. She has a goal to make people smile and laugh each day. She loves institutional effectiveness, design thinking (white boards and markers!), and applying her manifold talents to making a difference for students.

Moorpark College, 2022 Outstanding Project Award

Moorpark College
Led by Project Team Members:
Oleg Bespalov, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, Moorpark College;
James Schuelke, Director of Outreach and Marketing, Oxnard College;
Gabby Chacon, Sr. Administrative Assistant, Moorpark College;
Karla Montenegro Gonzalez, PACE Program Coordinator, Moorpark College; and
Jennifer Lawler, PACE Counselor, Moorpark College

Project Title: “Institutional Effectiveness and Marketing Collaboration: Using Data-Driven Decision-Making to Measure and Improve College Marketing Strategies”
Projection Description: In light of declining enrollments, colleges are increasing their marketing efforts. How can Institutional Effectiveness support these marketing initiatives to help improve their chances of increasing enrollment?

Moorpark College (MC) shared how they used data-driven marketing to grow a program designed for adult students from 0 to 500 students, or about 4% of the college’s full-time equivalent students, in just two years. The project provided key evidence that utilizing data can improve marketing and lead to higher enrollments among historically marginalized student groups.

The college initially focused on students participating in the college’s Program for Accelerated College Education (PACE), whose average age was older than the general student population at MC, and whose ethnic background was more diverse. Given the structure of the program, where students take two courses every eight weeks, PACE students were shown to have better outcomes than non-PACE adult students. In a recent survey, 90% of PACE students agreed with the statement, "I am able to stay enrolled at Moorpark College because of the PACE program. If PACE did not exist, I would drop out or enroll at another college/university." 

The types of marketing data analyses (surveys, A/B tests, control and treatment groups) that were conducted at MC are considered the norm for large and for-profit universities, but remain novel and innovative at community colleges, which typically have much smaller marketing budgets.

Given the success of the PACE program at MC, the other two colleges in its district have decided to start or reincarnate their own PACE program, and the MC project team will be helping their colleagues implement their programs, including establishing their own marketing research protocols.

The project team showed that these kinds of tools were easily adaptable and could be used to market other college programs immediately. These insights are helping to level the playing field to ensure more programs and departments can effectively recruit students with fewer resources.


2020 RP Group Project of the Year Award 2020:

Strengthening your Data Literacy Infrastructure

Project Title: Strengthening your Data Literacy Infrastructure
Recipient: Coastline College: Aeron Zentner, Dean, Institutional Research, Planning, Effectiveness, and Grant Development
Description: Coastline Community College in Fountain Valley, California developed an open-access, 4-week instructor-led data coach training course shell in Canvas Commons. California community college professionals can also access a self-paced 3-week version of the course on the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office Vision Resource Center. The course provides colleges the opportunity to train their own data coaches by teaching the fundamentals of data analytics, data collection, data analysis, data presentation, and facilitating conversations using data. Tools and activities included in the course can be adopted and adapted to help institutional researchers expand their efforts to strengthen data awareness, access, application, and confidence to utilize information to build and support planning, innovation, and change.


2020 RP Group Research and Evaluation Project

of the Year Award: Be Mindful of the Gap: Are Success Rate Gaps a Result of Student or Faculty Success?

Project Title: Be Mindful of the Gap: Are Success Rate Gaps a Result of Student or Faculty Success?
Recipients: De Anza College: Mallory Newell, Supervisor, Institutional Research and Planning; Jerry Rosenberg, Division Dean of Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering; and Ola Sabawi, Research Analyst
Description: California Assembly Bill AB705 provided De Anza College in Cupertino, California with an opportunity to mindfully scrutinize course success rates in order to maximize the probability that students entering university transfer-level coursework in English and math complete their coursework within one year. The College began to look at variability at the section level of the same course to begin to unpack how student, course, and instructor variables affect success rates. This new lens enabled the college to look deeper into student success rates and initiate conversations about faculty success as a factor in student success. Facilitating conversations about instructor-level success rates requires the college to collaborate with faculty to build an environment where faculty feel safe and supported and to help the college best understand the myriad of factors affecting course success rates.

This video describes some of the important elements and structure required to establish a shared vision for advancing student success and meeting state mandates associated with AB 705.


What’s the Big Idea?

2019 Project of the Year Award:
Confirming Socio-ecological
Outcomes to Predict Student Success of Men of Color

Project Title: Confirming the Socio-ecological Outcomes (SEO) Model to Predict Student Success of Men of Color at Community Colleges
Recipients: Lijuan Zhai, Director of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Planning; Dee Cetin-Berber, Senior Research and Planning Analyst; Raymond Ramirez, Equity Coordinator; Carol Rains-Heisdorf, Senior Research and Planning Analyst; Lili Gao, Senior Research and Planning Analyst; and Chuck Kralowec, Research and Planning Analyst, Fresno City College

CCC Noncredit Offerings Project Summary
The CCC Noncredit Offerings Survey was conducted in partnership with California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) Educational Services.

IEPI Noncredit Summit 2017 Program
The CCC Noncredit Offerings Survey was conducted in partnership with California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) Educational Services.

A Cost Effectiveness Study of the First Year of PCC Pathways, February 2017
Recipient: Patricia Quinones, Office of Institutional Research, Pasadena City College
Description: Summary of the results from Pasadena City College’s PCC Pathways program.

Progress on the Strategic Plan Goal, December 2015
Recipient: Carolyn Arnold, Coordinator, Institutional Research, Chabot College
Description: Which student educational goal groups are making progress – and why? Progress since 2012-13 for Fall 2013 and Fall 2014 new students. Presentation delivered to PRBC.

Characteristics of Students in Special Programs, August 2016
Data on Chabot college students in special programs.

Progress Summary, December 2015
Chabot College summary of progress after two years of initiatives.

San Diego Miramar College 2015-16 Strategic Plan Assessment Scorecard (SPAS), June 2016
Recipient: San Diego Miramar College
Description: Strategic Plan Assessment Scorecard answers the following questions: How is San Diego Miramar College meeting its mission? How does San Diego Miramar College measure our success? How does San Diego Miramar College build on their success?

San Diego Miramar College Student Success Framework for Long-Term Integrated Planning, June 2016
Infographic for the Student Success Framework for Long-Term Integrated Planning from Fall 2016 to Spring 2020.

San Diego Miramar College Fall 2013-Spring 2020 Strategic Plan Update, September 2016
Strategic Plan Update presents the direction San Diego Miramar College will pursue in response to the changing educational and economic environment in the San Diego region and in the State of California.

The CTE Outcomes Survey: What Have we Learned After 5 Years?, November 2016
Recipient: KC Greaney, Ph.D., Director of Institutional Research, Santa Rosa Junior College Director of the California Community College’s Statewide Career and Technical Education Employment Outcomes Survey (CTEOS)
Description: Resource associated with the winning 2017 RP Group Award project.

The Evolution of Crisis Dissertation, August 2016
Recipient: Megan Diane Corry, San Francisco, California
Description: Qualitative study examining the factors that may have contributed to the development of an institutional blindspot that prevented CCSF leaders at all levels from recognizing and responding to the impending crisis.

How to Increase Data Democracy and Develop a Culture of Inquiry within Faculty and Staff
Recipients: Chialin Hsieh, Dean of Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness; Janet Stringer, Dean of Science and Technology; Tracy Huang, Planning and Research Analyst; Michael Hoffman, Math Faculty and Student Equity Coordinator; and Anniqua Rana, Dean of Athletic, Learning Resources, and Library, Cañada College

Decision Making and Planning Handbook - Making Integrated Planning User-friendly, 2015
Recipients: Pierce College Council; Academic Senate; Kathleen F. Burke, President; Oleg Bespalov, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness; and Amari Williams, Assistant Research Analyst, Pierce College
Description: Handbook explaining how to get college funding and approval for ideas centered on improving student services and programs.

Integrated Planning Calendar
Integrated Planning Calendar for Los Angeles Pierce College 2013-2026.

Strategic Master Plan Dashboard
Pierce College's strategic master plan for 2013 to 2017.

Annual Program Plan Template
Annual Academic Program Plan for 2016-2017.

Annual Program Plan Data Packets

Annual Program Plan Data Packets_PLO supplement

Combined Resource Priority Listing, June 2015
Includes equipment, labor, and supplies in a prioritized list as of June 2, 2015.

Secret Shopper Program Description
Spring 2015 Financial Aid Office interaction report.

Secret Shopper Results - Financial Aid, 2015
Spring 2015 Financial Aid Office interaction report.

Multiple Measures Assessment Project Technical ReportSpring 2015
Recipients: Peter Riley Bahr, Associate Professor of Education, University of Michigan; Danielle Durán, Special Assistant to the President, Stuart Foundation; Craig Hayward, Director of Research, Planning and Accreditation, Irvine Valley College; John Hetts, Senior Director of Data Science, Daniel Lamoree, Senior Research and Systems Analyst, and Ken Sorey, Executive Vice President, Educational Results Partnership; Mallory Newell, Supervisor for Institutional Research and Planning, De Anza College; Alyssa Nguyen, Associate Director of Research and Evaluation, RP Group; and Terrence Willett, Director of Research, Planning, and Knowledge Systems, Cabrillo College
Description: A summary and documentation of Phase 1 of the MMAP research project presented to the Common Assessment Initiative Steering Committee

Who Gets to Count? Constructing a Skills-Builder Success Metric, 2015
Recipients: Ryan Fuller, Alice van Ommeren, and the Doing What Matters for Jobs & the Economy team, California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office; KC Greaney, Santa Rosa Junior College; Peter Riley Bahr, University of Michigan; VERATAC; and Kathy Booth, WestEd
Description: Guide addresses the following questions: How was the proposed skills-builder metric created? What types of students are skills-builders? How many skills-builders are there? Are skills-builders securing higher earnings? Are skills-builders earning a living wage? What would it mean to have a skills-builder metric on the Student Success Scorecard?

A Multi-Perspective Examination of Developmental Education: Student Progression, Institutional Assessment and Placement Policies, and Statewide Regulations, December 2015
Recipient: Kristen Erin Fong, Research Analyst, Cerritos College; Ph.D. in Philosophy (Education), University of Southern California
Description: Dissertation presented to the faculty of the USC Graduate School.

A Multi-Perspective Examination of Developmental Education, December 2015
Dissertation and project summary by Kristen Fong.

Let Them In: Increasing Access, Completion, and Equity in College English
Recipients: Leslie Henson, Instructor and Co-Chair, English and Journalism; Eric Hoiland, Director of Assessment; and Wim McSpadden, Senior Designer/Developer, Butte College

Hope and Mindset: Changing Institutional Culture to Improve Student Success, October 2014
Recipient: Jim Fillpot, Dean, Institutional Research and Resource Development, Chaffey College
Description: Presentation and/or materials delivered at 2014 Strengthening Student Success Conference.

Chaffey Hope Data: Three-Year Cohort Tracking, June 2014
Resource associated with the winning RP Group Award project.

Chaffey Integrated Planning Model-2012
Resource associated with the winning RP Group Award project.

Decision Support System Conference Presentation, February 2014
Recipient: Daniel Lamoree, Senior Systems Analyst/Programmer, Mt. San Antonio College
Description: Resource associated with the winning 2014 RP Group Award project.

Curricular Redesign and Gatekeeper Completion: A Multi-College Evaluation of the California Acceleration Project, April 2014
Recipients: Craig Hayward, Director of Research, Planning and Accreditation, Irvine College; Terrence Willett, Director of Planning, Research and Knowledge Systems, Cabrillo College; and Vinod Verma, System Software Specialist III, CCCCO
Description: California Acceleration Project evaluation summary.

Curricular Redesign and Gatekeeper Completion: A Multi-College Evaluation of the California Acceleration Project, April 2014
California Acceleration Project evaluation report.

Efficacy of the California Basic Skills Initiative, 2015
Recipient: Erik Cooper, Dean of Planning, Research and Resource Development, Sierra College, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, California State University, Sacramento
Description: Presentation about basic skills taught in California Community Colleges.

Relationship of the Fall 2012 Left Land Cohort to Enrollments, Student Success and Fall to Spring Retention, July 2013
Recipient: Keith Wurtz, Dean, Institutional Effectiveness, Research & Planning, Crafton Hills College
Description: Crafton Hills College’s summary of findings of the Left Lane Project.

Crafton Hills College – Left Lane Project

Relationship of the Fall 2012 and Fall 2013 Left Lane Cohorts to Student Success, October 2014
Report examines the relationship of the Fall 2012 and Fall 2013 Left Lane cohorts to enrollments, student success, and fall to spring retention.

Integrated Program Review and Budget Planning, June 2012
Recipients: Barry Gribbons, Asst. Superintendent/V.P., Institutional Development, Technology and Online Services; and Daylene Meuschke, Director, Institutional Research, College of the Canyons

College of the Canyon’s Program Review Year 2 Update Technical Guide, May 2013
Technical Guide for College of the Canyon’s program review year 2 update.

Instructions for Budget Development in Online Program Review, November 2013
Instructional how-to showing budget development in an online program review with screenshots.

Special Commendation for Excellence in Planning

Institutional Effectiveness Committee – Purpose and Function, August 2011
Recipients: Hannah Lawler, Dean of Institutional Research; and Christine Schultz, Professor, Political Science, Santa Monica College

SMC – Master Plan for Education – 2011-12, October 2011

Accreditation Team – Evaluation Report, February 2014

Student and Institutional Learning Outcomes: The Cliff Note Version, November 2013
Short description of the Student and Institutional Learning Outcomes process.

Master Plan for Education – 2009 -10, January 2010

Tracking Wages of California Community College Completers, June 2013
Recipient: Alice van Ommeren, Dean, Research, Analysis and Accountability, and members of the Technology, Research and Information Systems (TRIS) Division, California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office
Description: Framework for tracking the earnings or wages of students after completing an award at a California Community College.

Salary Surfer

CCCCO Research, Analysis & Accountability

Salary Surfer – Online Query Tool

A Conceptual Model on the Impact of Mattering, Sense of Belonging, Engagement/Involvement, and Socio-Academic Integrative Experiences on Community College Students’ Intent to Persist, March 2013
Recipient: Esau Tovar, Counselor/Faculty Lead, Assessment Center, Santa Monica College
Description: Full dissertation examining how factors such as institutional commitment to students, mattering, sense of belonging, interactions with diverse peers, perceptions of the campus climate, engagement/involvement, socio-academic integrative experiences, and goal commitment collectively affected community college students’ intent to persist to degree completion.

Author's Homepage (SMC)

SOFIA: Student Outcomes for Faculty Inquiry and Analysis, May 2012
Recipients: Terra Morris, Institutional Research Specialist, Cabrillo College; Craig Hayward, Director of Research, Planning & Accreditation, Irvine Valley College; and Vinod Verma, System Software Specialist, Chancellor’s Office

Chaffey - Integrated Planning Model, January 2013
Recipients: Sherrie Guerrero, Associate Superintendent of Instruction and Student Services; Laura Hope, Dean of Instructional Support; and Jim Fillpot, Interim Dean of Institutional Research and Resource Development, Chaffey College

Special Mention for Outstanding Research Resource

Illuminous - Formerly Universal Cohort Progression Tool, January 2013
Recipient: Daniel Lamoree, Educational Research Assessment Analyst, Mt. San Antonio College
Description: Summary of the Universal Cohort Progression Tool (UCPT).

Illuminous - Feedback from Other Researchers, January 2013
Sample of collaboration emails for Universal Cohort Progression Tool (UCPT) and STEPS 2.0.

Example of Using Illuminous in Planning, January 2013
Example of using Universal Cohort Progression Tool (UCPT) in planning.

Mathematics from High School to Community College: Preparation, Articulation, and College Un-readiness - Full, January 2013
Recipient: Louise Jaffe, Trustee, Santa Monica College
Description: Full dissertation of Mathematics from High School to Community College: Preparation, Articulation, and College Un-readiness.

Mathematics from High School to Community College: Preparation, Articulation, and College Un-readiness, January 2013
Executive summary of research findings.

Mathematics from High School to Community College - PowerPoint Presentation

Crafton Hills College Integrated Planning and Program Review
Recipients: Denise Hoyt, Jessica McCambly, Dr. Cheryl Marshall, Michael Strong, Ralph Rabago, Michelle Riggs, Rebeccah Warren-Marlatt, Sherri Wilson, Gary Williams, Keith Wurtz, Marcus Dashoff, Lucas Manning, Margaret Yau, and Jason Brady, Crafton Hills College

Tips for Using the Basic Skills Progress Tracker (Online Tracking Tool), March 2012
Recipients: Craig Hayward, Cabrillo College; and Myrna Huffman, Vinod Verma & Tom Nobert, California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, with support from Katie Hern, Lynn Wright & Myra Snell, 3CSN

Access the Basic Skills Progress Tracker