Gavilan College Learning Council wins statewide award for Student Success
The Chancellor's Office of the California Community Colleges has presented a Student Success Award to the Gavilan College Learning Council. This prestigious annual award, as described by the Chancellor's Office, "honors college and/or district programs that demonstrate a commitment and significant progress toward achieving success and equity goals for all students." Each year, two colleges among the 112 California Community Colleges are selected to receive the award.
The Gavilan College Learning Council is a "collaborative, cross-disciplinary forum that uses research, dialog, recommendations, action, and evaluation to improve the college environment for individual student learning, growth, and success." It includes not only faculty, but administrators, support staff, and students, and works to "break down silos" by bringing together personnel from different departments to focus on problem-solving. The overriding goal of the Learning Council is to improve student success in learning, completing classes, remaining in school, and achieving their goals of earning degrees, certificates, and transferring to universities.
Small groups within the Learning Council select areas of focus to study, evaluate, and improve. The work of these groups has inspired some of the most innovative activities at the college, and has helped to improve student success. Some of these projects are:
- The RAMbassadors Program - peer mentors help students become more self-sufficient and make them feel more connected to the Gavilan College community. The RAMbassadors help over 1,600 students each summer in preparation for the fall term.
- Veterans Voices - this group supports student veterans by creating a climate of comprehensive academic and support services, and empowering veterans themselves to get involved. Their efforts led to greater visibility and the creation of a veterans website and Veterans Resource Center on the Gilroy campus.
- Tutoring Support Services - This group of staff and student tutors worked together to strengthen tutoring services for students and provide support and training for new tutors. They produced collateral materials that serve as a roadmap for all tutorial services on campus.
- Basic Skills - Gavilan College has seen student success rates in English and math rise by 20% and 4.5% respectively, since the Basic Skills Group focused its efforts on those two subjects and on new students.
The Learning Council has created a synergy and momentum that continues to propel Gavilan College faculty, staff, and students to succeed. Other focus groups this semester include Student Hunger, which is exploring the impact of food insecurity on Gavilan College students, and studying ways to provide assistance, and Habits of Mind, which aims to help students improve the "soft skills" needed for success.
The Habits of Mind group will be hosting an awards reception on Thursday, December 5 at noon in the Student Center to recognize students who participated in the semester-long Communication Challenge project. For more information on Habits of Mind go to: www.gavilan.edu/HOM
For more information about the Learning Council, contact Dr. Kathleen Rose at email@example.com