Increasing Adult ESL Student Retention: One Program’s Path TESOL 2010 March 27 Boston, MA Jack Bailey Santa Barbara Contin...
Who We Are:  SBCC Continuing Education <ul><li>Santa Barbara Adult Continuing Education </li></ul><ul><li>Non-credit Divis...
Student Demographics <ul><li>86% Spanish-speaking  </li></ul><ul><li>Average third-grade education </li></ul><ul><li>Major...
Why Improve Retention? <ul><li>Historically averaging 50% retention from first month to last few weeks of class over 10-12...
Why Improve Retention? <ul><li>Studies show that students need at least 100+ hours to make significant learning gains (but...
Why Improve Retention? <ul><li>Students who study more learn more. </li></ul><ul><li>- And fancy studies prove it! </li></ul>
Why Improve Retention? <ul><li>CASAS paired scores are challenging to collect in low retention environments. Without a sec...
Why Improve Retention? <ul><li>We can do better-  While the average rate of student retention in our program is near 55%, ...
Why Improve Retention? <ul><li>Student Goals not being Attained   </li></ul><ul><li>Upon entering program: </li></ul><ul><...
Why Improve Retention? <ul><li>We must also consider the possible implications of these low retention rates on the student...
Retention Project: Goals  <ul><li>Improve Retention </li></ul><ul><li>Increase percentage of students at higher levels. </...
Retention Project: Goals  <ul><li>Produce equal or higher number of FTES per year. </li></ul><ul><li>Make each hour a stud...
Results: Retention <ul><li>21% Increase   in Student Retention </li></ul><ul><li>49% in Winter 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>70% ...
Results: FTES <ul><li>8.5% Increase  </li></ul><ul><li>in Student Attendance Hours over 2006-07 </li></ul><ul><li>2006/07:...
Results: Headcount <ul><li>15% Decrease in Unduplicated Headcounts </li></ul><ul><li>2006/07: 4,865 </li></ul><ul><li>2007...
Results: CASAS Paired Scores <ul><li>16% Increase in Paired CASAS Scores </li></ul><ul><li>2006/07: 50%  </li></ul><ul><li...
Results: WIA 231 Payment Points <ul><li>6.5% Increase in WIA payment points </li></ul><ul><li>2006/07: 3,604 </li></ul><ul...
Results: Students Earning Payment Points <ul><li>8% Increase in percentage of students earning payment points </li></ul><u...
Results: Student Level Completion <ul><li>Increases in Student Completing a Level </li></ul><ul><li>(Fed Table 4 Data) </l...
Persistence vs. Retention <ul><li>Learner Persistence: </li></ul><ul><li>Adults staying in programs for as long as they ca...
Persistence vs. Retention <ul><li>Learner Retention: </li></ul><ul><li>The percentage of students who remain in and contin...
Retention Project History <ul><li>Study Circle on Learner Persistence   </li></ul><ul><li>(2004-05) </li></ul><ul><li>10 t...
Project History <ul><li>The Retention Task Force (2005-06) </li></ul><ul><li>11 ESL teachers (credit and non-credit), stud...
Seven Primary Proposals <ul><li>1. Managed Registration </li></ul><ul><li>2. Managed Enrollment </li></ul><ul><li>3. Ten-w...
#1 Managed Registration <ul><li>All students must register in first two weeks of the term. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Extensive...
#2 Managed Enrollment <ul><li>Students commit to one or both 2-day class sections – Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday. ...
Managed Enrollment <ul><li>Students who miss more than 30% of class are  redirected  to an open-entry class option. </li><...
Managed Enrollment <ul><li>Our students CAN commit when they  VALUE  what the program has to offer. </li></ul><ul><li>Open...
Open-entry ESL Options Remain <ul><li>Open-entry Classes – about 10% </li></ul><ul><li>Distance Learning  (Video/DVD Check...
#3 Adoption of Ten-week Terms <ul><li>Duration that students can commit to. </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule more closely parall...
#4 Adoption of Core Text <ul><li>Use one text series for all levels of ESL classes. </li></ul><ul><li>Promote matriculatio...
Core Text: Step Forward
Core Text Adoption Process <ul><ul><li>Selected by instructors who: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reviewed sample copies ...
# 5 Standardized Level Assessment and Student Orientation through Student Services <ul><li>All  new  ESL students are “str...
#6 Limit Multi-level ESL Class Offerings to Three Levels <ul><li>Offer no more than 3 levels per single classroom. </li></...
#7 Student Success Class <ul><li>For all new incoming students by Spring 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Open to any ESL student </...
Student Success Class <ul><li>Contents: </li></ul><ul><li>Study Skills / Learning Strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Potential b...
Student Success Class <ul><li>Contents cont.: </li></ul><ul><li>Time-management </li></ul><ul><li>Sacrifice – what will st...
Student Success Class <ul><li>Contents cont.: </li></ul><ul><li>Student Services </li></ul><ul><li>Credit class options </...
Student Success Class: Research <ul><li>John Coming’s “Four Supports” that help learners persist: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Awa...
Student Success Class <ul><li>Course is very interactive and fun – a goal is that students will encourage friends to atten...
Student Success Class <ul><li>“ In many cases, our students come to class without clear or consistent goals other than a d...
Retention Changes:  Communication with Teachers <ul><li>Stayed in communication with all instructors throughout process. <...
Retention Changes: Communication with Students <ul><li>Class presentations by Students Service staff starting four months ...
Teacher Feedback <ul><li>What is your overall impression of the change? </li></ul><ul><li>“ Overall impression is positive...
Teacher Feedback <ul><li>Has the intervention been successful in improving retention and student success in our program? <...
Teacher Feedback <ul><li>How would you characterize your students’ impressions of the changes? </li></ul><ul><li>“ They un...
Teacher Feedback <ul><li>“ It professionalizes our image and sends the message that this isn’t play school.” </li></ul>
Thank you for coming! <ul><li>Jack Bailey </li></ul><ul><li>Director of ESL, Foreign Languages  and Vocational Certificate...
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Tesol 2010 Increasing Retention Publish

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TESOL 2010 presentation on increasing adult ESL student retention

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  • Hi, I'm from Chile and don't understand these abbreviations: CASAS, ADA/FTES, El Civics. Why a second test?

    We have a similar problems with retention, shortened semesters and the loss of funding in adult high school education. The program 'Chile Califica' pays only for students who pass.
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Tesol 2010 Increasing Retention Publish

  1. 1. Increasing Adult ESL Student Retention: One Program’s Path TESOL 2010 March 27 Boston, MA Jack Bailey Santa Barbara Continuing Education
  2. 2. Who We Are: SBCC Continuing Education <ul><li>Santa Barbara Adult Continuing Education </li></ul><ul><li>Non-credit Division of Santa Barbara Community College District </li></ul><ul><li>Average 4,000 ESL students year (Unduplicated) </li></ul><ul><li>65 part-time instructors </li></ul><ul><li>60 classes at 25 sites throughout the Santa Barbara area </li></ul><ul><li>Classes run 4 to 15 hours/week day and night </li></ul>
  3. 3. Student Demographics <ul><li>86% Spanish-speaking </li></ul><ul><li>Average third-grade education </li></ul><ul><li>Major student employment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hotels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Restaurants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nurseries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Construction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Domestic help </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nursing homes </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Why Improve Retention? <ul><li>Historically averaging 50% retention from first month to last few weeks of class over 10-12 weeks. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not atypical -The average time that an adult spends in a program is fewer than 70 hours in a 12-month period. (U.S. Department of Education, 2001) </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Why Improve Retention? <ul><li>Studies show that students need at least 100+ hours to make significant learning gains (but most of our students had attended far less time). </li></ul>
  6. 6. Why Improve Retention? <ul><li>Students who study more learn more. </li></ul><ul><li>- And fancy studies prove it! </li></ul>
  7. 7. Why Improve Retention? <ul><li>CASAS paired scores are challenging to collect in low retention environments. Without a second test all EL Civics funding is also lost. </li></ul><ul><li>Most agencies need all the ADA/FTES they can get. </li></ul><ul><li>87% (39 of 45 classes) offered classes were at a beginning level. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Why Improve Retention? <ul><li>We can do better- While the average rate of student retention in our program is near 55%, some classes retained as much as 90%. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Why Improve Retention? <ul><li>Student Goals not being Attained </li></ul><ul><li>Upon entering program: </li></ul><ul><li>79% of students plan to achieve level 6 </li></ul><ul><li>51% plan to attend at least 2 years </li></ul><ul><li>69% plan to attend credit classes </li></ul><ul><li>Again, 87% of offered classes had been at a beginning levels. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Why Improve Retention? <ul><li>We must also consider the possible implications of these low retention rates on the students themselves.  For many of them it's their first attempt at formal studies in this country. It would be a travesty if some of these drop-out students considered themselves failures and/or gave up on further educational pursuits. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Retention Project: Goals <ul><li>Improve Retention </li></ul><ul><li>Increase percentage of students at higher levels. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Foster student expectation that they’ll achieve high levels in our program AND transition to other academic or vocational goals. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Retention Project: Goals <ul><li>Produce equal or higher number of FTES per year. </li></ul><ul><li>Make each hour a student spent in class as effective and rewarding as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Increase instructor job security and job satisfaction. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Results: Retention <ul><li>21% Increase in Student Retention </li></ul><ul><li>49% in Winter 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>70% in Winter 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>(Retention = Students registered in January compared to those same students still attending in last week of classes) </li></ul><ul><li>69% in Fall 2009 </li></ul>
  14. 14. Results: FTES <ul><li>8.5% Increase </li></ul><ul><li>in Student Attendance Hours over 2006-07 </li></ul><ul><li>2006/07: 597 FTES (313,604 hours) </li></ul><ul><li>2007/08: 648 FTES (340,429 hours) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Results: Headcount <ul><li>15% Decrease in Unduplicated Headcounts </li></ul><ul><li>2006/07: 4,865 </li></ul><ul><li>2007/08: 4,114 </li></ul>
  16. 16. Results: CASAS Paired Scores <ul><li>16% Increase in Paired CASAS Scores </li></ul><ul><li>2006/07: 50% </li></ul><ul><li>2007/08: 66% </li></ul>
  17. 17. Results: WIA 231 Payment Points <ul><li>6.5% Increase in WIA payment points </li></ul><ul><li>2006/07: 3,604 </li></ul><ul><li>2007/08: 3,835 </li></ul><ul><li>* Even missing one full term of EL Civics </li></ul>
  18. 18. Results: Students Earning Payment Points <ul><li>8% Increase in percentage of students earning payment points </li></ul><ul><li>2006/07: 3,597 Students with 1,288 of them earning payment points = 36% </li></ul><ul><li>2007-08: 3074 Students with 1,370 of them earning payment points = 44% </li></ul>
  19. 19. Results: Student Level Completion <ul><li>Increases in Student Completing a Level </li></ul><ul><li>(Fed Table 4 Data) </li></ul>54% 50% Level 6 26% 31% Level 5* 50% 52% Level 4* 50% 47% Level 3 66% 53% Level 2 74% 64% Level 1 2007-08 2006-07 ESL Level
  20. 20. Persistence vs. Retention <ul><li>Learner Persistence: </li></ul><ul><li>Adults staying in programs for as long as they can, engaging in self-directed study or distance education when they must stop attending program services, and returning to program services as soon as the demands of their lives allow . </li></ul><ul><li>-National Center for the </li></ul><ul><li>Study of Adult Learning and Literacy </li></ul>
  21. 21. Persistence vs. Retention <ul><li>Learner Retention: </li></ul><ul><li>The percentage of students who remain in and continue to attend adult education classes throughout the semester or year - A statistic. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Retention Project History <ul><li>Study Circle on Learner Persistence </li></ul><ul><li>(2004-05) </li></ul><ul><li>10 teachers meeting 3 times for 3 hours each </li></ul><ul><li>Reading all available research on adult student persistence (not much) </li></ul><ul><li>Discussing implications for our program </li></ul><ul><li>More Study Circle info at: http://www.ncsall.net/fileadmin/resources/teach/lp.pdf </li></ul>
  23. 23. Project History <ul><li>The Retention Task Force (2005-06) </li></ul><ul><li>11 ESL teachers (credit and non-credit), student services and me. </li></ul><ul><li>8 meetings over 4 months. </li></ul><ul><li>Reviewing Study Circle and other findings. </li></ul><ul><li>Subcommittees created specific proposals to improve retention. </li></ul><ul><li>Proposals were voted on and accepted for Fall 2007 Implementation. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Seven Primary Proposals <ul><li>1. Managed Registration </li></ul><ul><li>2. Managed Enrollment </li></ul><ul><li>3. Ten-week Terms </li></ul><ul><li>4. Adoption of Core Text </li></ul><ul><li>5. Standardized Level Assessment and Student Orientation through Student Services </li></ul><ul><li>6. Limit Multi-level Offerings to 3 Levels </li></ul><ul><li>7. Student Success Class </li></ul>
  25. 25. #1 Managed Registration <ul><li>All students must register in first two weeks of the term. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Extensive internal and external used to get the word out. </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. #2 Managed Enrollment <ul><li>Students commit to one or both 2-day class sections – Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday. </li></ul><ul><li>Fridays optional </li></ul><ul><li>Students must maintain 80% attendance in each section. </li></ul><ul><li>Students who fall between 70%-79% attendance can make-up absence with special work assigned by the instructor. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Managed Enrollment <ul><li>Students who miss more than 30% of class are redirected to an open-entry class option. </li></ul><ul><li>Students complete a “contract” for the days to which they commit. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: More students have committed to attending 4 nights a week than expected - Nearly 60%. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Teacher and student bonus: Classes with at least 20 student contracts are given a guarantee to run for the entire term regardless of attendance. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Managed Enrollment <ul><li>Our students CAN commit when they VALUE what the program has to offer. </li></ul><ul><li>Open-entry doesn’t reward students who can commit to a regular schedule – it actually punishes them! </li></ul>
  29. 29. Open-entry ESL Options Remain <ul><li>Open-entry Classes – about 10% </li></ul><ul><li>Distance Learning (Video/DVD Check-out) </li></ul><ul><li>Open-access Computer Labs with ESL Software </li></ul><ul><li>Tutorial Center </li></ul><ul><li>Library Literacy Program </li></ul>
  30. 30. #3 Adoption of Ten-week Terms <ul><li>Duration that students can commit to. </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule more closely parallels K-12 calendar/holidays. </li></ul>
  31. 31. #4 Adoption of Core Text <ul><li>Use one text series for all levels of ESL classes. </li></ul><ul><li>Promote matriculation between classes and sites. </li></ul><ul><li>Students get used to format of series. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers become much more familiar with series support resources: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lesson Plans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multilevel Activity Book </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reproducibles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Audio program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment Disc (Exam View) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional Development Program for Multilevel Teachers </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Core Text: Step Forward
  33. 33. Core Text Adoption Process <ul><ul><li>Selected by instructors who: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reviewed sample copies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Attended publisher presentations </li></ul></ul></ul>
  34. 34. # 5 Standardized Level Assessment and Student Orientation through Student Services <ul><li>All new ESL students are “strongly recommended” in level assessment, orientation and advising (A/O). </li></ul><ul><li>A/O takes place over two days and 6 hours. </li></ul>
  35. 35. #6 Limit Multi-level ESL Class Offerings to Three Levels <ul><li>Offer no more than 3 levels per single classroom. </li></ul><ul><li>Experimenting with two systems: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2-3 level groups taught separately </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Single curriculum with Step Forward’s multilevel resources </li></ul></ul>
  36. 36. #7 Student Success Class <ul><li>For all new incoming students by Spring 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Open to any ESL student </li></ul><ul><li>Currently being piloted at 6 hours length </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-level </li></ul><ul><li>English-only </li></ul><ul><li>Taught by ESL teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Collecting FTES </li></ul>
  37. 37. Student Success Class <ul><li>Contents: </li></ul><ul><li>Study Skills / Learning Strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Potential barriers to attendance </li></ul><ul><li>Self-efficacy </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation- Why learn English? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial advantages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role Models </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Success Stories </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. Student Success Class <ul><li>Contents cont.: </li></ul><ul><li>Time-management </li></ul><ul><li>Sacrifice – what will students need to give up in order to make time for English study? </li></ul><ul><li>Our educational approach (Communicative, student-centered) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compare / contrast educational expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Community resources </li></ul><ul><li>Community building </li></ul>
  39. 39. Student Success Class <ul><li>Contents cont.: </li></ul><ul><li>Student Services </li></ul><ul><li>Credit class options </li></ul><ul><li>Vocational Certificates </li></ul><ul><li>Program Tests </li></ul><ul><li>In depth look at other College Programs </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul>
  40. 40. Student Success Class: Research <ul><li>John Coming’s “Four Supports” that help learners persist: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Awareness and management of the positive and negative forces that help and hinder persistence. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Self-efficacy about reaching their goals. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Establishment of a goal by the learner. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Progress toward reaching a goal. </li></ul>
  41. 41. Student Success Class <ul><li>Course is very interactive and fun – a goal is that students will encourage friends to attend. </li></ul><ul><li>ESL Student Guide as class text. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Under revision </li></ul></ul>
  42. 42. Student Success Class <ul><li>“ In many cases, our students come to class without clear or consistent goals other than a desire to learn another language. It is our task to help them sort out the confusion and give them some sort of order to their effort. They may already know some of the essentials according to traditional curricula, but it’s our job to guide the students to discover for themselves what is worth learning, worth doing, and worth knowing in their new language.” </li></ul><ul><li> -Community Spirit, Bassano and Christison </li></ul>
  43. 43. Retention Changes: Communication with Teachers <ul><li>Stayed in communication with all instructors throughout process. </li></ul><ul><li>Solicited instructor suggestions during task force meetings. </li></ul><ul><li>Shared proposals with ESL Teachers at Spring 2007 In-service. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each task force member shared at least one proposal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong backing of college VP </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All proposals received very well </li></ul></ul>
  44. 44. Retention Changes: Communication with Students <ul><li>Class presentations by Students Service staff starting four months prior to changes being enacted. </li></ul><ul><li>Flyers to both current students and community. </li></ul><ul><li>Extensive radio and TV. </li></ul><ul><li>Message: “Things are changing” </li></ul>
  45. 45. Teacher Feedback <ul><li>What is your overall impression of the change? </li></ul><ul><li>“ Overall impression is positive, has improved retention and student success, student reaction positive, teaching is more satisfying because I am better able to respond to student's needs when I know who will be attending.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ This management enrollment has been successful because it gave the students a certain feeling of obligation and responsibility; they were supposed to have a strong 2 day or 4 day commitment. In my class, this change showed positive results.” </li></ul>
  46. 46. Teacher Feedback <ul><li>Has the intervention been successful in improving retention and student success in our program? </li></ul><ul><li>“ Yes, I think some students came more regularly than they would have. I do think the consistency of classmates helped students to build community. I do think some students learned more than they would have, coming less regularly.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Yes, I had much better retention this semester than previous semesters. The students also came more regularly and often inquired about their attendance. Students also called me or sent notes when they would be absent.” </li></ul>
  47. 47. Teacher Feedback <ul><li>How would you characterize your students’ impressions of the changes? </li></ul><ul><li>“ They understood the advantage of committing. I think they liked that the class was “closed” after two weeks. They especially liked getting to know each other and each other’s cultures.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ My students have enjoyed these changes and are making significant learning gains because of it.” </li></ul>
  48. 48. Teacher Feedback <ul><li>“ It professionalizes our image and sends the message that this isn’t play school.” </li></ul>
  49. 49. Thank you for coming! <ul><li>Jack Bailey </li></ul><ul><li>Director of ESL, Foreign Languages and Vocational Certificates </li></ul><ul><li>Santa Barbara Continuing Education </li></ul><ul><li>(805) 683-8230 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>

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