A new community of practice, guided by the L.A. Compact's Student Success Workgroup, is in full swing as it dives deeply into research and institutional practices related to the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT). This community, composed of two-year and four-year postsecondary institutions and K-12 partners, spans the region with equally diverse membership from all areas of campus life.
Following the completion of a multi-year study by research partner WestEd, UNITE-LA's proprietary research into the effectiveness of the ADT is now being put to the test. After thoroughly studying the data, the community is now embarking on a six-month process of applying research and campus-based learnings to their institutional practices in order to effect campus and regional change for students interested in earning an ADT. Members of the community have chosen two specific areas to focus their efforts in this first iteration of the work: 1) addressing equity gaps in which types of majors students complete and 2) addressing equity gaps for African American students.
These topics were chosen, in part, because research has universally shown disparities in success dependent on majors chosen by students at the community college level and their corresponding majors at the CSU. This is especially true for African American students who see less success overall, compared to their White, Latinx and Asian counterparts. In efforts to put equity at the forefront of this work, the community of practice will attempt to assess their institutional practices with these lenses, coupled with the UNITE-LA research study and communal convenings to help elaborate on causes and theorize potential solutions.
At the most recent convening of this group, participants took part in a Jam Board (imagine a virtual whiteboard) exercise to lay out what they know about these topics on their campuses and in the region, what more they needed to know to affect positive change on their campuses and how they theorize the answers to these questions would improve their students' experiences. Throughout the summer, the group will take part in additional meetings to go deeper into the topics. Following these, each campus participant will be aided in developing a campus-specific action plan, with the intent to adopt it on its campuses. More information about the origins of the work, progress and participants can be found in UNITE-LA's most recent newsletter here.
For additional information, please contact Adam Gottlieb, Associate Director, Postsecondary Initiatives, at [email protected].