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Learning Resource Center
2019-2020 Program Review


1) Unit Profile


1.1) Briefly describe the program-level planning unit. What is the unit's purpose and function?

The Learning Resource Department comprises three main areas: general tutoring, the Beacon program and the computer lab. The main purpose is to provide academic and technical support to students. The Tutorial Center provides individual, drop-in, embedded, and online tutoring in most subjects for students who need academic assistance outside of the classroom. Tutoring is conducted by trained and instructor-approved peer tutors and instructional assistants. Tutoring services are free to any ARC enrolled student. The Beacon program provides academic assistance via regularly scheduled, out-of-class, peer-facilitated group study sessions. Beacon tutors are key people in the program; ARC faculty recruit the tutors. The tutors have demonstrated competence in the course(s) they tutor and are trained to facilitate learning. The Computer Lab offers technical support related to students academic goals. During in-person operations the computer lab team supports students with technology installation, use of technology and software to complete assignments, and troubleshooting with computer programs and operations.

1.2) How does the unit contribute to achievement of the mission of American River College?

The LRC Department contributes to the mission of ARC by providing direct academic and technical support services to students to succeed academically. The Tutorial Center supports the college mission by promoting the enhancement of students’ academic goals and a commitment to lifelong learning. To provide tutoring in a variety of subject areas, thereby helping students obtain knowledge and basic foundational skills for post-secondary education success and enhanced career skills for job placement. The Beacon program helps students learn the subject a lot better by developing greater self-confidence, improving study skills and building community and thus helping with retention and persistence. The computer lab provides access to technology for students who do not have personal equipment or software to complete academic assignments. Additionally, the computer lab educates students on how to effectively use the technology and software to be academically successful.

2) Assessment and Analysis


The program review process asks units to reflect on the progress they've made towards achieving the goals they identified in each of the Annual Unit Plans they submitted since their last Program Review. Follow this link to access your previous EMP submissions. For assistance accessing the EMP system, please contact Mary Goodall at GoodalM@arc.losrios.edu or (916) 484-4535.

2.1) Consider the progress that has been made towards the unit's objectives over the last six years. Based on how the unit intended to measure progress towards achieving these objectives, did the unit's prior planned action steps (last six years of annual unit plans) result in the intended effect or the goal(s) being achieved?

There were three main objectives since the last program review in spring 2012: increase funding for computer equipment/software; train tutors on effective test anxiety and study skills techniques; and include using a common assessment survey for all the programs in the building. The computer lab has been completely updated since the last program review. Both of the tutor-training courses, LRC 300 & 310 (formerly INDIS 320 & 321) have been updated to include/emphasize test anxiety and study skills through the curriculum process. The last last objective was not accomplished since it was decided that the other programs in the building (ESL, WAC, RAD, etc.) are not part of this department and a common assessment would not be feasible or appropriate since these programs have their own departments and curriculum. One of the objectives of the Beacon program was to address online tutoring. To address this need, the Beacon Program purposefully seeked courses with a high rate of online offerings (like accounting) and hired, trained and supported tutors to provide online tutors specifically for Beacon groups. The program started with 1 fully online session in fall 2018 to 12 sessions in spring 2020.

The following data sets may be useful in promoting and informing departmental dialogue, planning, decision making, and resource allocation.

The two data sets show 5 years of fall or spring duplicated enrollment, disaggregated by gender and ethnicity. Note that ARC's data-on-demand tool will soon provide considerably more sophisticated ways of viewing and analyzing your planning unit's headcount and enrollment trends.

Green
current fall/spring semester enrollment is equal to or exceeds the prior year's fall/spring enrollment.
Yellow
current fall/spring semester enrollment reflects a decline of less than 10% from the prior year's fall/spring enrollment.
Red
current fall/spring semester enrollment reflects a decline of 10% or more from the prior year's fall/spring enrollment.

The two data sets show 5 years of fall or spring productivity (WSCH per FTEF: the enrollment activity for which we receive funding divided by the cost of instruction). Note that ARC's data-on-demand tool will soon provide considerably more sophisticated ways of viewing and analyzing your planning unit's productivity trends.

Green
current fall/spring semester productivity is equal to or exceeds the prior year's fall/spring productivity.
Yellow
current fall/spring semester productivity reflects a decline of less than 10% from the prior year's fall/spring productivity.
Red
current fall/spring semester productivity reflects a decline of 10% or more from the prior year's fall/spring productivity.

Shows green-yellow-red indicators for each race/ethnicity to reflect the extent to which any given group's three year average grade metrics are disproportionately impacted, as defined by the State Chancellor's Office (click the report link for details). Note that ARC's data-on-demand tool can provide some additional insights in this area, including representativeness, grades and awards by gender and race/ethnicity.

Green
No measurable DI — All courses’ rates exceed the disproportionate impact threshold for a given racial/ethnic group by at least three percentage points.
Yellow (formerly, “- - “ in previous versions or cycles)
Insufficient data available — Monitoring recommended. DI may or may not or exist for one or more racial/ethnic groups, in one or more courses, but too little data is available to be certain (cell sizes < 10).
Light-Red (formerly yellow in previous versions or cycles)
Potential DI—Monitoring or Action recommended. The rate of one or more racial/ethnic groups, in one or more courses, is near (by less than 3 points) the DI threshold.
Red
Clear DI—Action recommended. The rate of one or more racial/ethnic groups, in one or more courses, is at or below the DI threshold.
Email Standard Data Set link

In addition to reflecting on the metrics shown above, it may prove useful to analyze other program-level data to assess the effectiveness of your unit. For instructional units, ARC’s Data on demand system can be used to provide program and course level information regarding equitable outcomes, such as program access or enrollment, successful course completion, and degree or certificate achievement (up to 30+ demographic or course filters are available).

You might also consider pursuing other lines of inquiry appropriate to your unit type (instructional, student support, institutional/administrative support). Refer to the Program Review Inquiry Guide for specific lines of inquiry.

2.2) What were the findings? Please identify program strengths, opportunities, challenges, equity gaps, influencing factors (e.g., program environment), data limitations, areas for further research, and/or other items of interest.

The Beacon program continues to serve students in courses which are considered gatekeepers like Chem 305, Statistics 300 and Psychology 330. Beacon identified a need to increase its retention rates. To address this need, the Beacon Plus pilot program was launched in spring 2019 to increase retention by having the Beacon Tutor attend lectures and/or labs. Initial findings indicate this was a successful operation, but had limitations due to a lack of resources. The data showed that there was a drop in appointment and drop-in tutoring hours from Spring 2017 through Spring 2018. However, the number of tutoring hours and students registered increased over the next two years. This data shows that tutoring services are beneficial and necessary for students. From Fall 2018 to Fall 2019, there was an increase in the number of students who registered for tutoring services, but the number of students who actually came back for services was significantly lower. This may be due to a number of factors: 1. Classes signed up for services but never utilized them. 2. Students signed up for extra credit but never returned. 3. Students don’t log in even when they are using the Center. The Embedded Tutor Program’s data showed that students felt that they improved 58% in their courses at the end of the semester. In addition, 80% of students reported feeling “confident” and “involved” after having contact with the Embedded Tutor during class, and 70% of the students reported feeling very comfortable asking the Embedded Tutor for help. Program strengths: Students can get exceptional help from knowledgeable tutors (some with master’s degrees and/or PhD’s). According to a survey that was distributed to students at the end of the fall 2019 semester, over 40% of students agreed that they were able to find a tutor for the subject they needed help with, the drop-in and appointment tutors were knowledgeable about the topics they tutored, they received assistance in a timely manner, and they would use the services again. Challenges: Some of the challenges for our unit are recruiting and retaining effective appointment tutors in high-need subject areas (Statistics, Math, ASL, English) and drop-in tutors for math and science. Our appointment tutors are students, so sometimes they are only with us for one or two semesters. Data Limitations: It is difficult for us to obtain quantitative data on a regular basis, which makes it hard to track traffic patterns and schedule tutors. This may also impact student success rates because students may have to wait for a long time to be tutored and may subsequently choose to leave the center and not be tutored at all. Additionally, we were not able to obtain data that measured the percentage of students who passed their classes or were more successful in their courses after receiving tutoring. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented several challenges to our tutoring services. While some of our programs (i.e., Beacon) had developed virtual protocols prior to the pandemic, our drop-in and appointment services relied heavily on in-person presence and easy access for students needing tutoring. Moving online has presented some challenges with connecting students to tutoring services. General tutoring has faced challenges transitioning to online platforms that are easily accessible for students. The general tutoring has limited ability to offer tutoring during expanding hours, such as nights and weekends because there is only an adjunct tutorial coordinator. Another challenge is ensuring awareness of free tutoring among students and faculty. While we engage in active marketing strategies, we could benefit from enhanced awareness across campus of drop-in and appointment-based tutoring. Since the department only offers two courses, LRC 300 & 310, the data for course success is somewhat limited. More training on how to analyze the data is necessary since the department’s data is limited.

3) Reflection and Dialog


3.1) Discuss how the findings relate to the unit's effectiveness. What did your unit learn from the analysis and how might the relevant findings inform future action?

Demographic data of the Tutorial Center shows that the Center almost meets, meets or exceeds the percentages of the entire ARC population of Disproportionately Impacted (DI), underserved and underrepresented students. % ARC population % Tutoring Center population African American 8% 12% Hispanic/Latino 25% 23% Asian 12% 21% All other non-White 14% 12% ATTENDANCE Day attendees 46% 57% Evening attendees 14% 8% Both 21% 34% AGE GROUP <18 years 4% 1% 18-20 years 27% 27% 21-24 years 23% 19% 25-29 years 16% 16% 30-39 years 18% 21% 40-49 years 7% 8% 50+ years 6% 8% The department will continue to monitor and reach out to underrepresented populations who are coming in for services in relationship to percentages of the ARC population as a whole. We will continue to reach out to the DI and historically underserved student populations through our marketing and recruitment efforts, focused dialogs with professors, other support service departments, and clubs.

3.2) What is the unit's ideal future and why is it desirable to ARC? How will the unit's aspirations support accomplishment of the mission, improve institutional effectiveness, and/or increase academic quality?

The unit’s ideal future is to have high-quality tutoring for every subject area to provide academic support to as many students as possible and maximize every student’s potential for enhanced career placement and/or transfer to a four-year post-secondary education institution. LRC aspires to have tutoring available for more subjects and those that students need the most support. The LRC also would like to expand the hours of tutoring now that ARC is largely remote. The department in general could benefit from interpreting DI data to plan and strategically provide support to the most impacted students at ARC. The LRC aspires to provide technology education and support to all students in order to help them to be successful at an online college.

4) Strategic Enhancement


4.1) Identify/define one or more program-level objectives which enhance the unit's effectiveness. What does your unit intend to do to work towards its ideal future? How will success be measured?

One of the main program objectives is to upgrade or change the current Beacon database. Retrieving data has and continues to be a challenge in order to assess the program’s effectiveness, especially now that the program is fully online. Success to be measured by how students who received Beacon tutoring passed their course with a grade of “C” or better. The Tutorial Center will work towards its ideal future by continuing to recruit and train tutors who can tutor a variety of subjects and courses that have high-fail rates. The Tutorial Center will aim to improve access to online tutoring and increase communication on how to access tutoring services. The success will be measured by an increase in the number of students using tutoring services. The success will also be measured by tuttees providing feedback that their services were satisfactory and useful; feedback will be disaggregated to understand the responses and needs of disproportionately impacted students.

4.2) How will the unit's intended enhancements support ARC's commitment to social justice and equity?

The Beacon program plans to support ARC’s commitment to social justice and equity by partnering with faculty to identify “gateway” courses and/or courses with high DWIF rates and create policies which increases the pass rate for the course. For the future direction of the tutorial center, I hope we can add that we will strengthen our online tutoring programs to provide easy-to-navigate tutoring services and expand to hours that best meet remote student needs. The tutoring services in the Tutorial Center are free and available to any ARC enrolled student. It is an inclusive, safe environment for students of all ethnicities, races, gender identities, abilities, and beliefs. Individualized tutoring helps all learners succeed by focusing instruction on the areas/skills identified by each student. Additionally, we have adaptive equipment and technology for students who require accommodations, and we train our tutors to work with students who have different learning styles and needs. The enhancements will be in partnership with programs serving DI populations. The LRC continues to de-stigmatize tutoring and create a welcoming and inclusive environment. The computer lab is available to support students who have lacked access to technology and will provide additional support to those coming from lower-income backgrounds or have a disability and might struggle to succeed in an online environment.