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Deaf Studies
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 Deaf Culture & ASL Studies program provides academic coursework based on a Deaf-centered framework that encourages students to embrace an empowered collaboration with Deaf people. It provides an introductory overview of the Deaf community and American Sign Language in a cultural context, with the psychosocial dynamics of people working in the Deaf community. It also emphasizes the development of skills related to paraprofessional services, in an individual or group setting, in an educational or social services agency which serves Deaf clients.

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

As the mission of American River College outlines the concept of placing students first in an environment promoting critical thinking, learning and achievement, and responsible participation in the community; this program encourages students to embrace an empowered collaboration with Deaf people not only limited to the greater Sacramento region, but also statewide, nationally and worldwide as the Deaf community is global. This ties into American River College's mission of providing an academically rich, inclusive environment where students in our program are introduced to a Deaf-centered framework of the Deaf community and they can participate responsibly by demonstrating appropriate cultural interaction within the Deaf community and ability to communicate respectfully in a Deaf culture setting utilizing American Sign Language, the native language of Deaf people.

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?

It is essential for our program to have a lab component for our students' language acquisition, one of our goals was to develop a series of lab activities to enhance skills of students who are struggling with content and materials offered. This extra push will help marketability and skills of students in the Interpreter Preparation Program (IPP) and advanced ASL classes. In 2018, we were fortunate to have our own lab space without sharing it with the Journalism Department which we did for 9 years although the lab space was originally designed for DEAF/IPP exclusive use. We were able to expand our lab hours by 5 hours bringing the total lab hours available to students to 20 hours. However, as we had to schedule some of our classes in the lab, this still reduced the opportunity of providing more expanded lab hours to our students. In the lab, they are assigned specific lab activities that corresponds to their ASL course they are taking. We were also fortunate to get coordination time for Jill Birchall in Spring 2018 for Fall 2018 - Spring 2020 with the Strong Work Force proposal, and that lab coordination time was reduced by half for Fall 2020 - Spring 2021. We are looking for opportunities to get permanent lab coordination hours like her predecessor did. For Clear and Effective Paths, we continue to provide assessments to place students in appropriate courses based on their language skills if students want to pre-challenge the prerequisities. For Students First, we work in conjunction with the Tutorial Center at Learning Resource Center to train Deaf individuals to become tutors in addition to our hearing students that are trained by the Tutorial Center. Since a high percentage of our Deaf students attending American River College experience language deprivation, they need more assistance navigating through the training process provided by the Tutorial Center at LRC as the training instruction is heavily emphasized on English, not ASL. Tutoring is ongoing each semester as our department screens our prospective students before they become tutors. Unfortunately, we have noticed a trend of not having enough tutors or none during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a critical area of focus, the department will actively recruit tutors this semester. For Students First, a Deaf Cultural Center is still needed in order to provide a cultural and language center for our hearing and Deaf students to provide a place on campus they can call home as many of our marginalized populations on campus have their own spaces on campus; it would be equally as important for our program to receive such a space for representation and sense of belonging on campus.

In the following program-level metrics, a green-yellow-red light icon provides a quick sense of how a particular data set's values relate to an established threshold (click '+' for details).

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.

Department Set Standards

Shows course success rates (# of A, B, C, Cr, and P grades expressed as a % of total grade notations) compared to lower and upper thresholds. Thresholds are derived using a 95% confidence interval (click the report link for details). The lower threshold is referred to as the Department Set Standard. The upper threshold is referred to as the Stretch Goal.

Green
Most recent academic year exceeds the upper threshold
Yellow
Most recent academic year falls between the lower and upper threshold
Red
Most recent academic year falls below the lower threshold

The faculty's continuous review of student achievement of course SLOs is documented using the Authentic Assessment Review Record (AARR), which involves a review of student work demonstrating achievement of the course SLO. Faculty record student achievement for a randomly assigned course SLO based on one or more authentic assessments that they regularly perform in their classes. The aggregated results are then reviewed annually as part of Annual Unit Planning, in which the results may serve as the basis for actions and, if applicable, resource allocation, and are aligned with college goals and objectives.

The AARR summary link provides an aggregate of the results of the most recent AARR implementation. The AARR results by SLO link provides a more detailed view, including the specific ratings assigned by faculty to each randomly assigned course SLO, and what, if any, actions were taken.

Note: Established thresholds (i.e., green/yellow/red indicators) have yet to be developed for SLO data.

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.

As for our program enrollment in the Spring 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters, the overall enrollment declined 4%. By gender, female students declined by 9.4%, male students increased by 12.9% and unknown increased by 22.2%. By ethnicity, African Americans students declined by 45.5%, Asians declined by 52.6%, Filipino declined by 20% and students selecting unknown increased by 71.4%, Pacific Islander increased by 150%, Other Non-White increased by 100%, and White increased by 7%. For Hispanic/Latino students, the enrollment remained the same. The college's overall enrollment declined by 1.9% from Spring 2018 to Spring 2019 semesters. For African American students, the change was -4.1%, I assume this also directly impacted our program enrollment as the number declined by 45.5%. However, for Asian students, the college had an increase of 8.6% in enrollment, while it declined by 52.6% for our program's enrollment. Similarly, we had a 10.8% increase of Filipino students enrollment as opposed to our -20%. Our program also had more students selecting Unknown and Other Non-White which may have had a factor in our overall enrollment data. For the Success Rate metric of all of our courses offered, groups with success rates showing significant DI was African American students for DEAF 310, our first introductory language acquisition course. Groups with success rates that are within 3 percentage points of the group's DI threshold was Hispanic/Latino students for DEAF 310 & 312. With the Mastery Rate metric of all of our courses offered, groups with mastery rates showing significant DI was Hispanic/Latino students for DEAF 310 & 312. Groups with mastery rates that are within 3 percentage points of the group's DI threshold was African American students for DEAF 310. For the Drop Rate metric of all of our courses offered, groups with drop rates showing significant DI was African Americans students for DEAF 310. One of our program strengths are our enrollment in the Fall semesters (even if the college's enrollment declined by -0.8%) and productivity for both semesters. The productivity for Fall semester increased by 11.3% from Fall 2017 to Fall 2018 and 6.4% from Spring 2018 to Spring 2019 indicating our students are completing the courses in our program. Maintaining our students' enrollment in the spring semesters appears to be a challenge. As for equity gaps, it is readily apparent our African American are disproportionately impacted in DEAF 310 and our Hispanic/Latino students are disproportionately impacted in DEAF 310 & 312, this is a possible area for further research.

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?

With the analysis of the data, it is evident we must address the equity gaps present in our program for our disproportionately impacted students in DEAF 310 and 312 courses. In our Annual Unit Plan, we are hopefully addressing the equity gaps adequately such as new teaching materials, continuation of departmental Social Justice trainings and with our ASL Lab being virtual with a course shell on Canvas having access to all of our students in the program unavailable before the pandemic.

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?

According to a Modern Language Association preliminary report on Enrollment in Languages Other Than English In United States Institutions of Higher Education, Summer 2016 and Fall 2016, American Sign Language is third most commonly taught language after Spanish and French, respectively (Looney & Lusin, 2018). ASL course offerings have increased exponentially, 437% within a six year span between 2003 and 2009 (Brueggemann, 2009). With classes being offered online due to the pandemic, the enrollment has improved dramatically; it is more likely the program will continue to offer online courses and hopefully add more online sections with so many students on the waitlist for Fall 2020 semester never seen in previous semesters. The ideal future for this program would have a Deaf Cultural Center with expanded lab hours available to our students, much more than 20 hours a week. This program is beneficial to our students desiring to learn a foreign language, as it offers a unique opportunity to learn a visual language that is the mother language of Deaf people as well as the culture of Deaf people. Oftentimes our students taking DEAF 310 and 312 to satisfy their general education requirements will take more courses and further their education in the program as they fall in love (truly) with the language, culture and the community. This program is also so critical to the Deaf community on a local level, especially for our Deaf people in the greater Sacramento area as some of our students will continue to become interpreters by enrolling in our ASL-English Interpreter Preparation Program. It is the program's utmost goal to prepare our students to become critical thinkers and responsible participants in the community.

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?

It is the program's goal to promote transparent communication with our students in a virtual setting with our DEAF & IPP Virtual ASL Lab that was not implemented before the pandemic, now we are able to reach to all of our students in the program having more opportunities to share information about our program and resources. Success will be measured by enrollment and productivity.

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

Our program is committed to pursue comprehensive and integrated professional development for exemplary teaching, learning and working environment with our Social Justice trainings and sessions that was implemented approximately 6-7 years ago, recognizing the lack of support our disproportionately impacted students in both of our programs and the need of recruiting disproportionately impacted and marginalized populations into our ASL-English Interpreter Preparation Program. We consistently provide our faculty and staff with various opportunities to participate in Social Justice trainings that is available to both programs, Deaf Culture & ASL Studies and ASL-English Interpreter Preparation Program in order to have these discussions in a Deaf-centered environment using American Sign Language as opposed to auditory-based opportunities provided by ARC on campus or Zoom that is not Deaf friendly for our Deaf faculty and staff. For example, we have an upcoming training session in late October entitled, "In Solidarity with BIPOC DDDBDHH Including Queer Communities" where our faculty and staff will be watching one film on Kanopy, "Watch Out In the Night" that explores the criminalization of race, gender identity and sexuality and a recording of Town hall meeting hosted by People's Collective for Justice and Liberation that focuses on the discussion of Femmes, Mascs and Queers on the Frontlines: Intersections of Racial, Gender, LGBTQ2IA+ and Disability Justice. They will be viewing the film and Town hall meeting recording before the sessions in order to explore and discuss issues brought forth in the film and recording in depth. These trainings/sessions are typically provided free of charge to our faculty and staff, organized by our faculty and staff of color and are not mandatory.