Basic Skills Advisory Committee Meeting


November 17, 2006


(shortened due to Academic Senate meeting same day)



Agenda Items



1)       Learning Support (Basic Skills) Sub-committee Presentation


2)       Early Alert


3)       SB361 Non-credit enhanced apportionment

4)       CCCO Initiative on Basic Skills Research (


5)       Study regarding Best Practices (Chancellor’s Office info)


6)       Scheduling Spring Semester Meetings

Preliminary schedule if we continue with the Friday afternoon meetings:


o        January 26, 2007           2:30pm

o        February 23, 2007          3:30pm (Academic Senate Meeting same day)

o        March 30, 2007              2:30pm

o        April 20, 2007                3:30pm (Academic Senate Meeting same day)



7)       Last meeting scheduled for Fall Semester (all dates in MCR)


o        December 15, 2006 (2:30pm-4:30pm)


8)       Other??


Basic Skills Advisory Committee Meeting

November 17, 2006




Staff Members:

Present:  Casey Bonavia, Meryl Brooks, Anne Cavagnaro, Melissa Colon, Dennis Gervin, Lanai Hallmeyer, Patricia Harrelson, John Leamy, Gary Mendenhall, Shelley Muniz, Tom O’Neil and Karin Rodts. 


1)      Sub-Committee Report

A Sub-Committee Report out was given by some of the Sub-Committee Members.  The group has met three times to day and shared their work from those  meetings in the form of a handout titled “Preliminary Plan for Basic Skills One-time Funding”, a chart with details describing goals for “Curriculum Research/Development”, “Staff Development” and “Other” and a proposal to the Basic Skills Advisory Committee.  (See attached handouts.)  The sub-committee requested that the following Mission Statement and name be adopted:


Mission Statement:

To promote an ongoing climate of growth and improvement in the delivery of learning support services throughout the entire college community for all students at all levels of preparation.



Academic Wellness Educators


During review of the handout information some of the ideas further described include:


·        Participants attending conferences completion of written reports directed to the Advisory Committee upon their return which would include implementation strategies.


·        Academic Wellness Faire, involving others, using “dance cards”, students going to other areas and making positive contacts.


Modification of Mission Statement

Consensus regarding modification of the suggested Mission Statement to:


To promote academic wellness in an ongoing climate of growth and improvement throughout the entire college community for all students at all levels of preparation.




Survey of Resources and Recommendations

Last item presented by the Sub-Committee was a “Survey of Resources and Recommendations”.  When completing information it would be helpful if you could:

--Attach conference information

--Indicate why it would be go to the place you are suggesting

--For other colleges, if you have contact names, please list them


Please complete this form and return to Patricia Harrelson by December 1st


Addition of development of oral communication skills was suggested as well as inviting Tim Elizondo to participate on the Advisory Committee.


(Side note: It was also noted that a representative from Arts and Sciences should attend Technology Committee meetings.)



2)      Early Alert

It was noted that Early Alert was one of the items listed under the Academic Wellness Faire.  (#3, Counseling conducts a workshop to help design a Treatment Plan for Early Alert.)  Even though the past system of Early Alert notification is not currently working, we could discuss and institute other mechanisms for this type of early intervention.


Some ideas include:

·        Using a manual 5 part NCR form, (1 copy counseling, instructor, student etc.)

·        Offering “in class assessments” right at beginning of classes

·        Invite people doing Early Alert to our December meeting to discuss




3)      SB361 Non-credit Enhanced Apportionment

Have to develop ways to help students see the value and want to take the classes.  Now will be able to offer non-credit classes and receive apportionment.  Could consider embedded skill building classes, late start classes.  The bill has been enacted but they are still trying to figure out how to adjust the language of Ed Code.


ACTION DENNIS:  Send Patricia Ed Code information on SB361




4)      What State is doing

At CIO, (Chief Instructional Officer), meetings that Dennis has attended most of the Colleges are using their Basic Skills funding hourly for labs.  Questions are coming up as to best practices, where things are being done and how effective they have been.  There is a lot of attention at the State level currently and the State level is also doing research on this topic.  Dennis hasn’t seen any demonstration of anything similar to what Columbia College is moving forward with.  He feels the progress that Columbia College is making is exciting.  One of the challenges will be to make what is done a sustainable, systematic process.  We should probably include “sustainable” into the Mission Statement.


Dennis passed around a few copies of information from the CIO website that can be obtained on pages 4, 5 & 6 of the newsletter at the following link


5)      Spring Meeting Schedule

Consensus regarding the Spring Semester preliminary dates listed, except for April 20th.  The April date was problematic for some.


ACTION LANAI:  Lanai will send out information asking participants which day in April will work better and Lanai will send John Leamy a copy of the Basic Skills Distribution List.



Submitted by: Lanai Hallmeyer



Handouts from Sub-Committee (11-17-06)


Preliminary Plan for Basic Skills One-time Funding


Sub-Committee Report

Meryl Brooks, Anne Cavagnaro, Melissa Colon, Patricia Harrelson, Adrienne Webster




Our charge is to develop a plan for spending on-time finds specifically allocated for basic skills development.  The Basic Skills Committee designated two areas within which activities should be planned:

·        Curriculum Research & Development

·        Staff Development.    


To this end, we have identified an overarching theme to guide us and an outline of potential activities.  We are particularly interested in designing a plan that supports  an ongoing climate of growth and improvement in the delivery of learning support services throughout the entire college community for all students at all levels of preparation.


For our guiding principle, we have identified the idea of academic wellness which implies a broad-based approach to student learning support. Academic wellness is proactive, pervasive, and holistic, much as wellness is to health. This notion encompasses skill development, application of knowledge, navigation of the collegiate and/or work environment, and all components that contribute to the overall development of the successful lifelong learner. 


Our vision of the academically well student is someone who


·        has set realistic and attainable goals;

·        has attitudes and habits consistent with successful learning;

·        has developed the necessary skill set and the confidence to use it;

·         knows his/her way around the campus and campus resources;

·         is aware of his/her status in classes, programs, and the institution;

·         is aware of and is addressing any difficulties in progress.



In order to promote skill building as well as academic wellness among students, we have sketched a tentative plan for activities that will be supported by the basic skills one-time funding.


Curriculum Research/Development

Staff Development


Research Model Programs and Best Practice for Basic Skill Development

Interdisciplinary teams participate in the following activities and write follow-up reports with recommendations.


1)       Math Across the Curriculum (MAC) Washington State, August 2007. Requires written proposal; Participants are given a stipend.


2)       Northern California Writing Center Association 2007 Conference, Sacramento, March 3, 2007.


3)       Association of Colleges for Tutoring and Learning Assistance (ACTLA) Conference, Long Beach, April 27 & 28, 2007


Site visits to 3-4 Community Colleges during spring Semester:

1)       Merced College

2)       DeAnza College

3)       Reedly College

4)        (as yet to be determined)


Review Curriculum: What did we once do and why did we stop?

The sub-committee will conduct a curriculum review of courses that remain in the catalog but have not been taught for at least 3 semesters. Following the review, the sub-committee will prepare a report with recommendations.

Embedding Basic Skills Development in Course Content and Programs.

INDIS 170 will be offered in Spring 2007 for staff.


Academic Wellness Faire: Fall 2007

The sub-committee will develop a comprehensive proposal for an Academic Wellness Faire for the week prior to the Fall 2007 semester with activities infused into all staff development, including Academic Senate Retreat, ISW Training, Adjunct Faculty Training, In-service, and FLEX activities.  A Keynote Speaker will address the campus at the In-service and do follow-up workshops. Activities will be pragmatic. Example activities follow:

1)       A math team assists instructors with assignments that promote quantitative skills across the curriculum.

2)      English Department conducts norming activity for consistent grading of written assignments across the curriculum.

3)      Counseling conducts a workshop to help design a Treatment Plan for Early Alert.

4)      Facilities/Security conduct workshop to promote campus stewardship assignments.

5)      Library Staff assists instructors in developing Information Competency assignments

6)      The TOOLS team showcases the Career Tools for Excellence class.

7)      Smart Classroom orientation.

Presenters will receive a small stipend.


Speakers for Spring Semester

Identify 2-3 individuals to speak to address staff regarding basic skill development

Facilities Plan

The Learning Support Committee will develop both a Mission and Vision statement to guide facilities development related to learning support.



The Learning Support Committee will develop an SLO that guides basic skill development across the Curriculum.



Academic Wellness Educators



We propose that the Basic Skills Committee adopt the following mission statement:


To promote an ongoing climate of growth and improvement in the delivery of learning support services throughout the entire college community for all students at all levels of preparation (as illustrated by the diagram below).


We also recommend that the Basic Skills Committee adopt the name: Academic Wellness Educators:


(See next page for diagram)



























Survey of Resources and Recommendations


In order to complete our plan, we ask that you identify potential resources. Please suggest resources in the following area, including contact names and publications or flyers, as well as a note about how this might be used by the team or fit into the existing plan.



In Spring 2003, the California Community Colleges Academic Senate published a document entitled “A Survey of Effective Practices for Basic Skills.”  The following table summarizes effective practices.


Effective Practices

Centralized vs.Decentralized

Centralized programs, such as developmental education programs, correlate with greater success than decentralized programs. However decentralized programs can be equally successful with high levels of coordination and communication.

Learning Communities

Research overwhelmingly supports the effectiveness of learning communities, which feature a cohort of students and two or more courses in which faculty collaborate in making curricular connections and focus on active learning and collaboration.

Integrated Reading and Writing Programs

Courses in which reading and writing are taught as complex, interactive processes instead of as an accumulation of discrete skills.

Assessment & Placement

Mandatory assessment and placement are key components of successful programs. Mandatory placement is only effective in courses found to have satisfactory instructional methods, techniques, and success rates.


Tutoring by well-trained tutors certified by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) is what identifies successful programs.

Supplemental Instruction

Supplemental Instructions (SI) targets “high-risk” courses, those that typically have high failure rates. Research indicates that students who participate in SI consistently show significantly lower rates of failing grades and higher average course grades than those who do not participate.

Classroom Assessment Techniques

Classroom Assessment techniques employ formative evaluation in the classroom for the purpose of improving teaching and learning. These techniques have been cited as one of the most successful higher education innovations in the decade of the 1990s.

Learning Laboratories

The integration of classroom and laboratories appears to be an essential component in a successful developmental program. Such programs require collaboration between lab coordinators and faculty in course design and are most effective when labs are located near the instructional areas.


Instructors at best practice institutions use technology only to provide supplementary assistance for tutoring and practices outside of the class. Technology should not be relied upon as a primary instructional delivery system.