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Columbia College's

Academic Wellness Educators    

Keeping Us Connected

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Keeping Us Connected                 

Volume 3, Issue 1, September '09


FIGs Reporting Out


The AWE Steering Committee had its kick off meeting September 18th, for the 09/10 school year. There was discussion on budgets, continuing the work and reports from the FIGs. (Focused Inquiry Groups)


The AWE Steering Committee

The AWE Steering Committee

ESL FIG leader: Vonna Breeze-Martin reports we will likely have some challenges in the spring, particularly as relate to facilities.  On the positive side, though, we are exploring the possibility of Cowell Foundation bilingual advocates being available to assist our students with information/referral/advocacy at the Mark Twain site.  We are also exploring online opportunities for our students. 

On-Ramp FIG leader: Craig Johnston reports the first offering was a success. On Ramp is a preparatory program for new and returning students—full of fundamental skills, strategies and resources to improve chances for success offered in a 7 day format prior to the start of the Fall Semester.

Student Focus Email FIG leader: Brian Greene reports Student email emerged as a hot issue at an AWE Steering Committee. About ten students met with a group of administrators and District IT folks (including Gina Rose) on March 26th. The students were able to raise their concerns and ideas regarding the District’s new student email system. Some of the ideas were addressed and improved within 48 hours of the meeting.

Summer Support FIG leader: Craig Johnston reports the summer of 2009 they had 247 tutoring ½ hour appointments, with a 3.44 FTES up from a 1.83 FTES the previous summer. 


AAC Support FIG leader: Craig Johnston reports there has been an increase in the tutoring offerings, and our Blackboard presence from one class in the Spring '09 to 2-English classes, 2-Chemistry classes, 2-Child Development classes, 1-Humanities class.

Early Alert FIG leader: Susan Medeiros reports the Early Alert FIG members met periodically during the previous spring and summer to contribute their ideas for customizing and implementing this product.   Brian DeMoss worked closely with the SARS representative to have the product ready for use this Fall semester.

Summer Support Services FIG leader: Brian Greene reports the Summer Support FIG worked toward having summer services in the Library, Math Lab, and AAC and were able to stay open May through June, with the library open May through August.

First Semester Experience FIG leader: Craig Johnston reports 21 students currently enrolled in a two-day-per-week, 8:00am to 4:45pm class designed to boost success in pursuing college goals, whether for transfer education, a certificate or degree.

Visibility/Embedding Basis Skills in DE FIG leader: Melissa Colón reports there was more focus on the Service side in the spring editions of the AWE e-Newsletter and a Tutor's Corner will be a new addition. Melissa is continuing to work with the faculty cohorts on a clear focus on the importance of “Safety Nets” for online students.

Online orientation FIG leader: Lynn Martin reports the online orientation FIG is still a work in progress and projects to be online by Spring of 2010. If students do not have the time to take part in a face to face orientation they will have the opportunity to go online and complete a comprehensive orientation.

X-Reg FIG leader: Lynn Martin reports an awesome repeat performance of a day where students can apply, go through orientation, advisement, pay their fees, buy books, get an Id card and take tours to various components of the college.

Up & coming FIG on Wellness, FIG Leader:  Kim Zubek is proposing a “Chicken Soup Day” that will be presented as an effort to raise student awareness regarding personal wellness.


Tutor's Corner





Hanaa' Davis, AAC Tutor

Hanaa' Davis, AAC Tutor

Hanaa’ Davis, our newest AWEstar has been a Columbia College student for over a 1 year and has worked as a tutor for 2 semesters tutoring mainly Math, English, and History 17 and provides general computer help. She is also the SI (Supplemental Instruction) leader for First Year Experience. Hanaa’ is married, has two children and is focusing on majoring in Environmental Engineering. She says that her family helps to motivate her as she continues her education. One of the strategies she uses while tutoring students who are struggling with Math is to go over the section in the text and review a few problems; this helps her to narrow down where the student is experiencing challenges. Hanaa’ got interested in tutoring when she took Math 104, (Algebra 2) with Anne Cavagnaro. Anne asked if she wanted to be a tutor and at the time she didn’t know anything about it. Now she enjoys it and is happy to help.

When asked what advice she would give to all of us she stated that we can elaborate on the use of the AAC; consider it more than a tutoring center, it is also a support group. Even for those students who may already have the skills, they can still come in for the support. Haana’ also mentioned she loves to see instructors doing their office hours in AAC since they have access to so many resources.





Strengthening Student Success Conference in

San Francisco


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Adrienne Seegers-Webster, Anne Cavagnaro and Patricia Harrelson will be attending the conference and presenting a workshop called



"Academic Wellness Educators (AWE): More than Just Basic Skills"



representing Columbia College as one of last

year's Hewlett Leaders in Student Success Recipients


If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact Adrienne Webster, Anne Cavagnaro, Alicia Kolstad, John Leamy, Lynn Martin, Karin Rodts, Craig Johnston or Melissa Colón. Check out the AWE Web site.