American River College has a shared vision to transform the future of all students and our community through inclusive, equitable education. The challenge is the current design of our institution is not able to support this vision. Though unintentional, the very structure of our institution often creates a disjointed experience for the very students whose success we work so hard to support.
To accomplish our shared vision and transform our students and community, we need a different approach. We need to redesign American River College.
Course Success Rate and Equity Achievement Gaps
For decades ARC faculty, staff, and administrators have worked tirelessly on behalf of our students and their success. Though there have been pockets of inspiration and some great successes, the institution as a whole has not been able to significantly improve student success and completion or address longstanding performance differences between and among student groups. The data below is from the ARC Research Office and shows how course success rates have shown little change over the past few years.
Course Success Rates
Milestone achievement data
Milestone achievement data is a good measure of student success over time. Here is a look at a cohort of students who started at ARC in Fall 2010 and how many milestone achievements they have reached.
Milestone achievement data for African-American students
Now here is the milestone data for African-American students:
Throughout our collaborative strategic planning process, the ARC community resoundingly said we need to measure our overall institutional effectiveness based upon the success of our lowest-performing students.
In Need of Clear Paths
Another reason we need to redesign the student experience is that our decentralized structure is inherently difficult for students to navigate. There are no clear paths for students to follow. As a result, students start out with hopeful goals but lose momentum.
As result of this process, students often end up taking more units than they need. This adds to their financial burden and delays their entry into the workplace.
The students with excess units who earned an A.A. or A.S. at ARC in 2016-17 generated 8,588 total excess units, or an average about 35 excess units per student.
Including tuition & book costs, the cost to each student is estimated to be $2,502.
The total for all students was $595,435.
In addition, institutional costs (faculty salary, FTE, etc.) came to $1,023,403.
The video below from a 2016 convocation tells the testimonial story of one student's journey navigating the system.