Any ideas on how to implement the following idea? Perhaps I can start a fundraiser or have a non profit assist with the funding? Any feed back or revisions would be appreciated.
Pre-College Seminar Program
Students choose Pierce or other community colleges for a variety of reasons: financial viability, availability of online courses, need to bulk up their grades and test scores before moving on to four-year programs, and sometimes due to a lack of confidence in their ability to negotiate college life. In fact, some of the most common reasons for freshman dropouts at both four- and two-year institutions is the lack of ability to adapt to college life and learn how to negotiate the demands of different classes, time management, lack of proper study techniques, and learning how to use the tools available to them (and demanded of them) at the college level, on top of lack of academic preparedness and lack of some kind of mentor.
We know from our own experience at Pierce that just because a student had good grades in high school doesn’t mean he or she is prepared for college life. In my own political science classes, both on campus and in my online classes, I have had students who would have benefited greatly from a coach or mentor who could help walk them through how to properly research papers, time management, study techniques, how to use the online class system and other small hints and tips that would help them get to the knowledge faster and more efficiently. This shows a distinct need, a gap in knowledge between high school and college that needs to be filled.
In an effort to fill that gap, I have started work on a series of seminars appropriate for junior and senior high school students and freshmen college students that would give them a leg up on such things as how to negotiate the online class system more efficiently, time management, cultural sensitivity, “netiquette” for online classroom interactions, how to use the system of college counselors and organizations when they need help and online research methods, among other topics. These seminars would help students adjust to college life a little more easily, and could thus possibly decrease the freshmen dropout rate that we have come to expect each year.
The seminars would be one to three hours taught in either one unique class or in a series of one to three classes, depending on what was being covered. Some seminars would be offered online as well as in person. There would also be online follow up available for some of the seminars.
In addition, I am working on offering tutoring for students who need a better grounding in topics such as political science. These tutoring sessions would lay the groundwork for students who need extra help in these areas.
These students may have more difficulty negotiating student life. For example, at least 34 percent of the students at Pierce College are Latino. In Los Angeles County, at least 45 percent of residents are Latino and Spanish-speaking. Being able to address bicultural and cultural sensitivity issues would help students adjust to college life more readily and become more successful students.
Pierce College prides itself on being a feeder college for University of California, California State University and other private universities. I would like to help Pierce continue in that tradition.