From the President/Superintendent
Greetings to all Faculty and Staff!
Welcome back to a new Academic year! I invite you to join us at the Fall 2014 Professional Development Activity day on Friday, August 15. Our theme this fall is "Growing Together," which recognizes the spirit of the day as we devote this time to professional growth. On PDA day, we come together, as an institution and as individuals, to build on strengths, learn new skills, and reflect on our challenges.
The Professional Development Committee and SRJC community of presenters have developed a comprehensive program for this full-day event designed to address the diverse interests and needs of our community. Once again, there is a well-rounded schedule of diversity, technology, teaching and learning, and health and wellness programming. There is something for everyone aimed at building skills and gaining support, knowledge, or inspiration.
I am also pleased to welcome, our keynote speaker, Tom Brown, of Thomas Brown and Associates. Tom is a noted educator, community college administrator, and nationally recognized expert on higher education and student success through student engagement. His focus on motivating, developing and engaging faculty, staff, and students to find meaning in their personal, professional, and academic pursuits is an excellent complement to the day.
As we begin a new academic year, I encourage the entire SRJC community to attend PDA day to connect with colleagues, old and new, and to join me as we “Grow Together”!
Dr. Frank Chong
A special Welcome to our Keynote Speaker and Workshop Presenter:
Managing Principal, Thomas Brown and Associates
Link to Tom Brown biography
Increasing Student Engagement and Success:
It Takes You!
Less than 30% of community college students complete Associate degrees in three years, according to the annual Institutional Data File from ACT (formerly The American College Testing Program). The attrition rates are even higher for first-generation students, students of color, and other at-risk groups.
Why do some students leave college as the result of incidents that appear relatively minor, while others persist in the face of tremendous obstacles? Are some students “predestined” to fail and withdraw from college, as the result of their educational backgrounds? If this is the case, why do some students with strong GPAs and test scores quit college, while others achieve at high levels despite coming from “educationally disadvantaged” backgrounds? Do some students leave college for reasons that are expected and understandable, while others could be encouraged and supported to stay? Which campus offices or personnel should have the responsibility for increasing student development, satisfaction and persistence?
This presentation answers these questions and assists campus communities to act—individually and collectively—to increase student success. It identifies many of the reasons students leave college, challenges some of the common myths and misconceptions about attrition, and shares evidence that what happens to students after they enroll is often more important than their pre-enrollment attributes and experiences. It also illustrates that increased persistence is the by-product of a campus environment which combines high quality teaching, comprehensive student services, and an effective academic advising program. On such campuses, everyone recognizes that they have the power to make an individual difference—whether they are department heads, classroom teachers, counselors, advisors, coaches, administrative assistants, or receptionists.
Session 1 Workshop:
Reframing At-Risk to High Potential:
Supporting the Achievement and Success of Students Who Are First Generation/Low SES, Multicultural, And Underprepared
This presentation and discussion will highlight the characteristics, challenges, and strengths of three student cohorts that are at-risk for leaving college and/or for not achieving their full potential—first-generation/low socio-economic status, Multicultural, and/or underprepared.
It will provide an overview of “dispositional barriers” that hinder student goal achievement, including negative attributions, Stereotype Threat, task/ego involvement, and reluctance to seek assistance.
The session will also identify effective, theory-based individual and programmatic interventions that have increased persistence and recommend concrete, tangible strategies that can motivate and support students to take greater responsibility for their own learning, development, and success—both inside and outside the classroom, on-campus, and in their communities.
Thomas Brown, Managing Principal
Tom Brown served as an educator in academic and student affairs for 27 years, most recently as the Dean of Advising Services/Special Programs at Saint Mary's College of California. In addition to developing and administering Saint Mary's nationally recognized academic advising program, he was responsible for new student and family orientation programs, Academic Support and Achievement (e.g., tutoring, services for students with disabilities), pre-law advising, and the Offices of Asian Pacific American, Black, Latino, and International Student Programs.
Tom Brown has served as a consultant to more than 400 colleges and universities, and he is regularly invited to deliver keynote addresses at national conferences, campus colloquia, and workshops for faculty and staff. He has published and presented extensively in areas related to student retention, academic advising, international education, and promoting the achievement and success of multicultural, international and at-risk students. He recently co-edited and wrote for the book, Fulfilling the Promise of the Community College: Increasing First Year Student Engagement and Success, which was co-sponsored by the American Association for Community Colleges.
A thoughtful, experienced, and engaging leader, Tom often uses humor to produce frank and meaningful dialogue around contentious and complex issues. His work is based on an integration of theories, research findings, and practical experience that makes a real difference for individuals and organizations.
About Thomas Brown and Associates
Thomas Brown and Associates (TBA) is a network of nationally recognized consultants working to assist colleges, universities, and other educational organizations to manage change, respond effectively to diversity, and increase institutional and individual effectiveness. TBA helps clients to understand how they can engage all segments of their campus community in collaborative efforts to enhance institutional stability, satisfaction and retention.