When you're a community college located in a city where nearly a quarter of your population is living below the poverty line, it becomes imperative to find ways to lift your at-risk students out of the culture of poverty mire.
At Dayton, Ohio's, Sinclair Community College, they have been developing a program for this very purpose. Their Student Success Plan incorporates a Student Screening Process for new students that predicts the risk of attrition or failure; an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) for at-risk students; a college-wide Success Experience for all first year students; and extensive One-stop Services for continuing students.
The program has been evolving over the past few years, and has now received a six-figure grant from Next Generation Learning Challenges - "a collaborative, multi-year initiative created to address the barriers to educational innovation," funded by the The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Since its inception, the Student Success Plan has proven its worth, with
retention rates of students who have transitioned through the ILP being
more than 20% higher than students who never undertook an
ILP. When you consider that ILPs are only for at-risk students, these
results verge on extraordinary.
It's all part of their involvement in Democracy's Colleges: Call to Action - a pledge by six national community college organizations "to
increase the post-secondary success of more of our nation's citizens":