This past fall, EvCC scaled up its college success course, now known as College 101. The course is designed to give students the skills they need to be effective college students. The long term goal is to increase student success, particularly student completions. A short term indicator of success is retention. Table 1 shows the retention rate for course takers and non-takers in the target population, which was all new degree-seeking students except for Running Start students.* The data show that course takers were 17% more likely to return in the winter than non-takers.
Table 2 looks at the same numbers but for different subgroups within the target population. Transfer-Specific students indicated a specific program of study (e.g., business, biology, history) for their associate’s degree. Transfer-General students indicated that they intend to transfer but did not choose a specific program. Undeclared students are completely undeclared with regard to both program and transfer/prof tech. In all four cases, the College 101 course is associated with higher retention, and the highest relative benefit is for undeclared students.
Because students self-selected into the class, there is the possibility that differences observed are the result of selection bias. This concern cannot be entirely eliminated, but the course-takers and non-takers have roughly similar levels of placement into college math which is a rough indication that they are more or less equally prepared for college. While there can be no definitive evaluations after so short a time, these data are certainly encouraging.