Student Support Services
The institution recruits and admits diverse students who are able to benefit from its programs, consistent with its mission. Student support services address the identified needs of students and enhance a supportive learning environment. The entire student pathway through the institutional experience is characterized by a concern for student access, progress, learning and success. The institution systematically assesses student support services using student learning outcomes, faculty and staff input, and other appropriate measures in order to improve the effectiveness of these services.
Gavilan Joint Community College District encompasses southern Santa Clara County and most of San Benito County. The college aspires to be an exemplary student centered community that embraces critical thinking, lifelong learning, cultural understanding, and community service. These values support the mission of Gavilan College to prepare students for "participation in a diverse global society" and are embedded in its philosophy of having a "proactive, accessible, and sensitive presence in the diverse communities it serves" (2B.1). Diversity, access, progress, learning, and success are the main concerns of Gavilan's Student Support Services division in the development of students.
The college is designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). The Student Profile of Opening Enrollment for Fall 2001 - Fall 2006, shows that on the average, 47 percent of the students are Latino, 39 percent are White non-Hispanic, 4 percent are Asian/Pacific Islander, 2 percent are African American, 2 percent are Filipino, 1 percent are Native American, with 5 percent in the category of "Other/Unknown". The student body is reflective of the diverse communities it serves. Similar to institutions of higher learning nationwide, gender proportions have remained fairly constant over the past five years with about three females for every two males (2B.2). Students are able to access the college through the public transit system in both counties or by private means of transportation.
Admission policies and procedures are clearly outlined in the college catalog (2B.3), class schedule (2B.4), and the Student Handbook (2B.5), and are posted on the college website (2B.6). The schedule of classes includes an application. It is mailed to each household in the district. Applications can also be downloaded from the college website and mailed, faxed, or hand delivered to the admissions and records office or to the off-campus sites. A Spanish language admission application is available (2B.7). Once applications are processed, students can register in person, online, or by telephone.
Gavilan College's student services reflect a strong commitment to the continual academic progress of its students. A full complement of services are available to students that include counseling, financial aid, career and transfer services, tutoring, assessment, health services, the Disability Resource Center (DRC), Extended Opportunity Program and Services (EOPS), Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Program, Puente, and TRIO. Student support services are listed in the college catalog, the class schedule, and the student handbook. The information is available in English and Spanish and complies with Section 508 accessibility standards for students with disabilities (2B.8). Alternate media formats are available for students with disabilities. Gavilan offers a variety of matriculation services to students that include outreach and recruitment, retention, transfer, and completion. The Matriculation Program Plan 2005-2006 is available on the college's website (2B.9).
Several on-going methods of evaluating the quality of student support are employed to demonstrate that services support student learning and enhance student achievement. The Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) provides program review (2B.10). The institutional researcher provides reports such as Enrollment Profiles, College Performance Indicators, Impact of Follow-up Counseling on Academic Performance and Persistence, Puente and Learning Communities for Success, Community Focus Group Report, and Student Profile reports. Research and analysis provides the college with the information it needs to identify student learning and student support needs and to assess progress toward student learning outcomes in order to effectively offer a supportive learning environment (2B.11).
Gavilan College's Student Services Division is committed to student development and demonstrates its efforts through outreach and retention strategies that promote the recruitment, retention, and success of students in their courses and by supporting the achievement of their educational goals. In support of this commitment, a broad spectrum of student support services is designed to meet the identified needs of the diverse student body. The full complement of services meets the college's mission of "providing a high-quality learning experience that prepares students for transfer, technical and public service careers, lifelong learning, and participation in a diverse global society" (2B.1). Each program in the student services division participates in the program review process that is administered through the college's Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) every three to five years. The review timeline is established by the committee and is posted on the college's website (2B.6). Through this process, recommendations are made to facilitate areas of improvement that are linked and incorporated into the area program planning process. The major outcome of the process is a continual updating of the programs' unit plans. The unit plan is developed to align with the goals and objectives of the college's Educational Master Plan, Technology Master Plan, and Facilities Master Plan.
During the 2004-2005 academic year, the Student Services Council developed three student learning outcomes (2B.3, p.13) based on the college's Institutional Learning Outcomes (2B.12). The divisional learning outcomes are as follows:
By the time students leave Gavilan College, they will be able to:
Dialogues about the assessment methods to measure student learning outcomes have occurred at the individual program level, at the Student Services Council, department chairs, the Dean's Council levels, and with the vice president of student services and the vice president of instruction. Successful completion of assessment methods will ensure that students are achieving the intended learning outcome.
The institutional researcher has conducted several surveys over the past five years that address enrollment, retention, special populations, student equity, and the impact of follow-up counseling, among many others. The surveys serve to support student learning and allow the college to identify the needs of students and assess program quality and effectiveness (2B.11). All student support services are available to students during the day at the Gilroy main campus. The following services are available during various evening hours and peak registration periods:
The off-site campuses in Morgan Hill and Hollister offer student services on a modified basis that include:
At the airport site in Hollister, representatives from EOPS, counseling, and financial aid offer student services.
The college's website provides support service information to students and a wide-range of online services that are accessible for all students, including students with disabilities and those using distance learning. Students can access the college catalog, class schedule, registration forms, and the student handbook. The student handbook and student orientation is available in Spanish online. Online orientation, online counseling, online bookstore services, and assessment dates are available to students accessing the Gavilan College website. The quality and accessibility of the website is monitored by the individual program as well as the college's webmaster.
Student support services include:
Existing student services programs are evaluated and recommendations are made by the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC). Programs use the results of the evaluations as the basis for improvement. Unit plans are updated to insure the quality of service delivery and alignment with the Strategic, Facilities, Technology, and the Educational Master Plans. In addition to the IEC review process, categorical programs are evaluated by state and federal agencies. The Chancellor's Office, through the program review process and technical assistance visits, evaluates the Disability Resource Center, MESA, and Extended Opportunity Programs. On November 7, 2005, the DRC volunteered to participate in a technical review. Following the visit, a report was issued to the Chancellor's Office, "Access, Programs and Services for Students with Disabilities". The program was commended as "exemplary" (2B.31). EOPS utilizes an annual EOPS and CARE Program Satisfaction Survey to gather input from students and to make program changes accordingly to increase the quality of service to students (2B.32). TRIO is evaluated every six years by the Department of Education. An annual program report is filed each year that serves as a program review of services provided to students (2B.33). MESA submits midyear and annual program reports which serve as a program review of the MESA grants objectives (2B.34). MESA is currently analyzing student success in several math and/or science classes to see how it compares with the general student population.
Financial aid provides comprehensive information on grants, scholarships, loans, and other financial aid resources through a variety of brochures and pamphlets. A Gavilan College financial aid brochure is in process and will be completed in the 2006-2007 academic year.
Student health services are available to all enrolled students. Fifty percent of the student health fee pays for student accident insurance, leaving a small budget available from which to operate. The health services program is staffed by one full-time nursing faculty. Work study students provide additional assistance but the office is closed when the faculty person attends institutional meetings, provides campus-wide activities, teaches, attends to confidential health matters, or is called to an on-campus emergency. Gavilan College plans to work collaboratively with constituent groups for the implementation of AB 982, the deletion of exemptions of the health fee for BOG recipients. Depending on the outcome, this could add additional dollars to the operating budget.
The institutional researcher conducts surveys in the community-at-large and the college community. Survey results allow the college to identify and support student learning needs while enhancing achievement of the mission of the institution. Online student support services are available by accessing the Gavilan College homepage and are monitored for accessibility and quality. Online distance learning courses have a student satisfaction survey to assess quality of delivery and accessibility to the online format (2B.35). The DRC works closely with the college webmaster to ensure that web services are accessible for people with disabilities. The collaboration is a reflection of the college's commitment to inclusiveness and highlights the importance of assuring that the college is accessible to all individuals.
In March, 2004, voters approved the Measure E Bond (2B.36). The bond funded an Enterprise Resource Plan (ERP) system. Scheduled to be implemented during the 2006-2007 academic year, accessible online student support services will most certainly add to the accessibility of student service delivery, regardless of campus location. OnLine Gavilan Access (OLGA) was launched in fall 2006, enabling students to register for classes, add or drop classes, check open section availability, check their grades, and run unofficial transcripts online.
Results of the accreditation self-study student survey indicate that 83 percent of the students agree that Gavilan College is a positive and supportive educational environment (2B.37, question 1). Eighty-one percent of the students acknowledge that the college supports diversity (2B.37, question 2). Students expressed frustration with the unavailability of online student support services which were not yet accessible at the time of the survey (2B.37, question 42). A significant number of students indicated that they wished to access online registration services, have the ability to view their schedule online, review their education plans, and have the ability to access their grades online (2B.37, questions 42, 43, 44, 45). Seventy-one percent of the students indicated that Gavilan should offer wireless access to the campus network and the internet. Many students indicate that they desire more online course offerings, course offerings in the evening, and at the off-site campus locations. Student comments expressed the need for general facilities upgrades including comfortable classrooms, updated computer equipment, comfortable seating, upgraded bathrooms, and improved lighting. The ERP system and OLGA will address a majority of the student requests for web services. The Measure E bond is dedicated to renovation and upgrade of the infrastructure and the physical facilities. Overall, students speak well of Gavilan College as 75 percent indicate that they would encourage others to attend.
The college is moving in the right direction by addressing community and student needs as identified in various campus and community studies and surveys. Developing assessment methods for the division's student learning outcomes and accommodating the need for accessible online services will surely enhance the quality of student support services and ensure that these services, regardless of location or means of delivery will support student learning and enhance the achievement of the mission of the institution.
The catalog is published every two years and is available for sale in the bookstore, or free of charge on the college website. The current print edition covers academic years 2005-2007. The schedule of classes is published each fall and spring semester. The spring schedule includes a section with the summer course offerings. The schedule is distributed throughout the campus and mailed to residents within the district. The college makes every effort to ensure the electronic version of the catalog and schedule of classes are accessible for individuals with disabilities that require assistive technology. The catalog and schedule of classes are available in hard copy and online on the Gavilan College website. Alternate formats are available upon request through the Disability Resource Center and the office of the vice president of student services. Nineteen pages describing such topics as student rights and responsibilities, problem resolution, matriculation, and student services are translated into Spanish to serve the 47 percent of the student body who identify themselves as being of Hispanic background.
Major policies affecting students are published in the catalog including academic regulations, nondiscrimination and prohibition of harassment and hate crimes, acceptance of transfer credit, gender equity/sex discrimination, the Americans with Disabilities Compliance Act, the Drug Free Campus Act, students' rights and responsibilities, etc. The student problem resolution procedure is included in the policies and procedures section of the catalog and the grievance process is listed in the appendix. Admission policies and procedures are published in the college catalog, class schedule, and the student handbook. They are also are posted on the college website. The catalog describes all student requirements for admissions including fees, financial obligations, and the refund policy. Degree, certificates, graduation, and transfer requirements are fully described. The catalog does not list the locations or publications where other policies may be found.
A full catalog committee consisting of faculty, administration, and support staff convenes every other year to review and edit catalog content for accuracy, currency, format and layout. Each year, key members of the committee, including faculty, staff, and administrators conduct ongoing assessment of the catalog, ensuring its accuracy and currency. Each new catalog and schedule of classes attempts to improve upon any prior ambiguities or format flaws. A full-time student support services staff member tracks all changes and updates them on an ongoing basis, posts addendums to the online catalog, and emails revisions to all appropriate constituencies on and off campus.
All aspects of Gavilan College's catalog and schedule of classes are regularly reviewed prior to each publication. Institutional policies and procedures, student services, the college profile, etc., are distributed to the appropriate departments on campus and reviewed by the vice president of administrative services. Curriculum changes are approved and submitted by the Curriculum Committee. Policies and practices are reviewed by a schedule production committee comprised of a cross section of all functional areas on campus including admissions and records, management information systems (MIS), student services division, liberal arts division, technical and public services division, noncredit, community education, Disability Resource Center, and the Curriculum Committee. Changes are submitted to the vice president of student services and the catalog or schedule of classes desktop publication document is updated. The Gavilan College website is updated with changes or addendums by the college webmaster on a regular basis (2B.6).
The 2001 Accreditation Evaluation Report (2B.39, p. 26) states: "Institutional publications are well written and have a deliberate marketing flair and a customer service orientation". The documents include admissions policies consistent with the college's mission and follow practices that are consistent with those policies. Specifically, the Gavilan College catalog and course schedule are excellent examples of informative publications that are comprehensive, attractively designed, well organized, and user friendly. Key sections of the catalog and schedule are in Spanish.
The recommendation from the 2001 Accreditation Evaluation Report (2B.39, p. 16) regarding the catalog was: "The college develops for Board approval a statement on academic freedom and makes it readily available by inclusion in college publications". The statement on academic freedom was included in the 2003-2005 catalog, the current 2005-2007 catalog, and will be included in all future revisions of the catalog.
The current catalog contains all of the required elements outlined in Standard 2.B.2. a, b, c, and d with the exception of the academic calendar, and current student fee information. As the catalog covers two academic years, the academic calendar and the current student fees are published in the schedule of classes for each semester and posted to the college's website. The catalog contains general information regarding fees, such as the Refund Policy and Procedure, and the Resident Enrollment Fees for Non-Immigrant Students (AB540) (2B.3, p. 28). Catalog errors and changes, such as deletions or other changes in degree requirements are updated on the college's website catalog link.
All changes to the catalog are reviewed and approved by the appropriate parties, including deans and department chairs, the Catalog Committee, Student Services Council, Curriculum Committee, President's Council, and Board of Trustees. The minutes from the various constituent groups are available on the Gavilan website (2B.6) to document the accuracy, timeliness, and applicability of all material contained in the catalog. The college registrar and the articulation officer verify that the catalog is being used successfully by other colleges and universities for articulation and transfer purposes. The registrar verifies that a de facto policy regarding Acceptance of Transfer Credits has been practiced uniformly at the college for many years, even though the policy did not appear in the published catalog. The policy statement regarding Acceptance of Transfer Credits has been added to the schedule of classes for spring/summer 2006 and to the online catalog.
The accreditation self-study student survey results reveal that both the college catalog and class schedules are well organized, readable, and accessible with over 70 percent in agreement. Seventy percent of student respondents agree that both the catalog and the schedule are current and accurate (2B.37, questions 4, 11, 35). Online student support services did not fair as well. Survey results indicated about 40 percent of the students agree that online student support services are adequate while over 70 percent wanted to be able to register, view schedules, education plans, and grades online. With the recent launch of OnLine Gavilan Access (OLGA) and the purchase of an Enterprise Resource Plan (ERP), these needs are being addressed.
The college identifies the educational support needs of its student population through the admissions process, matriculation, and research data collected for student learning needs that include Enrollment Monitor Reports, Student Profiles by semester, and other research studies in such areas as, Learning Communities Success, Retention, and College Performance Indicators reports (2B.11). The research data is applied to the strategic planning process and the Educational Master Plan development process. The process allows the college to evaluate its learning support needs and to determine if there is equitable access to its services for all students regardless of service location or means of delivery. Using this data, the college develops and provides the following services: basic skills assessment and orientation, English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment, financial aid, counseling, transfer and career services, tutoring services, retention and follow-up services, health services, and special student support programs such as Puente, Disability Resource Center, Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS)/CalWORKs, Math, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA), and TRIO that conduct additional assessment and orientation for their special populations to meet individualized needs. Each student service program has an individual website that describes services and eligibility requirements, as well as contact information for the program.
Extracurricular activities through the Associated Student Body (ASB) such as student elections, student government, holiday and social events, charity drives, and athletics are additional support programs for students.
Access to services has been improved through the use of technology and physical upgrades campus wide. Since the last accreditation self study in 2000, Gavilan's delivery systems have been expanded to include services such as online counseling, online orientation and online bookstore services. An example of physical upgrades includes the completion of a new adaptive physical education building in 2004 that has significantly improved physical access for students with disabilities enrolled in courses offered through the Disability Resource Center's adaptive physical education program (2B.40). The building contains accessible design qualities that offer outstanding access. Wide hallways accommodate wheel chair users. Adaptive exercise equipment in the human performance lab, a mini-gym with rubberized flooring that cushions floor exercises, and a large classroom with accessible tables and chairs provide quality accommodations for students. Well designed, accessible lavatories accommodate the personal needs of students with disabilities.
Infrastructure improvements include campus internet access that has been upgraded from a T1 line to a T3 line.
According to the student survey, 71 percent of the respondents want wireless access to the campus network (2B.37, question 46). Currently, wireless capabilities are available at selected locations on campus. Students are using online services more frequently but only 41 percent of the student respondents believed, at the time of the survey, that online services were adequate.
In March 2004, voters approved the Measure E Bond, a facility improvement bond that will upgrade outdated plumbing and wiring, renovate aging classrooms and the library, provide access for students with disabilities, improve campus safety, and expand the satellite sites. Plans include an upgrade of the college's infrastructure to accommodate growing technology needs. General renovation of the college's classrooms include climate control systems that will provide a comfortable learning environment for all students. According to the student survey, 71 to 77 percent of students want to be able to set counseling appointments, review education plans, schedules, grades, and be able to register online (2B.37, questions 44, 45). As of spring 2006, some online counseling services were available. With implementation of OnLine Gavilan Access (OLGA) and the Enterprise Resource Plan (ERP) in the 2006-2007 academic year, registration, student access to grades, and eventually financial aid services, will meet the student demand for accessible online student services.
The Morgan Hill and Hollister sites offer limited support services to the students. The Hollister, Morgan Hill, and Hollister airport sites all have a computer lab. Library services and tutoring labs are all located only on the main campus in Gilroy. Accommodations for students with verified disabilities are arranged upon request through the Disability Resource Center campus office. Off sites are equipped with adaptive furniture for students with physical disabilities, text telephone (TTY) for students who are deaf and an accommodations general information manual (2B.41). The student survey reveals that only 25 percent to 28 percent of the respondents feel that support services at the Hollister and Morgan Hill sites are adequate (2B.37, questions 27, 28). There is a strong need to evaluate the need for support services at the satellite sites.
Program reviews in regard to service delivery by Gavilan's categorical programs have been favorable. This is reflected in each program's review by outside entities, such as the Chancellor's Office and the Santa Clara County Department of Social Services. The EOPS review by the Chancellor's Office reflects notations of an exemplary program (2B.42, p. 4-11). MESA and the DRC are also evaluated by the Chancellor's Office through the program review process. EOPS utilizes an annual student satisfaction survey to gather input. The college's Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) reviews each program every three to five years. The review includes a self-evaluation by the respective program as part of the IEC process. IEC recommendations for improvements are incorporated in to the programs' unit plans.
Currently, the college is addressing the equity in women's sports offerings. In the last four years, the college has reinstated softball, soccer, and basketball, and in 2005 added volleyball as a women's sport. In addition, the college has surveyed all of the local high schools to assess the student athletes' interests and sports preferences, Student Interest Survey, 2005 (2B.43). Every effort is being made to recruit potential women athletes and develop sports programs to meet their needs and interests. Significant upgrades have been made to the sports complex and future improvements are planned (2B.44).
Gavilan College provides an environment that encourages personal, intellectual, and aesthetic development and civic responsibility through a variety of avenues inside and outside of the classroom.
The Associated Student Body (ASB) provides opportunities for civic involvement through campus activities and student leadership retreats. Through ASB participation, students learn basic leadership skills and have the opportunity to engage in student government (2B.13). A student trustee serves on the Board of Trustees. The ASB meets weekly to discuss issues of concern to students, such as student fees, services, and programs. Students address issues through the shared governance process in venues such as President's Council, the Academic Senate, and the Health, Safety, Facilities, and Grounds Committee. The college president and the vice president of student services, as well as other faculty and administrators, attend the ASB weekly meetings to keep informed and to be available for student concerns.
Civic involvement is encouraged at the local, state, and national level through campus activities such as political candidate forums, participation in student lobby days at the State Capitol, and sponsorship of activities such as the International Club's United Nations Human Rights Day. Student clubs provide the opportunity to develop personal and civic interests (2B.45). Events such as the Thanksgiving food drive and the EOPS Club's annual holiday party for students and their families encourage civic involvement. Students, as well as all Gavilan staff, are encouraged to assume a civic responsibility for recycling by depositing glass, plastic, cans, and paper into receptacles located in various locations and offices throughout campus.
The college provides opportunities to encourage personal and intellectual enrichment through campus events and classroom opportunities. For example, guest speakers are brought into the classroom and onto campus for special events such as Black History Month, Women's History Month, and Cesar Chavez Day (2B.46). The Gavilan Press is a student-written newspaper that provides the opportunity to develop skills and to comment on important events related to college life, campus news, and local and national topics (2B.47). Among courses for personal development, the DRC promotes self-advocacy skills for students with disabilities as they relate to the learning environment, the community, and the employment setting (2B.48).
Aesthetic development is encouraged in many ways. Students and staff participate in a number of college-sponsored activities on the campus and in the community. GavFest is an annual event that brings the community onto campus for a day of the arts, college program information, idea exchange, and a general day of fun and activities. The college's art gallery features student, local, and international artists. In the summer of 2005, an art show brought community members together to participate in "Piece Process", an art exhibit featuring both Israeli and Palestinian artists from around the world. "Bach to Blues" is an annual Gavilan College event that brings musicians together to perform music of different genres and times to standing-room-only audiences. Theater department children's repertory productions, such as "James and the Giant Peach" and "Treasure Island" bring busloads of students from local elementary schools to campus each fall. The "Vagina Monologues" performance raised money to support programs that prevent violence against women. These events bring about a sense of community and provide students an opportunity to develop their skills and add aesthetic richness to their lives, while providing the community at large the opportunity to participate in and enjoy an array of aesthetic endeavors.
The college meets this standard. Gavilan College does a good job of providing opportunities for students to involve themselves in activities and programs that encourage intellectual, aesthetic, personal development, and civic responsibility. Students are active in student government, student clubs, shared governance committees, and college task forces. Opportunities are provided to attend intellectually stimulating presentations, learn important leadership skills, and learn how to advocate for themselves in the classroom and the community. However, according to the student survey, only 42 percent of the respondents felt the students were adequately involved, despite student participation on committees such as: accreditation, technology, facility planning, hiring, etc., indicating a possible opportunity to increase awareness of student contributions to campus processes among the many students who are not personally involved (2B.37, question 6).
Students participate on standing and task force committees; however, participation remains low. Achieving consistency in participating on committees is difficult as the majority of students have many other commitments that may take priority, such as the challenge to balance school, family, and work schedules. As in the past, the college will continue to encourage and welcome student participation.
The counseling department faculty is comprised of six full-time generalists, one adjunct general counselor, and program-specific counselors; two full-time and four adjunct counselors in EOPS, CalWORKs, the DRC, MESA, TRIO, Athletics, and Puente. Services provided in all areas include academic advising, career, crisis, and personal counseling, as well as vocational and transfer counseling. Counselors train students to use the assist.org website and write educational plans to ensure a smooth transfer process. Individual counseling appointments are available five days a week between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and Monday through Thursday until 8:00 p.m. Walk-in counseling is also available Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Appointments can be made by using the Schedule and Reporting System (SARS) computer system that was implemented in 2002 or by telephone. Services are provided at the Morgan Hill site twice per month, at the Hollister site once per month, at the Hollister airport site at least twice a semester, and at San Benito High School once per month. For the past two years, the department has also offered online counseling services to address general, non-personal questions and concerns. Access is available continually and students receive a response to their queries within 48 business hours. Both students and staff can access an array of resources and information on the department's website.
In addition to individual counseling appointments, the counseling faculty teach courses that include topics such as college success, self-assessment and career development, and peer counseling. One course has been developed for online delivery: Self Assessment and Career Development; and the department is in the process of developing additional online courses. The college's orientation is online in English and Spanish and is maintained by department faculty. In-person orientation sessions for students enrolled in English as a Second Language classes are also offered each semester.
The counseling department routinely collaborates with other departments on campus to ensure institutional understanding of student needs and requirements for college success. Counselors are represented on the Curriculum, Matriculation, District Technology, Strategic Planning, and Staff Development Committees, the Academic Senate, and the Student Services Council. The department has also been active in the development of a campus crisis intervention plan and has collaborated closely with instructional faculty in the development of a First Year Experience (FYE) program for basic skills students. A Transfer Institute was developed in collaboration with the career/transfer center. Department liaisons work closely with each academic discipline on matters relating to student success. Staff and faculty members may also request classroom presentations or refer a student to counseling services via the department's online website.
Counselors stay current in transfer advising regulations via routine attendance at University of California and California State University counselor conferences, articulation conferences and meetings such as the Northern California Inter-segmental Articulation Council, the California Inter-segmental Articulation Council, Region 4 articulation officer's meetings, as well as individual college and university meetings and training sessions. Counselors attend training in providing services to special populations and related topics on a regular basis. For example, counselors recently attended trainings concerning gender equity in career decision making, evaluation tools for career development and major selection, and mediation skills. University representatives periodically attend department meetings to provide updates or introduce new programs. Faculty and staff from various disciplines routinely attend department meetings to provide training or to collaborate with counselors on course or program goals in areas that include allied health, child development, and computer information systems. Bi-monthly department meetings also serve as a venue for cross-training among the counselors in each person's specialty area, for example; athletics, veterans, Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, and Disability R esource Center counseling.
The college meets this standard. The counseling department assesses effectiveness in a variety of ways. It routinely reviews its strengths and weaknesses and plans for future additions or modifications to its services. Goals are identified and routinely reviewed and embedded in the department's unit plan (2B.49). While quantitative measures are used to evaluate some areas, quality input and feedback is also of great importance.
Due to the department's appointment, walk-in, off-site, and online schedules, availability of counseling services is considered to be one of the primary strengths of the department. Data from the SARS data base is continually reviewed to assess student traffic patterns and modify schedules according to projected needs. In the general counseling area, the department currently averages 373 student appointments per month and accommodates approximately 300 students on a walk-in basis. During peak registration periods, the general counselors see more than 1,000 students on a walk-in basis. The thorough development of online information and resources provides easy access to many more students (2B.18). Recent improvements to the ways that academically dismissed students are identified and tracked has resulted in a more effective and coordinated delivery of services. The revised system includes alerts posted in student records and the formal assignment of a single counselor to follow-up with students in dismissal status. Counselor collaboration with other departments is also moving in a more positive direction as evidenced by such projects as the FYE program and the Transfer Institute. A new full-time counselor has resulted in improved appointment tracking and increases in articulation agreements with a number of universities.
During the first four years of employment, each counselor is evaluated every semester by fellow faculty and administrators (2B.50, Section 19.5, Article 19) and given feedback regarding individual strengths and areas requiring improvement. Evaluation of individual counseling services is provided each semester via an evaluation sent to the counselor's students. A similar process is followed with tenured faculty members every three years (2B.51, Sections 19.1-19.4). Additional evaluation surveys are disseminated to students and parents participating in the Transfer Institute and to the students and mentors participating in the Puente program. Surveys and evaluations are distributed to students participating in the FYE program. Feedback in each program is positive and encouraging.
Tracking of the use of the online counseling service for students shows a general upward trend as more students become aware of it. All email contacts are maintained in a central file in order to review and evaluate the use of the service and the types of requests made. The numbers of students who complete the online orientation is tracked, revealing an increase in the number of students participating in this matriculation service. The administration of an orientation quiz at the end of the online session helps to ensure that students demonstrate knowledge of the information provided. Surveys that include the First Year Experience (FYE) student surveys and the Transfer Institute surveys indicate that for some students an in-person orientation would be more appropriate and effective (2B.52). In August, 2006, the department reintroduced in-person orientations for students (2B.53).
The department reviewed the accreditation survey of students administered in November, 2005. The questions that pertain directly to counseling indicate that 65 percent of those surveyed believe that counselors can adequately answer their questions (2B.37, question 9), while 49 percent felt that they receive adequate counseling and preparation from Gavilan to help with the transition from high school to college (2B.37, question 13). It is worth noting that a high percentage of students were neutral on both of these questions, 19 percent and 32 percent respectively. It is presumed that for those in the neutral categories, the questions simply did not apply. It is unclear how question 13 may have been interpreted, as it seems to be asking more than one question. The department noted that of the comments made, there was an indication that at times the counseling process seemed rushed. Appointments scheduled during a high demand period such as spring priority registration and the nature of the services provided may have influenced student comment. The department makes every effort to ensure that students are well served at all times. It is also presumed that some of the comments indicating a lack of knowledge on the part of the counseling staff may in fact be some confusion surrounding the complexity and changing nature of the information that the students receive. The department takes the perceptions seriously and will strive to further ensure that students are confident and clear about the advising they receive. With the recent hiring of an additional full-time counselor, the counseling department is optimistic about its ability to enhance the services already offered and to explore new possibilities. The implementation of the new Enterprise Resource Planning system will allow the department the ability to carefully identify students lacking an education plan or those without a stated educational goal. This will enable focused outreach and enhanced matriculation services. The department also intends to continue to focus on current projects including curriculum development and online course offerings, participation in the development of a crisis intervention plan and related staff training, further development of the FYE program, and the Transfer Institute.
Gavilan College's philosophy is dedicated to being an "exemplary, student-centered community college" that values inclusiveness, embraces diversity and values "the respect and worth of all individuals", in an environment of mutual respect for all of its students, staff, and the community (2B.1). The commitment to these core values is demonstrated in a number of ways.
The college is committed to hiring a diverse staff by placing an emphasis on recruiting a diverse pool of applicants. In recruiting for job openings, the college uses a wide source of advertising venues to solicit a rich pool of applicants. Along with advertising in local, state, and national publications, advertising occurs in publications and periodicals that include Black Careers Now; Hispanic Careers, Asian Careers and Nuevo Mundo (2B.54). The college makes every effort to recruit staff that is reflective of the community and the students it serves. Many of the college's staff is comprised of people who are bi-lingual in English and Spanish.
The college values include "inclusiveness and mutual respect for all of our students, staff, and community". In support of this value, the college has created a cultural diversity requirement for its general education courses. The college supports student service programs such as the Disability Resource Center (DRC), Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS), Math, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA), Puente, TRIO, and English as a Second Language (ESL). These programs provide opportunities for students who may not otherwise have the means to seek a higher education to succeed at Gavilan College. The DRC sponsors Disability Awareness Month for the entire month of October. Awareness activities emphasize the diversity of Gavilan's student population that includes students with disabilities. During the 2005-2006 academic year, the DRC, formerly known as Disabled Students' Programs and Services (DSP&S), changed its name to Disability Resource Center. Changing the name removed the label from the student and focused on the resources available. At the same time, the DRC adopted a new motto "More Alike than Different" in an effort to encourage non-judgmental attitudes and to promote acceptance and appreciation of the diverse population served by Gavilan College (2B.48).
The college supports a variety of diverse clubs and events on campus. Student clubs have been established to provide opportunities for students to participate in scholastic, social, political, cultural, and recreational interest areas. Club activities are coordinated and supported through the Associate Student Body. Students are encouraged to start clubs if they have an interest that is not represented on campus. Clubs include the International Students Club, the Multicultural Club, the Music Club, the Administration of Justice Club, Rho Alpha Mu Honor Society, Health Promotion Club, MANO (Men's Academic Network Organization), the EOPS Club, and many more (2B.45).
Courses such as the Sociology of Minorities, Women's Lives in Recent U.S. History, and Cultural History of the Mexican-American, as well as workshops jointly sponsored by EOPS, TRIO and MESA, such as the Chicana/Latina Leadership Workshop, promote and enhance student understanding and appreciation of diversity (2B.55).
The college meets this standard. The college does a good job of designing and maintaining appropriate programs, practices, and services that support and enhance student understanding and appreciation of diversity. Clubs, special programs, classes, and workshops, exist to create a positive climate and to enhance student understanding and appreciation of diversity. The campus staff is comprised of people that reflect the local community. Many are bilingual, particularly in Spanish/English.
The student survey revealed that 81 percent of the students acknowledge that the college supports diversity (2B.37, question 2). This speaks well of the college's efforts.
The admissions and records office is on a regularly scheduled three-year cycle of program review. This includes self-assessment, surveys, questionnaires, and feedback forms from users of the services. As admissions and records is also a public service, much feedback is used from both external sources that include students and the community, and internal users that include faculty and staff. The admissions and records director incorporates feedback into weekly staff meetings. The director and staff also participate in regional and statewide admissions-related conferences where best practices are identified and discussed. When appropriate, they are incorporated into Gavilan College's services.
The research office evaluates placement assessments on a regular cycle. Math, English, and English as a Second Language assessments are analyzed to eliminate bias, per matriculation requirements. The faculty in those departments also participate in the selection of the placement instruments.
The college meets this standard. In fall 2001, a consequential validation study (2B.56) was conducted to determine whether the instructor and student assessment indicated correct course placement in Basic Writing (ENGL 440), Practical Writing (ENGL 250) and Composition (ENGL 1A). The surveys indicated that placement in English writing was appropriate. In fall 2002, satisfaction surveys were given to students and instructors in arithmetic (Math 400), pre-algebra (Math 402), and elementary algebra (Math 205). Both instructor and student ratings exceeded 85 percent satisfaction, indicating that the placement instruments were accurate.
The institutional policies governing the maintenance of student records adhere to the California Education Code and California Code of Regulations, as mandated by Title 5 (2B.57).
Academic records for Gavilan students are complete and secure. Both microfiche and hard copy records are housed on-site in a fireproof vault in the admissions and records office. There are no duplicated copies stored off-site. Daily back-up of transactions are conducted by the management information systems department (MIS) and the tapes are kept in the fireproof vault. Hard copies are not kept. The back up is kept at a different location on campus. An optical imaging system is used to image student records, incoming transcripts, and faculty grading records. Back-ups are conducted by MIS and are stored electronically. Discarded hard copies are shredded.
Release of any information requires written request or written permission of the student, except as provided by law. In case of the closure of Gavilan College, responsibility for records would pass to the Chancellor's Office in Sacramento, California.
The college maintains student records and adheres to the district's policies for warehousing and disposition. There are no copies of microfiche stored offsite. Paper and computer records are secure and protected from most natural disasters in a fireproof vault. However, we do not have an earthquake recovery plan. If the vault and student database become inaccessible for any period of time, ability to produce student records would be severely hampered.
The institution evaluates the effectiveness of its student support services through several processes: the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) conducts a program review cycle every three to five years. The schedule is published for all programs and posted on the Gavilan website (2B.6). Individual departments conduct student success surveys and/or student satisfaction surveys, often with the support of the institutional researcher, to measure student satisfaction and/or to capture the achievement of learning outcomes. Surveys are also used to improve program service delivery. Recent completed surveys include:
The college meets this standard. Several methods of evaluation to assure that student support services adequately meet identified student needs are used. For the purpose of this accreditation self study, a student satisfaction survey was developed for a broad view of how the college is meeting student needs. The institutional researcher collaborates with a number of campus constituencies to conduct a variety of surveys that provide evidence and information in meeting student needs. Specific categorical programs conduct an evaluation on a departmental basis regarding effectiveness of services provided. For example, EOPS has used an annual survey to assess and adjust their counseling services and to develop a process to disseminate book vouchers that meets the students' needs in a timely manner. The counseling department conducts satisfaction surveys that are disseminated to students and parents participating in the Transfer Institute and to the students and mentors participating in the Puente program. Surveys and evaluations are distributed to students participating in the First Year Experience program.
The results of the institutional surveys, department surveys, performance, and student satisfaction surveys are used to improve, modify, or add services and to align with student learning outcomes.
Overall, the college does a good job of using the results of surveys and evaluations as a basis for improvement.