Saddleback College working to improve student’s success

Coley Joyce

The Student Success Scorecard released by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors last month provided information about how students at Saddleback College are performing for the years of 2011-2012. In the Scorecard, Saddleback received a 69.7% rating, which means 69.7% of students are prepared to transfer

The Student Success Scorecard gives details about student’s outcomes and performances. It tracks how many students are transferring to four-year colleges and completing certificates and degrees. The scorecard tracks students based on gender, race and age.

According to the data, 57.9% of the female population and 40.5% of the male population at Saddleback have completed the basic courses and are eligible to take transferable courses. “It would appear that an increasing number of males are not interested in succeeding,” O’Connor said. “…[Saddleback College is] not gender neutral.”

Bob Cosgrove, President of the Academic Senate, said, “The people who put the scorecard together did not factor in the context or behind the scenes.” 

Cosgrove went to on to say how students have jobs, family and other considerations to worry about and sometimes school is not their priority.

Bruce Gilman, co-chair of the Senate Student Success Committee, said, “We’re never satisfied as long as a significant number of our students don’t complete their transfer or career or graduation goals.”

According to Gilman, improvements are already being made to increase student success in years to come.

“We have just finished redesigning English 200, which will now feature a more rigorous and comprehensive curriculum,” Gilman said.   

Kevin O’Connor, Dean of Liberal Arts, explained how the liberal arts program is helping students distinguish to the key factors on how to be successful. The liberal arts website will be providing six key terms throughout the months of the next year that explain how a student is successful. 

According to Cosgrove, Saddleback offers more Career Technical Education, which provides students with skills needed to gain employment in current or emerging occupations. “People have needs and Saddleback needs to serve them,” Cosgrove said.

Students are the main focus in the student success scorecard. “No one from Saddleback, no one in a leadership role told me how to succeed,” said Brianna Dalu, 20, criminology major. She stated how she had to go out on her own and search for help. She mostly relied on her friends and family for support and answers to her questions.

Dalu made a note of how Saddleback College advertises having the most transfer students. “The students who are graduating and transferring are self-motivated, like me. The school itself is not doing much,” Dalu said.  

Dalu had only a couple of teachers that helped her through her years at Saddleback College. “Professor Orlovska was the only one who sat me down, asked if I needed any help and helped me.”