LTCC closes gap for Latinx students
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A recent report from the Public Policy Institute of California has stated that Lake Tahoe Community College is one of a handful of California community colleges that has significantly closed equity gaps and increased success rates for Latinx students.
The report showed that more Latinx students are taking and succeeding in core transfer-level English courses within their first year at LTCC. According to a press release from LTCC, how students perform in these gateway classes often reveals their overall success in college, creating a picture of just how well these students are doing overall and how likely they are to stick with and meet their academic goals.
LTCC, along with 12 other colleges in a 116-college system, was found to have “completely closed gaps for Latino students in one-term throughout rates in fall 2019” for English courses, compared to data from fall 2015. While many colleges have seen improvements in equity in recent years, only 13 schools, including LTCC, were noted for completely closing their equity gaps in English.
“It took a lot of hard work by a lot of people at LTCC, including the faculty in our English department, to achieve these results,” said LTCC Superintendent/President Jeff DeFranco in a press release. “Our goal now is to replicate these results across the institution and take an all-hands-on-deck approach to making college more accessible to and successful for Latinx students. These early indicators show the benefits of evidence- based reforms and the importance of this work for our larger community.”
The Public Policy Institute of California’s report is the result of an examination of the effects of California’s AB705 and AB1805. These two laws were approved unanimously by the California Legislature in response to research showing that traditional remedial education pathways did not adequately ensure students achieved their educational goals. Together, these laws guarantee community college students access to transfer-level and gateway English and math courses.
At LTCC, while first-year completion rates in transfer-level English and math classes for all students showed some improvement over the past several years, however, the results for Latinx students were even better. Their completion rates for transfer-level English went from 35% in Fall 2017 to 42% in Fall 2018 to 63% in Fall 2019. For all other non-Hispanic students, the rates were 34% in Fall 2017 to 37% in both Fall 2018 and Fall 2019.
For transfer-level math, Hispanic student completion rates went from 9% in Fall 2017 to 11% in Fall 2018 to 29% in Fall 2019. Non-Hispanic student completion rates in transfer-level math were 11% in Fall 2017, 9% in Fall 2018, and 19% in Fall 2019.
LTCC has also seen success with fall-to-winter persistence rates among Latinx students. When college students make it through their first Fall quarter or semester at school successfully and then return for Winter classes, that is often a strong indicator of how likely they’ll keep on going to complete their educational goals.
Latinx students saw fall-to-winter persistence rates of 65% in 2017, 79% in 2018, and 85% in 2019. This is a stronger result than what was seen from the non-Hispanic student population, which had persistence rates of 59% in 2017, 82% in 2018, and 77% in 2019.
“We’re focused on providing support including mentoring, tutoring, increased academic counseling and other assistance that enhances classroom performance,” said DeFranco. “But we’re also hyper-focusing on helping students meet their most basic needs, like food assistance, providing textbooks and free technology, and other forms of financial aid that allow our students to focus on their studies. The research shows it’s working.”
Source: Lake Tahoe Community College
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