A Stop On The Road To Success: Academic Success Center
By Florida State College Wed, November 09, 2011 5:13 pm EDT
Gerald Halstead is 70 years old, and taking another shot at a college education. He has been at Florida State College for 2 years and is completing his course work to earn his Business Administration degree.
“I decided to come back to school to finish up what I started years ago,” says Halstead, Florida State College student.
Klara Fabian is a 26-year-old freshman also working towards an A.A. focused on Business Administration.
“It sounds kind of cheesy, but I really do want to make a difference in the world. If I finish my degree, it is just going to make me stronger to do more and make a bigger impact,” says Fabian, Florida State College student.
However, both Klara and Gerald need help sharpening their math skills, and they’re not alone.
“About 70% of our population is not college ready, they have an opportunity to develop the skills they need, and they can do so right here in Academic Success Center,” says Kathleen Ciez-Volz, Academic and Instructional Program Development Director at Florida State College.
The Academic Success Center, or ASC, is a program launched in 2010 by Florida State College at Jacksonville. It offers students on every campus a learning environment for college prep work.
“Whether it is English, writing, reading, or math. They are coming here to get remediation so they can be successful in their college level courses,” says Jerry Shawver, Academic Success Center Professor.
Assistance through the Academic Success Center is offered much like a private tutor where help is given in a one-on-one personal approach.
“A lot of the students who are in these classes never learned it when the teacher sat at the whiteboard. Now, we just do a little bit for those students that this might benefit, maybe a 20-minute mini lecture, but then it is just us walking around and helping the ‘Gerald’s’ of the world who just don’t learn that way,” says Shawver.
The model is working. According to the Office of Student Analytics and Research, 66.29% of 967 students successfully completed College Algebra in Spring of 2010 before the development of the Academic Success Center. After the center’s installment, 71.1% of 910 students passed the class. That’s almost a 5% jump in success rates.
“Our withdrawal rates have gone down. The students are sticking with us longer and therefore we are seeing a higher passing rate when it is all said and done,” says Shawver.
By constantly tracking these rates, Florida State College can advance an educational model that has already proved effective, making it even easier for students, like Gerald and Klara, to succeed.
“Math is my weakest subject, but using this class and this program…I have learned the most I have ever learned in math and it hasn’t really been a struggle,” says Fabian, FSCJ student.
The Academic Success Center recently received the 2011 Chancellor’s Best Practices Award at the 62nd Annual Association of Florida Colleges Convention. Click here to learn more about the award and see an engaging video played at the ceremony produced by the Florida State College Network. Also, check out the video above and watch more of Gerald and Klara’s educational journey through the Academic Success Center.