May Edition
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May 2017

A Strategic Plan for Student Success: Strategic Planning Day Preliminary Results

FSCJ welcomed community members and College stakeholders for Strategic Planning Day on April 28, 2017, at the Advanced Technology Center. Much like the 2014 event, the purpose was to gather input to develop strategic goals for the College’s 2018-20 Strategic Plan. The morning session welcomed more than 60 community leaders and the afternoon hosted approximately 125 FSCJ faculty and staff members.

During the morning session, community leaders provided their perceptions of the College as it stands today and offered input on the outcomes they would like to see in FSCJ graduates as they enter the workforce, including:

1. Values of the Workplace: In this category, industry leaders described a need for employees to be ethical, responsible, trustworthy and open-minded. They also noted that they need employees who can work with others and who respect diverse opinions.

2. Professional Competence: Comments like “job preparedness,” “professionalism,” “professional competence” and “workforce readiness” were characteristic of this theme. This category also included comments noting a desire for graduates to have basic computer literacy skills.

3. Communication: When identifying general education competencies that they expected to see in FSCJ graduates, community partners most often identified a need for good communication skills, both oral and written.

4. Problem Solving/Critical Thinking: The second most commonly identified skill expected of FSCJ graduates is the need for employees to be able to think critically and solve problems.

5. Relevant Industry Experience: Finally, industry leaders expect our graduates to have the relevant industry experience and technical skills required to be productive employees.

In the afternoon session, faculty and staff identified the goals and strategies on which they believe FSCJ should focus for 2018-20, including:

1. Student Retention and Completion: Internal stakeholders identified the need to focus on several strategies designed to promote student retention and completion, including advising; student life skills, orientation and capstone courses; consistent classroom experiences (facilities and learning outcomes); understanding of diverse student experiences; active learning; pathways/roadmaps; wrap-around services; and financial support.

2. Institutional Efficiency and Climate: Also included in the internal stakeholder discussion was the need to improve institutional effectiveness and efficiency by: continually monitoring and improving the student experience; strengthening processes and communication; promoting transparency and stability; providing better data for decision-making; promoting professionalism and relationship building; and improving class scheduling.

3. Enrollment: Internal stakeholders included a number of strategies related to enrollment management as a focus over the next three years including recruitment; welcome and support for diverse student populations; ease of enrollment processes; marketing of programs; and communication of consistent and valid information.

4. External partnerships: Finally, internal stakeholders noted a continued need to create, strengthen and build on external partnerships by “telling our story,” placing students in internships and experiential learning activities and participating in community partnerships and engagement opportunities. Internal stakeholders also identified a continued need to increase job placement rates, improve employer satisfaction and continually review programs/curriculum to ensure employer needs are met.

The Achieving the Dream leadership team, along with members of the strategy and planning subcommittee and the data governance subcommittee, are reviewing this information as they work to draft FSCJ’s next strategic plan, which is planned to launch in Fall 2017. 

Upcoming Meetings and Events
  • Convocation 2017
    Thursday, August 24, 8:30 a.m.
    South Campus, Gymnasium


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ATD Framework

Summer Registration Blitz Results

ATD’s objective has been to help colleges build capacity in the areas of leadership and vision, equity, teaching and learning, engagement and communication, data and technology, strategy and planning, and policies and practices.

Summer Registration Blitz

As FSCJ has begun its work with Achieving the Dream, our strategy has been to use these capacity areas to help us organize our work. This spring, in an effort to encourage students to enroll for summer classes, the Strategy and Planning subcommittee enlisted the help of other College stakeholders to develop an internal registration push. The subcommittee, along with its ad hoc members, devised the Summer Registration Blitz to achieve two primary goals: 1) make more students aware of registration dates by using internal communication and information from faculty and staff; and 2) incentivize early student registration by connecting academic planning to student success and by giving students who register early an opportunity to win a free 3-credit hour course.


During this Spring’s Enrollment Blitz, 1,422 students registered for 10,235 college credit hours. During the same enrollment period in 2016, students registered for 13,258 credit hours. While we did not see the spike in enrollment we had hoped for, the subcommittee did note the following positive outcomes:

1. Our efforts resulted in heightened student awareness of registration dates for summer.

2. Faculty involvement really helps communicate information to students, and students value and respond to faculty information. In particular, many students mentioned that it was helpful to have faculty input regarding whether to take summer courses or not and which courses to take.

3. The Summer Blitz webpage had 4,665 sessions during that week of registration, greatly outpacing other paid social media and digital advertisements. For a point of comparison, the FSCJ website homepage had fewer views (4,038) than the Summer Blitz webpage itself.

Thanks to all of you who participated in the Summer Registration Blitz! Please look for a similar campaign in Fall 2017 to promote student registration for Spring 2018.



Data Byte

Fall-to-Spring Retention

Regularly examining data and targeting improvements are imperative as we organize our work and track measurable results with a relentless focus on student achievement. Each quarter, our Data Byte will highlight a key indicator of student success - this edition: fall-to-spring retention rates.

The retention rate refers to all students who entered FSCJ for the first time in the Fall Term and were also registered (or retained) at FSCJ the following Spring Term. This cohort includes full-time and part-time enrollment, degree- and non-degree seeking students, and transfer and first-time-in-college students.

 2016-17 FSCJ Fall-to-Spring Retention Rate 
All Students in Cohort   73% 
 Race: Black/African-American  64%
 Race: Hispanic  76%
 Race: White  76%
 Race: Two or More  67%
 Gender: Male  71%
 Gender: Female  74%
 Financial Need: Pell Recipients    80%
 Enrollment Status: Full-Time  85%
 Enrollment Status: Part-Time  65%

FSCJ’s overall fall-to-spring retention rate is 73% for the most current year where data are available (n=5,497).* Comparing various groups to the overall retention rate, there is a 9 percentage point achievement gap for Black/African-American students and an 8 point gap for part-time students. The achievement gap between Black/African-American students and white students is 12 percentage points.

As FSCJ embarks on the Strategic Plan for Student Success, we anticipate a laser-like focus on student retention and completion with a particular emphasis on closing achievement gaps.

* Retention rates are based on FSCJ’s preliminary 2016-17 submission to the Voluntary Framework of Accountability defined as the percent of students (main cohort) who were enrolled in the Fall Term and were still enrolled in the subsequent Spring Term.