Throughout the five weeks of Destination 2015, facilitators and participants supported team unity by incorporating common themed events and fun as they sought to find solutions to address early alert strategies for struggling students.
“CARE” (Continuous Assessment and Responsive Engagement) has emerged as an important initiative at the College to establish a systematic process for identifying and supporting struggling students. CARE is often referred to as an early alert or academic alert system. It was clear that the initiative appeared as one of the most pressing issues in fall 2012, during a listening tour hosted by East Campus President Stacey Johnson.
To support the initiative, a CARE team was formed to work on the early alert system. After thorough research on the early alert systems utilized at other institutions, the team decided to focus on faculty members developing their own early alert strategies that met their students’ needs.
The CARE team designed and implemented a six-week hybrid course for faculty who wished to learn about engagement strategies to help their students overcome “at-risk” behaviors and to achieve academic success.
The first CARE course was offered in fall 2014 at East Campus and was expanded to the other campuses in spring 2015. To continue the expansion of the initiative, Destination 2015 offered a CARE track and 16 faculty participated.
Serving as facilitators were Robyn Brighton, director, curriculum initiatives; Liz Earle, professor, reading; and Daeri Tenery, professor, chemistry.
The five-week program began with a comprehensive overview of Valencia’s CARE model and a discussion focused on academic and non-academic at-risk behaviors.
Next, participants embarked on a scavenger hunt where they explored resources offered through the Learning Support and Student Affairs divisions on the West Campus. Participants found this hands-on activity both engaging and informative.
Through a combination of carefully chosen resources, group activities and videos, participants learned to identify at-risk behaviors and had healthy discussions about how to address them in their classrooms.
Participants spent the last two weeks developing their individual CARE Plans, which focused on common at-risk behaviors they want to address in their classrooms and presented them for feedback from their colleagues.
The combination of large and small group activities helped faculty build bonds and make personal connections with their peers.
The end of course surveys indicated that the faculty members who completed the CARE track had a very positive experience.
“My experience with CARE during Destinations was absolutely helpful and inspiring,” said Tamara Madison, adjunct professor, English. “The course helped me to develop a retention plan for my Composition I and II students. I am very excited to put the plan in place this fall and look forward to the results. My goal is to have all students successfully pass the class with 70 percent or above!”
Faculty members will implement their CARE plans during the fall 2015 term and meet with mentors to reflect on the overall impact that their CARE plans have on student learning.
The CARE course will continue to be offered through faculty development on the following dates:
CARE Course Schedule
Dates: Monday, September 28 – Monday, November 9, 2015
Location: Winter Park Campus
Dates: Tuesday, January 19 – Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Location: East Campus
Dates: Monday, February 29 – Monday April 18, 2016
Location: Osceola Campus
Dates: Monday, February 29 – Monday, April 18, 2016
Location: West Campus