May 18, 2018 - Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) is the recipient of a $1.6 million award from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Higher Education Innovation Awards Program. The awards recognize innovations that improve student success, with a particular focus on underrepresented and underserved groups; demonstrate revolutionary learning or student support models; and are sustainable and capable of being scaled across the state. The Petaluma campus’s Student Success Team was one of only 11 projects out of 65 submissions to be selected. The award money will be used to take the Student Success Team model developed at SRJC Petaluma throughout the Sonoma County Junior College district.
The Student Success Team moves beyond traditional Student Ambassador programs and utilizes peer Student Success Coaches to welcome, guide, and engage each student from the moment of application to successful completion of the first semester and re-enrollment in the next. Then it provides on-going support to help students complete their educational goals. The program focuses on students who are underrepresented in higher education, such as those who are low-income, from underrepresented schools and neighborhoods, first-generation, current or former foster youth, and those with disabilities.
During the pre-enrollment period, all new students are placed on a team with a coach and are given a mobile app platform to connect with their coach, other peers, resources, services and events. Once students are successfully enrolled, coaches engage students with class visits, workshops, events, and one-on-one coaching sessions. Program outcomes show marked improvement in matriculation step completion, course retention, and semester-to-semester persistence, particularly for Latinx (Latino) and first-generation students.