City College is exploring ways to improve success for all students

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MEGAN RANDOLPH, News Editor

The City College Board of Trustees discussed the Student Equity plan aiming to improve equal student-opportunity for success during their first reading on Thursday.

The Student Equity committee, made up of students, faculty, staff and administrators, worked for two months to create the 108 page plan, to be funded by $1,349,137 from the California community colleges Chancellor’s Office. It will focus heavily on diminishing the success gaps for foster youth, African American and disabled students.

“The gap may be in part caused by these claims and feelings, socially, where you have good diversity but you don’t have a sense of whole community,” said Trustee Marsha Croninger. “People feel left out, and then they drop out.”

The plan includes 26 different projects, 14 of which are one-time pilot programs. Among those are five research projects, which will aid the college in determining why certain gaps exist and how to go about changing them.

The plan also looks to examine bias implicit in the hiring of faculty, to increase diversity among the staff and includes the hiring of a new director of student equity, social justice and multicultural education.

“I am personally just really thrilled about it,” said Marilynn Spaventa, interim executive vice president. “I think we’re going to come back next year and we’re going to have data that shows that we’re moving certainly moving in a better direction.”

The groups are evaluated based on access, course completion, English as a second language completion, certificate completion and transfer rates. African-American students were present in four of the five categories.

To target that demographic, the plan proposed an African-American mentoring program that will provide role models to students as well as a sense of belonging.

“Having a cohort or having a center where you can meet, having faculty and advisers who are dedicated to you, makes a big difference,” said Spaventa. “You know you belong, you know that you’re cared about.”

The Board will meet for their second reading of the plan at 4:00 p.m. on Dec. 10, in the MacDougall Administration Center Room A-211.