Project Plan

Description 

This project is designed to develop and implement a program to strengthen our high school linkages while addressing the problem of student readiness for college.  The project will specifically target narrowing the gap related to  academic readiness; understanding behavorial expectations and acquisition of related behavioral competencies; and improved student career focus and goal setting.  This project is closely aligned with goals of the Ohio Board of Regents, Ohio Board of Education, and the Governor’s Commission on Higher Education and the Economy. 

AQIP Criteria

 Primary      3.  Understanding Student and Stakeholder Needs

 Related       9.  Building Collaborative Relationships
                    5.  Leading and Communicating   
                    1.  Helping Students Learn
                    7.  Measuring Effectiveness
   

Related AQIP Principles

                   A.   A mission/vision that focus on serving students and other stakeholders
                   D.   A learning-centered environment
                   G.   Agility, flexibility, and responsiveness to changing needs and conditions
                   H.    Planning for innovation and improvement

Rationale

There is a substantial gap between the competencies that have been acquired by local graduating high school seniors, and those required for college success.  On average, 84% of Sinclair’s incoming recent high school graduates require pre-college level developmental coursework.  In addition, these students often lack the behavioral competencies required for success in college (personal responsibilities, soft skills, study skills, etc.), and the career goal focus that would enable them to better persist in achieving their educational goals. 
High school students, particularly at-risk students and students from urban centers, need to be better prepared for a smoother transition from high-school to attending Sinclair.  Over half of the Dayton region’s high school students lack a college-preparatory (core) curriculum.  Efforts must be focused on improving their academic preparation as well as assisting them in addressing other issues that impact their college readiness (behavioral competencies and career focus).  We need to implement strategies to engage students earlier, help them identify career goals, and allow them to move more quickly and purposefully toward them.  In addition, we must strengthen our relationships with area high-schools, enhance curriculum alignment, improve coordination of services, and expand partnerships (teacher training, articulation agreement, etc.).

Sinclair and area high schools have many efforts underway to address the problem of student readiness for college, but the initiatives are not necessarily linked.    We believe that we can be more effective at addressing the problem of student readiness with a more unified, comprehensive approach.

Organizational Elements Affected by Project

This project has broad impact across the institution.   Areas that are specifically affected will include the instructional divisions, Student Services, all departments and individuals involved in a broad range of current high school linkages programs, Institutional Planning and Research, Grants and Governmental Information, and our student population.   In addition, this project potentially affects area high school staff, faculty and students.

Processes Affected by Project

Outreach efforts and contractual agreements with area high schools; articulated credit and dual enrollment processes; admissions; recruitment; placement testing; and developmental studies.

Definition of Process Measures

Service increments will need to be defined for each of the processes the College identifies as assisting in the preparation of high school students for college.  Measurements related to the volume and impact of these types of assistance will then be developed based upon a feasibility assessment.

Definition of Outcome Measures

These measures will demonstrate the extent to which improved academic skills on the part of new freshmen entering Sinclair directly from high school can be attributed to the various strategies used by the college to improve the academic preparation of those students while they’re still in high school.  Foremost among these overall outcomes measures will be the scores of these students on Sinclair’s assessment test of the academic skills for incoming, degree-seeking students as well as the proportion of them who either place out of developmental education courses or into higher level developmental courses.  Subsequent academic progress (GPA, persistence, goal attainment) of these students compared to that of all other students and recent high school graduates who didn’t participate in Sinclair’s high school linkages initiatives will also be examined.  Additional measures for determining the impact of efforts to improve behavioral competencies and career focus will be defined.


Performance Targets

Year One: Current State Assessment and Recommendations

Develop and communicate project
Establish focal point for project communications (web based)
Current state assessment – internal and external
Inventory existing programs (Sinclair and high schools)
Profile high schools
Identify and map current processes
Establish metrics
Establish relationships between Sinclair and high school leadership
Assess current initiatives’ performance and scalability
Benchmarking best practices
Develop recommendations for action

Year Two:  Implement Recommendations

Define comprehensive approach – targets, programs, methodology
Define performance measurements and establish baselines
Continue to build/maintain relationships
Expand feasible, existing programs. 
Abandon existing programs that do not show positive impact in order to focus resources on more productive activities.
Design, develop and pilot new programs to assess gaps not meet by existing program expansion
Measure impacts
Continue benchmarking best practices
Communicate activities and findings

Year Three:  Assess and Adjust

Assess impact of existing program expansion
Assess impacts of new programs
Reassess GAP – are we closing it?
Continue to build/maintain relationships
 Continue benchmarking best practices

Keeping Focused

Sinclair has established an AQIP High School Linkages – Student Readiness Project Team and developed a formal project plan meet the objectives of this project.  The project will be led by a dean or director. The College’s AQIP Coordinator, participants from the Strategy Forum, and a project facilitator from our Strategic Project Management Office will join other stakeholders as team members.  Our Delta Team Leadership Group will serve as the AQIP Steering Committee and monitor project status.

Contact

 Dr. Helen Grove, Team Leader for High School Linkages/Student Readiness
 helen.grove@sinclair.edu