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Session Descriptions and presentations

Morning General Session

Advancing College Readiness: California's Early Assessment Program

Breakout Sessions

  1. Opening Doors for Students with Disabilities: An Innovative Program at Holyoke Community College
  2. Serving Those Who Served Their Country: Best Practices in Support of Veterans Education
  3. Aligning High School and Higher Education: The Massachusetts School-to-College Report
  4. Easing Transition to Higher Education: The “College Connection” Program at Cape Cod Community College
  5. Incentivizing High School Students to Complete the New Certificate of Mastery: How Can Colleges and Universities Help?
  6. Early Efforts to Improve Community College Student Success through Data-based Decision-Making: Achieving the Dream
  7. Preparing All Massachusetts Students for College and Careers: An Update on the Education Web Portal
  8. Improving Outcomes for Students with Disabilities: The Rhode Island Transition Academies
  9. Using Technology and Partnerships to Improve Transfer Student Success
  10. Students Helping Students: Peer Advising
  11. What's New in Developmental Mathematics?
  12. Early College Experiences: Innovative Pathways To Promote Student Success

Morning General Session: Advancing College Readiness: California's Early Assessment Program

Presentation: (.PDF)

The Spellings Commission identified the Early Assessment Program (EAP) at the California State University (CSU) as one of the best models of how higher education and K-12 can collaborate to help students prepare for the rigors of college. Now in its fifth year of implementation, the EAP program provides valuable information to high schools, parents and students about readiness for college-level coursework and enables high schools to identify students’ needs for additional preparation for college while they are still enrolled in high school in order to promote their future college success.

Allison Jones detailed the outcomes achieved by the program and described the process that the California State University undertook to develop the program in collaboration with the California Department of Education and the State Board of Education, including the alignment of competencies expected of first-time entering freshmen with K-12 standards in English and mathematics.

Presenter: Allison G. Jones, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Office of the Chancellor, The California State University

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Breakout Session 1: Opening Doors for Students with Disabilities: An Innovative Program at Holyoke Community College

Handout: (.PDF)
Presentation: (.PPT)

This session gave an overview of the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment (ICE) program, now in its third semester at Holyoke Community College (HCC). The state-funded ICE grant pilot program develops partnerships between high schools and public higher education institutions to offer students with severe disabilities, ages 18-22, opportunities to participate in college courses. Besides HCC, the program is currently offered through University of Massachusetts Boston and MassBay, Bristol, Quinsigamond,Bunker Hill and Mount Wachusett Community Colleges. The presentation emphasized how higher education and high school partners work together to facilitate the success of Holyoke Community College ICE students in navigating the academic and social life on a college campus.

Presenters: Maureen Conroy, Director of Office of Students with Disabilities/Deaf Services, Holyoke Community College; Ty Hanson, Higher Education Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Liaison, Holyoke Community College; Carla Katz, Continuing Education Administrative Assistant, Holyoke Community College

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Breakout Session 2: Serving Those Who Served Their Country: Best Practices in Support of Veterans Education

Higher education institutions are seeing increases in veteran enrollments. Returning veterans, many of whom are first-generation college students, face a number of obstacles, including disabilities, confusion about education benefits, and reintegration into civilian life. Panelists discussed these challenges, outlined veterans’ educational policies and benefits, and provided examples of best practices that support the academic success of veterans in higher education.

Moderator: George O’Connor, Director for Veterans Education, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education

Panelists: Marybeth O’Sullivan, Outreach Advisor/Recruiter, Veterans’ Upward Bound; Augusto St. Silva, Director of Veterans’ Services, University of Massachusetts Boston; Dawn Wendell, VA Certifying Official, North Shore Community College

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Breakout Session 3: Aligning High School and Higher Education: The Massachusetts School-to-College Report

Presentation: (.PDF)

The Massachusetts School-to-College Report is drawn from a new database. By linking public K-12 and higher education data, the Report describes the performance of public high school graduates in Massachusetts public colleges and universities.  The Report is delivered in two formats; one state-wide and the other at the individual high school-level. This session provided an overview of the development and purpose of the Massachusetts School-to-College Report, including information on how other states are using similar databases, highlighted key findings of the Massachusetts report, and discussed its usefulness to high schools and colleges.

Presenters: Mario Delci, Senior Policy Analyst in Research and Planning, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education; Shelley Tinkham, Associate Director for Academic Policy, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education             

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Breakout Session 4: Easing Transition to Higher Education: The “College Connection” Program at Cape Cod Community College

The “College Connection” program with Falmouth High School creates an expectation that "college is in everyone’s future” and provides admission and pre-enrollment services to high school students. The goal is to provide a seamless transition to higher education. 

Presenter: Clare Niven-Blowers, Director, Assessment Center, Cape Cod Community College

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Breakout Session 5: Incentivizing High School Students to Complete the New Certificate of Mastery: How can Colleges and Universities Help?

Presentation: (.PPT)

In 2006, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to amend the Certificate of Mastery to make the certificate more accessible and to increase college and career readiness of public high school graduates in the Commonwealth. Beginning with the high school class of 2009, new criteria require students to achieve proficiency in the English Language Arts and Mathematics Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS); earn a grade point average (to be determined by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education); achieve a passing score in an Algebra II assessment and demonstrate proficiency in writing. Join with the presenters in discussing the Certificate of Mastery and ways to provide incentives for students to meet the new Certificate requirements.

Presenters: Stafford Peat, Administrator of Student and Secondary Support , Massachusetts Department of Elemenatry and Secondary Education; Susan Wheltle, Director of the Office of Curriculum Standards, Massachusetts Department of Elemenatry and Secondary Education

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Breakout Session 6: Early Efforts to Improve Community College Student Success through Data-based Decision-Making: Achieving the Dream

Presentation: (.PPT)

More than half of all Massachusetts students enrolled in public higher education are in community colleges. These colleges are a critical component of our education and workforce pipeline. But access alone isn’t enough. In September 2007, four Massachusetts community colleges joined Achieving the Dream, a multi-year national initiative that helps students earn certificates or degrees that open doors to better jobs, further education, and greater opportunity. Achieving the Dream focuses on community college students, especially
students who have traditionally faced significant barriers to success, including students of color and low-income students. In this interactive session, representatives from the participating colleges discussed their plans.

Presenters: Janice Bonanno, Dean of Student Affairs, Bunker Hill Community College; Stephen Keller, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Springfield Technical Community College; Richard Lizotte, Professor of English as a Second Language (ESL), Northern Essex Community College; Mike Walker, Director of Institutional Research, Roxbury Community College

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Breakout Session 7: Preparing All Massachusetts Students for College and Careers: An Update on the Education Web Portal

Presentation: (.PPT)

Representatives from K-12 and higher education offered an update on efforts to build a College and Career Web Portal for Massachusetts. The portal will provide a fully interactive, web-based platform to help students plan for, research and be prepared for college and careers. Access will be free and available to all Massachusetts students beginning as early as middle school, as well as their families, teachers and guidance counselors. The site will provide guidance and support around taking appropriate coursework and tests in middle and high school; thinking early about potential areas of study; careers and professions; finding the right college; determining potential costs to attend college; and seeking sources of financial aid, among other tools.

Presenters: Heidi Guarino, Chief of Staff, Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education; Eileen O'Connor, Director of Communications & External Affairs, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education 

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Breakout Session 8: Improving Outcomes for Students with Disabilities: The Rhode Island Transition Academies

The Rhode Island Transition Academies are a network of programs that provide students 18-21 years of age, with disabilities, an opportunity to complete high school on a Rhode Island University or college campus. The Transition Academies are designed for students who may benefit from continued development of transition goals, college readiness skills, and preparation for adult life. The presentation reviewed the concepts and components behind this unique network, highlighting its connection to the Higher Education Opportunities Act and grant opportunities.  

Presenters: Carolyn Aspinwall, Director of Special Programs, East Bay Educational Collaborative; Therese Curran, Director of Vocational Services/Transition Coordinator, West Bay Collaborative 

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Breakout Session 9: Using Technology and Partnerships to Improve Transfer Student Success

Presentation: (.PPT)

This presentation described the implementation of this five-year Title III grant that funded the University of Massachusetts Boston to enhance transfer student support and services through regional community college partnerships and a comprehensive web-based platform to simplify transfer for both students and institutions.

Presenters: Lisa Johnson, Associate Vice Chancellor, Office of Enrollment Management, University of Massachusetts Boston; Chad Schaedler, Senior Regional Director, ConnectEdu

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Breakout Session 10: Studewestfield.ma.edug Students: Peer Advising

Presentation: (On Westfield State College website) External Link

Through a partnership between the Academic Advising Center and faculty advisors, the Westfield State College Peer Advising Program has become one of the preeminent assets in meeting the needs of today’s students. The recent rise in campus-wide student retention can be attributed in part to improvements in advising. The discussion covered this multidimensional advising process from implementation to sustainability.

Presenters: Robert Bristow, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, Westfield State College; Carlton Pickron, Dean of Academic Retention, Westfield State College; Laurie L. Simpson, Associate Director of Advising, Westfield State College; Katye A. Tuttle, Peer Advising Program Assistant, Westfield State College

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Breakout Session 11: What's New in Developmental Mathematics?

Handout: (.DOC)
Presentation: (.PPT)

Representatives from three public campuses provided an update concerning new initiatives and best practices in developmental mathematics at their respective campuses. Northern Essex Community College presented “The 100% Mathematics Initiative.” Worcester State College outlined efforts to reduce failure  rates on ACCUPLACER tests. Massasoit Community College presented preliminary findings from a study comparing student scores on the Mathematics Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) to
ACCUPLACER scores.

Moderator: Eileen Lee, Director for Improving Teacher Quality, Department of Higher Education

Panelists: Tim Hagopian, Instructor of Mathematics, Worcester State College; Lois Martin, Professor of Mathematics, Massasoit Community College; Linda Murphy, Developmental Mathematics Curriculum Coordinator, Northern Essex Community College

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Breakout Session 12:  Early College Experiences: Innovative Pathways To Promote Student Success

Presentation: (.PPT)

This session offered a national perspective on various early-college model pilots across the country. Panelists shared preliminary outcomes for academic achievement and college enrollment, especially for first-generation and low-income youth. Panelists shared the advantages of hosting early-college high school programs on college campuses and explained how to plan, start up and sustain them. Jobs for the Future (JFF), a nonprofit research, consulting, and advocacy organization dedicated to creating educational and economic opportunity for those who need it most, advocates for and supports early college high school pilots regionally and nationally.

Moderator: Terry L. Grobe, Program Director, Jobs for the Future

Panelists: Terri Howard, Dean of Cooperative Education and Career Services, Holyoke Community College; Joel Vargas, Program Director, Jobs for the Future

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