EL CAMINO COLLEGE (CA)

Report submitted by Kristie Daniel-DiGregorio and Juli Soden, El Camino College, CA

Data excerpted from Arata, H.and Graff, I. (September, 2010) “Facilitating Active and Responsible Learning: Human Development Courses Utilizing the On Course Principles,” El Camino College Office of Institutional Research.  For complete study, http://www.elcamino.edu/administration/ir/research.asp.

Human Development 10 (HD10) is a three-unit transferable course which provides an exploration of cognitive, psychological, social and physical factors influencing success in college and in life.  Every year since Fall 2007, sixteen sections of the course (enrolling approximately 300 students) have utilized the On Course text.  In Spring 2009, a study was implemented to the determine the success of students in courses utilizing On Course, relative to those who did not experience the On Course curriculum.

Self-Assessments

In Spring 2009, 152 HD10 students completed the On Course pre and post self-assessments.  The results below show statistically significant differences in pre- and post-assessments for all but one domain.  

Post and Pre Test Results, (Max = 80, Min = 0)

Domain

Pre
Test

Post
Test

Growth

Sig.

Pre

SD

Post

SD

1 Personal Responsibility

55.44

1.70

65.98

0.63

10.54

*

2 Discovering a Motivating Purpose

56.21

1.29

63.97

0.84

7.76

*

3 Planning and Taking Effective Actions

52.06

0.71

58.71

0.53

6.65

**

4 Building Mutually Supportive Relationships

47.30

1.71

51.13

1.84

3.83


 

5 Gaining Heightened Self-Awareness

50.02

0.33

59.77

0.23

9.75

***

6 Becoming a Life-Long Learner

45.49

0.50

59.54

0.46

14.05

***

7 Developing Emotional Maturity

49.03

1.13

55.75

1.07

6.72

***

8 Believing in Myself

54.95

0.74

61.01

0.87

6.06

***

Total Average

51.31

1.02

59.48

0.81

8.17

 

P value less than the significance level of 0.05 (*), 0.01 (**), and 0.001 (***)

Academic Outcomes

More than 1,000 students across four terms of HD10 were studied, with those experiencing the On Course curriculum compared with those who did not.  On Course students were slightly more successful in math overall, but less successful at the basic skills and transfer levels (see below).  However, On Course students attempted more transfer math classes than non On Course students.  On Course students performed best at the college prep, pre-transfer level with success and retention rates 10 points higher than the non On Course group.

Math Success and Retention Rates by With Comparison

 

On Course

No On Course

Diff. (OC – No OC)

Math
Level

Success

Retention

Success

Retention

Success

Retention

Basic
Skills

48%

79%

55%

80%

-7

-1

College
Prep

51%

74%

41%

65%

10

10

Transfer

65%

79%

71%

76%

-6

3

ALL
Math

52%

77%

51%

74%

1

4

A similar pattern was found for English but to a lesser degree where On Course students were more successful in English classes overall compared to Non On Course students,but were slightly less successful at the basic skills level.  On Course students showed the greatest success at the college prep level whose rate was 11 points higher than the non On Course group; retention was also high at 90% for this level. 

English Success and Retention Rates by With Comparison

 

On Course

No On Course

Diff. (OC – No OC)

English
Level

Success

Retention

Success

Retention

Success

Retention

Basic
Skills

57%

82%

59%

78%

-2

4

College
Prep

68%

90%

57%

81%

11

9

Transfer

69%

85%

69%

81%

0

5

ALL
English

66%

87%

61%

80%

5

7

On Course students,overall, had higher rates of passing transfer-level course in math and English than Non On Course students when tracked for two years after the HD 10 course. 

Goal Achievement – Percentage Passing Transfer-level Math & English
within Two Years

Transfer
Courses/ Goal Achievement

Percent Passed Transfer MATH

Percent Passed Transfer ENGLISH

On Course

19%

52%

No
On Course

16%

47%


On Course student GPAs remained above 2.00, while the non On Course group dipped just below a C average. 

GPA Changes Over Time

GPA
Period:

Pre-HD 10

At Last Term

Difference    
(Post-Pre)

On Course

2.20

2.05

-0.15

No
On Course

2.19

1.99

-0.21

Both

2.20

2.03

-0.17


By the end of the HD 10 course using On Course, students improved in their self-perception on seven of the eight domains associated with students who are “active and responsible learners.”  The results associated with On Course suggest that participants have become better students by maintaining a GPA above 2.0,  succeeding in math and English at higher rates, overall, and passing through transfer-level courses in these subjects more quickly.

While many factors contribute to whether or not students are successful in their college courses, it is unclear why On Course students outperform non On Course students in only the pre-transfer college prep courses, rather than across the board in all levels of English and math.  This issue will be examined more closely in future studies of HD10.