Catch the Next recently completed its spring campus site visits. While observing the classroom and college environment, CTN collects data to provide evidence-based coaching and support for the college and program.

The first site visit was to Palo Alto College in San Antonio on February 22-23. Site team members were Dr. Chavez, Richard Armenta, Yvette Regalado, and Debra McBeath. The team observed the classes of instructors Maggie Yznaga-HUMA 1301; Dr. Melissa Elston-ENGL 1302; and Maricela Madrigal-PSYC 2301.  The team was also afforded the opportunity to meet with Ascender students. On the second day, the team listened to a presentation by Institutional Research staff where data showed that Ascender students out-performed other FTIC students in fall-to-fall persistence. Richard Armenta commented that “This shows Ascender students are identifying with the institution and instructors because of the culturally relevant material and asset-based pedagogy. What we do is working.” After lunch the team met with faculty, staff and administration including Patrick Lee, Interim Vice President for Academic Success.

The next site visit conducted by team members Dr. Chavez, Maria Garcia, Leadership Fellow Yon Hui Bell, Anna Alaniz and Richard Armenta was to Dallas College on February 27-28. Site members visited three classrooms at the Mountain View Campus: EDUC 1300 with Ron Stein; DIRW 0315 with Kevin Clay; ENGL 1301 with Taunya Dixon;  and five classrooms at the Eastfield Campus: EDUC 1300 with Quinessa Johnson; ENGL 1301  and DIRW 0315 with Patrice Johnson; BASM 0053 and DMAT 0315 with Ashley Martinez. They also attended a data team meeting and an Ascender Core meeting. While in Dallas, Dr. Chavez also visited CTN’s sponsor, the Community Foundation of Texas, with Dean Olivarez and members of the Institutional Research and Effectiveness team.

The third site visit performed by team members Dr. Chavez, STC Leadership Fellow Johnathan Bell, Yvette Regalado and Debra McBeath was to San Antonio College on March 1-2. The team observed the classes of instructors Amy Whitworth-PHIL 2306; Terri Slonaker-SOCI 1301; and David Chavera-MATH 1332. On the first day, the team also met with Ascender students and faculty. During the faculty meeting, Mona Aldana-Ramirez, Director of Student Success for Equity, Diversity and Inclusive Excellence, informed the team that SAC was recently recognized by the US Department of Education with a major five-year grant to grow the Ascender program. After lunch on the second day, the team attended an Institutional Research meeting led by Dr. Savithra Eratne.

The next site visit was to South Texas College at the Pecan Campus on March 6 and was conducted by Leadership Fellows Yolanda Reyna, Dan Rodriguez, and Laurie Coleman. Team members visited the classrooms of Angelica Cerda-ENGL 1302 and Johnathan Bell-MATH 1414. They also had meetings with the Administration, the Ascender team and the research team. Serkan Celtek, Director of Research and Analytical Services, noted that math success rates and persistence rates of Ascender students are higher than non-Ascender students.

The final site visit was to Austin Community College and was conducted by Debra McBeath, Catherine Olivares, and Leadership Fellows Dr. Joan Jaimes and Ron Perez on March 7. Team members observed two instructors’ classrooms at the Riverside campus: Gary Moreno-HIST 2328 and Amanda Rodgers-ENGL 1302. The team also met with Ascender students who answered question and spoke about relationships formed and of the opportunities available to them by being in the Ascender program. After lunch, the team met at the Highland Campus with Kathy James, Executive Director of Affinity programs; April Whalen, Manager of Analytics; and Jessica Oest, Success Coach.

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