Student Success Scorecard doesn’t measure up

Published: Mar. 12, 2015 | Posted: March 18, 2015 | Written by: Crystal Olmedo & Valerie Osier

A Student Success Scorecard presentation during the March 3  Riverside Community College District Board of Trustees meeting revealed that RCCD had lower achievement rates when compared to the state of California overall for the years of 2003-2008.

A power point presentation was given March 3 at 6 p.m. by David Torres, RCCD dean of Institutional Research and Strategic planning in the Ralph H. Bradshaw building at Riverside City College.

The data presented showed that the hispanic population, the largest student population in RCCD, was among the lower scoring ethnic subgroups for many measures. Other minorities scored lower as well.

“One of the really nice things about this report, is that the state makes available to all the state and institutional researchers all the raw data saying: here are all the students we used to make this measure, now using your data with what courses they took, you can kind of see what paths did students take that were more successful,” Torres said in his presentation.

The presentation displayed how RCCD students measured up against statewide degree/ transfer completions, career and technical education completions, 30 units momentum points, persistence momentum points, remedial English, math and ESL momentum points. Momentum points, according to Torres are points that are indicative of future success.

“It’s really kind of an interesting thing with a finding like in 2007-08, that Riverside and Norco had these high rates and Moreno Valley had low rates,” Torres said. “You want to look at: well what was going on in Moreno Valley? Was it some kind of structural thing happening? What made that number come out that way? You wouldn’t see that just reporting at the District level.”

During the meeting, RCCD chancellor Michael Burke, RCCD Board president Virginia Blumenthal and trustee members Nathan Miller and Mary Figueroa all made comments regarding performance based funding. The general consensus among them was that it was not the ideal way to decide how to fund schools.

Board of Trustee members agreed that something needs to be done to address the low achievements rates.

“We need to not be fearful to drill down onto this data… to help us figure out the next steps”, said trustee member Mary Figueroa.

The meeting adjourned with the BOT and members of administration present at the meeting stating that the data requires further analysis, including making the information available to RCCD students and each campus’ respective student governments.

“We have others defining our success. We need to define success for ourselves so that we can defend our success,” Wolde-Ab Isaac remarked.