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Center for Teaching and Learning

Focused Inquiry Groups (FIGs) - BSI & Title III

Basic Skills for Career & Technical Education Students

Area of Inquiry

Students enrolled in the career and technical education (CTE) programs of automotive technology and machine tool technology succeed at higher rates than the average success rates for the college. However, within these CTE programs, success rates of students vary greatly by level of English proficiency. For example, CTE students who have completed college-level English or basic skills English have had higher success rates in their technology courses (84%) versus those students who did not complete an English course (70%). Furthermore, CTE students who completed college-level English or basic skills English have had higher fall-to-spring persistence rates in their technology courses (63%) versus those students who did not complete an English course (44%)—a difference of nearly 20 percentage points. The data indicate that English proficiency is critical for automotive technology and machine tool technology students to succeed and persist in their technology courses.


Currently, the majority of the instruction to help students with English proficiency occurs on an as-needed, student-by-student basis as the material is encountered in the process of instruction of the CTE courses. This is not ideal because CTE faculty have not been trained in the pedagogical techniques specific to these disciplines that will help students improve their English proficiency. Additionally, it creates a time conflict by taking attention away from the course content during class to work on basic reading.

The main area of focus for this inquiry group will be how to formalize instruction in automotive technology and machine tool technology courses, and in what format, so that students who have challenges with English proficiency can succeed and persist in their technology courses.


Progress to Date
A general timeline of what has occurred and what is planned for this inquiry:

Fall 2009
  1. Attended the Student Success Conference (October 7-9, 2009) in order to learn about best practices of helping CTE students to succeed and persist in their program of study.

Spring 2010
    Researched how other schools have effectively addressed English proficiency issues in CTE programs.
  1. Determined scope of pilot (how many programs for initial run)

  2. Identified potential tutors/LAs/etc. for fall classes as needed.

  3. Identified/established data recording needs.

Summer 2010
  1. Attended the Reading Apprenticeship Institute for Community College Science Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Teachers in order to learn about techniques that help CTE students improve their reading and comprehension.

Fall 2010
  1. Launch of new pilot.

  2. Students who are in the pilot take the English assessment test.

  3. Data recording begins and formative analysis is performed.

  4. Meetings of involved faculty to discuss progress, issues, successes, etc.

  5. Determine the percentage of students who succeed in CTE classes that are in the pilot.

 

Members

  • Michael Absher - Machine Tool Technology
  • Steve Small - Automotive Technology
  • Rajinder Samra - Office of Institutional Research; FIG Leader

 

Documents

Proposal

 

Links

Contextualized Teaching & Learning, RP Group

 

 
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