February 1, 2018

Present: Shahida Dar, Julie Dewan, Jen DeWeerth (chair), Dayton Elseth, Matt Fikes, Chrono Ho, Dan Ianno, Lew Kahler, Kristen Skobla,
Excused: Tim Thomas

1) Old Business: Online/Hybrid Courses, Programs, research

There was continued discussion of online and hybrid course success. Overall the pattern is clear that online courses tend to have half the rate of student success as on campus courses (i.e. 34% on campus, 17% online). But in some cases it can be difficult to have enough data points to compare success rates, especially since we have not offered many hybrids to date. Data that was compiled previously is now two years old. Another challenge is that hybrid included a wide definition from 20%-80% online. Some courses are hard to compare because the small numbers isolate individual instructors. Is there a way to aggregate multiple courses, for example social science 100 level vs. 200 level? One challenge that was discussed is the degree to which online courses are standardized in format, so students don’t have to learn to navigate anew for each online course. This does seem to have improved over time via Ed Tech training and support.

2) Old Business: Madison County high schools and careers, Rome campus programs.

There is not a lot of difference between what Madison County HS students/counselors are looking for, and Oneida County. Morrisville is a competitor is some areas, including hospitality. We still need to do more to market our new facility for Culinary. A plus is getting the high school counselors to see the facility this spring.

3) Retention Discussion

Can block scheduling make a difference? Retention is mostly about what happens in the classroom. Students who succeed in courses are more likely to want to return and financially be able to return. To what degree is retention about students dropping out of some or all of the courses (unlikely to come back the next term) and to what extent students who make it to the last day of class but do poorly (D, F) and so don’t come back?

4) Spring enrollment

Too soon for early data. However, overall a little surprising that we are 5% down. From the data, it is clear that is about retention not recruitment. New transfer students is up significantly after years of downward trending. Matt is going to work on some new reports to send instead of the daily year to year comparison. This tends to make the audience miss the larger trends. There could be some trend line data with a bigger (5-10 year) time frame that could put enrollment in better perspective. Our next two meetings will be the time for us to see what spring data tell us about 2018-19.

5) Other follow-ups

Dual Credit: Lew noted that dual credit is flat for spring intentionally so as to avoid increasing offerings just as the funding model was in chaos and likely to cause significant decreases starting 2018-19. MVCC is still working very hard to find a way to lose as few students, courses, and high schools as possible, not just as an enrollment issues, but as an equity issue. The students whose families can’t afford to pay tuition for these courses (i.e. Pell eligible once they are graduated from high school) are the very ones who benefit the most from the college preparation and acceleration that dual credit affords.

Job Preparation: Dayton passed out the Washington Post article he mentioned at the December meeting. There was discussion about our role in preparing people for jobs that are out there, including both specific technical skills and also general workplace skills.

Next meeting

  1. Matt brings data about spring enrollment and how it fits with historical and predicted trend lines. Dan brings Admissions data to understand the population that entered in spring.
  2. What’s next for two big items that continue to arise in our discussions: Online/hybrid? Retention?