FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 22, 2014
College Unveils ‘Skills4Success’ Campaign for Fall Semester
College of the Canyons has unveiled a new two-part "Skills4Success" campaign designed to publicly recognize and visually celebrate the wide range of student success stories found at the college, while also introducing new institution-wide student support strategies which COC officials believe will help revolutionize how student success is measured.
The visual component to the new campaign — which has been tagged “Success at College of the Canyons is …” — includes student-designed pole banners and oversized posters depicting successful students of various backgrounds, majors and academic paths.
“We want to put that success on display so that students, staff and campus visitors can see that everyday,” said Audrey Green, associate vice president of academic affairs. “It’s the college’s way of saying your success matters to us. The college cares and your fellow students care.”
The poster displays feature individual students along with a quote describing their personal definition of success. The pole banners also depict successful students, along with a one-word text display selected from one of six pre-defined “success factors” that contribute to overall student achievement (directed, focused, nurtured, engaged, connected, valued).
Students and campus visitors can find these displays in high-visibility areas of both the Valencia and Canyon Country campuses, including the Honor Grove, Student Center, The Learning Center (TLC) and Library, and Admissions & Records Office, as well as other campus pathways and student gathering areas.
Future promotional plans also call for the display of student testimonials on video screens located throughout campus, as well as student success-themed screen savers and background images installed on machines housed in the college’s computer labs.
All of the campaign’s associated images and displays have been created and designed by students from the college’s Graphic & Multimedia Design (GMD) program.
The campaign is being funded through a grant from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office Basic Skills Initiative, a multi-year effort to improve curriculum, instruction, student service, assessment, program practices, and campus culture in the areas of ESL and college success skills across the state.
“We want the culture of success to be contagious at College of the Canyons,” said Green. “More importantly, we want that message of success to come directly from our students, and be shared in a way that will reach our entire campus community.”
The Skills4Success initiative empowers students to achieve their educational, employment and civic goals through the continued development of language, mathematical, analytical and technological skills. The initiative is committed to creating an environment of learning and student engagement through the delivery of coordinated instruction, student support and other supplementary services.
The overarching goal of the college’s Skills4Success initiative is to increase the rate of success among academically under-prepared students. This is achieved by addressing the ever-increasing population of students who require assistance in developing the skills needed to achieve success in college and, eventually, the workplace.
As the second component to this campaign, college officials also plan to begin implementing several strategies stemming from the California Community College system’s "Student Support (Re)defined" study.
Included in that study are 10 stated ways that all college staff members can help students experience the six defined “success factors” referenced in the study (directed, focused, nurtured, engaged, connected, valued).
Based on the suggestions of nearly 900 student study participants, the 10 stated ways range from simply asking students why they are in college and helping them to navigate through the various on-campus services and departments, to soliciting feedback about individual student experiences and otherwise communicating that college staff members care about student success.
Other ideas stemming from the study include new, more encouraging ways for community college’s to notify students about their academic progress and/or the achievement of other important benchmarks.
“All too often we take for granted how meaningful something as simple as a notification e-mail can be to our students,” said Denee Pescarmona, dean of instructional aupport and student success. “By focusing on encouragement instead of negative notification, we show students that the college does care and does notice their success.
“In doing so,” added Pescarmona, “we also help create a college culture that is focused on true student success.”