In January 2011, the California Community Colleges Board of Governors embarked on a 12-month strategic planning process to improve student success. Pursuant to Senate Bill 1143 (Chapter 409, Statutes of 2010), the Board of Governors created the Student Success Task Force. The resulting 20-member Task Force was composed of a diverse group of community college leaders, faculty, students, researchers, staff, and external stakeholders.
The Task Force delved deeply into complex college and system-level policies and practices. It worked for seven months to identify best practices for promoting student success and to develop statewide strategies to take these approaches to scale while ensuring that educational opportunity for historically underrepresented students would not just be maintained, but bolstered.
Each month, from January through June 2011, the Task Force met to examine topics critical to the success of students, ranging from college readiness and assessment to student services, from basic skills instruction to performance-based funding. The Task Force turned to state and national experts (such as Dr. Kay McClenney, Dr. David Conley, Dr. Vincent Tinto, and Dr. Alicia Dowd, among others) for the latest research-based findings and had frank discussions about what works to help students achieve their educational objectives.
Beginning in July, the Task Force spent three months forming the recommendations contained in this report. Recommendations were chosen based on their ability to be actionable by state policymakers and college leaders and to make a significant impact on student success, as defined by the outcome and progression metrics adopted by the group.
To foster public input, during October and November the Task Force held four public town hall meetings, made presentations to dozens of community college stakeholder groups, and hosted a lively online dialogue. In these venues, the Task Force heard from both supporters and critics of the recommendations and received substantial input that has been used to inform its deliberations. That input helped shape the final recommendations and elevated the public discussion about improving outcomes for community college students.