Ensuring student achievement and retention through academic support programs and scholarships to help students overcome barriers to completing their programs.
Many of the students that attend a community college take prerequisites for a transfer degree, are getting specialized training for a professional certification, participating in the Running Start program to receive some college credits while in high school, or working to get a GED. Students could be the first in their family to attend college or returning to school for a career change. Some students have not been able to succeed at other institutions and Bellevue College is their last chance. We understand the obstacles that students encounter in pursuing their education and we know what it takes to remove those obstacles.
Most schools talk about graduation rates as their indicator for student success. At Bellevue College we take an even deeper look. We want to know what keeps students in class and if their education provides practical skills for their future work. We have found that if we can keep a student enrolled past the first quarter that they will stay enrolled consistently and perform better. One recent example is the First Year Experience. Bellevue College began a college-wide initiative to provide students who experience the college environment for the first time a specialized program to help them integrate. This program includes a handful of group sessions before the start of each quarter. This training provides intensive advising, mentoring, tutoring and career assessment. The First Year Experience has been a huge success in keeping students enrolled in school and performing better academically. The Advancing Student Success Campaign supports programs like this one that have been proven to move the dial on student success.
Our funding target for Ensuring Student Achievement and Retention is $2.5 million and includes a number of projects:
- $1,500,000 for scholarships, to create up to 35 new financial awards for low-income students
- $500,000 for student services, to provide academic and individual assistance to help new students, veterans and at-risk individuals stay in school and succeed
- $500,000 for rapid intervention, to identify and help at-risk students early enough to have an impact that same quarter.