Project CHESS

Collaborative for Hispanics in Higher Education & Student Success

Project Activities

These activities are designed to support project goals.

CIRCLE Faculty Learning Communities

Goal: Increase the number of Hispanic students who succeed in introductory/gateway courses.

The CIRCLE (Culturally-Inclusive & Responsive Curricula for Learning Equity) Collaborative is a faculty learning community (FLC) that brings together faculty from both campuses to participate in professional development workshops focused on cultural competence, experiential and active learning, and the diverse needs of underrepresented students.

Ten faculty from each institution participate in the year-long professional development process. Additional groups of faculty from the same disciplines will participate in “circles” led by faculty “alumni” of the year-long professional activities to form course redesign circles focused on the 100- and 200-level courses, particularly in Math and English.

Measurable Objectives
  1. Provide cultural competency training to 60 faculty members
  2. Redesign 50 courses to be culturally responsive to learning styles of underrepresented students
  3. Design 50 courses to be more culturally-relevant courses

Goal: Strengthen articulation between Moorpark College and Cal Lutheran.

The CIRCLE cooperative program will also establish direct links between faculty at both institutions in order to enable an ongoing dialogue about learning outcomes, course content, and pedagogical techniques.

To overcome articulation and transfer problems, such as the widespread loss of credits that occurs when undergraduates transfer from a community college to a 4-year institutions, this student-centered and faculty-led cooperative will redesign courses to establish true articulation across a number of disciplines. It will also work to institutionalize the Project CHESS activities continue beyond the grant timeframe.

Measurable Objectives
  1. Improve instructional facilities to accommodate active learning techniques
  2. Collaborate on the redesign of 20 courses to be taught at both institutions
  3. Institutionalize grant activities to continuously and effectively serve students

Peer & Faculty Mentoring-Men's Initiative

Goal: Improve retention rates of underrepresented males, and particularly Hispanic males, from the first to second year.

Peer mentoring and faculty coaching focus on marginalized men from both campuses to boost their educational outcomes by improving the nature of their relationships, mental wellness, and grit.

Juniors and seniors at Cal Lutheran will serve as peer mentors to sophomores at Moorpark College. The program will start with a 3-day summer residential leadership retreat with workshops focused on leadership, academic mindset development, and careers, as well as training for mentors. The relationships will continue throughout the year with additional activities emphasizing career planning and the launch of a web-based e-mentoring system.

Measurable Objectives
  1. Engaging 150 underrepresented men at both institutions in leadership development activities
  2. Develop 2-3 career-focused activities to be attended by at least 100 underrepresented men
  3. Match up to 90 marginalized men from Moorpark College with 45 peer mentors at Cal Lutheran

Transfer Center at Cal Lutheran

Goal: Increase transfer success for Hispanic students.

In order to create more efficient and user-friendly operations to ease the transition from a 2-year institution to Cal Lutheran:

  • Cal Lutheran will renovate an existing building to centralize transfer admission and student services. The new center will serve as a hub transfer students build social capital--networking and collaborating with each other, accessing mentoring.
  • Cal Lutheran will undergo administrative restructuring to develop a transfer student department which will elevate transfer-specific knowledge, promote programming to support student success and in cooperation with regional community colleges, and conduct outreach to encourage current 2-year institution students to participate in activities at Cal Lutheran.
Measurable Objectives
  1. Establish centralized, one-stop services to transfer students
  2. Develop 2-3 events per year designed to bring community college students onto 4-year campuses
  3. Renovate space to establish a Transfer Student Center at Cal Lutheran

Guided Path to Success (GPS) 2.0 at Moorpark College

Goal: Increase the capacity to effectively serve more students.

Moorpark College will expand the support services offered through its Guided Path to Success (GPS) center, such as personalized counseling and “high-touch” advising, by expanding the space used for counseling and advising. The growth will accommodate additional staff--two part-time counselors and one additional student success coach--as well as offering a study area and additional technologies.

Measurable Objectives
  1. Expand space to accommodate additional student advisors/counselors at Moorpark College