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Student Success

Waubonsee CC Supporting Latinx and Adult Learners with Coaching, Credit for Prior Learning

In an effort to increase Latinx and adult learner enrollment and completion rates, Waubonsee Community College in Illinois is working with nonprofits InsideTrack and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) to revamp its degree pathways and improve coaching and advising support for students. The five-year initiative is funded by a $3 million grant from the United States Department of Education.

The project will begin with "student journey mapping" sessions exploring the barriers to college access and success for Latinx students and working adults. InsideTrack's success coaches will help the college pinpoint the stages in the student journey where learners might go off-track and fine-tune its approaches to better engage and retain those students.

In addition, InsideTrack and CAEL will provide training for Waubonsee's advisers and staff to help them integrate student success coaching into their work, build and maintain a coaching program, and develop tools and processes to assess students' prior learning so that students can receive course credit, shorten their time to completion and save money. Advisers and admissions staff who complete the training will receive an InsideTrack-CAEL certification in best practices for supporting working adults and Latinx students.

"As the demographics of our communities and higher education continue to shift, it's critical that student support adapts to meet the needs of fast-growing student populations, including working adults and Latinx students," said Christine Sobek, president of Waubonsee Community College, in a statement. "This work is about better understanding the student journey — as adults, Latinx, and other historically excluded populations experience it — and transforming our approach to coaching, advising, and creating streamlined pathways to a degree or credential."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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