Distance Education in Focus Grant
The Distance Education in Focus: Improving Course Design and Strengthening Student Support (InFocus) grant provides $2.68 million to support work that will increase student persistence, retention, and success for Hispanic and other low-income students. From the grant abstract, InFocus will accomplish this via:
- Improving academic support in high-risk online courses: InFocus will provide seed funding to help ACC phase in employment of three full-time Embedded Tutors who will, along with the college’s existing seven part-time online Embedded Tutors, support any of the approximately 4,600 credit students who are struggling to succeed in one or more of the college’s 14 online “high-risk” courses each year. High-risk courses are defined as those that are required for many associate and bachelor’s degrees but are successfully completed by less than 70% of the students who enroll in them each semester.
- Enriching learning in high-risk online courses: InFocus will provide funding to train distance education faculty in the nationally recognized Quality Matters rubric through the College’s Online Course Redesign Academy (OCRA) and to certify all online high-risk course curriculum via the QM certification process.
- Providing targeted, intensive advising support to online students who are struggling: InFocus will help ACC build its capacity to implement an evidence-based, intensive approach to intensive academic advising for online students who are struggling in high-risk courses.
February 2021: Chelsea Snow, Distance Education Advising Specialist, presented at the Texas Advising Academic Network Virtual Conference (TEXAAN) and won the “Best in TEXAAAN” for her presentation, “Fostering Team Spirit in A Virtual Environment”. Chelsea co-presented with Jennifer Browning, Assistant for Student Affairs. Out of 30 formal presentations eligible for this award, their presentation received the highest participant feedback scores.
December 2020: Read more about the Infocus Grant: ACC Awarded Two National Grants to Target Equity Gaps in Higher Education.
Distance & Alternative Education
Distance Education Advising Specialist, InFocus Grant
Distance Education Embedded Tutoring Specialist, InFocus Grant
|Dr. Erasmus Addae||AVP Distance Education|
|Dr. Denise Robledo||Interim Project Co-Director|
|Dr. Ruth Reinhart||AVP Student Support Services|
|Dr. Guillermo Martinez||AVP Student Engagement and Analytics|
|Dr. DeEadra Albert-Green||Manager of Online Learning Labs|
|Dr. Monique Johnson-Jones||Executive Director, Learning Support Services|
|Kathy James||Director, Advising|
|Dr. Judy Sanders||Chair|
|Dr. Al Purcell||Chair|
|Dr. Lorlie Ellis||Dean|
|Dr. Hector Aguilar||Dean|
|Dr. Giao Phan||Dean|
|Dr. Thomas Nevill||Dean|
|Dr. Matthew Daude Laurents||Dean|
|Dr. David Fonken||Dean|
|Stephanie Long||Associate Professor, Geographic Information Systems|
February 25, 2021
On February 25, 2021 the Title V InFocus Advisory Committee met for the first time. The purpose of the InFocus Advisory Committee is to review progress reports on the implementation of Title V grant activities and recommend any improvements to assist in achieving project goals and objectives.
Dr. Denise C. Robledo provided the committee with an overview of our InFocus grant priorities for the first year related to curriculum redesign, embedded tutoring, and intensive advising. The first grant priority was hiring seven full-time grant personnel. All grant personnel have been hired except for one distance education advisor. Second, instructional designers have been working to identify and recruit faculty who teach online high-risk courses to assist them in pursuing an official quality matters certification for their course. ACC high-risk courses are those which have a less than 68% completion rate. The Title V grant will make available faculty stipends and cover the cost of peer review fees for online high-risk courses for the first three years of the grant. Dr. DeEadra Albert-Green presented the committee with progress on priorities related to online embedded tutoring. Embedded tutors will be enrolled in online high-risk courses to facilitate interaction and communication with students enrolled in the course. Embedded tutors can provide just-in-time academic support or work with students and faculty to schedule individual or group tutoring sessions.
In Spring 2021, 67 faculty representing 149 individual online course sections have volunteered to work with embedded tutors. 71 of the 149 individual online course sections are high-risk courses. The 71-course sections have an estimated 3,152 students enrolled. In our upcoming Advisory Committee meeting in April 2021 updates will be provided concerning the student criteria used to assign our Title V, distance education advisors’ caseload for Summer and Fall 2021. Distance Education advisors will be providing online students enrolled in high-risk courses with intensive advising to ensure they are aware of academic resources and student services critical to their success.
The advisory committee will also be provided with an overview of the Title V InFocus evaluation plan and its Year 1 milestones in April.
For any questions about the grant, please contact Denise Robledo, firstname.lastname@example.org.