El Camino College Assessment Test Results (Fall 2013 and Fall 2014)

by Eboni Martin

It’s the beginning of a new school year and the second week of classes! This means that prior to the start of the new school year, lots of incoming students trickled through the Assessment and Testing Center to take an assessment test. Before starting classes, students are encouraged to take an assessment test in reading, writing, math, English as a Second Language (ESL), or chemistry. Assessment tests are important for placing students into classes at the right level. We recently released reports examining 2-year placement trends for incoming first-time/full-time students at both El Camino College (ECC) and El Camino College Compton Center (Compton Center).

The reading, writing, and math tests place students in a variety of levels depending on test performance. For this report, placements are grouped into categories of similarly-leveled courses. These groups are 1) transferlevel—courses that are equivalent to courses at a 4-year institution, 2) collegepreparatory—courses that immediately precede transfer-level courses, and 3) basic skills—courses defined by ECC as basic skills courses (in most cases, more than one level below transfer).

The course in which a student is placed can be very important. A student placed into a transfer-level course begins several semesters closer to a degree or transfer than a student placed into a basic skills course. For example, a student who places into the most remedial math class offered at ECC (basic arithmetic) is three levels below degree credit and four levels before transfer credit courses. This translates to at least three terms of math before a student can take a course to satisfy the math requirement for a degree and four terms of math before the student can take transfer-level math.

At ECC, there are several interesting findings. First, there was a decrease in the number of students who took a placement test on-campus and subsequently enrolled at ECC in 2014. In comparison, there was an increase in the number of students who took an assessment test off-campus and subsequently enrolled at ECC in 2014. This may be due to the ongoing efforts of the college towards strengthening its relationship with feeder high schools and the community. Similar to the ECC main campus, there was also a decrease in the number of students who took a placement test on-campus and subsequently enrolled at Compton Center in 2014. This decrease may be due to students now having the option to assess off-campus.

Second, this report illustrates the disparate levels of college preparation that incoming students possess. As shown below, over the past two years at ECC, transfer-level placement rates varied widely between Reading (49%), Writing (41%), and Math (13%). At Compton, transfer-level placements rates also varied widely between Reading (31%), Writing (23%), and Math (2%).

ECC Reading Test writing testmath test

Furthermore, the analysis by subgroup (ethnicity and gender) illustrated several examples of possible disproportionate impact. At El Camino College, women were less likely than men to be placed into transfer-level reading and math. As the following charts display, both African-American and Latino students at ECC were less likely than White students to be placed into transfer-level and more likely to be placed into basic skills reading, writing, and math. African-American and Latino students were also less likely than White students to be placed into English 1A.

reading ethnicity writing ethnicitymath ethnicity

At Compton Center, there was no evidence of disproportionate impact for African-American and Latino students on the reading or writing placement test. Additionally, disproportionate impact for African-American and Latino students could not be tested for on the math placement test because the reference group (White students) at Compton Center was too small. Although disproportionate impact was not found based on ethnicity, a large percentage of African-American and Latino students did place into basic skills reading and basic skills math.

To minimize disproportionate impact, ECC and Compton Center will continue to support programs aimed at increasing English and math achievement. For example, the Summer Math Academy (SMA) equips students who place into basic skills and college preparatory math with tools to help them succeed in their math courses. After completing the SMA, students are given the option to re-take the math placement test. More information can be found here: El Camino College SMA and Compton Center SMA.

These findings underscore the fact that ECC and Compton Center serve a student body with varied levels of college preparation. To read the full reports, as well as many other student outcomes reports, click here.

2015 Career and Technical Education Outcomes Survey

by Tanysha Laney-Kirk

Results from the 2015 Career and Technical Education Outcomes Survey (CTEOS) is available for El Camino College, please click here to review the report. The purpose of the survey is to uncover student perceptions of their CTE program, employment outcomes and how their coursework and training relate to their current career. El Caminos’ skill-building students were contacted to participate in the survey if they met one of the following conditions in 2012-13 and did not enroll in 2013-14: completed a certificate of 6 or more units, earned a vocational degree, or completed 9+ CTE units. A total of 2,055 students were contacted in early 2015, with 534 responding for a total response rate of 26%.  The Office of Institutional Research and Planning is developing tactics to increase the response rate for future studies.

Findings indicate that CTE studies and training result in positive employment outcomes as the majority of respondents are employed, working in the same field as their studies or training and working full time.  Moreover, respondents stated that their hourly wage increased 24.6% after completing their studies/training at El Camino College. Below are other noteworthy findings detailed in the report:

  • 70.4% reported finding a job after finishing their studies
  • 78.7% found a job within six months and 61.5% found a job within three months
  •  92.3% were satisfied/very satisfied with the education and training they received at El Camino College
  • Nearly 70% of respondents are employed for pay (Figure 1 shows the results)

Employment Outcomes

Please note that results for the 2015 CTEOS for Compton Center are available here. Findings for the Compton Center are similar to El Camino as completing CTE studies and training related to positive employment outcomes. For instances, the majority of respondents indicated being employed, working in the same field as their studies or training, and working full time. In fact, respondents reported increasing their hourly wage by 50% after completing their studies at Compton Center.

Academic Profiles (a.k.a. Peer Institution Reports) for ECC and Compton Center (2014)

By Joshua Meadors

The 2014 Academic Performance Profiles are now available for both El Camino College (ECC) and ECC Compton Center.  You can find them here and here.  The Academic Performance Profile (a.k.a. Peer Institution Report) provides a sense of how ECC and the Compton Center are performing in comparison to a group of community colleges with similar institutional characteristics. You can also think of it as seeing what the academic trends look like across these peer institution groups. The reports cover the past five years of available data (from 2009-2010 to 2013-2014).

ECC Enrollment

ECC’s peer institutions include: Cerritos College, Long Beach City College (LBCC), Mount San Antonio College (Mt. SAC), Pasadena City College (PCC), and Santa Monica College (SMC). While these schools are unique in many aspects of the data, there appear to be some uniform trends. One example is the declining enrollment seen over the past years, which could be related to the 2007-2012 budget cuts in California higher education that restricted enrollment for each institution.

With the exception of course success and retention rates, ECC tends to perform near the middle of its peer group, rather than at the top or bottom. However, ECC also tends to transfer the highest proportion of its students to schools like California State University and the University of California. Likewise, ECC is the only institution to exhibit continuously improving persistence rates over the five years, and it has some of the most consistent transfer velocity rates.

COM Enrollment

Compton’s peer institutions include: Cerritos College, Los Angeles Southwest College (LASC), Merritt College, and West Los Angeles College (WLAC). More so than ECC’s peer group, there seem to be trends that affected these institutions similarly, such that performance measures tend to move in a consistent direction until the 2012-2013 academic year. For most of these institutions: enrollment gradually declined until Fall 2012, then increased; course success rates gradually increased until Fall 2012, then decreased; and the number of students completing their programs within three years hit its peak during the 2012-2013 academic year. As with ECC’s peer group, these trends may be explained by the previous funding cuts to higher education in California, at least in terms of the declining enrollment.

Compton itself tends to perform near the middle or towards the bottom of its group of peer institutions. But while Compton’s performance is historically the lowest on some of these measures, it typically shows more growth and improvement than any other peer institution. Likewise, Compton’s academic performance rates seem to be continuously improving, rather than the declines or fluctuations seen at other schools. In other words, Compton tends to make progress even when its peer institutions are facing declines.

There are plenty more tables, charts, and graphs than the ones above, so if you’d like to read the reports (or just look at the data), the links are posted below:

El Camino College 2014 Academic Profile

ECC Compton Center 2014 Academic Profile

Degree & Certificate Trends at ECC and Compton Center (2009-2014)

By Joshua Meadors

The new Degrees & Certificates report is here!  It covers the trends in awards received by El Camino College (ECC) and ECC Compton Center students from 2009-10 to 2013-14. Although the number of awards at both locations has decreased compared to the previous year, 2013-14 still yielded the second highest award count in the past five years.

At ECC, the number of degrees decreased by 3% and certificates decreased by 21%.  However, the number of Associate of Arts for Transfer (A.A.-T) degrees grew substantially, with 118 A.A.-T degrees awarded for the 2013-14 academic year.  Each of the three majors awarding A.A.-T degrees (i.e., Psychology, Sociology, and Communication) showed an increase compared to the previous year, even though the previous year (2012-13) was a peak year for awards distributed at ECC.  There were relatively small changes in the number degrees and certificates awarded by any given major, but some of the largest increases occurred among majors offering A.A.-T degrees and STEM-related majors.

At ECC Compton Center, the number of degrees decreased by 7% but there was no change in the number of certificates.  Similarly to ECC, Compton Center also showed an increase in the number of A.A.-T degrees awarded, despite the previous year being a peak year.  Although the number of degrees and certificates awarded by each major in 2013-14 has remained relatively stable compared to the previous year, there has been significant five-year growth in degrees and certificates awarded by virtually every major at the Compton Center.

Overall, ECC is showing a five-year growth of 43% in terms of awards distributed, and ECC Compton Center is showing a five-year growth of 53% in terms of awards distributed.  Combined, both locations show a five-year growth of 52% for degrees awarded and 19% for certificates awarded (44% for all awards distributed), indicating considerable student progress has been made over these past few years.  Only time (and more data) will tell what the future holds for trends in ECC and Compton Center award distributions, but both locations are nevertheless on course to meet their established goals by 2019-20.

Five-year trends for awards at both locations

As you can see from these charts, there’s plenty more data than we could ever fit into a blog post, so be sure to check out the official report!

Financial Aid Focus Groups

El Camino College is extending an invitation to all students who are interested in sharing their experience with Financial Aid. The focus groups are scheduled from 12:30-2pm in Administration 131 on Tuesday–March 31, Thursday–April 2nd or Tuesday–April 7th.Participants will receive food and a special gift bag for their time and effort. Space is limited, so please register by emailing eccresearch@elcamino.edu or by calling 1 (310) 660-3593 ext. 6402.



Student Inequity at the CCC’s

By Joshua Rosales

An infographic produced by the Minority Male Community College Collaborative (M2C3) out of San Diego State University illustrates one of the problems community colleges must tackle. Looking at data from the CCCCO Datamart, most likely using data from the http://scorecard.cccco.edu/scorecard.aspx, the researchers at M2C3 show how well males of different ethnic/racial groups are doing when starting at remedial, defined as below transfer level, math and English courses. The outcome desired is successful completion of a college level course in the same subject within six years. The graphics clearly show African-American, Latino, and Native American students complete the college level course at lower rates than the State average and lower than White or Asian students and the authors claim this shows the community colleges need to revamp the remediation approach.
One issue with the infographic is that it does not take into account starting level. There is some evidence to suggest African-American, Latino, and Native American students are disproportionately placed into remedial courses 3 or more levels below transfer. This means they have an increased number of courses, an increased amount of time required, and increased opportunities to create stopping points in their paths the reach the transfer/college level course compared to the average White or Asian student starting in remedial/pre-collegiate courses. It would be interesting to see the disaggregated results when looking at students starting at the same level.

These types of issues are what the Student Equity Plan (SEP) all California Community Colleges are required to submit are trying to address. El Camino College’s SEP was presented to the District Board December 16 and will now be submitted to the CCCCO. This plan provides the framework for actions that will be taken over the next three years with the goal of decreasing outcomes gaps for target groups.

To see the infographic, click here:

Middle-Skill Occupations Part II: Information Technology

By Tanysha Q. Laney

The Health Care industry is not the only industry destined for solid job growth as Information Technology has a promising outlook as well. Similar to Health Care, Information Technology is a high-demand field that provides numerous opportunities for community college students. However, unlike Health Care occupations, Information Technology jobs are found in nearly all industries and enjoy on average, higher wages. In fact, the number of job postings for Information Technology jobs in 2013 (649) exceeded the number of completions within the local area (202). Hence, the supply/demand ratio is favorable. The second installment of the four-part middle-skill occupations blog features opportunities in Information Technology (IT).

Over the next five years (2013 to 2018), middle-skill IT occupations within the local region expect to increase by 4.9% while IT jobs will grow by 3.9%. Middle-skill jobs fueling the growth include Computer User Support Specialists and Web Developers.

IT Chart 6


Chart 3 IT Blog

To access the report completed by EMSI Inc., please select the link below.

http://www.economicmodeling.com/cc-report2014/ (PDF)


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