Photo – RACC award winners from left: Denise Strohmayr, associate professor, Cynthia Seaman, senior vice president of academic affairs/provost, and associate professor Teri Floyd-Brumm.
Reading, Pa. – Reading Area Community College’s college success strategies course is a general education requirement across all degree programs. Data indicated this course was a barrier for some students, and RACC faculty began to work on a solution to help those students. Through a renewed focus and complete overhaul, faculty increased student success rates by 20 percent over a two-year period for a course success rate of 81 percent.
The two RACC staff members winning the award for leading this turnaround are RACC Foundational Studies Associate Professors Denise Strohmayr and Teri Floyd-Brumm. The redesign of the program, titled College Success Strategies: From Barrier to Gateway, included a redesign of the entire college success strategies program, defining new, streamlined program competencies and objectives and developing the skills essential to good career and/or life decision making.
A recent graduate of the program says, “The things I learned in this program have been tremendous in helping me to better remember lectures, understand text and organize my train of thought. I have practiced active listening in personal situations as well. All of this has reduced my stress level and the results have been extremely positive in my life.”
“We have been receiving such amazing feedback from the students coming out of the redesigned program,” says Reading Area Community College President Dr. Susan Looney. “Students are seeing immediate benefits both academically and personally. From practicing active listening and applying note taking strategies to improving reading comprehension using SQ3R. Denise and Teri have done a phenomenal job with this program and are well-deserving of this national recognition.”
Strohmayr and Floyd-Brumm received the award during the 2020 Innovations Conference held March 1-4, at the Hyatt Regency Seattle in Seattle, Washington.
About the League for Innovation in the Community College. The League for Innovation in the Community College (League) is an international nonprofit organization with a mission to cultivate innovation in the community college environment. The League hosts conferences and institutes, develops print and digital resources, and leads projects and initiatives with almost 500 member colleges, strategic partners, and a host of other government and nonprofit agencies in a continuing effort to advance the community college field and make a positive difference for students and communities.