A conversation with Dr. Brenda Kays on strategies to support student success Guilford Technical Community College, as part of the Developmental Ed
Initiative and Achieving the Dream......
Conversation with Dr. Brenda Kays, VP, Student Learning and Success, Guilford Technical Community College, North Carolina, and graduate, Thomas Bernard Watkins. Guilford has been shifting to a culture of evidence, gathering and using data to inform decisions at all levels. As part of the Developmental Education Initiative (DEI) and a member in Achieving the Dream, the college is establishing strong connections with students to boost retention, especially within the first six weeks of starting college, with an advocacy program with faculty and staff. Thomas tells his first-hand experience with the support he received with the program. A student there, as Brenda explains, is "everybody's student", and they are seeing a 6% gain in persistence with the current program. They are also building a student success course to connect further with their development ed students.
Conversation with Dr. Brenda Kays, VP, Student Learning and Success, Guilford Technical Community College, North Carolina, discusses strategies for sustaining programs and opportunities for supporting student success, particularly for developmental education students. For example, the college is looking for volunteers to sustain their advocacy program from faculty, to retirees to students. As part of the Developmental Education Initiative (DEI) and a member in Achieving the Dream, the college is creating programs for students to address gaps or to retrain by using both face-to-face and online components, and aiming offer to more convenient and expanded offerings to meet student demand. The college is continuing to assess program effectiveness and impact on student learning, showing early success, including with the NCAT and developmental math competencies. Sharing lessons learned and learning from other colleges is vitally important, and a key part to DEI, to state policy changes, and the postsecondary success initiative generally.
Conversation with community college graduate, Thomas Bernard Watkins, Guilford Technical Community College, North Carolina, who is now offering guidance and leadership to incoming students based on his experience with overcoming challenges sticking with higher education.
Founded as the Guilford Industrial Education Center on April 3, 1958, the training facility was established to prepare workers for technical jobs created by the rapid manufacturing growth in the county. The future GTCC opened that August in Jamestown on the site of the former Guilford County Tuberculosis Sanatorium [1924-1955] with 50 students enrolled in two classes. In 1965, when the center was elevated to Guilford Technical Institute, the school was authorized to grant associate degrees.
The State Board of Community Colleges approved GTI’s request to add a college transfer program in 1983, and the institution became Guilford Technical Community College. GTCC’s mission has basically remained unchanged: the institution is charged to give the people of Guilford County the training and education they need to compete in the job market.