Learning Communities at Work: Leveraging Resources in Support of LatinX Students


naspa community college division

Author
Dr. Scott Thayer

Published
October 25, 2018


San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians formed an alliance in 2008 and created the Valley-Bound Commitment Program. The program was created to make a positive impact and to enhance student access, retention and academic success. The Valley-Bound Commitment has created positive community partnerships with the local feeder school districts, community organizations, and the Chamber of Commerce. The program also has formed partnerships on campus with Student Services, Instruction and the College Foundation to support student success.

Families in the San Bernardino region have a high percentage of poverty, significant high school dropout rates, and low college-going rates. At San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC), 98% of our students are considered low income as evidenced by their eligibility for need-based financial aid. The Valley-Bound Commitment program is a student success program created to eliminate all economic barriers that might prevent low-income students from attending college. To eliminate the barriers the program services encompass the following:

  • Enrollment fees
  • Counseling                                                                      
  • Textbook costs
  • Cultural and university tours
  • Parking
  • Motivational speakers/career workshops
  • School supplies
  • Student mentoring
  • Priority registration
  • Early Alert student follow-up
  • Conference Attendance (HACU & HBCU)
  • Graduation regalia
  • Student recognition banquet
  • Chromebooks

 The program has served over 2,000 students since its inception in 2008; beginning in 2015 the staff grew from 3 staff members to eight (Dean, 5 Counselors, Director, Administrative Secretary) and a mentoring program was established. 

 Program highlights include:   

  • Over 80,000 hours of community services completed
  • Recognized by the California State Chancellor’s Office and awarded as the 2010 Outstanding Program in California  
  • Honored with the Yawa’ Award from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
  • Students have been selected to speak at SBVC Commencement ceremony, guest speakers at banquets and foundation events.

The Valley-Bound Commitment program participants (first time college students who enter directly from high school) are more likely to persist from semester to semester and successfully complete their courses at a higher rate than students who do not participant in the program; 65% of the students in Valley Bound are LatinX students. 

Retention Rates

Year

Valley Bound

Under 20 age group

2013-2014

94%

85%

2014-2015

92%

84%

2015-2016

94%

82%

2016-2017

94%

84%

2017-2018

89%

83%

Source: SBVC, Research, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness, 2018

Success Rates

Year

Valley Bound

Under 20 age group

2013-2014

69%

61%

2014-2015

67%

60%

2015-2016

69%

58%

2016-2017

66%

61%

2017-2018

66%

59%

Source: SBVC, Research, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness, 2018

 The San Bernardino Valley College, Valley-Bound Commitment is a learning community that works for LatinX students.



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