Impact & Stories

Voices & Views: Community College

Pasadena City College Shows Impact with Reading Apprenticeship

New data from Pasadena City College show that an optional program for first-year students at this California campus is making a big difference, and Reading Apprenticeship is part of it.

New data from Pasadena City College show that an optional program for first-year students at this California campus is making a big difference, and Reading Apprenticeship is part of it. Of the 2,817 new students at PCC in 2012, the 637 who signed on for the First Year Pathways (FYP) program showed important gains:

  • FYP students persisted from Fall 2012 to Fall 2013 at a rate of 93.2% compared with 77.2% of non-FYP students
  • FYP students completed an average of 27.9 credits after one year compared with 17.2 credits for non-FYP students
  • FYP students in groups that are typically the college’s lowest achieving persisted at a rate about 20% higher than their non-FYP groups: FYP African American students persisted at a rate of 87.9% compared with 66.3%, and FYP Hispanic/Latino students persisted at a rate of 92.5% compared with 74.8%

Students in the FYP program, regardless of their placement scores, must take a 3-unit College 1 seminar along with English, math, and one other general education course. College 1 is a rigorous course in which students read extensively, including peer-reviewed articles and two books, one of which serves as the basis for a research project.

The interdisciplinary faculty who teach College 1 have participated in Reading Apprenticeship professional development, so they have valuable background for supporting students to take on challenging literacy assignments. In addition, what students learn about their resilience and competence during the College 1 experience appears to transfer to their academic performance more generally.

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