Habits of Mind: iFALCON

College: Cerritos College
Contact Name:
Francie Quaas-Berryman
Email: fquaas@cerritos.edu
Phone Number: 562-860-2451 X 2806

What issue or concern is the intervention designed to address?
The iFalcon / Habits of Mind Campaign attempts to address the lagging achievement of Cerritos Students. The students lack a common framework of understanding what college success requires, not only academically, but personally. Most of our students have never had the opportunity to develop the habits of mind that support student success, and this has translated to students sitting in our classrooms with limited awareness of why they are struggling, and how they can help themselves thrive.

What were the desired outcomes you expected from this intervention?
The primary outcome is to create systemic change at Cerritos College by infusing Habits of Mind (HOM) concepts throughout the curriculum and support services in order to improve student success as measured by retention, persistence, and success rates.

What data was collected to identify the issue or concern on your campus?
ARCC Data, Campus Surveys, Faculty Inquiry Group Research Projects

Summarize the research used to determine that this intervention should have been piloted:
The studies conducted found that 75% of Cerritos College‘s students come from families with little or no familiarity with or experience in a college environment, and little understanding of the demands of higher education can exact on a student and a family. These are families struggle, due to lack of awareness, when it comes to instilling them with the practices, behaviors, and attitudes they need to succeed at Cerritos College. Thus, many students who struggle do not have the Habits of Mind‖of successful students.

Describe the Intervention:
There are four components to the intervention: 1) Develop strategies to help students develop the six Habits of Mind skills. 2) Establish faculty and staff development programs to support HOM for student success. 3) Infuse HOM across Developmental Education Program., and 4) Coordinate institutional services and programs to support HOM initiative. The iFALCON website (http://www.cerritos.edu/ifalcon) is the core pedagogical tool for the Habits of Mind campaign and was unveiled to the campus spring 2009. It has been designed as a resource for both students and faculty to provide learning materials to support the successful development of college- and university-level academic study skills. The site is divided into a series of tabbed pages with thematic units, conveniently created around the college‘s falcon mascot, to be accessed during the course of the semester. Each of these thematic areas offers a series of student-centered content: student videos, mini-lessons, activities, discussion questions, and campus resources. Students are encouraged by their instructors to access these pages and their content on their own, perhaps for extra credit, or the materials can be incorporated into classroom discussion and workshops. Multiple options are offered to instructors for finding best ways to present material to students and to connect academic study skills with content/assignments in courses.

What if any data have you collected to measure the effectiveness of the intervention?
We are in the beginning stages of data collection. We will use ARCC data to look for a campus-wide impact. However, we are also working with a grant evaluator/researcher who is helping us design assessments. Last semester she conducted focus groups with campus faculty to learn more about how (and if) faculty are talking about iFalcon with their students. She also conducted focus groups with students to learn more about their understanding of the iFalcon concepts and how they were introduced to those concepts. The information from the focus groups has guided our campus outreach efforts this year. In addition, we have initiated two Faculty Inquiry Groups (FIGs) this semester. Each will be building on work done by six FIGs, each of the six focused on exploring and developing a deep understanding of one of the iFalcon concepts. The two FIGs this year will be tasked with developing rubrics which can be used to assess student understanding of the iFalcon Concepts. We are also developing a faculty inquiry modeled on Japanese Lesson Study. Working in small groups we will develop and assess iFalcon activities and develop a tool to assess student learning connected with the activity.

Summary of findings based on data:
At this time, our data collection is in the preliminary stages.

Next steps:

How will you scale your program up to include a larger population?
The program is designed from the start to reach all students on campus. Right now we are working on recruiting more faculty to directly address the iFalcon concepts in their classes. We are also working on electronic outreach through Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and email.

Can this program be sustained if outside funding is no longer available?
We are currently working toward institutionalizing the program.

What have you learned about the effectiveness of this program?
The program is still in the early stages, so it is difficult to determine effectiveness at this time. We only have anecdotal evidence.

Can you think of improvements that can strengthen the program?
Our primary outreach has been to students on the academic side of the college. We need to do more outreach to the vocational side and to adult ed.

Here you find the iFALCON program at Cerritos College.