Transfer has become a goal of increasing importance for LMC in recent years. In the initial year of the EXITO (Title V HSI ) Grant, Student Services has worked to build and enhance the programming for the Transfer Programs & Services. In the first year of the grant, the Transfer Programs & Services hired a permanent Transfer Programs & Services Coordinator, a Transfer Center Director, created five Student Ambassador positions, and created a graduate student internship position. In 2011-12, the center offered 11 different day-trip university tours and a 4-day tour of five universities in Southern California. With the support of the grant, the Transfer Programs & Services is being revitalized including enhancement and expansion of activities offered, such as the development of the Transfer Academy program.
The Transfer Academy, launched in the Fall of 2011, is a large-scale cohort program that aims to integrate instruction and student services in order to assist students in transferring to a 4-year university within 3 years. The program combines a highly structured academic experienced including blocked courses with dynamic faculty and support such as mentoring, study groups, counseling, and transfer workshops. Students are required to participate in one of the new student orientations, attend the Summer Academy, enroll full time, meet with the Transfer Counselor at least twice per semester, and participate in activities and college tours. Students are also required to take math and English in their first semester to ensure their success in tackling core classes. Each year a cohort of approximately 80 students is recruited into the program. In alignment with the mission of Title V, in the first year of the program, Hispanic students made up 39.7% of the cohort of the Transfer Academy program, which represents +8.6% over the representation of Hispanics at Los Medanos College.
This free four-week program prepares 50 incoming students for a comprehensive college experience that focuses on both academic and social success. The curriculum includes math, critical thinking and a variety of college seminars. Students meet potential peers – both new and current students - as well as faculty, staff and administrators. Students have the opportunity to explore careers, learn how to navigate through the college system, and participate in academic activities that reveal successful strategies for social connectedness and academic preparedness.
Across the nation, colleges and universities provide similar bridge programs to reduce attrition and increase retention and graduation rates for students in need. Los Medanos College is committed to providing quality programs that assist in the success of all students.
LMC has greatly enhanced its New Student Orientation program by offering a 9-hour experience over the course of two days for incoming students who have recently graduated High School. The first day combines students panels, campus tours, a resource fair, a student success strategies workshop, and learning community and special programs information sessions. The day also includes focused presentations for parents of incoming students. On the second day, students meet with a counselor in small groups to learn specifics of degree and transfer pathways, and to plan and register for their first semester of classes. In May 2012 more than 600 students participated in the Enhanced New Student Orientation. In addition, the college offers welcoming activities such as the Fall Welcome Day for learning communities and special programs and Welcome Weeks (Mustang Madness and Spring Fever) with a variety of activities offered during the first week of the Fall and Spring semesters designed to motivate and connect students to the college.