Our second summit, held at Los Angeles Mission College on November 20, focused on utilizing Equity and SSSP funding sources to improve “front door” services that welcome students onto campus. Participants were from 10 campuses, with eight out of the nine LACCD colleges represented. Colleges participating outside of LACCD included Folsom Lake, Pasadena City College, and Ventura College. This summit addressed equity gaps by discussing Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning (CRTL) practices for faculty, staff and students and highlighting campuses engaged in CRTL to help students feel welcome in an effort to increase student engagement, participation, course/degree completion and transfer.
Participants discussed the need for creating Welcome Centers as hubs and safe havens for students that provide human connection to help them navigate the college experience and campus environment. They brainstormed about braiding Equity, SSSP, and Welcome Centers together to create opportunities for students to feel welcome, to close equity gaps, raise success rates and meet college goals. They also discussed the importance of campus-wide collaboration and support in creating inclusive environments to help students feel welcome, safe, nurtured and valued. Presenters from three colleges shared information about their equity-based initiatives and efforts to welcome students and assist them with navigating the educational process.
L.A. Mission College presented on its Fall Kick-Off program. L.A. Pierce College discussed its GO Days program, and West L.A. College shared information about its campus-wide CRTL efforts. Presenters also discussed practices for making classrooms and campuses inclusive, culturally aware and responsive, in an effort to close equity gaps, and improve completion, transfer and success rates on their campuses. Participants were excited to learn about these efforts and requested more information about obtaining CRTL training.