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Promises, Pathways and Practices: How Cuyamaca College Maintained Its Promise to Eliminate the Basic Skills Pipeline of Doom

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Cuyamaca College was the first community college in California to completely transform its basic skills approach. By implementing structural changes to basic skills programs coupled with pedagogical reforms and intensive ongoing professional development, Cuyamaca College has substantially increased the proportion of incoming students – across all disproportionately impacted groups – who successfully enter and complete a transferable math and English course in one year. Consequently, Cuyamaca College provides each student with an achievable pathway to earning a degree or certificate, transferring to a four-year institution, and earning a living wage. More importantly, our accelerated pathways through transferable English and math programs convince seemingly underprepared students from all groups that they belong in college and have the capacity to do college-level work. In essence, the college opened the door to education's promise for all students – including students of color, low-income students, former and current foster youth, veterans, and students with disabilities.
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Keywords: ACCELERATION; BASIC SKILLS; IMPROVED PEDAGOGY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2018

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  • Since 1993, the Journal of Applied Research in the Community College (JARCC) has served the institutional research and planning professionals in community colleges. JARCC is a semi-annual peer-reviewed journal that features articles relating to the integration of research and theory to practice in community colleges. The journal provides an intellectual space to communicate innovative practices in applied research that supports educational and administrative decision-making at the institutional, state, and national levels. JARCC is published by the San Diego State University's EdD program in Community College Leadership and Community College Leadership Alumni Chapter
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