Glendale Community College (GCC) and its feeder high schools responded creatively to the challenges that the COVID-19 crisis presented to dual enrollment when all services and communication went virtual. By simplifying steps and creating new cross-system communication channels, counselors were able to work together and solve problems across systems.
What They Did
GCC looked for ways to simplify dual enrollment. Starting with their website, GCC trimmed down enrollment processes to three steps and moved physical processes online, such as using DocuSign software to complete and sign forms electronically. GCC created the Counselor Café as a virtual space to increase coordination and communication between college and high school counselors, who provide essential support for dual enrollment. The Counselor Café hosted a series of workshops for high school counselors, with the first session on supporting high school seniors’ onboarding and registration. GCC also streamlined communication to students by revising messages to be more concise and easier to read. Counselors regularly assess where students are getting stuck during the matriculation process and reach out to them through email and texts with encouraging messages that contain clear instructions about the next steps the student should complete.
What They Learned
As GCC closely observed its response data, they learned what was working and where to make changes. GCC learned that if they text students too much, their response rate decreases; some students prefer phone contact and others prefer to receive mail. GCC also learned that housing dual enrollment in a division that handles outreach to all students gave them more capacity for communication efforts. “It helps that dual enrollment is managed within our outreach center,” said Meg Chil-Gevorkyan, Program Manager of Student Outreach Services, “this means we can get creative and do analysis across the board on how effectively we are reaching out to students.”
These efforts have been influential, as Chil-Gevorkyan explains, “Working through this pandemic with our dual enrollment students has taught us to streamline communication and reframe our programs under the Guided Pathways framework at GCC. This is helping support students to get on the path to college early on, to connect them with services and people. Digestible and deliverable communication is key in communicating onboarding steps with students.”
Glendale Community College
1500 N Verdugo Rd., Glendale, California 91208