Crowder College

Crowder College in Neosho, MO; Efficacy StudyCourse: COMM 90: Integrated Communication Arts and Study Skills

Course Type: Self-paced, lab setting

Quick Stats:

77% of students who completed COMM 90 in one academic year are on track to graduate.

Successful COMM 90 students had a 90% retention rate from fall ’15 to fall ’16.

Crowder College needed a new approach to helping first-semester freshmen who are not college-ready to succeed. After reviewing state and national recommendations, the college created COMM 90, an integrated communications and study skills course for at-risk students to develop their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills while also building general study skills and accessing campus resources.

The course consists of eight-week sessions in a self-paced, modularized format. The instructor uses Hawkes Learning’s Foundations of English courseware, writing prompts, PowerPoints, and vocabulary lessons. Each of the 17 modules includes several online lessons in Hawkes.

The department has observed higher pass and retention rates. The at-risk students who completed COMM 90 had nearly identical passing rates in English 101 compared to students who were directly placed into the credit-bearing course. Furthermore, the majority of students surveyed felt more confident in their reading and writing abilities. They felt more prepared for college because of the skills they’ve gained from the course.