Iowa Central Community College launches its new Success Seminar course in August.
The student development class is designed to ensure a student's success in college classes, programs, activities and eventual transfer or employment.
"It's basically a class that's going to assist students in being more successful, and it's going to take place throughout the semester," said Dave Grosland, Iowa Central vice president of instruction.
Success Seminar focuses on a variety of topics, including study skills, reading strategies and time management, said Jennifer Condon, Iowa Central dean of liberal arts and sciences.
"Our college experience course covers a lot of those things in 15 hours, and this class is 60 hours and will dig deeper into a lot of those topics and resources for students," she said. "They'll set up their two-year plan for an (associate of arts) degree, or an (associate of science) degree, and they'll have someone to keep tabs on them a little closer."
Through the course, students receive greater attention from faculty.
"The faculty are aware they have all of these students in common. For example, the 20 students that are in my Success Seminar are also in Dave's math class," Condon said. "We know we have the same 20 students as well, so if I notice somebody struggling, I also know the teacher and can provide that support."
More than 150 students who have participated in the college's developmental classes have been approached for the new course, which meets twice weekly through the semester.
"We're going to put them into some cohorts, into some groupings, and we're going to enroll them in this Success Seminar," Grosland said.
According to Grosland, there is a need for the course.
"What we find is, students who tend to be enrolled in a developmental writing course or developmental math course, if they're in more than one of those, their persistence rate to stay in school is not very good," he said. "Our intent here is to help those students get through one semester successfully. If they get through one semester successfully, maybe they'll get a little more confidence."
The new course could also benefit Iowa Central's enrollment figures.
"Quite often, I think what happens is, that first semester they get overwhelmed and they get discouraged, and they just kind of give up and don't come back," Grosland said. "Part of this class is a coaching thing, encouraging them and keeping them working."