Basic Skills Student Outcomes and Transformation (BSSOT) Program
Overview of Program
As of 2015 in the California Community Colleges, more than three-quarters of incoming students who undergo assessment are assigned to one or more basic skills (below college level) courses in mathematics, English writing, or English reading. Once assigned to these courses, relatively few students successfully complete college-level coursework in these subject areas and go on to achieve the educational goals. Yet, national and system-wide research has shown that many students are assigned to basic skills when, in fact, they could have succeeded by enrolling directly in college-level math and English courses. In addition, through the CCC System's Basic Skills Initiative, colleges have piloted and identified a number of instructions and support-service strategies that boost success for basic skills students.
In response to this issue as well as encouraging efforts and findings about "what works," the Basic Skills and Student Outcomes Transformation Program
was created. Through this program, 64 colleges were awarded $89 million to improve the progression rate of students needing basic skills instruction into college-level instruction by implementing or expanding innovations and redesign in the areas of assessment, student services, and instruction. Specifically, the awarded colleges are working toward the following outcomes within a five-year period:
1. Progressively increasing shares of students enrolled at the college who:
a. Successfully complete a college-level English or mathematics course, or both, within a sequence of three or fewer courses after enrollment in a community college.
b. Earn an industry-relevant college certificate or degree within two years.
2. A significantly greater share of entering students achieving the goal listed in
(a) above within a shorter time period than before the implementation of the plan.
Fundamental to this program is that colleges implement at least two of six evidence-based principles and practices listed below. Colleges may also implement other principles and practices to increase the rate of progress and success of underprepared students as they move toward their career and educational goals so long as there interventions are also evidence-based.
Evidenced-based Principles and Practices [California Ed Code §88810(a)(1-6)]
1) Adopt placement tests or other student assessment indicators and related policies that may include multiple measures of student performance, including grades in high school courses, especially overall grade point average, results from the common assessment system and input from counselors.
Note: Any placement tests and multiple measures used must comply with Education Code Section 78213; title 5, sections 51024-55534 governing assessment under the Student Success and Support Program; and the Standards, Policies, and Procedures for the Evaluation of Assessment Instruments Used in California community colleges. Any multiple measures employed should be appropriately validated to ensure benefits for students in accordance with title 5, sections 55512 and 55522.
2) Increase the placement of students directly in gateway English and mathematics courses that are transferable to the University of California or the California State University and career pathways, with remedial instruction integrated as appropriate for underprepared students.
3) Align content in remedial courses with the students' programs of academic or vocational study to target students' actual needs and increase relevance. This method is intended to encourage the development of remedial instruction focused on a student's identified academic need informed by the student's intended course of study.
4) Contextualize remedial instruction in foundational skills for the industry cluster, pathways, or both, in which students seeks to advance.
5) Provide proactive student support services that are integrated with the instruction.
Note: Any services proposed and provided under the BSSOT Program should be coordinated with and not duplicative of other services and programs, including Student Equity, the Student Success and Support Program, CAFYES, CalWORKS, EOPS/CARE, DSPS, and other student services-related programs.
6) Develop two- and three-course sequences, as appropriate, for completion of a college-level English or mathematics course, or both,for underprepared students, by utilizing technology, where appropriate, to enhance the adoption of the high impact practices specified in methods (1) to (5), inclusive.
See California Ed Code §88800-88810 for the full details of the BSSOT program.