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The RCC 


Issue # 63 

December 13, 2013 

MFA University 

The information below is from Linda 
Apple at the MFA, explaining how our 
University membership can be used. If 
you wish to contact Linda so that you 
can visit without students, contact her 
by email: 

The RCC membership is designed around providing 
students with free admission. That said, University 
membership does include admission for faculty/staff 
when they accompany a group visit by students booked 
in advance (one staff/faculty per every 10 students). All 
they need to do is schedule their visit via the web form 
mfa.orq/visit/qroups/request-a-qroup-visit or call 

Also, if a faculty or staff member wants to visit without 
students, please have them contact me via email and I 
can certainly set aside a ticket in advance. 
Unfortunately this would not include their guests. 

Cradles to Crayons 

Thank you to all who contributed to Cradles to Crayons. With 
your help, the following items have been gathered: 

1 booster seat 

67 disposable training 

2 pairs of shoes, 1 pair 
of sneakers 

6 toys 
41 books 

3 pairs of pajamas 
22 sweaters, jerseys & 

16 pairs of pants 
7 shirts 
1 dress 
7 coats 


CANNED Hosted by the 

4 non-perishable Community 


drive ci ub 

Now through Christmas, 
please bring in a canned 
food and/or non-perishable 
item to donate. 

Professional Development 

Entering Final Grades in MyRCC 

This workshop provides an overview of the college's 
grades policy ad instruction on how to enter final grades 
in MYRCC. Basic navigation and updating your profile will 
also be covered. 

WHEN: 12/16-12/21 

WHERE: 3-207Q 

PowerPoint Graphics 

PowerPoint is a robust graphic design program with 
comparable capabilities to expensive programs such as 
Photoshop and Illustrator. This workshop introduces 
participants to PowerPoint tools for editing and creating 
custom images and illustrations as well as working with 

WHEN: Wednesday, 12/11, 3-4pm 
WHERE: 3-207Q 

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ISSUE # 63 


ESOL Learning Community Keeps Students in School 

This Fall 2013 semester Professor Andy English has 
once again offered an ESOL learning community, 
actually for the 9 th time. Over the past five years he has 
done this in conjunction with several co-teachers. This 
fall he is sharing the experience with Professor Sterling 
Giles. The sections are full, with 19 of the original 20 
students persisting to the final exam. A cohort of 
students registered simultaneously for a Level D 
Writing course and a related section of The College 
Experience (ACS 102), which is offered in lieu of Level D 
Reading. Reading skills are developed in the context of 
the ACS course, ensuring authentic content and 
expectations, and saving students 3 developmental 
credits, which really matters if they will later need 
developmental science or math. 

Professor English also serves as the advisor for his 
students in The College Experience, which puts him in a 
great position to understand their goals and challenges 
in detail, since those things are discussed at length in 
the course. The advising work is an enormous job at 
preregistration time; because he knows the students so 
well, they engage in complex conversations which deal 
with all the aspects of being in school: majors, career 
plans, paying for school, the logistics of juggling kids 
and jobs, and deciding how many, and which, courses 
to take. It's time consuming, but it's also high quality 

The theme of college success is explored thoroughly in 
both classes and serves as a connection point. The two 
teachers collaborate on some aspects of the 
curriculum, and the writing teacher supports students 
to develop their writing for the ACS course. Having two 
teachers with different types of focus on one 
assignment helps students see that form and content 
are two different things to manage, one at a time. The 
book in the writing class focuses on "Life in Society." 
For example, while in the ACS course the students 
discuss social and emotional intelligence as it relates as 
a practical matter to their own personalities and 
environments, the same concepts are being dealt with 
in Writing, but more theoretically in articles on social 
science and psychology, in ways which provide practice 
reading college-style textbooks and responding in 

The teachers also collaborate on a trip to the Boston 
Museum of Fine Arts. Ten individual works in the 
Museum are studied in advance: five contemporary 
works which invite discussion of artistic intent, and five 

traditional American works which provide 
opportunities to learn history and explore defining 
American ideas such as the relationship of the 
individual to society. Each work is assigned to several 
students who read about it before the trip, ask 
questions during, and then report back orally and in 
writing after the trip. It's fun, builds community, and 
engenders critical thinking and expression. 

Depending on their final grades and an exit exam, 
students move on to ENG 091 or ENG 101. We have 
studied this for several semesters; in any given 
semester 50%-75% go straight to ENG 101, either alone 
or in an ENG 099/101 accelerated learning community; 
of those who move on directly to ENG 101, 75%-91% 
succeed there on the first try. The others will do so a 
semester later. 

If we look back at the first ESOL LC cohort from Fall 
2009 we have some encouraging data. From that group 
81% passed ENG 101 in the following semester. Four 
semesters later 67% were still enrolled at RCC; 
compared to the average 4-semester retention for 
other developmental students of roughly 25%, this is 
significant. Of those original 21 students, as we write 
this in Fall 2013, four students have graduated from 
RCC, one is in RCC's nursing program, three are still 
here in classes, and we know at least one is in a nursing 
program at Laboure. The preparation these students 
got in level D led them to complete or continue 
pursuing an educational goal for 43% four years later, 
and we wonder how many others moved on like the 
student at Laboure, students we can't track. In 
addition, two others were enrolled at RCC as recently 
as last summer, another two as recently as last spring - 
perhaps these are students taking a semester or two 
off and we'll see them again. 

There are many connections here: between the 
teachers, among the students, in the curriculum, 
between the College and the city and the students' 
goals and lives. Perhaps the most important connection 
nurtured here is the students' connection to the 
College. This learning community sets us up to nurture 
the educational potential in each of these connections. 
But more important, students leave with a clear sense 
of next steps in their education, with skills for reading, 
writing and test taking in content classes, and with the 
motivation that comes with having a plan, not only a 

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