Academic Senate Meeting discusses support and retention of students on campus.

The Academic Senate met Tuesday, April 17 to say goodbye to a colleague and discussed student success and retention.

EC does not have an Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior College Set Standard Institutional Effectiveness Outcome goal for retention rate but according to elcamino.edu, EC has maintained a retention rate over 80% since 2011.

One of the tools that will assist in increasing these numbers is ECC Connect and it’s pending a scale up and revamp.

ECC Connect is a system designed to provide a central location for students, instructors, counselors, and other support staff to connect and communicate.

“We don’t want students to quit, we want them to keep going,” Vice President of Student Services Ross Miyashiro said. “We don’t want to be passive and wait for people to come to us, once we find out we go to them.

The plan is for ECC Connect to not only to become more accessible and user friendly but to also offer support and response within a 24-hour time period to students that may be struggling in the classroom.

“We’ve been brought up all our lives, to be suspicious of people approaching us, telling us, they’re going to help us,” Miyashiro said. “So we need to find out a system where students will know that we are genuinely going to help them without any ulterior motives or second agendas.”

Another feature to be added will be a Kudos Club, an incentive based system that will allow faculty to reward student success with “kudos,” which can later be redeemed for prizes and lunches.

The first cycle of the new ECC Connect will roll out in fall of 2018 for faculty and the second cycle will be rolled out for students in fall of 2019.

The Academic Senate also bid farewell to one of it’s own associate deans of mathematics, Linda Ternes, who is stepping down from her position at EC to return to the classroom at Orange Coast College.

“I have been a teacher for over 27 years and I found that when I started my position, I really missed teaching. I really wanted to go back to the classroom and that’s really how I wanted to end my professional career,” Ternes said.

According to vice president of faculty development Kristie Daniel-DiGregorio, Ternes will be missed at El Camino.

“We appreciate her team approach. She is such a great teammate and has really been invaluable to the process,” Daniel-DiGregorio said.