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Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: Jessica Luedtke, San Diego Continuing Education

Student voice in strategies for enrollment, retention and completion

The Challenge

What barriers to enrollment do adult students face as they enter and move through post-secondary education? What helps them to achieve their educational goals? Creating data information bridges across consortium participants is a long-term development, and data and information is needed now to assist entering students and to inform student-focused student service, instructional enrollment management, and program strategies.

The Solution

SDCE and SDUSD Adult Education partners supported immediate data needs for student-based data collection through surveys and design thinking. 1) Key consortium participants conducted a Human Centered Design (HCD) project that derived insights from student interactions with the website, customer service, and enrollment; ultimately focusing on developing recommendations for improving student access to noncredit education at SDCE via customer service. 2) SDCE’s research office conducted a survey of Enrollment, Retention, and Completion (ERC); delivered to all Fall 2017 SDCE Career Education students. Information focused on enrollment, schedule preference, and barriers/help with attendance. Follow-up recommendations were made to practitioners.


The following recommendations were shared with practitioners:

- SDUSD and SDCE unification of career mapping assessment.

- SDUSD and SDCE creation of an “Apple Store Environment” for customer service at all levels and stages of CTE enrollment SDUSD transition course curriculum revision.

- Consider further student feedback studies to strategize student preference/expectations for marketing and outreach Instructors to continue to focus on providing regular feedback and encouragement to students.

- Enrollment management strategies to carefully consider class times, days, and locations that are convenient for students.

- Promote in-classroom access to resources to reduce barriers/increase goal attainment; aligned with SDCE’s Six Pillars of Equity campaign.

The Data

HCD recommendations were provided to the SDAERC Region 48 Consortium, SDCE Executive Governance Council, and the Executive President’s Cabinet, and were incorporated into our 2019-2022 Strategic plan. Feasibility and structure of HCD as an approach to solving issues will be explored.

An overall SDCE ERC report and six program reports are available. Guided discussions were held with SDCE administrator and faculty groups and the Access, Retention, and Completion Committee. Key insights were used by the SDCE Leading from the Middle team in building a student retention pilot study. Plans for additional research in 2019/20 include an ERC survey for ABE/ASE and ESL students and student-based focus groups on their entry and enrollment experiences.

Supporting Information

CTE Student Enrollment, Retention, and Completion Survey Results & Discussion Guide

SDCE Overall CTE Student Enrollment, Retention, and Completion Report

SDAERC Human Centered Design Team Collaborative

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