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Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: Crystal Robinson, South Bay Adult Education Consortium Southwestern

Members find innovative ways to make data collection more meaningful

The Challenge

All members of the South Bay Adult Education Consortium/Southwestern knew their data was not telling the whole story. Sweetwater's CASAS paired scores were relatively low despite thousands of students in classrooms, Coronado did not have a student information system in place, and it was proving to be too time consuming to manually input data into TOPSpro, and transitioning to and later from TOPSpro for Southwestern College was putting a strain on their data collection efforts.

The Solution

Sweetwater revamped their student intake process to include the CASAS pretest at the orientation, or at 0 hours of instruction. Coronado purchased the ASAP student information system and a scantron machine. Southwestern College decided to tackle the move to TOPSpro and subsequently to MIS as a team that included multiple departments working together: noncredit, Institutional Technology, and Institutional Research.


Coronado was able to speed up their data collection processes, allowing them to use their time and resources to analyze their data. Sweetwater ensured that every student would have a pretest, and then would only need a post test after the appropriate hours of instruction. Southwestern College was able to uncover different ways of approaching data collection through their interdepartmental collaboration.

The Data

Both Coronado and Sweetwater increased their CASAS paired scores rate to around 50% of CASAS eligible students, and continue to make improvements. Southwestern College started a coding project to better identify noncredit data elements to preserve data in the switch from TOPSpro to MIS, there was research conducted into defining the community profile and the SWC CAEP student profile, and the noncredit application was revised to include more data elements necessary for CAEP.

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