Kapi‘olani Community College provides a wide range of academic support services, delivered by a number of different units: Kahikoluamea, Student Services, the Library, the Center for Excellence in Learning, Teaching, and Technology (CELTT), and individual departments such as Math/Sciences and Business, Legal and Technology Education. The multiple outlets for these services are both a strength and a weakness. Diversity of services and multiple access points for tutoring, for instance, result in the College being better able to meet students’ needs for the services. The challenge comes with management of academic support services. Four different administrators oversee these various units, requiring coordination and communication across areas of responsibility.
Demand for these services is healthy. Technology needs are not diminishing; in fact, all indicators are that technology will continue to impact teaching and learning in ever more sophisticated and complex ways. The library is increasingly a digital archive and a gathering place for students to learn together. Faculty need professional development to keep up with the technological innovations that impact their pedagogical approaches. With a recruitment and a quick subsequent vacancy in the area of professional development, CELTT has been less able to be responsive in this arena in FY 13. The significant increase in the number of online courses and the need to authenticate student identities have put additional strain on the ability of the Library’s testing center to handle student flow, most especially during midterm and final exams. CELTT staff have served the campus well, as indicated in their satisfaction surveys—no small feat considering the number of faculty and the number of help desk calls. Furthermore, CELLT and library staff are in constant communication, collaborating on projects to improve services to both students and faculty.
No single unit is totally responsible for tutoring services, and it is the single most problematic area of academic support. Without a formal structure for data collection, any attempt at assessment is fraught with error. The various programs do not collect the same data. Most do not correlate students being tutored with the subsequent success in courses. And without a centralized monitoring system, the reporting is uneven at best. The situation may improve with the focused attention of a Student Success Center Task Force, established in FY 14.