Level Up Basic Skills Grant

The "Level Up" Basic Skills and Student Outcomes Transformation Grant incorporates six factors students say they need to succeed:

  • Directed: Students have a goal and know how to achieve it
  • Focused: Students stay on track, keeping their eyes on the prize
  • Nurtured: Students feel that somebody wants and helps them to succeed
  • Engaged: Students actively participate in class and extra-curricular activities
  • Connected: Students feel that they are part of the College community
  • Valued: Students' skills, talents, abilities, and experiences are recognized, and they have opportunities to contribute and have their contributions appreciated


Grant Objectives

  • Adopt the Common Assessment Initiative as well as Multiple Measures Assessment indicators when evaluating and placing students in college-level courses
  • Increase the placement of students directly in gateway English and Mathematics courses, transferable to a UC or CSU, with remedial instruction as appropriate for underrepresented students
  • Provide proactive student support that is integrated with instruction

Grant Purpose

The grant's purpose is to coordinate existing college success efforts/programs and to augment them with new ideas and professional development training, including needed funding to carry out these efforts, which could include the following:

  • Support existing college initiatives, such as AVID, allowing Saddleback to become a National Demonstration Site
  • Integrate Sherpa technology into the Online Class Schedule to create individual student semester schedules that incorporate matriculation recommendations, MAP, and transcript data
  • Use Adjunct Faculty Coordinators to implement initiatives, including the Six Factors Students Say They Need to Succeed
  • Provide faculty stipends for curriculum design and professional development
  • Expand model of embedded tutors to include counselors and librarians

Level Up Basic Skills Grant PowerPoint

Recent Activity

The Level Up is now fully staffed with its four positions: Grant Project Manager, Program Research Analyst, Program Specialist, and Program Assistant.
With respect to Level Up projects and initiatives, work continued in the 4th quarter on the following:
  • Work progresses on the technology component that will create a smart schedule of classes attuned to individual students and their respective academic plan, matriculation recommendations, and course-taking history.
  • With a researcher now on the Level Up team, analysis is being completed to assess how CAI/MMAP and the high school 2.6 GPA will impact the number of course sections needed once this new system-wide process is implemented. The projects predictive analytics will improve the College’s ability to schedule sufficient sections of college-level and below-college-level English and Reading courses.
  • Related to the research on schedule development, the grant embarked on conversations and agreements to provide professional development training for English faculty so that they are prepared to teach higher level courses when CAI/MMAP is implemented and sections that were anticipated for a below-college course are changed to a college-level course to meet student need and advancement through the streamlined curriculum.
  • Curriculum in the English and Reading Departments has changed through the influence of the Level Up grant. The English department submitted, in this 4th quarter, a 2 unit supplemental instruction lab to accompany its college-level course. This development is due to the anticipated increase in students who through the CAI/MMAP placements will be enrolling in college-level courses and will need supplemental instruction to succeed and progress.
  • Both English and Reading added non-credit versions to their respective two-levels-below-transfer developmental courses, so they can be offered at our College Adult ESL campuses as bridge curriculum for students who desire to move from Adult Education to the College. Our College ESL Department has already successfully offered their non-credit courses at our AESL sites.
  • The creation of faculty lead positions were discussed, including the necessary alignment with Student Transformation goals and Level Up initiatives. If implemented, the faculty lead will be the go-to person for training related to effective practices in the classroom that engage students and increase retention and persistence. 
  • Ongoing faculty professional development continued in the 4th quarter. The AVID College Team, in conjunction with Level Up, provided professional development workshops for 26 faculty across 15 disciplines. The training focuses on high engagement classroom practices.
  • Final planning was discussed for our Level Up Embedded Tutor, Counselor, and Librarian model. The creation of content for the counselors and the librarians will be completed in fall 2017 and implementation will occur in spring 2018. All sections of our two-levels below English and Reading courses will have embedded counselors, librarians, and tutors assigned. Through the librarians who visit their classes, students will get to know the information competency issues specific to their course, and from the counselors, the focus will be on academic planning and course taking patterns. The embedded tutor will work directly with the professor and students to reinforce learning outcomes.
  • The outlines of an AVID Outreach program to create awareness in area high schools of Saddleback’s AVID program were initiated through the Level Up grant. The goal will be to identify AVID high school students, schedule class visits, and build pathways for AVID high school students to Saddleback.
  • $5000 was reallocated from the 5000 Object Category to the 4000 Object Category in order to cover the cost of the grant’s supply needs. This change was approved as part of a Budget Revision on 4/21/17.

Level Up Past Activity

Kevin O’Connor redman

Project Director
(949) 582 - 4788

Bruce Beardsley
Grant Project Manager
(949) 348 - 6244

Erlynne Ballo redman
Program Specialist
(949) 348 - 6151

Cindy Luher redman
Program Assistant
(949) 348 - 6151