Basic Skills Initiative

The State defines "Basic Skills" as "those foundation skills in reading, writing, mathematics, learning skills, study skills and English as a Second Language which are necessary for students to succeed in college level work."

The State Chancellors' Office defines and aligns its BSI funding specific to students in 300 level courses of English, Math, English as a Second Language (ESL), and Reading.



The mission of Saddleback College’s Basic Skills Initiative is to explore, identify, and address the needs of basic skills students. BSI funding allocations directly support a coordinated expansion of academic and student support services that will facilitate the successful transition of basic skills students into college-level coursework.

BSI Co-Chairs for 2017 - 2018

Co-Chair:  Marina Aminy, Dean OELR
Co-Chair:  Carrie Goulding, English Composition Instructor

BSI Support

Project Specialist: Laura Harris
Telephone Extension: (949) 348-6196

BSI Meeting Dates/Highlights for 2017-2018

BSI meetings for 2017-2018 will be held in AGB 106 (President's Conference Room) from 3:00pm to 4:30 pm.

Monday, August 14 - During Professional Development Week. General meeting and the first of the 17/18 academic year. BGS 250 12:00 pm to 12:50 pm

The Basic Skills Initiative committee has supported many critical projects at the college,
including an interdisciplinary “Completing College Conference,” embedded tutoring, basic skills
technology resources, and professional development for instructors. Join us for the first fall meeting
of the BSI Committee to learn more about our college’s funding for basic skills students, implementation
of the grant, committee structure and plans for 2017-18. We will also share details for an exciting
spring conference supported by BSI. Please attend our first general meeting of the semester!
Presented by Marina Aminy, Ph.D., Dean, OELR and Carrie Goulding, LA and Co-chair of BSI Committee

Meeting Dates for Fall 2017

  • September 14
  • October 12
  • November 9

Meeting Dates for Spring 2018

  • February 15
  • March 15
  • April 12

BSI Committee Members for 2017 - 2018

Marina Aminy, OELR Janet Bagwell, LA Jack Beckham, LA
Jessica Budica, LA Estella Castillo-Garrison, CE, E & K12 Sarah Chang, Counseling
Sang Choi, MSE Susan Donelson, CE, E & K12 Kim d'Arcy, OELR
Michael Engels, Counseling Michelle Duffy, LA Nancy Duong, MSE
Bruce Gilman, LA Frank Gonzalez, MSE Carrie Goulding, LA
Catherine Hayter, LA Christina Hinkle, SBS Michael Hoggatt, SE&SP
Leslie Humphrey-Quirk, Outreach Jennifer Klein, Research Jared Lessard, Research
Sumaya McCleave, MSE Kevin O'Connor, LA Efren Rangel, SE&SP
Maria Teresa Romero, SBS Kia Shafe, MSE Neda Sahranavard, LA
Kat Shaw, MSE Penny Skaff, Counseling Sharyn Sotelo, MSE
Cora Swanson, Classified Senate Lisa Tran, Counseling Truong Tran, Research
Deanna Valdez, MSE Barbara Cox, EWD&BS  

BSI Committee Members for 2016 - 2017

Marina Aminy, OELR Janet Bagwell, LA Jack Beckham, LA
Sheryl Christensen, Counseling Susan Donelson, CE, E & K12 Michelle Duffy, LA
Bruce Gilman, LA Carrie Goulding, LA Catherine Hayter, LA
Christina Hinkle, SBS Michael Hoggatt, TCSP Leslie Humphrey-Quirk, Outreach
Sumaya McCleave, MSE Julie McGirr, LA Kevin O'Connor, LA
Maria Teresa Romero, SBS Penny Skaff, CS Cora Swanson, Academic Senate
Lisa Tran, CS Deanna Valdez, MSE Cadence Wynter, FAMT




BSI Goals for 2011 - 2018

Saddleback College BSI is committed to the following goals:

  • Courses/SLO’s:  Support  Basic Skills departments such as Reading, ESL, English and Math to improve the success rates of SLO’s in Basic Skills courses, including evaluating, assessing and revising course curriculum and offerings. 

  • Faculty:  Support faculty and content area experts to develop innovative programs and curriculum within departments to improve learning and retention among Basic Skills students.

  • Professional Development:  Provide professional development to all faculty and classified staff working with Basic Skills students, with opportunities to improve teaching, learning, support services, retention and other strategies for success based on good practices and current theories for learning.

  • Cross-Departmental Collaboration:  Facilitate collaboration between departments to improve support services, retention and success for Basic Skills students.

  • Institutional Collaboration:  Foster greater collaboration and alignment between administrative/service departments (matriculation, counseling, tutoring labs, etc.) and academic departments to insure greater consistency, retention and success for Basic Skills students.

  • Support Services:  Survey and evaluate current support services for Basic Skills students (such as tutoring, placement, matriculation, transfer, etc.) to determine:  effectiveness, need for restructuring  and/or need for additional services



BSI Projects for 2017-2018

Approved projects and project coordinators.

BSI Projects for 2017-2018

Project Coordinator(s)

AHE (Avid for Higher Education) Practicum

Tina Jenkins

English 390 Workshops/Training

Carrie Goulding

Basic Skills Summit/Conference

Carrie Goulding

English Professional Learning Council (PLC)

Jake Williams

Math Embedded Tutoring

Deanna Valdez

Project Specialist Support

Marina Aminy

Open Education Resources (OER)

Nicole Major and Jennifer Pakula

English Department Retreat

Jack Beckham

Teaching Developing Writers

Carrie Goulding

Math Community Outreach

Patrick Quigley

Basic Skills Tutoring

Kim D'Arcy
CPR Retreat

Catherine Hayter, Sumaya McCleave

Bridging the AVID Experience

Michelle Duffy
California Acceleration Project Summer Institute

Carrie Goulding

BSI Project Summaries for 2017 - 2018


More coming soon...

Title Lead(s) Background/Justification Objectives Student Outcomes
California Acceleration Project Community of Practice Carrie Goulding Provide support for Math and English faculty implementing high-challenge, high-support pedagogy in accelerated pathways, defined as any changes to placement and curricula that reduce or eliminate students' time in remedial courses.

1) Prepare faculty to effectively teach ENG 390 and develop new strands of curriculum.

2) Inform faculty of ways to increase completion, success and retention for basic skills students.

Increase completion of college-level coursework for students in English sequence.
CPR Retreat Catherine Hayter, Sumaya McCleave Second of two retreats inspired by the Leading from the Middle Academy. Faculty across the four disciplines will share accomplishments as they work to achieve goals set in first retreat. Address strategies to increase student completion rates, especially those in developmental classes Provide benefits to under-prepared college students through innovations developed in and across departments.
English Department Retreat Jack Beckham, Suki Fisher, Catherine Hayter Follow-up of the CPR Retreat to continue discussion and work on items raised at initial retreat. 1) Establish a faculty mentoring program.
2) Create course leads for English with concrete roles and responsibilities.
3) Create future professional development opportunities.
Math Community Outreach Program Patrick Quigley Math professors serve as guest lecturers at Counseling 100 classes which provide essential skills for success to high school students planning to attend Saddleback College. 1) Clarify differences between the various math course sequences.
2) Inform students of the subject matter, schedules, and importance of the math placement exam.
3) Expose students to time management and study skills strategies effective in math.
4) Inform students of math-focused educational resources available through SC.
• Inform students of standards and expectations for a typical math class
1) Identify the math course track best for their expected field.
2) Identify subjects on the math placement exam.
3) Identify time management and study skills strategies they can implement.
4) Identify math-related resources accessible through SC.
5) Identify typical expectations for college math classes.



Tools for Learning

Tools to support Learning Skills.

General Learning Skills

Online Tools Descriptions

Study Skills for Student Success

Here you will find tools to help make your textbook work for you, how to use a dictionary and more.
Various Study Techniques A variety of different study techniques that aide learning.
Effective Study Techniques Learn the SQR3 method for studying.
Time Management Learn effective ways to best organize time for studying.
Memorization Techniques Learn effective way to memorize class material.
Test Preparation Tools Tools to help prepare for tests.
How to Get the Most Out of Studying A video about how to get the most out of studying.
Khan Academy Learn almost anything.

English Learning Skills

English Tools Description
Writing a Research Paper Helpful tips for writing research papers.

Math Learning Skills

Math Tools Description
Math Exam Prep Information about preparing for Math Exams.
Algebra2go Instructor Larry Perez's website with helpful Algebra tips.
Success in Math Helpful Math study skills.


BSI Resources

Pertinent Reading Materials for Basic Skills

Basic Skills Student Support and Resources