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 grant now has its full complement of positions filled. With respect to Level Up projects and initiatives, work continued in the 5th quarter on the following:

Placement into Transfer Level Classes:

  • English Department Chair has begun the process of curriculum approval for 2-unit co-requisite for ENG 1A, with anticipated implementation of course in Fall 2018.
  • CAI/MMAP project for predictive analytics completed with grant researcher. We now anticipate having enough trained faculty to ensure college-level and below-college-level sections of English and Reading courses are available to students when system-wide implementation occurs.

Professional Development:

  • Level Up has continued its support of the AVID for Higher Learning (AHE) faculty professional development trainings.
  • Fall 2017 Practicum – The first in a series of three workshops for the semester has been delivered. 22 participants.
  • Fall 2017 Peer Academy – This is a newly implemented second level of the AHE Professional Development Series. The first of the three workshops for the semester has been delivered. 19 participants.
  • English Department held a Completion, Persistence, and Retention (CPR) workshop. Professional Development topics included:  student success, the role of faculty-to-faculty mentoring, and course leads. 26 participants.

Integrated Student Support Services:

  • Sherpa Nudges - Prior to the start of fall 2017, Level Up coordinated with the Counseling and Matriculation departments to identify and send out communications to 226 students encouraging them to enroll in their Basic Skills courses. These students were enrolled for fall 2017 classes, however, did not enroll into their recommended English and Reading classes. As a result of the messaging, 38 students enrolled into their placement English or Reading course. Targeted messaging for the spring 2018 term is in development to reach all first time freshman.
  • Initial meetings have been conducted to start implementing Embedded Tutors, Counselors, and Librarians in to all sections of ENG 340 and ENG 390. Workgroups are being formed to develop curriculum and training for the courses. Estimated implementation is Summer 2018.
  • Smart Schedule/MAP Upgrade - the following items were prioritized and updates to the system should begin by the end of the calendar year:
    • Improve user interface.
    • Implementation of new MySite 3.0 standards.
    • Streamline decision making process in the MAP wizard to provide a more intuitive process recommended for Basic Skills placement.
    • Provide guidance on best courses to select if student has multiple plans.
    • Basic skills foundation to support guided pathways.

K-12 Partnerships

  • The Level Up Grant has made connections with the AVID programs at local school districts and at the Orange County Department of Education. Level Up and AHE have begun to meet with faculty partners at the local high schools to plan visits by college faculty and assist students with the application and matriculation process. 120 students contacted.

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