How Did the PSS Start?

In fall 2004, several SBCC instructors met at the request of the faculty senate president to summarize the faculty's concerns about basic learning skills on campus. Once administrative support for a faculty-driven effort was ensured, instructors worked together to identify areas of need.

Throughout fall 2005, a non-competitive, inclusive model for what later became the Partnership for Student Success developed. Rather than funding a number of individual programs, the faculty task force designed a unified integrated program, mostly augmenting existing successful programs such as the Writing Center and EOPS.

In May 2006, the College Planning Council and the Board of Trustees approved funding for the Partnership to launch that fall semester. A PSS Steering Committee including members from the original task force and leaders of the institutional initiatives was formed and developed an evaluation plan to measure the progress of the PSS.


In March 2006, the Partnership for Student Success proposed the following goals:

  • Expand the Gateway program, College Achievement Program (CAP), and Extended Opportunity Program and Services (EOPS).
  • Provide increased student services, including expanded orientation.
  • Increase academic and language skills: emphasize reading and writing across the curriculum; develop shared expectations of student behavior and
  • academic standards.
  • Implement Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs).
  • Create professional development opportunities for faculty and staff to share teaching and learning priorities.


  • Get approval of Administration and Board to support these programs.
  • Once common goals have been established by faculty representing all divisions on campus, establish a Steering Committee. This committee should
  • include faculty or staff representatives from all major established areas of student support across campus, as well as a dean to act as liaison between the Steering Committee, Administration, and the Board.
  • Locate funding sources and have departments and programs submit proposals to the Steering Committee, who work with the Faculty Senate to see that funds are distributed equitably, using an inclusive model (rather than a competitive one) based on shared goals as established by the original faculty cross-disciplinary group.
  • Support "ongoing" projects (generally augmentations of existing successful programs), "one-time" projects (innovations in keeping with the Partnership charter), and each year have funds for new initiatives, both ongoing and one-time.
  • Locate and apply assessment tools, including statistical analysis of programs to show areas in need of improvement and to illustrate success.
  • Work with state-level groups (e.g., Basic Skills Initiative, ACTLA, etc.) to promote initiatives, to inform and be informed by our network of colleagues around the state and nation.
  • Determine areas of shared concern across the disciplines, thus enhancing a shared sense of responsibility across the disciplines in the provision of learning support strategies and establishing an inclusive model to address these concerns.