Leveraging Technology and Engaging Students (LTES): Evaluating COVID-19 Recovery Efforts in the Los Angeles Community College District

In response to a steep drop in enrollment at the outset of the pandemic, the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) invested heavily in improving the quality of the remote and hybrid course offerings at its nine colleges. LACCD is continuing to shift its course offerings to increase scheduling options, promote student engagement, and improve student outcomes. This project seeks to understand the innovations that LACCD has implemented, which students are accessing them, and what effects they are having on students’ academic progress. The team will also explore the relationship between the shift to online and hybrid learning with student psychosocial outcomes, faculty wellbeing, and faculty workload. The research findings will inform LACCD’s reform efforts.

The project will include an evaluation of the expansion of a novel course modality, hy-flex, that maximizes flexibility for students to access multiple learning modalities within the same course. It will also explore the role of advising supports and assess the costs and benefits of implementing online and hybrid modalities at scale.

This project is fully funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305X220018 to the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

Lead Researchers

Christopher Avery, the Roy E. Larsen Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, studies rating and selection mechanisms, focusing on the college admissions system. His current work considers college application patterns and college enrollment choices for high school students. He can be reached at christopher_avery@hks.harvard.edu.

Tatiana Melguizo is a professor in the USC Rossier School of Education. Dr. Melguizo’s research aims at identifying equitable and efficient policies, programs, and practices that increase student success and reduce persistent inequalities in post-secondary degree attainment rates. She can be reached at melguizo@usc.edu

Maury Pearl is the associate vice chancellor, educational programs and institutional effectiveness at the Los Angeles Community College District. He leads the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Office of Attendance Accounting, and Office of Student Success to inform data collection, analysis, program evaluation, and dashboard creation for data reporting as well as strategic planning and decision-making by the LACCD. He can be reached at pearlmy@email.laccd.edu.

Deborah Harrington is the dean for student success at the Los Angeles Community College District and executive director of the California Community Colleges’ Success Network (3CSN). She brings together faculty and staff to design and implement programs that effectively support student equity, access, persistence, and success. She can be reached at harrindl@email.laccd.edu.

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