Pass The Torch - Who we Are
Pass the Torch
is a unique study team project that pairs high achieving community college
students with students who self-select to join a study team. Study teams
are paired in the following courses.
ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE (ESLL)
ESLL 236/237 Basic Composition Skills
ESLL 25: Composition and Reading
ESLL 26: Advanced Composition and Reading
English 209 Introduction to College Reading)
English 110 Introduction to College Writing
English 100 Introduction to College Reading (Mfumo - This is a Learning Community course)
English 110 Analytical Reading & Writing (Mfumo - This is a Learning Community course)
English 250A Narrative Reading & Writing (Puente - This is a Learning Community course)
English 250B Analytical Reading & Writing (Puente - This is a Learning Community course)
English 1A Composition & Writing
English 1B Composition Critical Reading & Thinking
Math 230 Preparing for Algebra
Math 231 Math Specific Study Skills
Math 220 Elementary Algebra
Math 221 Activities for Mastery of Beginning Algebra Concepts
Math 105 Intermediate Algebra
Math 10 Statistics
Math 217 Integrated Statistics I
Math 48A Pre-Calculus I
Math 49 Pre-Calculus
Math 1A Calculus
Each team consists of a team leader and a team member. The leader has already completed that subject or a higher level subject with an “A” grade and the member is currently enrolled in the course. The member is encouraged to become a leader in the following quarter. This program targets underrepresented minority students but all students are eligible to be matched in a study team.
Pass the Torch has received several awards, including the California Academic Senate Award as an Exemplary Program, 1999; California Community College Chancellor’s Grant, 1999, to expand, and most significant of all, it has a permanently funded Foothill budget.
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Numerous components interact to make Pass the Torch function. These include:
- Ongoing orientations.
- Recruitment process targeting underrepresented minority students.
- Matching process that makes our services and resources available to all students.
- One Mathematics and English instructor each reassigned for one third of load.
- One unit of in-class Leader Training credit taught by the two subject coordinators.
- One unit Member Training class taught by Program Coordinator (CSU transferable).
- Team Members' conferences with instructor.
- 5th week instructor feedback followed by risk failure interventions.
- Team Members' conference with their Foothill Counselor.
For additional Pass the Torch information go to our Q & A.
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The innovative Foothill College Pass the Torch was designed to help at-risk students earn the highest potential grade in a specific course so they can advance to the next level of instruction. The program links students who excel in English, ESL and math with students who want support in these same core classes.
It began in 1994 with a California Community College Chancellor’s Grant under the direction of Jean Thomas a Foothill counselor. From its very inception, it had its own facility. Pass the Torch was inspired by the University of California, Berkeley Professional Development Program begun by Uri Treisman. In 1996, Foothill received a three year FIPSE grant to continue the program. However, instead of group teams as in the U.C. Berkeley model, Foothill students are matched in one-on-one study teams. The teams are trained to work cooperatively. Study skill ideas are exchanged and other enhancements are introduced that circumvent the traditional hierarchical relationship of tutor/tutee. The name, Pass the Torch, is intended to give the message that all students can pass on their knowledge to someone else once they have succeeded.
In 1999, the program received a second grant from the California Community College Chancellor’s office under the Underrepresented Special Students Program Fund (USSPF). These funds increased outreach effect to underrepresented minority students.
In September, 2003, Foothill received a Fund for the Improvement of Instruction (FIPSE) grant to disseminate Pass the Torch to four-year universities. At the invitation of Dr. Bernadine Fong, President of Foothill, the University of California Davis and the University of California Berkeley agreed to become adapting colleges of the Foothill College’s Pass the Torch. The FIPSE grant will continue through June 2005. Outreach efforts are directed to Community Colleges located within the feeder areas of the two U.C. campuses. If successful, these efforts will create a pipeline between Pass the Torch in the community colleges and the four -year universities. Through this pipeline, community colleges can offer students transferring to those colleges a greater support in their transfer efforts. The universities, on the other hand, can increase their awareness of these students needs and respond with development of expanded resources to address their overhaul college needs.
We have already seen this expansion occur at both U.C. Davis and U.C. Berkeley. Please continue reading our Dissemination link
to see how this grant is making a change in how community college underrepresented transfer students are being affected by the grant and how community colleges will be a part of these changes in the immediate future.
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Pass the Torch is moving into a period of well over ten years of providing services to
our students in mathematics and English/ESL. During this time we have had many successes
and seen many of our past students transfer to and graduate from some of the finest
institution in the United States, Stanford, Berkeley, University of Arizona, UCLA,
Eastside University, Bloomington, NYC and Hastings College of the Law University of
California to name a few. Then move on and become professionals in multiple fields
in their communities, teachers, nurses, lawyers, physical therapist, radiologist,
bank managers, preschool teacher and probation officers. These student affectionately
keep in contact with the program and share their life's journeys with us. The impact
that the program has had in their lives bears witness as they continue to Pass
the Torch wherever they go. Our future will always be with the student who is
serious about the future of their education whether it be a fresh face student
just out of high school, a single parent trying to better the future for their
family, a displaced worker upgrading their skills, a student who is out in the
workforce and sees the limitations they face without an education or a student
that has exceptional skills and receives satisfaction from seeing someone else
achieve success. Pass the Torch will continue to provide academic and moral support
not only to help them move on to the next level of their education or career but
also as productive and prosperous citizens in their communities.
Pass the Torch is located in the Temporary Village room 5912 beginning Fall 2014
and will remain at this location until Winter 2015 when the Library renovations
are complete. Our permanent location will be in the Library Resource Center
which is currently under construction.
Coordinator of Outreach & Team Development
For the Director's Future comments go to Dissemination.
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