Special Populations Collaborative

Economically Disadvantaged/All Special Populations

College of the Redwoods Diabasis

7351 Tompkins Hill Rd., Eureka, CA 95501

Contact: Tracey Thomas, Director, DSPS

707-476-4285 or Tracey-thomas@redwoods.edu

Target population: At risk college students, particularly those who are having problems in academic, social, psychological, or financial areas. Diabasis works with students who utilize a number of campus services often duplicating efforts that can cause confusion and frustration for students and providers.

Goals: To increase retention and help students succeed by establishing a support system that provides for the coordination of campus services and off campus referrals.

Description: College of the Redwoods has a campus-wide response to dealing with students at risk. The Diabasis practice developed initially as an informal meeting of staff from Counseling, Financial Aid, the Career Center, and DSP&S to coordinate planning and referrals for students using those services. The word "Diabasis" is Greek, meaning, "a bridge between two bases.” The Diabasis team of faculty and staff meets bi-weekly to be a bridge between students and services. Referrals to Diabasis come from faculty, staff, and the administration.

Diabasis members have accomplished the following:

·         Formulated a consistent, uniform, and comprehensive approach to planning and coordinating services

·         Developed an “educational case manager” system in which Diabasis members monitor and work with high-risk students, relying on the building of trust with referred students for the purpose of intervening in developing crises

·         Worked toward developing an effective follow-up process

·         Worked toward a goal of better defining criteria for determining whether a student can profit from instruction

·         Generated information from the community to offer students programs, classes, services, or when appropriate, a community alternative to college

·         Referral to community resources as appropriate; including social services and mental health

·         Worked toward developing clearer, more effective administrative supports such as confidentiality policies, disciplinary measures, and a crisis response team

·         Worked toward providing in-service training for all staff and improving liaison with community resources; and

·         Developed a Faculty Handbook

Staffing: Diabasis membership is composed of staff and faculty from:

·         Counseling;

·         Disabled Student Programs &Services (DSPS);

·         Residence Hall representative (as needed)

·         Extended Opportunity Program Services (EOPS);

·         Public Services (campus security)

·         Financial Aid;

·         Student Conduct Officer or Vice President of Student Services designee

·         Faculty as relevant to students' needs.

The Diabasis staff relies on the presence of administrative support, and the clarification of staff roles by working together on a regular basis.

Facilities, equipment, materials: No special facilities, materials, or equipment are required.

Costs, funding source: No additional cost outside of costs of faculty and staff positions involved with the committee. Grant funding has supported the development of the Diabasis Handbook

Outreach and marketing: A handbook entitled "Diabasis A Guide for Dealing with Difficult Classroom Situations" has been developed and is disseminated to all staff. In addition, Diabasis committee members present annually at the New Faculty Orientation, and offer at least one workshop per semester through the Center for Teaching Excellence.

Evidence of effectiveness: Evaluation is a qualitative process on a case-by-case basis. Students have been able to connect with and utilize support services more effectively, thus enabling them to remain enrolled in college classes.

Suggestions for replication: To evaluate whether or not this would be effective elsewhere, the campus should identify the available resources and work collaboratively with staff from those areas. Initial planning meetings among the involved staff are essential.