Efficacy of the California Basic Skills Initiative

In 2007, California Community Colleges (CCC) instituted the Basic Skills Initiative (BSI) in order to improve the learning outcomes of students who entered college under prepared for college level coursework. The Basic Skills Initiative (BSI) gives colleges financial resources, professional development support, and requires annual progress reports to encourage colleges to adopt or develop practices associated with student success. There have been multiple studies that have evaluated individual practices or identified successful colleges, but no attempts to account for all of factors that contribute to student success. This study uses linear regression on a combination of publicly available data and survey results regarding college practices to determine what factors significantly impact colleges’ ability to improve student success rates. The study identifies significant factors from college characteristics, demographics, BSI expenditures, and college practices and develops a model to identify colleges that have shown greater than expected improvement.