Focus on Student Success (FOSS)

Laredo Community College
Academic Level
Issue Area
Support Services
Key Personnel
Program Focus
First Year Support,
Summer Bridge


FOSS was created to provide students with support in their crucial first year of college, setting the expectation for academic success, transfer, and graduation to pass gatekeeper courses at LCC. The program includes a Summer Bridge experience, which focuses on academics, engagement, and financial literacy. Throughout the year students receive advising, tutoring, and mentoring. Since their second summer, the program has used a central theme based on popular culture and consistent use of media and gamification has raised positive awareness and interest in the program. This year the Game of Thrones book and series is the theme for the Summer Bridge for the entire college. Based on strong results the practices have been embraced, emulated, and institutionalized.

Program Description

FOSS’ goal is to retain, transfer, and graduate students with a bachelor's degree. The program uses four Components they find crucial to improve post-secondary Latino student success:

C1: Ensure student success at intake and transfer by establishing activities to bridge the transition from high school and to ensure a seamless transfer to a bachelor’s degree.
C2: Increase student success in gatekeeper courses through enhanced student services and increased faculty development training.
C3: Develop and implement a Model Transfer Program to help students overcome barriers.
C4: Use data to improve decision making to reach goals and to document project and student success.


FOSS students' first attempt pass rates (A, B, C) in gatekeeper courses at LCC were at least 20% higher than for the general college population within the first year of program implementation.
By the third year, pass rates were 90-100%:
History 1301 FOSS 2015 pass rate: 90% compared to 66% of a control group
Math 1314 FOSS 2015 pass rate: 100% compared to 70% of a control group
English 1301 FOSS 2015 pass rate: 100% compared to 71% of a control group

Persistence rates at LCC have increased:
The program’s 2012 baseline was 25%. The persistence rates for years 2013 - 2015 were 70%, 83%, and 85% respectively.

Transfer rates have increased:
From cohorts I-II: 38/80 of students have transferred thus far, a 47% transfer rate compared to 14% baseline.
For cohort III, 46 new students participated in FOSS activities.

Retention rates have increased:
The retention rate exceeded the baseline of 25%. The fall to fall retention rate was 83% (38/46).

Due to the success of FOSS Summer Bridge, the same format is going to be used with a recent STEM grant at the institution. The summer bridge component will now be offered institution wide.