Using the IEBC innovative approaches of Caring Campus and Bright Spots, college faculty and staff are changing student lives with intentional, impactful interventions. These new approaches increase faculty and staff student engagement with targeted strategies, inside the classroom, outside the classroom and around the college campus that increase student connectedness. Research has demonstrated that such connectedness has a powerful impact on student retention, persistence and success.

Caring Campus in Ordinary Times: Engaging Professional Staff in Student Success Efforts

This fact sheet explains what Caring Campus is and how it works.

Providing Student Support Services in Extraordinary Times: A Caring Campus Approach

Professional staff have a significant role to play in retaining students and improving student success during these novel coronavirus times. In light of the tremendous challenges facing our colleges in this new environment, IEBC has developed this guide. It provides concrete ways for staff to engage with students, helping them to stay connected to and supported by the college in normal times and in this current environment. Read the guide here.

IEBC Caronavirus Response

With the impact of the coronavirus, our Caring Campus work moved to a virtual environment. In this process, we’re adapting all of our face-to-face coaching and facilitation sessions to virtual delivery; reaching out to our partners to coordinate supportive responses to educators; and working with our Caring Campus colleges to meet their needs and timelines as they transition to a virtual environment. Read more here in IEBC Response: Coronavirus.

Caring Campus and Caring Campus California recognize that student support staff and other classified employees on campus can contribute considerably to enhancing student connectedness, thereby increasing the likelihood students will attain their educational goals. Classified staff are often the first contact students have with the institution—a phone call to student services, a meeting with financial aid officers, a question of grounds staff while walking across campus, bookstore clerks, security and a wide range of other classified personnel. Their interaction with students can set the stage for the potential success of campus student success initiatives.

In an exclusive IEBC Interview with Desi Marquez, the financial aid technician recaptured his experience with an ASU recruiter and shares how the new Caring Campus coaching sessions are impacting how he and his colleagues are interacting with students. Read our full interview with Desi Marquez here.

In an issues document from MDRC (2010), the editors note, “While there are no silver bullets, the research suggests that there are enhancements that can lead to better use of student services and—more important—lead to improvements in academic outcomes.” Often, classified staff are not intentionally included as part of the implementation of student success initiatives. Caring Campus work changes this – to the benefit of all – students, staff and community.

Caring Campus highlights the power of classified professionals and harnesses this power with college and department-specific coaching.

Read more about Caring Campuses

Caring Campus California

Creating a Caring Campus California
In a new partnership with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO), regional implementation of Caring Campuses prepares to heighten implementation of the Vision for Success and increase classified staff student engagement.

IEBC’s Caring Campus utilizes a coaching model to ensure the deep involvement of classified staff in student success. A coach instructs in the fundamentals and directs strategy. Accordingly, IEBC’s Caring Campus coaches instruct classified staff about the fundamentals of what can be done to increase student connectedness to the college, which leads to increases in student engagement and success. We also help student services and operational departments to develop a strategy, grounded in commitments, that they can easily implement campus-wide.

The core benefit of this work is making a connection with students, many of whom have not had an experienced adult in an educational system who has cared about them before. The impact of this connection cannot be overestimated. As documented by Tinto in his seminal work on engagement Leaving College (1993), students leave because they do not feel connected to the institution; but this can be successfully addressed.

The Caring Campus also integrates classified staff with the work of the faculty in support of student success legislation and initiatives, thus creating a true partnership among colleagues. This collegial partnership also is an essential aspect of the CCCCO’s Vision for Success.

The elements of Caring Campus California include an introductory webinar, regional kickoffs in San Diego and Riverside, three campus coaching meetings at each college, process mapping and ongoing support.

Learn more about Caring Campuses in San Diego/Imperial and Inland Empire regions.  Read more about the process and view the California Caring Campus introductory webinar.

Bright Spots

Around the country, numerous community colleges are struggling with improving student success, dealing with a steady decline in enrollment and financial support.

Researchers are reporting a new harsh reality: declines in enrollment and corresponding revenue losses are projected to continue through 2025. This decline is not, however, inevitable. Student success can be greatly improved and budget losses reversed when retention and completion rates improve.

The Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC) offers the Bright Spots Advantage, a just-in-time solution to improve course retention, success, persistence and completion rates.

The work to accomplish these positive outcomes is counterintuitive. Rather than trying to “fix” instruction and pedagogy, the Bright Spots Advantage focuses on simple behaviors demonstrated to increase the faculty and staff connection to students, thus increasing student motivation to succeed.

Bright Spots Advantage colleges are seeing increases in course retention and success, term-to-term persistence and completion, as well as achievement gaps being closed among traditionally underperforming populations. Keeping students in seats every term is the most effective way to maintain revenue as enrollment declines.

Read more about Bright Spots