San Diego, Calif. –The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) is expanding its partnership with the Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC), implementing the ‘Caring Campus’ Initiative in California with an additional $500,000.
The new fundingwill support the addition of 18 new community colleges to the program, as well as providing ongoing support to the 18 original participating colleges, empowering one-third of all California community colleges to be ‘Caring Campuses.
’The objective of IEBC’s Caring Campus program is to increase student retention and success in community colleges by creating and cultivating Caring Campus environments through the intentional inclusion of all staff in student success efforts.
Under the CCCCO-IEBC partnership, each campus agrees to participate in the Caring Campus Initiative, a coaching-based approach ensuring all staff play a role in enabling students to achieve success. The first group of 18 colleges was selected and began work in 2018. The second group of 18colleges now joins the initiative.
IEBC will also host two regional conferences for classified professional staff leaders from the original group of participating colleges in Cohort One in each region (San Diego/Imperial and San Bernardino/Riverside). Staff will have the opportunity to learn best practices from their colleagues, and share their own work. Participants brought this suggestion for regional conferences to IEBC.
“We’re grateful to Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley and his office for their recognition of the results we’ve seen due to the Caring Campus approach,” said IEBC President/CEO Brad Phillips.“This additional investment allowing IEBC to involve more community colleges will benefit students now and for many years to come.”
“Staff love this work and have embraced the Caring Campus approach,”said Phillips. “Staff are forever changed in the way they see their role as they are integrated into student success efforts. What happens:staff satisfaction goes up because they are making connections with students and their colleagues, connections that would have otherwise not been made.The students themselves are the beneficiaries.”
The Caring Campus work covers a semester of intensive work with IEBC coaches who meet with staff teams, returning every three weeks. “Caring Campus is designed to leverage and enhance a college’s existing student success and Guided Pathways efforts, with little to no cost to the institution to implement these interventions,” explained Dr. Phillips. “Smiles don’t cost anything. Asking a student his or her name doesn’t cost anything. You don’t have to buy software, or build a building. But it is an intensive process, which takes commitment. IEBC supports this commitment through our coach/facilitators.”
“Investing in support for our classified colleagues continues to be an important strategy for advancing Guided Pathways,” said California Community Colleges Executive Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Support Marty Alvarado.“We are pleased to continue our partnership with IEBC’s Caring Campus program and look forward to learning more about how our colleges are shifting practices to create supportive environments for all students.”
Research has documented students leaving college because they do not feel connected to the institution. Caring Campus recognizes and leverages the value of connectedness for increasing the likelihood that students will continue towards, and succeed in attaining, their educational goals.
Staff interaction with students can set the stage for successful enrollment, persistence, and completion. It is particularly important for students from historically under served populations,students less familiar with college,non-majority students, students from low-income households, and first-generation students to feel welcome and that they belong in college.
About the California Community Colleges (CCCCO)
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 115 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; degree and certificate pathways; and basic skills education in English and math. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision for Success, a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges website.