Community College Research Center Report: Caring Campus Programs ‘Off To A Strong Start’
The Community College Research Center (CCRC), an independent research organization based at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, reports positive findings in its new study examining trending results of the Institute for Evidence-Based Change’s “Caring Campus.”

The study, titled Implementing Caring Campus With Nonacademic Staff: Lessons From Participating Colleges, is a report based on fieldwork at six colleges and other data. The report presents the implementation and impact of IEBC to engage non-academic staff to improve interactions with students and foster a culture of caring at community colleges.

IEBC President/CEO Brad Phillips said the study provides early validation of the Caring Campus program’s approach and a foundation for ongoing assessment to continue refining the approach.
“IEBC’s Caring Campus program provides badly needed support to improve student retention and success during an especially challenging time,” said Phillips. “We know health and economic impacts from the pandemic are still emerging for administrators, staff, and students. Developing and implementing practical ways to help students feel welcome and a sense of belonging supports achievement of their educational goals.”

Caring Campus Drives Inclusive Culture Change
Thirty community colleges will launch Caring Campus initiatives this fall. While some are brand new to the Caring Campus program, others have completed their efforts with classified professional staff and are now adding new work with faculty.

Colleges in Texas, Illinois, Mississippi, California and elsewhere will have IEBC coaches working directly with administrators, faculty and staff to support improvement in their student outcomes,
Funding Opportunities Expanded for Caring Campus
With interest in Caring Campus growing, opportunities for funding have also expanded. Most colleges are funded through grants from foundations. However, other funding sources are also enabling colleges to engage in Caring Campus. Funding for the thirty new colleges has come from diverse sources, including local and national foundations, CCCCO, federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education Postsecondary Support program, and federal HEERF funds.

In addition to these new Caring Campus programs, some colleges will be working with IEBC to restart their programs due to leadership or personnel changes or Covid transition and their wanting to ensure that they don't lose progress already made. Others are ready to scale up to fully institutionalize involvement of all key groups on campus.
Six New Coaches Expand IEBC's Effort
to Improve Student Success
IEBC has added six new coaches to its Caring Campus team to work with additional community colleges as part of our nationwide expansion.

Caring Campus began in fall 2018 with the goal of increasing student success by improving student connectedness. IEBC Caring Campus coaches work with college professional staff and faculty to identify and commit to behaviors that change their interactions with students from transactional to relational, adding the human component. Ultimately, this changes the college culture.

The diverse group of talented and dedicated individuals joining the IEBC coaching team and contributing their skills and passion to the Caring Campus initiative are listed below.
Dr. Martha M. Ellis, President/CEO of Mellis LLC, a higher education consulting organization, has 35 years of experience in universities and community colleges in Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, including college presidencies, provost, chief information officer, graduate, and undergraduate dean and faculty member.
Colleen Hartfield, President of Hartfield Creative & Consulting, spent 37 years working at Mississippi’s two largest community colleges: Hinds Community College and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. She served as Vice President for Community and Institutional Relations and Governmental Affairs at both colleges.
 Dr. Donna Jovanovich has worked with 23 colleges in 12 different states as a data coach for Achieving the Dream. She is a consultant with the Dana Center in their math pathways work and teaches educational research methods for the John Roueche Community College Leadership Program at Kansas State University.
Dr. Bola King-Rushing has spent most of his career in the California Community College system beginning at the Ventura County Community College District where he helped bring about several innovations in technology and institutional culture and created Oxnard College’s Department of Instructional Support Services.
Professor Connie Renda has worked in research and as faculty at community colleges since 1996. She is currently the program director and professor of health information technology and manager of the baccalaureate program at San Diego Mesa College where she helped develop the first BS degree at a California Community College.
Dr. Linda Watkins retired as President of the San Jacinto College District in Houston, Texas where her previous roles included Vice President of Instruction, Vice President of Student Support Services, Dean, Department Chair, and faculty. She has taught at the public school, community college, and university levels.
Caring Campus Drives Improvements in Student Persistence and Equity
Joianne Smith, President, Oakton Community College, describes how implementation of Caring Campus has resulted in amazing course, persistence, and completion outcomes and equally large improvements in equity.
Research documents that students leave college because they do not feel connected to the institution (e.g., Leaving College by Vincent Tinto, 1993, and Relationship-Rich Education by Felten and Lambert, 2020). Newly released research findings from the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University report positive outcomes from the Caring Campus approach, including cultivating a sense of unity, enhancing staff knowledge, and increasing the potential to improve equity.
For more information, contact IEBC or see our website
IEBC Project Coordinator Natalie Brobst or 562-688-5721