Orange Coast College Focuses on Student Success Through Caring Campus


An Orange Coast College (OCC) art teacher helps a student with his project. OCC brought Caring Campus to their college to empower staff to amplify their support by fostering a student-centric environment grounded in intentionality and care.

LONG BEACH, CA – Orange Coast College (OCC) is making student success a top priority by adopting Caring Campus, which aims to create a welcoming, student-centric environment. The college is focusing on intentionality and care to help students feel valued and connected.

“Arriving on the campus of Orange Coast in 2019, I felt the caring nature of the institution through the words and actions of our college community,” OCC President Dr. Angelica Suarez said.  “Integrating Caring Campus into our existing frameworks and structures signifies a dedication to intentionally scale these values and embed compassion into the very fabric of our institution.”


Orange Coast College (OCC) president Dr. Angelica Suarez interacts with students on campus to continue building a supportive and caring environment where all students can succeed. Dr. Suarez brought Caring Campus to OCC in Fall 2022 after seeing its success at her previous institution, Southwestern Community College.

Dr. Suarez brought Caring Campus to OCC in Fall 2022 after seeing its success at her previous institution, Southwestern Community College District. Since then, the college has introduced several strategies to promote a caring culture, such as Coast Cares Cards and an employee directory to facilitate warm referrals.

“I recently met with a student that only spoke Mandarin and needed help with an academic issue,” OCC Human Resources Director Rebecca Morgan said. “Our directory allowed me to quickly find a fellow employee who spoke Mandarin and was able to translate the student’s needs. We were then able to help the student resolve their issue together, and also learn about each other’s unique expertise!”

John Fawcett, Computing Center Coordinator and President of the OCC Classified Senate, said he has a chance to practice Caring Campus principles almost every day. As the computing building is adjacent to the largest parking lot on campus, he often interacts with students who come into the building looking for directions to another location on campus.

“I could just give these students verbal instructions directing them to the correct building, but what I’ve really enjoyed is walking with them to where they need to go and having a conversation with them,” Fawcett said. “They open up about their lives and appreciate that I’m making real human contact with them.”


Orange Coast College (OCC) president Dr. Angelica Suarez cites Caring Campus as a contributing factor in re-engaging students after the COVID-19 pandemic, thereby increasing persistence and enrollment rates at OCC semester after semester.

Through actions both big and small, OCC employees demonstrate how a supportive atmosphere can foster student success and create an environment where care and connection are genuinely felt.

“You can tell people you’re a caring campus as much as you want, but unless the student experiences it for themselves, they won’t really believe it,” OCC Director of Marketing and Communications Juan Gutierrez said.  “That’s what Caring Campus is all about — educators working to create a supportive environment for students to connect and thrive.”

OCC’s focus on caring is making a tangible difference, helping re-engage students after the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing retention and enrollment rates.

Click HERE to read the full press release.