A program of Campus Compact with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Campus Compact has funded nine community colleges in Florida, Ohio, and Washington to run Connect2Complete (C2C) pilot projects and funded the three related state Compact offices to support these pilots.
Washington State Community College Partners:
- Edmonds Community College
- Green River Community College
These programs will engage more than 4,500 low-income students who are enrolled in developmental courses and who experience significant barriers to obtaining postsecondary credentials.
Campus Compact seeks to build evidence of success through implementation of the C2C pilot projects, proving that colleges that utilize peer-to-peer advocacy in combination with community engagement learning activities, can positively impact retention and persistence, and produce more civically engaged students.
Each community college is testing unique peer-to-peer advocacy models that reflect the culture of their campus while employing at least one of the following mechanisms to incentivize the participation by peer advocates;
- Federal work study funds
- Course credit for leadership development/peer advocate training course
- Course credit and an AmeriCorps Education award
Mobilizing successful students in support of other students who face obstacles to completion, increases retention and engagement for both the student advocate and the mentee. With this in mind, the belief is that students themselves are an incredibly under-utilized resource, and there exists an opportunity and need to engage them.
Students who participate in community engagement learning activities have a higher retention rate and are more likely to complete their degree. These students are also more likely to demonstrate improved academic knowledge, critical thinking, and leadership skills and show increased interest in becoming personnaly and professionally involved in community change work.
PEER-TO-PEER ADVOCACY PROGRAM OVERVIEW
The Connect2Complete program at Big Bend Community College will utilize peer-to-peer advocacy and service-learning to support students who are placed in the College Survival Skills courses by assisting them with their gols of achieving academic success and persistence with the emphasis on credential completion, higher level of engagement with their peers, Big Bend, and the surrounding community.
Peer Advocates will be identified throughout existing programs on campus such as the Retention Project, M&M Mentoring Program, Supplemental Instruction, and TRIO. Recommendations from faculty and staff will also be a valuable tool in the Peer Advocate recruitment process.
As an incentive, the Peer Advocates will enroll into EDU 131 Peer Tutoring class where they will train, plan, and prepare to meet the needs of the CSS students. They will also be encouraged to enroll in the Students in Service program so that they may be eligible to earn an educational stipend for their efforts in this journey.
The Peer Advocate will become partners with a member of the BBCC Mentoring Team and the CSS 100 instructor, creating a collaborative approach in accessing, supporting and engaging the identified students. Besides working alongside faculty, the Peer Advocates may also connect with students individually, in small groups, and through social media to provide on-going support in goal setting, making connections to college life, navigating college systems, and linking to college services that are designed to help students be successful.
For more information contact: Student Success Center – 509.793.2075
Jenny Ratigan, Transfer Services Coordinator; firstname.lastname@example.org