In Washington, those schools are Edmonds, Big Bend, and Green River community colleges.
“Connect2Complete demonstrates the commitment to Washington students these campuses make in a time of diminishing state funds,” said Jennifer Hine, executive director of Washington Campus Compact. “While their ability to leverage federal AmeriCorps funding and private foundation dollars won’t offset the drastic cuts in state funding, it will still allow them to be successful in meeting the needs of the students they serve.”
Campus Compact has received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to launch C2C. Compact President Maureen F. Curley explains, “We will mobilize over 150 peer advocates to support 4,500 students enrolled in developmental education courses. In collaboration with our community college and state Compact sub-grantees, we will develop model strategies that have the potential to be adopted at community colleges across the country to help these students achieve the goal of graduation — so valued by them and their families.”
A competitive application process was employed to choose the states that will work with community colleges. Edmonds Community College has proposed initiating a pilot project through which they will define best practices in student engagement and advocacy in an effort to increase community college students’ persistence toward completing credentials by connecting them to peer advocates.
Nationally, only 40 percent of community college students complete their programs of study.
C2C will directly benefit students entering developmental education, and Pell eligible students who are statistically more likely to struggle to complete college. Peer advocates will work alongside faculty in developmental education classes, individually, and in small groups to support students in goal setting, making connections to college life, navigating college systems, and linking to college services designed to help students complete their credentials.
At Edmonds Community College, the C2C initiative will be led by anthropology instructor and Learn and Serve Environmental Anthropology Field (LEAF) School founder, Thomas Murphy Faculty Liaison to the college’s Center for Service-learning. C2C will augment the college’s peer advocacy programs in the LEAF School, TRiO Student Support Services, and at the Center for Service-Learning.
“Our goal is to develop a model we can replicate throughout Washington and then, hopefully, our nation that is cost-effective and improves student success at our college. We’re very excited to be part of this new initiative,” said Edmonds Community College President Jean Hernandez.
Campus Compact | www.compact.orgCampus Compact is a nonprofit coalition of nearly 1,200 college and university presidents—representing over 6 million students—who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education. As the only national association dedicated to this mission, Campus Compact is a leader in building civic engagement into campus and academic life.
Washington Campus Compact | www.wacampuscompact.org
Established in 1992 and hosted at Western Washington University, Washington Campus Compact (WACC) is committed to providing meaningful experiences for students to become active, engaged leaders in their communities, furthering the civic and public purposes of higher education, and strengthening communities. WACC has 38 college and university members throughout Washington state. It is an affiliate state office of Campus Compact, a national organization comprised of more than 1,200 colleges and universities committed to the civic and public purposes of higher education.Center for Service-Learning at Edmonds CC | www.edcc.edu/servicelearning
Edmonds Community College’s nationally recognized service-learning program combines meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience and strengthen communities. Last year, 525 service-learning students provided nearly 30,000 hours of service to 57 campus and community partners. Service-learning programs at the college include AmeriCorps Students in Service, the Learn and Serve Environmental Anthropology Field (LEAF) School, the Veterans Conservation Corps, and AmeriCorps Retention Project working with the college’s LEAF School and TRiO Student Support Services and Adult Basic Education/ESL programs.