Campus Compact seeks to maintain a strong national brand for Connect2Complete in order to articulate and expand this well-developed program. Campus Compact’s Connect2Complete (C2C) expansion program model implemented by college campuses and supported by Campus Compact and state affiliates is defined by 7 essential components.
Serve low-income students enrolled in at least one developmental education course or a similar course designed to get underprepared students ready for college level coursework.
Utilize two primary strategies in a course-based model: 1. Peer Advocacy: advocates/mentors (existing successful students) support their peers, 2. Service-Learning: Developmental education/colleges success faculty supported by Peer Advocates utilize service-learning – a classroom based teaching pedagogy.
Establish a system to provide faculty training and professional development around service-learning.
Develop a program that can support students for multiple semesters. After the first semester the program will likely be co-curricular and a lighter touch.
Provide peer advocacy and service learning training for Peer Advocates.
Offer at least one of the following incentives for Peer Advocates: 1. Federal Work Study 2. Ed Awards 3. Stipends 4. Free leadership development credit-bearing course
Support a campus staff member responsible for program coordination.
C2C PROGRAM DESIGN
1. The C2C target population a. What types of campuses participate in C2C?
In order to reach the largest populations of low-income, underprepared students who are among the most vulnerable for non-completion, the original C2C pilot focused solely on traditional community college campuses; however, because of the interest from four-year colleges, some states have expanded the program to include these colleges. While C2C may be adapted to different types of campuses, Campus Compact developed the model and supporting resources to meet the unique needs and culture of community colleges. C2C provides a powerful model for state affiliates to serve the needs of their community college members in particular and increase this segment of the membership.
b. What is the definition of a C2C student?
For campuses that have developmental education, C2C students are low-income students enrolled in at least one developmental education course.
In states where developmental education has been eliminated or severely limited through legislative action, alternative courses designed to prepare students to be ready for college-level coursework may also be sites for C2C programming. In addition, since four year colleges often do not use the term “developmental education” similar courses designed to get underprepared students ready for college level coursework may be sites for C2C. In this document, we use “developmental education students /courses” as the catch-all term.
c. What indicators should campuses use to determine whether students are low income?
In the early stages of the pilot, Campus Compact and The Gates Foundation saw Pell “eligibility” as a valid and practical indicator of low-income status (an important risk factor for dropping out). We have discovered, however, that while Institutional Research (IR) staff can determine who Pell recipients are, they are often unable to determine Pell-eligibility for students who have not yet received Pell. Campuses may work with their IR/Financial Aid departments to determine low-income indicators appropriate for their campus. (See also Evaluation FAQs)
d. What strategies can campuses use to recruit low-income, developmental education students?
With a course-based model, it is not possible to ensure that C2C students are low-income because most courses are open to any student who enrolls, regardless of income. Based on what we know about the socio-economic status of the majority of developmental education students and the population campuses proposed reaching, we are confident that the majority of students served will be low-income.
2. A Course-Based Multiple Semester Program
a. What does the course-based approach of peer advocacy and peer assisted service-learning look like?
The Peer Advocate (PA) works with the instructor to attend particular classes or all classes for any of the following purposes:
Facilitate activities for the students to get to know one another and for the students to get to know their PA (giving up the equivalent of one or two class sessions for this early in the term can have valuable long-term impacts for promoting a collaborative learning environment).
Conduct college success workshops/activities.
Provide service-learning support to students and faculty.
The PA’s regular presence with the class increases their accessibility to C2C students and provides an opportunity for C2C students to build trust and develop the foundation of a relationship that can deepen outside the classroom. PAs may also come to class early and/or arrive at the end of class to connect with students. In addition to supporting their peers immediately before/after and during class, Peer Advocates meet with students outside of class time in informal settings, during service-learning activities, and for campus events. Peer Advocates also connect with students through social media platforms such as Facebook.
b. What are the basic expectations for a C2C service-learning course?
C2C faculty require all students to participate in service-learning activities.
Reflection occurs before, during and after service activities.
Service and civic engagement activities are connected to coursework.
Coursework incorporates civic learning outcomes.
Learning is documented through writing, art or other artifacts appropriate for a specific activity.
PAs take on leadership roles in facilitating service-learning activities.
c. What are the basic elements for a multiple semester program?
C2C students are supported beyond the first semester. Research shows that students need support for multiple semesters. Practices for engaging students over multiple semesters include regular outreach by PAs, co-curricular service opportunities, lunch gatherings, Facebook groups. There is no one set formula or model; however, at a minimum PAs do due diligence to connect with second semester C2C students, and C2C programs are encouraged to hold “reunion” events to create a culture of support for C2C students beyond the first semester.
Every campus C2C Program Coordinator has a roster of first semester C2C students and a roster of second semester C2C students, and knows when a student is no longer a C2C student (either because they’ve finished their developmental education course, the structured program doesn’t go beyond two or three semesters, or a student is no longer responding to outreach efforts).
Campuses have enough PAs to be able to support C2C students for multiple semesters.
PAs know their C2C students and how many semesters their C2C students have been in the program.
C2C Program Coordinators have formalized strategies for providing support beyond the first semester so that C2C students are clear that they are participants in the program beyond the first semester.
3. Faculty & C2C a. How are C2C courses and faculty identified?
To select courses for C2C, campuses examine institutional data and identify English and/or math developmental education courses with historically low pass rates. Alternatively, C2C may be implemented within college success courses that students enrolled in developmental education courses are required to take. Campuses then reach out to developmental education and college success faculty who teach those courses and who are interested in working with PAs and utilizing service-learning.
b. How does the instructor work with the PA(s) matched with her/his class?
Through regular office hour meetings, the instructor and PA determine the specific classroom role and schedule of the PA consistent with the overall goals and structure of C2C developed by the campus C2C Coordinator. It often takes time for the instructor and the PA to cement their working relationship. The PA should be given some flexibility to experiment with their role as long as it is consistent with the instructor’s vision and assessment of the PA’s capabilities.
e. What type of training do faculty receive?
The C2C Program Coordinator on campus works with faculty to ensure they understand the overarching purpose of the PA in the classroom and to share strategies for faculty and the PAs to develop successful partnerships. Faculty receive training and resources around service-learning pedagogy from a trained PA and one or more of the following: a service-learning faculty liaison/civic engagement center staff member, colleagues experienced with service-learning, and/or the Compact state affiliate.
4. The Peer Advocate (PA)
a. What is the primary role of the Peer Advocate?
The PA role in C2C is unique. PAs help students in two primary ways:
PAs support students through peer advocacy. This support includes the following activities:
Explore identities, life experiences, self-concept to help develop a college staying identity (Savitz-Romer and Bouffard, 2012)
Encourage development of relationships with peers, faculty and advisors (Crisp, 2010)
Orient students to services and resources (college catalog, academic support centers, financial aid office, childcare, homeless services) (Crisp, 2010)
Help students develop college know-how (knowing how and when to ask for help, knowing how to “work” bureaucratic systems) (Crisp, 2010)
Guide students in ways that make college life easier (balancing work and family responsibilities with school, scheduling)(Crisp, 2010)
Help students increase their ability and develop strategies to successfully engage in course content (clarifying questions related to assignments, sharing student perspectives with faculty in ways that improve student learning, demonstrating use of electronic discussion boards, conducting workshops on cultural competency, sharing time management strategies for completing a long-term assignment) (Smith, Rabbitte & Robinson, 2009)
PAs support students and faculty with service-learning activities. The PA’s connection to curriculum and course content revolves primarily around service-learning activities. PAs service-learning support includes the following activities:
Support faculty in introducing students to service-learning pedagogy.
Develop/maintain/assess relationships with community or campus partnerships.
Organize logistics for service-learning.
Participate with C2C students in service-learning activities.
Facilitate reflection about the service-learning experience.
Support faculty with developing and facilitating workshops that connect service and coursework to civic learning outcomes.
b. What is not the role of the PA?
PAs do not provide services that duplicate resources/activities already available to students on campuses. PAs are not tutors. College campuses have academic support centers that offer tutoring services. Instead of helping a student with a math problem or editing a paper, a PA can connect the student to the appropriate campus resource.
PAs are not primarily teaching assistants for faculty. The PAs primary purpose is to serve C2C students.
c. What type of training do Peer Advocates receive?
High quality training for Peer Advocates is essential for peer assisted service-learning and peer advocacy to be effective. All campuses require a beginning of term Peer Advocate orientation (often retreat style) and ongoing training. Training takes the form of a free credit-bearing course or weekly non-credit meetings with the C2C Coordinator. Trainings and meetings are active and hands-on utilizing role-playing, community building activities, small group discussions and service-learning activities. PA training topics include but are not limited to: C2C program overview, PA paperwork (timesheets, reflection journal, activity logs, goals), boundaries and ethics, the role of the Peer Advocate, service-learning and civic engagement 101, facilitating reflection, building rapport with faculty, community building exercises, student support services, diversity, communication and mentoring skills, leadership styles, Story of Self.
5. The Peer Advocate & The C2C Student
a. What should the ratio of PAs to C2C students be?
The ratio of PAs to C2C students should not exceed 1 to 25. Some campuses may choose to have more than 1 PA assigned to each class to lower the ratio.
b. What are the expectations for the C2C student experience vis-à-vis the PA?
All C2C students know their PA by name and understand the role of the PA.
All C2C students know how to contact their PA.
All C2C students get mentoring support from their PA.
All C2C students participate in service-learning experiences with their PA.
Crisp, Gloria. 2010. “The Impact of Mentoring on the Success of Community College Students.” Review of Higher Education 34 (1): 39–60.
Savitz-Romer, Mandy, and Suzanne M. Bouffard. 2012. Ready, Willing and Able: A Developmental Approach to College Access & Success. Boston, MA: Harvard Education Press.
Smith, Tania, C. Rabbitte & S Robinson. 2009. Curricular Peer Mentoring. Victoria BC, Canada: Trafford Publishing.