Helping You Build A New Approach for Student Success   

Ascendium Awards $1 Million Grant to IEBC Supporting Its 'Caring Campus Initiative'     

Ascendium Education Group, one of the nation's leading higher education philanthropies, has awarded a one million dollar grant to the Institute for    Evidence-Based Change  (IEBC) for the Caring Campus Initiative. The objective of this program and the grant is to increase student retention and success in community colleges by creating and cultivating Caring Campus environments through the intentional inclusion of all staff in student success efforts.
"We're excited to partner with IEBC on this project," says Amy Kerwin, Vice President - Education Philanthropy at Ascendium. "Everything that happens on campus, both in and out of the classroom, influences student success. Students from historically underrepresented groups have the most to gain from involving the entire staff in efforts to eliminate obstacles."
Under the grant, IEBC will work with 20 colleges from around the United States to participate in the Caring Campus Initiative, which is a coaching-based approach to connect all staff to students, ensuring that all staff play a role in removing barriers and enabling students to achieve success. 
Read more about the Caring Campus grant here. 
Going From Good to Great Using IEBC's Caring Campus Approach  
Desi Marquez was the first person in his family to attend college. Today he is well on the way to earning his Ph.D. But he still vividly recalls how unsure and confused he was about the college application process as a high school senior.
"The idea of college is something I wanted to do, but I assumed they would come to me," says Marquez. "My mom and dad didn't have a notion of what a student should do to prepare to go to college."
Marquez was fortunate to cross paths with Arizona State University recruiter Yira Thorne. Twenty-six years later, Marquez still recalls how Thorne took a personal interest in his success, helping him apply and pursue financial aid. Marquez was admitted and received a full scholarship.
Today, Marquez finds himself in a similar role as a financial aid technician at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California. "We are the face of financial aid. We interact with students ... we try to put ourselves out there from a service perspective." This involves walk-in access, multiple information channels, and proactive outreach opportunities.
With the introduction of IEBC's Caring Campus approach to serving students, Marquez says what was already good service is becoming outstanding service. "If anything, it's elevated my approach toward students. Now for example, instead of waiting for students to come to me, I go to them."
"Before, I wouldn't really think about my surroundings. Caring Campus opened my eyes to be more receptive to students who might need a friendly hello ... Even though to us financial aid seems easy, to students it can be complex and confusing. They don't even know what to ask. Caring Campus made us aware, trying to anticipate what their needs are."
Southwestern College is participating in IEBC's Caring Campus California, which is funded by the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office.
Read more of our interview with Desi Marquez here and learn how to access Caring Campus for your college. 

Serendipity Leads to Student Success Thanks To IEBC Book

A serendipitous search for a better way to support her Hinds Community College (Raymond, Mississippi) colleagues in her role as Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness led Dr. Carley Dear to a new tool providing her with an entirely new approach to fostering student success. The tool was the book,  Creating A Data-Informed Culture in Community Colleges written by Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC) President and CEO Dr. Brad Phillips, and  IEBC Vice President Jordan Horowitz. Dr. Dear was intrigued by its premise and ordered a copy.  
Armed with a new way to look at student success indicators thanks to IEBC, Dr. Dear went about putting new approaches into practice at Hinds Community College right away.
As a result, Dr. Dear went from feeling frustrated with the lack of implementation of program findings, to encouraging more people to share and embrace success, and duplicate it districtwide. A self-confessed 'data hoarder,' Dr. Dear realized too much valuable information produced for faculty, staff, and administrators was going unused. She says she needed to become a better data storyteller. And she did. 
Read more about Dr. Dear's experience here.
Connect For Success With Caring Campus                    

Caring Campus recognizes and leverages the value of connectedness for increasing the likelihood students will attain their educational goals. Staff are often the first contact students have with a campus. It can be as simple as a phone call to student services or asking directions of grounds staff while walking across campus. Financial aid officers, bookstore clerks, admissions and records staff, maintenance, and security personnel add to the wide range of classified personnel whose interactions with students can set the stage for the potential success of campus student success initiatives.
IEBC can help you and your staff commit to interactions that maximize student success through the Caring Campus program.  
What People Are Saying about IEBC's Programs                    
Using IEBC's Caring Campus and Bright Spots programs, college faculty and staff are changing student lives with intentional, impactful interventions. These new approaches increase student engagement with faculty and staff using focused strategies, inside the classroom, outside the classroom and around the college campus that increase student connectedness. Research has demonstrated that such connectedness has a powerful impact on student retention, persistence and success. 
"Bright Spots not only creates great outcomes for students, but also supports faculty and staff." - Community College President
"Students are sensing the difference. Faculty are more intentionally engaging with them. It's exciting to see we've committed to do this college wide, not just a core set of classes, but across the college itself." - Vice President of Instruction
"I am - we are - excited about this work. It gives us an opportunity to better connect with students and it improves our sense of belonging too." - Admissions and Records Office Staff 
"Thank you for being the spark, for changing the culture here." - English Department Staff 
Get started today with our Harvard Education Press Book: Creating A Data-Informed Culture in Community Colleges : A New Model for Educators 
For more information, contact IEBC or see our website.
IEBC President Brad C. Phillips - or 619-252-8503
IEBC Vice President Jordan E. Horowitz - or 562-743-7920
Institute for Evidence-Based Change | 619-252-8503 |