February 2021 
Seven Community Colleges Selected for Caring Campus Initiative 

As limitations on in-person classes continue, providing student support under the Caring Campus model has become a vital tool in increasing student retention and success.
The Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC) has selected seven community colleges to participate in the 2021 Caring Campus Initiative - Faculty.
Generous support from the Ascendium Education Group has made possible the inclusion of these colleges, whose programs will be focusing on Caring Campus and faculty. Three institutions, which are part of the City Colleges of Chicago system, join the Caring Campus initiative, focusing on faculty and their role in the classroom and beyond in increasing student success. Four additional colleges will embark on Caring Campus-Faculty having previously completed and implemented Caring Campus-Staff in 2020.
The objective of Caring Campus is to increase student retention, success and completion in community colleges by creating and cultivating Caring Campus environments through intentional behaviors by faculty and staff to improve students' sense of welcome, caring and connectedness to the college.
Research has documented that students leave college because they do not feel connected to the institution (e.g., Leaving College by Tinto, 1993; Relationship-Rich Education by Felten & Lambert, 2020)). Caring Campus recognizes and leverages the value of connectedness to increase the likelihood that students will continue towards, and succeed in attaining, their educational goals.
As limitations on in-person classes continue due to the coronavirus pandemic, providing student support under the Caring Campus model, which has been adjusted for the virtual delivery of instruction and student services, has become a vital tool in increasing retention and student success.
"We hear a lot about meeting students where they are at," said IEBC President and CEO Brad Phillips. "Caring Campus supports colleges in engaging in specific behaviors to accomplish this in real and meaningful ways. Through this work, Caring Campus also is closing achievement gaps."
Community colleges new to the program are:
Kennedy-King College, Chicago, IL
Olive-Harvey College, Chicago, IL
Wilbur Wright College, Chicago, IL
Community colleges continuing with the program and now adding the faculty component are:
Central Arizona College, Coolidge, AZ
San Antonio College, San Antonio, TX
Stark State College, North Canton, OH
West Valley College, Saratoga, CA

Caring Campus enhances existing student success efforts
Caring Campus works with professional staff and faculty to make a positive impact on student success and improve equity.    
Faculty and staff interactions with students can set the stage for successful enrollment, persistence, and completion. It is particularly important for students from historically underserved populations, students less familiar with college, non-majority students, students from low-income households, and first-generation students to feel welcome and that they belong in college.
This grant also supports IEBC's work with the Community College Research Center (CCRC), Teachers College, Columbia University, to better understand how the initiative works to change college culture and improve student outcomes.  
About the Institute for Evidence-Based Change
IEBC is a nationally-recognized nonprofit organization dedicated to helping education stakeholders - community colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, em­ployers and others - use coaching, collaboration and data to make informed decisions and craft solutions that improve practice and dramatically increase student success. We partner with our clients to successfully implement customized evidence-based solutions to today's most pressing issues. Learn more about IEBC at www.iebcnow.org.
About Ascendium Education Group
Ascendium Education Group is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping people reach the education and career goals that matter to them. Ascendium invests in initiatives designed to increase the number of students from low-income backgrounds who complete postsecondary degrees, certificates and workforce training programs, with an emphasis on first-generation students, incarcerated adults, rural community members, students of color and veterans. Ascendium's work identifies, validates and expands best practices to promote large-scale change at the institutional, system and state levels, with the intention of elevating opportunity for all. For more information, visit https://www.ascendiumphilanthropy.org.