C2C Resource Guide
As community colleges continue to serve large populations of underprepared and vulnerable students at a time of decreasing budgets, they seek innovative and cost-effective ways to increase graduation rates while supporting high-quality learning experiences for all students. Connect2Complete (C2C), developed by Campus Compact, is a new model that takes advantage of existing resources to increase student learning and success.
C2C integrates two key features—service-learning and peer advocacy—into developmental education courses designed to support underprepared students in getting ready for college-level coursework. Peer advocates are enrolled college students who, in addition to leading service-learning projects, serve as mentors, advocates, and advisors to their peers in developmental education courses. This integrated strategy enables students to connect in meaningful ways with their peers and instructors and to experience the relevance of their coursework to the real world, both on campus and in their communities. The C2C strategy encourages academic, personal, and social development, as well as development of students’ cultural identity and critical civic consciousness—all key factors for student persistence.
In 2011, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded funds to Campus Compact to develop and manage the C2C pilot project with nine community colleges in Florida, Ohio, and Washington and their related Compact state affiliates. Over the course of the pilot (January 2012–May 2014), the nine colleges engaged more than 6,500 low-income, underprepared students. The C2C pilot program provided the colleges with an opportunity to test and fine-tune various approaches to C2C implementation.
A Promising Model
Campus Compact partnered with researchers at the Center for Youth and Communities at Brandeis University to evaluate the C2C program. Data from the evaluation demonstrates that C2C is a promising model. C2C students benefited from the program in a variety of ways; most notably, when colleges implemented the model with fidelity, retention among C2C participants was higher than among a comparison group of developmental education students not in the program. After six semesters, the persistence rate among C2C students was six percentage points higher than among the non-C2C comparison groups—a significant increase.
Evaluators also reported that C2C students demonstrated increased civic skills and awareness and that peer advocates had a positive impact on C2C students’ adjustment to college. Not surprisingly, peer advocates’ growth and leadership development was noteworthy and sometimes dramatic, and faculty members found inspiration in the C2C strategy for helping the most underprepared students succeed. For the complete C2C Evaluation Report, click here.
Reserve Your Copy of the C2C Resource Guide (click here)
The success of the C2C program has prompted Campus Compact to create the C2C Resource Guide to help colleges implement the C2C model on their own campuses. The guide is designed for a broad range of audiences, including community engagement professionals, faculty, student leaders, administrators, and presidents. While resources contained within this guide were developed on the basis of the experiences, needs, and cultures of community colleges, the model has garnered interest from four-year institutions offering developmental education, which can adapt the information here for their own use.
The guide is divided into six sections, each focusing on a different aspect of the program:
1. The C2C Model provides an in-depth overview of the model and the theory and assumptions underlying the approach.
2. Implementing C2C in the Classroom presents a comprehensive view of what C2C looks like in the classroom.
3. Program Administration includes resources for planning and managing a C2C program.
4. Program Evaluation provides resources for conducting a C2C evaluation.
5. C2C Participant Profiles includes a series of profiles of C2C students, peer advocates, and faculty that provide a window into the range of program participants and the impact the program has had on them.
6. College Created Materials provides sample hands-on materials developed by participating colleges to help make the start-up process easier.