TJC is one of five Texas community colleges chosen to work with the Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC) to incorporate Caring Campus in their student success efforts in the Fall 2022 semester.
The four other Texas colleges include:
• Grayson College
• Paris Junior College
• Temple College
• Victoria College
TJC President and CEO Dr. Juan E. Mejia said, “It is our esteemed honor to be a part of this important work that will propel our students to greater success in college and beyond. We are excited to begin collaborating with the IEBC on this initiative.”
Supported by IEBC coaching and guidance, college teams will engage in work developing specific behavioral commitments, helping faculty and staff to better connect with, and support, students to help them reach their educational goals.
Specific to TJC’s efforts, in addition to aligning with its core value of caring and its strategic priority of stellar service, TJC seeks to improve student success and satisfaction by:
• Reinforcing and formalizing the work already being done in service to students, while deepening a culture of “students first”
• Providing a toolkit for faculty and staff to foster an environment that values students as unique and important members of the college community, while focusing on their feelings of worth, belonging and connectedness
The Texas program is funded by the Greater Texas Foundation (GTF), a private foundation which envisions a state where all students have equal opportunity to access and succeed in postsecondary education. GTF awarded a $597,754 grant to IEBC to implement its Caring Campus program in two rounds of implementation starting in Fall 2022 and extending through 2023.
“The goal is to increase students’ overall success by implementing specific behaviors leading to cultural shifts on campus,” said IEBC President/CEO Brad Phillips.
Fewer than 90 colleges across the country are currently implementing Caring Campus. Improvements have been reported in course retention and success, increased term-to-term persistence, and improved completion and transfer. Achievement gaps are being closed rapidly among demographic groups. Job satisfaction and relationships between staff, faculty and leadership also improved.
“We hear a lot of words about meeting students where they are,” said Phillips. “This is especially true for first-time-in-college students and non-majority students who need a staff or faculty member to exhibit care. After all, educators are working hard to reduce inequality and increase student success for all students. Caring Campus really puts this into action.”
Caring Campus recognizes and leverages the value of connectedness to increase the likelihood that students will continue toward, and succeed in attaining, their educational goals. 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 and students less familiar with college to feel welcome and that they belong in college.