Ohio was one of just three states in the nation chosen to participate in an innovative new pilot-project called Connect2Complete that combines peer-to-peer advocacy in combination with community engagement learning activities to positively impact retention and persistence among low-income community college students. A program of Campus Compact with funding from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Connect2Complete engages Pell-eligible students enrolled in developmental education courses and who experience significant barriers to obtaining postsecondary credentials. Through peer-to-peer advocacy and community engagement opportunities, students are supported in their goals of achieving academic success and persistence towards credential completion and are more engaged with their peers, the community college, and the broader community.
How it works
Each community college is testing unique peer-to-peer advocacy models that reflect the culture of their campus while employing at least one of the following mechanisms to incentivize participation by peer advocates:
1. federal work study funds,
2. course credit for a leadership development/peer advocate training course, or
3. course credit and an AmeriCorps education award.
Peer advocates work alongside faculty in developmental education classes, individually, in cohorts, and through social media platforms to support students in goal setting, making connections to college life, navigating college systems, and linking to college services designed to help students be successful. Students participate in community engagement activities in conjunction with college success courses, credit-bearing leadership development courses for peer advocates, and through projects coordinated by peer advocates or campus community engagement offices.
Participating Ohio community colleges include:
- Cuyahoga Community College
- Lorain County Community College
- Owens Community College
Ohio Campus Compact is developing a statewide learning community dedicated to the study and promotion of peer advocacy and community engagement to improve retention rates at colleges. To learn more or to get involved, contact Lesha Farias at: 740-587-8571 or email@example.com.