Education

Eastern Gateway Picked for ‘Caring Campus’ Program

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio – Eastern Gateway Community College is among the 10 colleges nationwide to join the Caring Campus Initiative, a program created by the Institute for Evidence-Based Change to offer students behavioral-health support through their academic careers.

“If we all work better, together, the overall campus environment will improve and the entire college community will be happier and more positive,” said the college’s president, Jimmie Bruce, in a statement. “This kind of change should help attract more students and boost our enrollment. If we can build a culture of caring for our students, we should improve student success metrics significantly.”

The Caring Campus project includes a semester of work with staff from the Institute for Evidence-Based Change, who will meet with Eastern Gateway officials every three weeks. The goal of the program, funded by a $1 million grant from Ascendium Education Group, is to help staff better connect and support students.

“Our Ascendium funded program is tapping an under-utilized resource for colleges. Staff will be forever changed in the way they see their role as they are integrated into student success efforts,” said IEBC President and CEO Dr. Phillips. “What happens: staff satisfaction goes up because they are making connections with students and their colleagues, connections that would have otherwise not been made.”

Developing a connection with staff at a campus, which can directly impact retention, is especially important for first-generation college and minority students and those from low-income households.

Eastern Gateway was one of 10 schools chosen for the first cohort of the Campus Caring Initiative. Ten more will be selected for the program’s second year.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.