iConnect

Research

Puzzle pieces surrounded by individuals
Connections for Completion

Students who persist with academic goals have one common variable - a strong connection to someone at the college. Connections are as simple as someone asking, "Hi. How can I help you?" or an employee calling a student by their first name. When students describe their early college experiences, they typically reflect on occasions when they felt discouraged or thought about dropping out of school.

Students who do not drop out recall having an experience with someone at the college who made them feel valued.

Students who are integrated and feel as if they are valued members on campus are more likely to persist in college. The iConnect campaign stems from key findings and research* about early student engagement in the college experience. iConnect is grounded in the Learning College principles and:

  • facilitates a connection between students and the college culture.
  • is built upon validation theory.
  • encourages employees (staff and faculty) to reach out and assist students in becoming a part of the community college.

When connections are made - academically and/or interpersonally - students begin to believe they can be successful, regardless of obstacles or challenges.

iConnect is a way to strengthen the commitment to improve student learning and academic completion. The entire campus environment becomes involved in shaping students' experiences. By reaching out and intentionally making efforts to connect, each individual invests in helping EMCC students succeed. Student learning is dependent upon students feeling valued first as individuals, then as learners. iConnect encourages all employees to initiate meaningful connections with our students.

*To learn more, visit the following sites:

SENSE 2011 Report

Laura Rendon - Community College Puente

Pam Scheutz - Student Engagement

Connecting the Dots - Final Report

Castellanos and Gloria - Best Practices in Higher Education

Enrollment Management Journal Summer 2011