Compass 2 Campus (C2C), launched
in Fall 2009, provides university students the opportunity for service learning
in Whatcom and Skagit County Title I schools, serving diverse,
underrepresented, low income students beginning in 5th grade,
encouraging them to graduate from high school and to consider enrollment in higher
education. The program provides opportunities for youth to be mentored by
university students who are trained in mentorship through intentional
university coursework. Participating fifth graders are provided an introductory
tour of the campus where university classrooms and offices are opened to
welcome them and encourage future goals of higher education. The program is
funded by donations from private and corporate sponsors, as well as grants.
C2C is the second in the
replication program implementation of “Creating the Future,” a concept and
curriculum developed to encourage institutions of higher education to
proactively and collaboratively improve the pipeline from K-12 through
post-secondary education. (See “Potential for Replication” below for more
To encourage and support underrepresented, low
income, diverse students, starting in the 5th grade, to complete
high school and enroll in some form of post-secondary education. Outcome
measures being tracked include reduced truancy, increased academic achievement,
high school graduation, and post-secondary education enrollment rates. C2C is
not a recruitment program for Western Washington University (though of course
we do hope that they will want to come here). WWU partners with four local
two-year colleges—Whatcom Community College, Bellingham Technical College,
Northwest Indian College and Skagit Valley College—to encourage these students
to consider any and all forms of post-secondary education.
To provide all university students the
opportunity for leadership development and civic engagement through service
learning in K-12 partnerships and to increase community/university partnerships
through educational development.
To empower a stronger work force that is better
prepared to work with diverse populations, and willing to give back to the
community through increased mentoring, communication, and leadership skills.
It is intended to serve participating students
from 5th through 12th grade, adding a new cohort of 5th
graders each year and encouraging academic success and high school graduation.
1000 students or 7% of the WWU undergraduate population enroll in the C2C
service learning course per year and 17% of participating students typically
enroll in the continuing course in subsequent quarters. Six sections of the
five course sequence are available each quarter for three credits each.
students have completed over 58,900 hours of community service since the
beginning of the program in 2009.
Approximately 4,500 5th, 6th and 7th grade
students in 20 schools within 11 school districts are being served by the WWU
Compass 2 Campus program and mentors in the 2011-2012 school year.
In 2009 the Washington State Legislature passed EHB 1986, making C2C the
pilot program for the state. The bill was supported by the Higher Education
Coordinating Board, which provided a start-up grant to support project lead
students at WWU with work study funding.
On the basis of service learning work by C2C and two other community education
outreach programs, WWU was selected in 2011 and 2012 for the President’s Higher
Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction.
Compass 2 Campus received the first-ever Washington Association of School
Administrators Community Leadership Award in 2011.
Enthusiastic praise from Meridian School District Superintendent Tim
Yeomans, whose students benefit from the program: “I have worked in public
schools for 22 years and I have seen a number of programs intended to assist
students through volunteer efforts. Compass to Campus is by far the best work I
have ever seen in school by volunteers.”
Introducing a program of this size, with
appropriate university community commitment, required much preparation,
communication and planning. Planning
committees were convened to help develop the program for commitment from
university faculty and staff.
Since no university funds were available to
begin or sustain this initiative, funding sources had to be developed through grants
and donations both private and corporate.
Student recruitment was difficult due to the
newness and nature of the program.
Unique ways of encouraging students to enroll were developed, including
Facebook, Twitter and student group discussions, volunteer opportunities,
Evaluation measures are longitudinal and were begun during
the second year of the program. Measures
include statistical evaluation of:
grade point average
enrollment rates into post-secondary education
The 5th-12th grade students
participating in the program will be followed with regard to the above data
(insofar as the first cohort of 5th graders was enrolled in 2009, measures
#3 and #4 are at least four years off). A research group consisting of several faculty
and staff members and school district personnel has been developed to conduct
the longitudinal evaluation.
Potential for Replication:
Compass 2 Campus is
a replication of a model created at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
called Phuture Phoenix, where it continues to run very successfully. To date, four universities have similar programs
through replications supported by the current program director, co-founder and
creator, Cyndie Shepard. The replications
have variable aspects that are easily modified to accommodate the unique qualities
of the receiving campuses. Please see
UW-Green Bay, UW-Eau Claire, and Silver Lake College as examples of successful replication. C2C is currently preparing to replicate once
again to another site in the Tacoma, WA area.
Cyndie Shepard and Virginia Riopelle, co-founders, developed
the “Creating the Future” concept; Ms. Shepard created the program and curriculum
to encourage all institutions of higher education to proactively and
collaboratively develop a pipeline from K-12 through post-secondary education.
She can be contacted at Cyndie.Shepard@wwu.edu
for replication information.