Letters of Intent Due Friday, January 31, 2014
Oregon Campus Compact is pleased to announce the release of the 2014-2015 Request for Proposals (RFP) for our AmeriCorps VISTA Program. This program provides campuses a full-time AmeriCorps VISTA Member to focus on capacity building of programs that alleviate poverty, most specifically by addressing educational disparities and inequity.
ORCC AMERICORPS VISTA MEMBERS WILL:
Linked below you will find the RFP for the VISTA program. Program Supervisor, Kendra Henry is available for application assistance.
ORCC Full-time AmeriCorps VISTA RFP (this is a fillable form, so please make sure to download the original)
UPCOMING RFP EVENTS & DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR
Letter/Email of Intent to apply due to ORCC. Please state the number of VISTAs you hope to apply for in a brief (1-2 paragraph) summary of your project concept. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enter Access Code 421222, then #
Please RSVP to email@example.com
VISTA Project Proposals due to ORCC
An interview with Mt. Hood Community College President Debbie Derr
ORCC: Why has MHCC joined ORCC as a member? How will this support MHCC’s goals?
President Derr: At MHCC we believe wholeheartedly in the value of community service and civic participation. This belief is built into who we are (after all, the word “community” is in our name), as a college, and as individuals. I am so proud to be part of a college that has a rich tradition of getting people off the sidelines and into the action in order to make the world a better place for everyone.
MHCC’s core themes are (1) teaching and learning, (2) community engagement and (3) resource development. Certainly, our membership in ORCC and subsequent partnerships with other colleges and universities will provide many opportunities for students and employees to make meaningful impacts on communities near and far.
ORCC: MHCC is committed to strengthening students’ community engagement. Why is this a priority and how will it benefit students?
President Derr: Whatever term you choose to use—community engagement, civic participation, service learning or volunteerism—we at MHCC are committed to students’ learning both in and out of the classroom. Participants receive much personal enrichment from volunteering that pays big dividends in their persistence to complete college and become fully engaged members of their community.
Our student government manages Barney’s Pantry, a food bank located in the Student Union. Any student is eligible to visit the pantry twice a day and help themselves to food and toiletries. If you have ever tried teaching a class to students whose stomachs are growling, then you know the value of a service such as this.
In addition, student leadership has put together informational meetings and opened them up to the general public on domestic abuse, sexual assault, and a number of other important topics. The benefits to these student leaders are enormous: They gain experience in planning, promoting, and facilitating events and meetings; they get to experience what it feels like to join others in a purposeful cause; they get to experience empathy and they get to witness the results of their collective hard work.
ORCC: How will community-engaged learning contribute to supporting the school’s diverse community and students?
President Derr: Two examples come to mind.
First, Scholarships for Education and Economic Development (SEED) is an international program that brings young leaders from rural areas of Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean to the United States for two-year technical training programs. After completing their program of study, SEED scholars return to their native countries with the skills needed to work for positive change in such areas as reforestation, waste reduction, watershed restoration and environmental education programs.
At MHCC, these students study Natural Resources Conservation and Environmental Technology. The visiting international scholars of our SEED program provide more than 1,000 hours of community service every year, ranging from ecological restoration projects in our local greenspaces to working with disadvantaged youth in SUN school programs in several of our district elementary schools.
MHCC is proud of the results of this kind of civic participation by our students. In the case of our SEED program, we value the lasting impact it has on our local community as well as the impact these young leaders have on their native countries as they carry on the important work of service to others on an international scale.
Last spring, our entire college rallied around Glenda Maribel Alfaro Salmeron, a SEED student from El Salvador who brought international attention to our college through the Clinton Global Initiative. Her project to replenish nutrient-poor soil and stimulate agricultural production in her native El Salvador came in second place in the Clinton Global Challenge. This event occurred before I became president of MHCC, but I am told that the Clinton Global Challenge made quite an impression on MHCC students and employees. Undoubtedly, Maribel’s work influenced others at MHCC and elsewhere to work through their church, synagogue, mosque, or other place of worship; through charitable organizations; and through their community college—to seek ways to make a difference.
Second, MHCC partnered with Associated Student Government (ASG) to open a Diversity Resource Center on the Gresham Campus this fall. The center is about more than color or culture. It offers engagement, along with awareness, understanding, and conversations, all in a safe place—which of course all translate to education. We believe that the Diversity Resource Center expands worldliness, enhances social development, and prepares students for future career success.
ORCC: How will this impact the Governor’s 40-40-20 goal and why is it good for Gresham and Oregon?
President Derr: MHCC has an active and award-winning Rho Theta organization, the college’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society that promotes academic achievement among community college students. Rho Theta students visit nearby Alder School, MHCC’s “Dreamer School,” to encourage children to study hard and stay in school. They invite kids to sign a pledge promising that they will complete college. Similarly, Rho Theta members also collect pledges from our own MHCC students.
By helping others with their own commitment to persistence, it enhances Rho Theta’s members’ commitment to their own academic success. We know that if students engage in their college, they are more apt to complete their academic programs and contribute to attainment of the Governor’s 40-40-20 goals.
The Oregon House’s poorest district (Parkrose) is located in our MHCC district. Since MHCC was formed in 1966, our district has looked to MHCC for services—classes and career training, certainly, and also activities such as Red Cross blood drives, flu inoculations in preparation for a particularly virulent outbreak, job fairs, and many other activities.
In June, we brought back a popular tradition on our Gresham Campus, the Strawberry Short Course Festival. Employees and students volunteered their time to teach classes in Whiz-Bang Chemistry and dozens of other topics. Interestingly, one of the instructors for the chemistry class developed an interest in science when he attended the festival as a 10-year-old. Today, he serves as lab coordinator at our college, where he influences students every day to achieve their academic and career goals—even 10-year-olds on a sunny summer day!
Connect2Complete Aims to Increase Oregon’s Community College Graduation Rates
Portland, Oregon (July 9, 2013)- Oregon Campus Compact (ORCC) announces a new program, Connect2Complete, focused on improving graduation rates for Oregon community college students through community-engaged learning and service. Funding from the Oregon Commission on Voluntary Action & Service and the Corporation for National and Community Service will place 120 AmeriCorps members, who will each serve 300 hours of service, on eight community college campuses across Oregon.
Connect2Complete is a replication of a national Campus Compact program currently operating on nine community college campuses in Florida, Ohio, and Washington states and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Connect2Complete helps students in developmental education complete their required coursework more quickly, reach their educational goals, and ultimately, graduate with a certificate or degree.
Developmental education is for any student who has earned a GED or high school diploma but is assessed, through a standardized test, as not being ready for college level work. Nationally, only 17% of students who are assessed as needing at least one developmental education class will ever complete a certificate or degree.
This is important for Oregon because the state has set ambitious goals to improve graduation rates. Portland Community College, like other community colleges around the nation, has a high percentage of first-time-in-college credit students testing into developmental education. At Chemeketa Community College in Salem, school officials estimate close to two-thirds of the entire student population are assessed as needing at least one developmental education class.
ORCC, one of 34 state affiliates of national Campus Compact, represents 18 colleges and universities in Oregon committed to deepening the public purpose of higher education. Research has shown students who volunteer have higher GPAs, are more likely to graduate, and are more likely to stay engaged in their community after graduation. Connect2Complete will build community-engaged learning and service into developmental education classes, which will help bring coursework to life and engage students with different learning styles.
Additionally, the students serving as the 120 AmeriCorps members will be current community college students and will receive a $1,000 Eli Segal AmeriCorps Education Award from the Corporation for National and Community Service that they can use to pay for tuition or qualified student loans.
Dr. Jessica Howard, President of Portland Community College Southeast Campus and new member of Oregon Campus Compact’s board said, “PCC is interested in the Connect2Compete opportunity and model. It appears to be a win-win-win for everyone involved. Students, both those in the classes and those serving as AmeriCorps members, stand to benefit; the community will benefit from the service of those students; and when graduation rates increase not only will the college benefit from increased revenue but the entire State will benefit from graduates with higher earning potential and a stronger inclination to be of service to their communities.”
Community colleges can learn more about Connect2Complete here. Proposals are due August 16th and grant awards will be announced August 30th.
ORCC’s Executive Director, Josh Todd said, “We are excited to partner with community colleges to improve the educational outcomes for some of the students with the most significant barriers to graduation. Oregon Campus Compact, through the program evaluation of Connect2Complete, is also committed to showing that community-engaged learning isn’t just the “right” thing to do but the “smart” thing to do. This pedagogy is a cost-effective way to improve the outcomes and impact of higher education in Oregon.”
For more information on Connect2Complete contact Josh Todd at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-406-3575.
All decisions are contingent on final approval from the Corporation for National and Community Service.
View the results here- 2012 Annual Member Survey
A letter from the national Campus Compact Executive Director:
We are pleased to share with you Campus Compact's 2012 Annual Member Survey "Creating a Culture of Assessment."
Campus Compact has conducted an annual membership survey since 1987 with the goal to help the organization and its member campuses track the extent of civic engagement activity in order to implement ongoing improvements. Campus Compact members should be proud of their role in educating students for responsible citizenship, strengthening communities, and fulfilling the public purpose of higher education. This year's results tell a story of continued growth in support structures for campus engagement, leading to notable levels of engagement with students, faculty, and community partners:
We hope that you find this year's member survey a valuable resource and encourage you to share it with your colleagues. We appreciate your continued commitment to advancing the civic engagement of higher education and to Campus Compact.
President, Campus Compact