Transitioning into high school is one of the most pivotal moments in a student’s education. Studies show success in ninth grade can predict the likelihood of a student graduating from high school.
To support students in Multnomah County, where the on-time graduation rate is just 64.7%, Oregon Campus Compact (ORCC) partnered again this summer with Ninth Grade Counts, a collaborative of the All Hands Raised Partnership focused on the crucial summer transition, ninth grade. More than 20 nonprofits and schools districts, including ORCC, come together as a part of this effort.
For the past five years, ORCC’s Summer VISTA program has partnered with the Corporation for National and Community Service and Ninth Grade Counts to create a sustainable, positive impact. In 2012, a study by the Northwest Evaluation Association found that participants in Ninth Grade Counts stayed on track through ninth grade at higher rates and had better school attendance than non-participants. Partners believe these successes will contribute to increases in Multnomah County’s high school graduation rate.
The program also made an impact on the college students who were selected to serve as Summer VISTAs. Recruited from ORCC’s membership of colleges and universities, students deepened their understanding of pressing needs and gained hands on experience transforming the community. In addition, they discovered their values and passions and earned a living stipend and AmeriCorps education award to help pay for school.
"Working with [Ninth Grade Counts] has really impacted me a lot. It has actually made me rethink what I want to major in, in college,” explained one Summer VISTA. “Working with these kids and seeing the type of impact and change that I can make in their lives is an awesome feeling. It makes me feel as though I am really doing something in the community and in my life."
The Summer VISTA program leverages smart, young people with fresh ideas to serve the community. ORCC is motivated to foster the next generation of thoughtful, educated, committed leaders and to prepare them to solve Multnomah County and Oregon’s most complex problems. ORCC supports this vision by connecting students to their communities and by deepening their understanding of critical issues so they're prepared to lead as future decision makers and mentors.
To learn more about ORCC and how to become an ORCC campus member, contact Josh Todd, ORCC Executive Director at email@example.com or 503.406.3570.
To learn more about Ninth Grade Counts or the All Hands Raised Partnership, contact Jeanie-Marie Price, Vice President of Communication at All Hands Raised, firstname.lastname@example.org or 503.234.5404.
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 email@example.com or 503-406-3575.
All decisions are contingent on final approval from the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Portland, Oregon (July 1, 2013)- Oregon Campus Compact (ORCC) announces effective on July 1, 2013 that Josh Todd will serve as its sixth Executive Director since forming in 1996. Todd has served as Interim Executive Director since January 2013.
ORCC, one of 35 state affiliates of national Campus Compact, represents 18 colleges and universities in Oregon committed to deepening the public purpose of higher education. Nationally, over 1,200 college and university presidents are members of Campus Compact, serving close to 6 million students. Motivated by the belief that students have the power to change the world, ORCC drives higher education to increase student participation in civic life as a means to improve not only their educational outcomes but also the health of their communities.
Todd has served Multnomah County for over 11 years, most recently as the Director of the Multnomah County Commission on Children, Families & Community, and before that, as the County’s Youth Development Coordinator where he was instrumental in building the effectiveness of the Multnomah Youth Commission. Todd served in AmeriCorps with the Bay Area Youth Agency Consortium from 1997-1998. Todd’s career has focused on building the capacity of systems and individuals to address pressing social problems from violence, overrepresentation in the foster care system, and high rates of hunger in Oregon.
As the only statewide organization working with private, public, four-year, and two-year institutions, I believe ORCC is well-positioned to help higher education attract, retain, and graduate more students, especially students of color and first generation students by expanding community-engaged learning experiences on every member campus,“ said Todd.
ORCC Board Chair and President of Concordia University, Dr. Charles Schlimpert said of the board’s decision,
Mr. Todd came to Oregon Campus Compact at just the right time. The Board of Directors unanimously endorsed his appointment following a brief stint as Interim Executive Director. His experience in creating community service opportunities is a perfect match for the Compact.”
Since becoming Interim Director on January 27, Todd has convened ORCC’s first presidential dinner in over ten years, the agency’s first-ever fundraiser (bringing in over $12,000.00 and 75 new donors), and recruited one new member campus and one new college president to the ORCC board.
Todd will focus his efforts on increasing ORCC’s donor base (the organization incorporated as a
501(c)(3) two years ago) and strengthening the value proposition for colleges and university to maintain and join membership. Todd said,
ORCC campus members currently serve 75% of Oregon’s undergraduate population but I believe we can and must do better. The positive impacts of community-engaged teaching and learning should be available to every student and community in Oregon. That is my goal.”
A welcome reception is scheduled for Thursday, July 25 from 5:00-7:45pm at Helium Comedy Club (1510 SE 9th Ave) with entertainment by Adam Ferrara starting at 8:00pm. A portion of the proceeds will benefit ORCC. To learn more about ORCC or to donate contact Josh Todd, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org, 503-406-3575, or visit www.oregoncampuscompact.org.
Portland, Oregon — Nine Oregon colleges have been named on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Eight of these schools are members of Oregon Campus Compact (ORCC).
ORCC is proud to celebrate the role these schools play in helping to solve Oregon’s most complex problems. Together, campuses and communities are working to move Oregon toward a more vibrant, educated, and healthy state.
Oregon’s colleges are skilled at inspiring and empowering students to serve the community. According to the report, Volunteering and Civic Life in America, Oregon ranks eighth in the country for college student volunteerism.
“Communities are strengthened when we all come together, and we are encouraged that these institutions and their students have made service a priority,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Civic engagement should be a key component of every student’s education experience. Through reaching out to meet the needs of their neighbors, these students are deepening their impact, strengthening our democracy and ultimately preparing themselves to be successful citizens.”
ORCC is a state affiliate of Campus Compact, a national coalition of almost 1,200 college and university presidents. Seventy-two percent of the institutions recognized on the Honor Roll are Campus Compact members. These schools represent more than 6 million students who are committed to fulfilling the public purposes of higher education.
“The recognition of such a high percentage of our members by such an elite distinction validates that our mission of deepening civic engagement is absolutely the right path for us to be taking. It re-energizes us to do even more and we congratulate our members receiving this distinction,” said Campus Compact President Maureen Curley.”
For the full list of Honor Roll awardees and information on eligibility, visit www.nationalservice.gov.
ORCC is motivated by the belief that students have the power to change the world. Together with campuses, ORCC activates higher education to place more students on a lifelong path of civic participation. As the only statewide organization working with private, public, four-year, and two-year institutions, ORCC embraces its unique position to ensure every Oregon student graduates as an engaged, global citizen. To learn more, visit www.oregoncampuscompact.org.
College Students Find Professional Experience and Confidence Through Summer Positions Impacting Multnomah County
(Portland, Oregon- August 28, 2012) According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the summer unemployment rate for those ages 16-24 was 17.1%, more than double the national unemployment rate of 8.3%. To help fight youth unemployment, Oregon Campus Compact (ORCC) recruited students from its statewide membership of colleges and universities to serve as AmeriCorps Summer VISTA members. These positions offered college students the opportunity to build their resume, strengthen leadership skills, and impact the community while earning a living stipend and AmeriCorps education award.
For over eight weeks, 38 Summer VISTAs served more than 13,500 hours with Ninth Grade Counts, a collaborative of the All Hands Raised Cradle to Career Partnership. Ninth Grade Counts provides a network of summer enrichment programs to academic priority rising ninth graders throughout Multnomah County. Summer VISTAs supported these programs by preparing students for success in high school and beyond. Throughout the summer, they recruited students, created classroom curriculum, provided direct academic support, and facilitated college and career tours.
"I can't think of any way I would rather have spent my summer. I thoroughly enjoyed our David Douglas Ninth Grade Counts students,” said one Summer VISTA. “I worked with a superbly competent, collegial, totally receptive, and supportive teaching and administrative staff, and best of all, I loved contributing to an effective program to help students in my community enter high school with greater confidence and likelihood to succeed."
Summer VISTAs finished their positions last week, but gained skills and experiences that will benefit them throughout their academic and professional careers. After serving, 95% of the VISTAs surveyed expressed interest in a future position where they impact social or economic inequity and 95% indicated increased ability to solve problems, take initiative, and work with diverse populations. Reflecting on the experience, one Summer VISTA said, “This summer, I worked with a great team, put in more effort, and gained more experience and confidence than I have at any other job in the past.”
This was the fourth year of the Summer VISTA program, a partnership between All Hands Raised (formerly the Portland Schools Foundation), the Corporation for National and Community Service, and ORCC.
Research shows that the program has had a clear, positive effect on high school credit attainment (Student Data Report, 2011). In 2009, rising ninth graders who participated in the program accumulated more high school credits than nonparticipants. Next year, the first cohort of Ninth Grade Counts summer program students will graduate from high school. Partners involved believe it will demonstrate sustained positive impact and will contribute to increases in Multnomah County’s high school graduation rate.
ORCC is proud to have offered this opportunity to students in its statewide membership of colleges and universities. Motivated by the belief that students have the power to change the world, ORCC activates higher education toward student participation in civic life. As the only statewide organization working with private, public, four-year, and two-year institutions, ORCC embraces its unique position to strengthen Oregon’s narrative of service and leadership.
To learn more about ORCC, the Summer VISTA Program, and how to become an ORCC member, contact McKenzie Miller, Communications Coordinator at email@example.com or 503.406.3572.
To learn more about Ninth Grade Counts or the All Hands Raised Cradle to Career partnership, contact Jeanie-Marie Price, Vice President of Communication at All Hands Raised, Jeaniefirstname.lastname@example.org or 503.234.5404.