Arkansas State University - Newport

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February 2022

ASUN selected to join Caring Campus Initiative

Arkansas State University-Newport is one of eight community colleges across the U.S. selected to participate in an initiative to improve and better prioritize student experience and relationships. 

The Institute for Evidence-Based Change’s (IEBC) Caring Campus initiative, funded through a $600,000 grant provided by the ECMC Foundation, is a nationally focused foundation investing in initiatives that improve educational outcomes and support post-secondary education and career success among underserved populations.

Caring Campus Logo

Despite the challenges of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on higher education, ASU-Newport is committed to finding ways to implement its college-specific Caring Campus approach to student success. 

According to the National Student Clearinghouse, Research Center, community college enrollment declined 5.6 percent in fall 2021, after declining nine percent in fall 2020. The cumulative decline since fall 2019, is 14.1%, with the sharpest declines at campuses with a greater percentage of low-income and racially diverse student populations. The freshman class of 2021 is now 20.8% below the number for the freshman class in 2019. “Course retention and success has never been more critical, and this is precisely what Caring Campus can address,” said Brad Phillips, President and CEO of IEBC.
With Caring Campus, colleges see improvements in course retention and success, increased term to term persistence, and improved completion and transfer. Achievement gaps are being closed rapidly among participant campus populations.

ASUN staff members participating in the Caring Campus initiative are coached by IEBC using an approach ensuring all staff play a role in enabling students to achieve success. The team works to adopt and implement behaviors that make each and every student feel better connected to the college – that they are welcome, belong and are cared about.

ASU-Newport works with a vast student population every day. It's ASUN's goal to utilize the Caring Campus team to learn and plan for the future. ASUN strives to provide individualized service to each student, and Caring Campus will help each employee better serve students and turn transactional interactions into relational transactions.

Other participating universities report positive outcomes from the Caring Campus approach, including cultivating a sense of unity, enhancing staff knowledge, and increasing the potential to improve equity.
Caring Campus will help ASU-Newport provide an environment of connectedness to increase the likelihood that students will continue towards, and succeed in attaining their educational goals. Faculty and staff interactions with students can set the stage for successful enrollment, persistence, and completion. Successful students and graduates in turn help our communities and local economy. 

ASUN is excited to embark on this new initiative in 2022 and has already started coaching sessions with staff. 

For more information on Caring Campus and IEBC click here