Community for Excellence
The Community for Excellence (C4E) creates an asset-based approach to equitable learning experiences for students from their first semester to their last. In addition to recognizing the critical importance of educational partners in students’ home communities, C4E leverages the power of a network of campus partners to facilitate belonginess through scholar contact relationships and connections to programs and services, thus resulting in increased retention and graduation with an explicit focus on racially minoritized and/or limited income and/or first-generation college students.
The Community for Excellence is a collaborative effort, which leverages several strategic programs and offices into a network, all of which focus on education equity and includes the Access Center, Academic Advancement Center, Collaborative for Student Achievement, and Student Diversity Programs and Services. The honor of the award includes financial support augmented with a dedicated CSU staff member from the aforementioned network serving as a Scholar Contact, providing early connection, mentorship, support, and proactive outreach. Within the network, a total of 32 staff are dedicated (all or in part) to serving over 1600 students as a C4E Scholar Contacts.
The 2020 study is the first comprehensive assessment of student success outcomes (e.g., persistence, GPA) for participants in the C4E program and includes first-year and transfer students from the FA16 through FA19 cohorts. While over 30 individual programs belong to C4E, the report focusses on C4E on-the-whole and only briefly describes variation across the different C4E programs; program-level analyses are available under separate cover as the Appendix. The analyses in this report focus on comparisons between C4E and a comparable
reference group or subgroups within C4E.
C4E students, both first-year and transfer, persisted at rates between six and seven percentage points (PP) higher than their reference groups. They were also more likely to complete at least 30 credits during their first year compared to the reference groups, and first-year C4E students completed 30 credits at a higher rate than transfer C4E students.
Second-year C4E participants (in the Puksta and Reisher programs) persisted at higher rates than first-year C4E participants and their comparable second-year reference groups. Their cumulative GPAs were also about one-half of one grade point higher than both first-year C4E participants and the second-year reference group.