California’s community colleges are in the midst of a paradigm shift, one that asks us to center students’ experience at the heart of decision-making, effectively close equity gaps, and significantly increase outcomes. The #SSSC20: Strengthening Student Success Online Series will elevate ways colleges transform through “Caring. Commitment. Community.”
Fostering campus ecosystems that recognize and holistically address every student’s needs means demonstrating an interest in the success of our students and each other, and acting with curiosity and compassion. It requires us to value and build on the knowledge and assets that students bring to the table and strive to meet their varying needs for resources and support, while holding them to high expectations. It necessitates providing spaces for students to learn, grow, succeed, and contribute to the achievement of others. It compels all of us to directly connect our individual and collective work and our students’ well-being. It demands that we intentionally interrupt structural inequities that have historically privileged some students over others.
This past spring, colleges responded nimbly to urgent needs and sometimes found that transformation can happen more quickly than anyone expects. Some also found that transformation does not always require funds, which must be kept in mind as we look toward our immediate future. The wide-ranging and varied work shared during this year’s #SSSC20: Strengthening Student Success Online Series will provide insight into how educators statewide are realizing equitable, healthy community college ecosystems that support students, college personnel, and their surrounding communities.