In early 2020, Cypress College was selected to participate in Caring Campus, an initiative of the Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC) funded by the California Community Colleges Chancellors Office. Professional Classified Staff members applied and were selected by college leadership to represent their department in this effort.
Caring Campus engaged and supported these professional staff members in developing behavioral commitments to ensure that students feel welcomed and connected to our college. Research has shown that students who feel connected to their college are more likely to persist and, in turn, complete. This program guides student services and operational department staff in developing strategies that can easily be implemented campus-wide by all staff members. Unlike typical “one and done” professional development, IEBC uses a facilitated coaching model.
On June 25, 2020, the IEBC team met virtually with college leadership in advance of the first coaching session to ensure the president and cabinet, department leadership, and others understood the Caring Campus process and their role. This helped ensure leadership supports the initiative, understood what was expected of their participating staff, and provided the resources and support required for successful implementation and institutionalization.
Following the leadership orientation, IEBC coaches engaged with staff in four virtual coaching sessions. Staff from all student-facing departments and divisions were invited to attend. At the first coaching session, staff were oriented to the Caring Campus initiative and identified the general (campus-wide) behavioral commitments regarding interacting with students and strengthened their connection to the college. In the second session, professional staff drafted implementation plans for the agreed-upon general behavioral commitments and identified department specific behavioral commitments and implementation plans. In the third session, staff finalized their implementation plans and created monitoring plans so they will be able to know if behaviors are being enacted. In the fourth session, staff created communication plans for four target audiences (fellow staff, faculty, leadership, and students). Leadership and staff came together on October 12, 2020, for a virtual joint session to review the work and plan for institutionalization and sustainability. Staff presented their finalized implementation, monitoring, and communication plans to leadership, who identified ways to use their positions to assist in supporting, monitoring, and celebrating the work of professional classified staff toward institutionalization of the efforts at Cypress College.
|Belinda Allan*||Career Planning Center|
|Diana Domingo||Health Science|
|Angela Haugh||Institutional research|
|Cari Jorgensen*||Campus Communications|
|Nishad Marathe||Financial Aid|
|Gloria Ortega||VPSS Office|
|Jodie Thomas||Health Science|
|Chelsea Truong||Financial Aid|
|Julie Vorathavorn||Health Center|
Caring Campus meetings are held at 9 a.m. on the second Tuesday of every month. If you’d like to join, or would like more information, please email us at email@example.com.
What is Caring Campus?
- An intentional, college-wide, and campus-specific commitment to our students
- This campus initiative enhances our dedication and implementation of existing student engagement initiatives such as Guided Pathways
Why Caring Campus?
This initiative is:
- Rooted in behavioral-based commitments
- Developed by classified professionals
- Implemented by all Cypress College staff
- Grounded in a commitment to increasing student connectedness with our college
The Caring Campus cohort created three commitments to be implemented and used throughout campus to enhance student experience and success. These commitments were a resource guide, warm welcome and referral, and availability to students.
The resource guide was created to ensure staff across campus are able to readily assist students. The guide provides information on the various departments and offices across campus so that staff can point students in the right direction. Access the resource guide at the button below.
Warm Welcome & Referral
What is the warm welcome and referral?
When on campus, introduce yourself to the student(s), offer a map to show them where to go if your office is not the correct place, or, if you have time, walk the student to where they need to be.
When responding to a student via email, connect the student with the appropriate campus location by sending an introduction email on behalf of the student. Copy the student on the email and follow up afterward.
Availability to Students
Availability to students is very important to student success.
Being available to students while on campus means checking and updating department voicemails with instructions on how to access departments and checking emails daily.
Being available to students virtually consists of reaching out to students by phone, Cranium Cafe chat, and email, especially when students need immediate assistance.
The goal is for a student to be able to reach someone on campus at all times during business hours.
Kudos cards were designed to give Cypress College employees an opportunity to give appreciation to one another. Each kudos card represents one of the college’s core values: Equity, Excellence, Integrity, Collegiality, and Inclusiveness. When you see a colleague exhibiting one of these core values by taking that extra step with a student or in their work, take a moment to send a kudos card and let them know they matter. Download kudos cards to share with colleagues below.
Did you or a colleague accomplish something amazing? Share it with us for inclusion on the Employee Accolades page!
At Cypress College, we are proud of our employees and realize that recognizing personal and professional achievements, along with establishing a human connection between students, faculty, and staff, promotes a collegial atmosphere imbued with the Charger Spirit! Our employees always strive for excellence and make significant contributions to the campus and surrounding communities every day. We are pleased to featured distinguished #CYProfessionals.
To nominate an employee for this campaign, please email Anastasia Thrift.