The AmeriCorps College Completion Coaches program places college graduates onto Ohio community college campuses to provide in-depth hands-on guidance and assistance to students in need extra support. This iniatitive was created in 2012 by the Ohio Association of Community College and the Ohio College Access Network in order to provide students with better support to increase college completion rates. Support from AmeriCorps members are being embedded within course sections identified by participating colleges, such as Developmental English and Math, First Year Experience, and college skills courses.
During the 2012-2013 pilot year, twenty-two members served at ten Ohio community colleges, coaching over 1,200 students and providing them with over 2,777 unique coaching services. Services include workshops, one-on-one advising, and referrals to appropriate services to better aid student’s needs. During the following year, the program increased its number to twenty-five coaches on eleven campuses, thus reaching 2,200 students. Of the students helped, 738 completed one to two credit hours of developmental education, and of this group, 506 completed all of their attempted development coursework.
The secrets to their success lies with the fact that most of the AmeriCorps members are graduates of the schools in which they are placed, thus providing institutional knowledge to further aid students. As the program is focused on individual services, this gets to the heart of making sure each student has a support network, allowing for the coaches to tailor their services to students’ individual needs. The program also has tremendous support from the institutions themselves, which helps sustain the program.
To learn more about this program, go to pages 24-25 of Transforming Communities Through Service Publication.