Created by the Transition Coordination Committee (TCC), Community for Excellence (C4E) was created in 2010 to help bridge the gap between financial support and academic/transitional support for students in access-oriented scholarship and award programs. The Transition Coordination Committee is chaired by Dr. Mary Ontiveros, Vice-President for Diversity. The Community for Excellence involves time from many individuals and offices across campus working in concert to support students.
CSU administrators, especially within Admissions, Access and Outreach, and Student Financial services, first met to talk about an issue:
- several students with awards were receiving support from multiple on campus offices
- some students who were supposed to be receiving support had missed having a connection
- different offices had vastly different quality of services for award recipients
- knowledge about who was doing what with which students was very localized – no one had the full picture
In 2011, the Transfer Transitions Committee formed a subgroup to examine what the overlap of services was and to begin two key components:
- An Induction/Welcome ceremony to be sure to celebrate students past success and get them connected with the correct resource at CSU
- A group Graduation ceremony
They also established methods to communicate among the coordinators and began to define a common set of expectations, knowledge about the different programs and resources resources, and began working to instill pride in the students by providing a larger community.
- Investment in community
- Pursuit of Excellence in education
- Engagement on campus
- To assist in your transition to CSU
- To provide information about people, places, policies
- To share our commitments to you and our expectations of you
- Inspire you to excel in college
- To instill a sense of belonging and community
An agreement was reached with Colorado Challenge to provide support with two academic scholarship contacts housed on campus at CSU but representing the Colorado Challenge partnership for ASSET, Gear Up, and new Daniel’s Fund students. Gear Up and Daniel’s Fund had been supported at CSU previously through the Access Center and the VPSA office, but some students had received little support at CSU. This new arrangement, in some ways, demonstrated Colorado State Universities increase in dedication to improving the experience for incoming historically dis-advantaged students.
Awards included in the first Community for Excellence group included:
- Access Center Bridge Scholars Partnership Award
- Alliance Partnership Award
- Alliance Transfer Partnership Award
- Black Issues Forum Partnership Award
- Challenge Fund Pre-Collegiate Partnership Award
- College Track Colorado Partnership Award
- College Horizon
- Daniels Fund
- Denver Scholarship Foundation
- Dream Project Partnership Award
- Educational Opportunity Center Partnership Award]
- Educational Talent Search Partnership Award
- First Generation Award
- KIPP Colorado Partnership Award
- Lorenzo De Zavala Partnership Award
- Pre-Collegiate Program Partnership Award
- STARS Schools Partnership Award
- Upward Bound Partnership Award
Additionally, Scholarship Athletes were invited to attend the first convocation and to help improve the sense of community.
Fall 2011: 507 students who were new to CSU and 258 continuing students were in the first cohort.
The first database was set up to include all the different communities and help establish a common place to find information about students and track outcomes. A student can only receive one award with “partnership” in the title, so which award and who would serve was determined, as well as practices put in place to make sure all students would meet with their designated representative at least once their first semester and to encourage that great ongoing relationship.
Fall 2012: 277 new students, 612 continuing students
A hold code was added to ensure students would meet with their designated contact once before course registration.
- Native Education Forum Award was added.
Fall 2013: 301 new students, 684 continuing students
2014 work group:
Key findings for students in the Community for Excellence suggest areas for improvement could include focus on:
- INCREASE LEARNING AND NETWORKING
- DEVELOP LEADERSHIP, ENGAGE IN GLOBAL SOCIETY
Ties were created to the “Science of Learning” Committee. Several awards changed within the Community for Excellence.
- The Community for Excellence Award was created in partnership with Colorado Challenge.
- The Student Support Services Transfer Students Partnership award was added.
- The Gates Millennium Scholars Award was added.
- the STARS Partnership Award was discontinued.
Fall 2014: 261 new students and 801 continuing students.
Many of the organizing principles for the Community for Excellence are also featured in a new effort on campus, the Principles of Community.
- KIPP award added.
- Dream Project was put on hold.
Fall 2015: 356 new students and 742 continuing students.
Many new partnership discussions underway!