Research and Outcomes
The Campus Connections Research Program began in 2010 and continues to study aspects of mentoring, service-learning, and other relevant issues for youth and college students.
In 2015 the Campus Connections Research Program was awarded a 3-year grant from the prestigious William T. Grant Foundation. Data collection was completed in Spring 2018 and analysis has begun to test the unique program components and support our strategic goals for the program. Research to date has indicated positive outcomes for youth mentees, student mentors and mentor coaches.
Youth Mentee Outcomes
Results of our research indicate that youth mentees report:
- More regular school attendance
- Reduced alcohol and marijuana use
- Fewer problem behaviors
- Improved attitudes about substance use and problem bevarios
- Enhance emotional well-being
Qualitative analysis of 87 individual interviews examining youth’s perceptions of Campus Connections revealed:
- 87% indicated that Campus Connections had helped them with some aspect of school improvement, such as increasing attendance, improving grades, or improving understanding of schoolwork.
- 72% stated Campus Connections had positively affected their relationships with others, including peers, family members, and teachers.
- 54% reported improvements in feelings of self-confidence and self-esteem.
- 75% expressed improved attitudes about future plans regarding school and career.
- 76% felt they had gained positive influence from mentorship in the area of delinquency.
Student Mentor Outcomes
CSU Institutional Research has identified that Campus Connections participation is associated with higher persistence rates, higher graduation rates, faster degree completion and higher cumulative GPAs.
- Among graduates, 81.7% of Campus Connections participants graduate within 4 years while only 65.5% of non-participants graduate in 4 years.
- Campus Connections participation is associated with 0.32 to 0.57 points higher cumulative GPAs, depending on the year considered.
- Participation in Campus Connections is associated with nearly a 5 percentage point (PP) increase in persistence to second fall and a 23 PP increase in 4 year graduation rates.
- Prior studies have shown that CSU student participation in Campus Connections is associated with 63% lower odds of dropping out of CSU in any given year and 127% higher odds of graduating.
- These higher odds of persistence and graduation result in about 27 more students graduating within four years from each first-time, full time cohort.
Campus Connections participation is also associated with higher levels of Reflective and Integrative Learning as measured by the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Participants are substantially more likely to report the following:
- They included diverse perspectives in course discussions more often than nonparticipants.
- They tried to better understand someone else’s views by imagining how an issue looks like from his or her perspective more often than non-participants.
- They connected their learning to societal problems or issues more often than non-participants.
In addition, Campus Connections participation is associated with higher levels of Discussions with Diverse Other as measured by NSSE. Campus Connections participants are substantially more likely to report the following:
- They had discussions with people of a race or ethnicity other than their own more often than nonparticipants.
- They had discussions with people from an economic background other than their own more often than non-participants.