Bring Campus Connections to Your Campus
Campus Connections is a powerful campus-based therapeutic mentoring program for at-risk youth that produces positive outcomes for campuses and communities in addition to the individual participants. The program is licensed, and available to implement on your campus.
Our structured program aims to
- Promote the resilience and life success of at-risk youth through strengthening social bonds, increasing academic engagement and performance, decreasing substance use and delinquency, and improving a sense of self.
- Prepare university students to become highly skilled, civically-engaged human service professionals and community leaders.
- Respond to community initiatives to strengthen community systems to better serve at-risk youth and their families.
Campus Connections Partners
Campus Connections is a licensed program that is available to other campuses to bring these benefits to your campus and community. Training, support, and programmatic resources are included with the purchase of license of this beneficial program. Campus connections is already operating in three other universities.
Campus Connections Benefits
Campus Connections is a high-impact service-learning course for undergraduate students that has produced successful outcomes for students who participated in the program. 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. For example, among graduates, 81.7% of Campus Connections participants graduate within 4 years while only 65.5% of non-participants graduate in 4 years (16.2% higher for Campus Connection participants).
Participants are substantially more likely to:
- Include diverse perspectives in course discussions more often than non-participants.
- Try to better understand someone else’s views by imagining how an issue looks like from his or her perspective more often than non-participants.
- Connect their learning to societal problems or issues more often than non-participants.
- Have discussions with people of a race or ethnicity other than their own more often than nonparticipants.
- Have discussions with people from an economic background other than their own more often than non-participants.
Clinical Graduate Student Benefits
Campus Connections also provides invaluable clinical training opportunities for graduate students in Marriage and Family Therapy, Social Work, Counseling, Psychology, and other related graduate programs.
Campus Connections provides an ideal clinical internship or practicum that can be institutionalized within Campus Connections each semester. Graduate students serve as the Campus Connections therapists and course Instructors. In this role, they monitor mentor/mentee interactions, provide guidance to mentors, and conduct clinical interventions with youth mentees for any issue that may arise, using the unique TIME CARD system. Clinical issues may include family issues, peer relations, drug and alcohol issues, self-harm, abuse or neglect, mental and behavioral health, or trauma.
This hands-on training in a milieu therapeutic setting allows students to develop skills that go beyond the standard 50-minute therapy session, allowing them to become more competent to work in diverse clinical settings that treat a range of clinical issues.
Youth and Community Benefits
Youth at Campus Connections are referred from the juvenile justice system, schools, social service agencies, and directly from families. We specifically recruit youth that are at-risk for not reaching their full potential due to poverty, involvement in the court system and academic failure, among other barriers. A series of linear regression models were utilized to assess the effects of Campus Connections on 249 youth participants, as compared to a control group. After controlling for age, gender, presence of behavioral or mental health problems, and pre-intervention levels of the outcome variable, results revealed positive outcomes for the youth, including:
- More regular school attendance
- Reduced alcohol and marijuana use
- Fewer problem behaviors at school and home
- Improved attitudes about substance use and problem behaviors
- Enhanced emotional well-being (increased happiness and sense that they matter, and a decrease in loneliness)
Potential Funding to Support Clinical Graduate Programs
Historically many clinical graduate programs have found it challenging to financially support campus-based clinics to train their graduate students. Campus Connections provides an in-house revenue that can provide invaluable clinical training opportunities for graduate students while meeting an important community need. Funding exists within the juvenile justice system and human services to support programs that address these critical youth services.
Research and Grant Opportunities
Campus Connections provides rich opportunities to scholarship. Over $2,000,000 of program and evaluation funds have been secured for Campus Connections at CSU from 21 different sources. Sources include federal and state government entities, local and national foundations, contracts with various community, and donations. Sustainable funding is available through a variety of sources to support program operations and the benefits to the students, youth, campus, and community. In addition, this funding also contributes to the advancement of theory related to how social setting resources work to improve outcomes for participants, and on the systematic development of Campus Connections as an evidenced-based program.
In recognition of its impact on both the community and university, the program has received several university awards, including the Outstanding Engagement Award by the College of Health and Human Sciences, the Exceptional Innovation in Service Learning Award, and being named as one of three high impact courses on CSU’s campus. CSU received a national award on behalf of Campus Connections—the Engagement Scholarship Consortium Excellence in Community Partner Engagement Award.