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GO COMMUNITY (Updated 12/07/2015)

A multi-media campaign to change students perception about community college.

Photo of Izabela Correa
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WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

Community college is often associated with an inferior level of education than that provided by four-year colleges. However, they allow students to earn credits in a cheaper and faster way and can significantly reduce the costs of college. Due to the negative perception, many students think they must attend a four-year college, when in reality they could earn the credits required during their first two years at a much cheaper rate and then transfer to a four-year school for their bachelor's degree.


HOW WOULD IT WORK?

Our idea is to start a campaign called “Go Community”. We would collect stories and videos of people who studied in community college and have had a successful career. We would also provide data showing the costs benefits of going to community college for 2 years.


WHAT IS THE IMPACT WE EXPECT TO HAVE?

We know that changing societal perception about Community College will take time and that the change involves different stakeholders (parents, employers, students, etc). But, we believe that we could start by the students creating an impact, even if small.


HOW COULD WE PROTOTYPE IT?

To start, we created a Facebook Page in which we are going to share videos, stories, data and other general information showing the benefits that a students can have going to community college. 

We have been also talking with a Community College to see how we can work together to create a broader impact. They really liked our idea and are analyzing ways to help us to promote our campaign.


EXPERIENCE MAP


MEET PETER

Image title

Name: Peter

Age: 18

Profession:High-School Student





Peter is a good student, but he is not sure if he should go to college. He is from a low-income family and has 2 younger brothers. Although he has the dream to continue studying, he knows that his parents cannot afford a expensive college. Peter is in his last year of high-school and he needs to decide what to do.


MEET AMY

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Name: Amy

Age: 17

Profession: High-School Student





Amy is in her last year of high school and she needs to choose a college. She is not sure if she should go to a 4 year schoole or to a community college. She knows that she would have to loan money to go to college and she is not sure about the big decision that she has to make. Her parents are still paying their college loans and she doesn’t want to face the same situation in their future.




FIRST CONTACT

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Peter and Amy went to the College Fair in their school and receive information from different colleges and universities. They even hear something about Go Community. But, it is too much information and they don’t memorize the webpage.



AWARENESS

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Checking one of the flyers that they received from a Community College during the College Fair, Peter and Amy get find the Go Community webpage.






ACCESS TO INFORMATION

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Peter and Amy check the Go Community webpage, in which they find information about the costs benefits of going to community college as well as stories about people who went to community college.




THE DECISION

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After having access to all this information and analyzing it, Peter and Amy decide to go to community college.




SPREADING THE WORD

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Peter and Amy tell about to their decision to their fiends and how Go Community helped them during the decision process. They also suggest their friends to check the webpage.




FUTURE

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After two years, Peter and Amy graduate from community college and decide to go for more two years to an university. Peter have already found a job and can pay for his studies.



What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

We'd like to hear your feedback and ideas about how to improve "Go Community". We are also looking for people to tell their stories. One more thing: it would be awesome if you could check our Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/gocommunity), give us feedback and share it.

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm

63 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Hi Izabela and team, 

I really like your updates: the experience journey map and the prototype, including the 2 videos you created! 
Great job! Have got any feedback on the Facebook page?
I was reading this blog article https://americanhonors.org/blog/article/how-many-colleges-should-you-apply and thought of your team, especially the 2 last points in the article.  Maybe you should send the link to your Facebook page to the author and ask her for feedback as she seems to have a lot of expertise.
I am also wondering if your idea is really best described as a multi-media campaign... it seems to be more than a campaign at this point although there will clearly be a campaign element to it.
Thanks!

Photo of Izabela Correa
Team

Hi Prof. Anne-Laure. Thank you for your valuable feedback. We are glad that you liked our updates. American Honor is an amazing initiative and Ruthana Seng's blog post is indeed very interesting. We will try to contact them and ask for feedback. 
About the description, as you said, multi-media campaign might not be the best term to describe our idea. We will think about how to improve it. Thank you for your comment.  

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi all.  
I like your emphasis on sharing stories in this campaign!  
The video linked in this Research Post I submitted might interest your team.
https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/higher-ed/research/exploring-transfer
The research post describes a summer program designed as an opportunity for community college students to experience the atmosphere and academics of a competitive liberal arts college, as they think about Transfer to continue their education.  The program helps to break down barriers and open doors for 1st generation college students.  The video shares the story of one participant's journey from CC to the ET program, and on to earn a BA and PhD. 

Great link Anne-Laure.  I am curious about whether they reach out to high school students, or recruit from community colleges, where students may be on a variety of paths, some vocational, or both?  Will spend some time reviewing their site.

Photo of Izabela Correa
Team

Hi Bettina! Thank you very much for your feedback and for sharing your research post. The video is indeed really interesting and we will post on our Facebook page about the Exploring Transfer (ET) program at Vassar College. Thank you again.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Great! I love the personal journey and insights shared by the woman on the video.  Your idea of finding folk who have gone to CC and are successful, sharing their stories as a way to market and advocate for that pathway to a 4 year degree, is really great!  

Photo of Izabela Correa
Team

Hi Bettina! Her story and insights are indeed very interesting. Thank you again.

And, we are glad that you liked our idea of sharing the story of successful CC alumni. We are looking for more volunteers. If you know anyone, please let us know. Thanks.

Photo of Kellie Marks
Team

What if you started the journey from high school, with a story featuring someone who excelled in high school, then went through a 2+2 program before going on to a successful career?  That might shift the perception from CC being a consolation school or stepping stone for underachieving high school graduates, and instead show that CC can be a _preferred_ choice for high-achieving students, who want to feel _proud_ of their smarter financial route to a Bachelor's degree.
  
Sean made a brilliant comment on the Taking Advantage of Online Courses and Community College to Transfer into Full Time Universities 
contribution: "How many products or services are there out there where you are considered smarter if you pay more for the same thing. For example, two people are sitting on an airplane. One person says to the other, "This ticket was so expensive! I couldn't believe it" The other person says, "I actually found a way to pay half that price for the same seat." Where else other than college would we say that the person who paid twice as much for the same thing is smarter?"



So true!


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CC: Izabela Correa ; Dylan Compo 

Photo of Izabela Correa
Team

Hi Kellie Marks ! Thank you for your comment. The idea with the videos are exactly this. We are looking for more volunteers. If you know someone who could help, please let us know. 

About Sean's comment, while I totally agree with it, I think for colleges the problem is more complex. It involves culture and people's perception. People tend to think that Community Colleges offer a low level quality education.  They believe they are paying more for something better. 

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