What is Compass 2 Campus?
C2C places Western student mentors in regional Title I schools to support college access for 5th – 12th grade students. The service-learning classes linked to the mentoring program focus on educational equity viewed through critical and cultural lenses. Mentoring placements include classrooms, afterschool programs, and community settings and are defined collaboratively based on partners’ needs.
Program goals focus on exposing 5th – 12th grade students to higher education and potential careers while supporting development of positive academic and cultural identities and school success. The program kicks off with all 5th grade classes visiting Western Washington University for a college experience during the Fall Tour Day. After Tour Day, college mentors visit 33 partner schools weekly to mentor in classrooms for 5th-12th grade students.
Each year, C2C places more than 800 Western students in schools and employs 40 students. Support for student leaders to develop peer mentoring and professional abilities is part of the program’s commitment to college success as well as college access.
"Compass 2 Campus fosters university and community academic collaborations that promote life-long learning and a college going culture for all students, developing leaders who are empowered to create the future."
"To increase access to higher education by providing an opportunity for students from traditionally underrepresented and low-income backgrounds in Whatcom and Skagit counties to be mentored by trained Compass 2 Campus students."
Goals of the Compass 2 Campus Program
- To encourage students starting at the fifth grade to complete high school and enroll in some form of post-secondary education.
- To provide mentors and role models for area youth using a service-learning model.
- To provide 5th graders an opportunity to visit and experience a University.
- To support educational achievement through tutoring.
- To increase awareness of life options after high school.
- To provide scholarships for C2C students who graduate from high school and are admitted to WWU.
- To develop mentoring, communication, leadership skills, and critical consciousness among college mentors.
- Offer mentoring experience to WWU students as a way to give back to their community.
History of Compass 2 Campus
Compass 2 Campus is a mentorship program implemented by House Bill 1986 which passed both Houses of the Legislature on April 21, 2009. It was originally conceived at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay as the Phuture Phoenix Program by Cyndie Shepard, the wife of Bruce Shepard, former President of Western Washington University, and Ginny Riopelle, UW-Green Bay Council of Trustees member.
In April of 2009, HB 1986 was passed by the Washington legislature and signed into law by Governor Gregoire, establishing Compass 2 Campus as the pilot mentoring initiative for the state of Washington. This bill gives credence to the commitment of the state to support mentoring as an effective way to encourage post secondary education to underrepresented students in our K-12 school system.
In the fall of 2009, Western Washington University mounted the Compass 2 Campus program with the support of nine local school districts in Whatcom and Skagit counties, Western faculty and staff, and hundreds of Western student mentors.