Academic benefitsCommunity Colleges offer a variety of student support services and extracurricular activities that assist students with academic support. For example, there are programs like PUENTE, TRIO, CalWORKs, Guardian Scholars, EOPS and others that contribute to student’s efforts towards academic persistence. Many of these programs offer specialized academic counseling and access to in program tutoring services that help prepare students to be academically ready for college. In addition to student support programs, clubs and athletics are also extracurricular activities which influence academic growth and prosperity among students. As Cooper (2010) states “A modest body of research suggests that student support services play a role in promoting successful outcomes for community college students” (p.22).
Student engagement in programs and activities give students the opportunity to. .that in her study, “participants ‘ most meaningful contact was with instructors on campus, many of whom invited students into the higher education “club” by creating feelings of comfort, support, and respect” (p. 40). According Leah A. Barrett (2014), she explained in her dissertation that individuals in community college obtain their “information”, both academic and social, via informal networks, such as from alumni of the school.
Catherine Flaga explains that the informal networks are used as “a highly utilized resource for learning about the academic, social, and physical environments of the university (p.10)”. Take into account the strong relationship that students have with instructors and the positive benefit that alumni have supporting current students are important points to consider of the social aspects present for a student’s success in community college.