Highlighting real world examples of Social Mission Metrics concepts in practice.
Related social mission measure(s): School Mission, Community Collaborations, Student Diversity, Faculty Diversity, Pipeline Programs
(The following is an excerpt from Driving toward a culture shift: Case studies of social mission in nursing education)
At Santa Fe Community College (SFCC), 57% of students identify as Hispanic or Latino – close to the state city’s population, which is about 51% Hispanic or Latino. The faculty is also racially and ethnically diverse, with nine full-time and eleven part-time faculty (44% and 36%) that identify as Hispanic or Latino.
The mission of SFCC is to strengthen their local community and address the needs of less advantaged students. Most of their students come from families with fewer resources, which is intentional. To increase admissions opportunities for students with fewer advantages, the dean created a pipeline LPN program with the local high school, which has a predominantly Latino population and where 100% of students qualify for free lunch. The LPN program boasts a 100% pass rate and all students are guaranteed admission into the school’s ADN program. The dean identifies as part of the community and reports that prior to the pipeline program, she knew many of the students being rejected. Funding for this program is secured through the state of New Mexico, with additional funding from the local hospital foundation.
Administrators also report trying to meet students’ social needs through a “home-like environment” at the college, including a food bank. They point out, for example, that there are many places for students to gather to study, eat and relax. The on-campus food bank is a partnership with the local community food bank, and a school staff member is given protected time to manage this program. Key to this program is the idea that providing food should be experienced not as a hand-out, but as a natural gesture of inclusion.
Leadership is proud of the culture of inclusion for students from various financial, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. When asked how other schools could learn from their experience, administrators and faculty report that it is important to see students as part of their community and family, rather than a transactional (client/provider) relationship. In addition, at SFCC, rather than selecting the easiest, most straight-forward students, they seek out students with complex and diverse needs. Supporting these students’ nursing aspirations is viewed as a way to support community development. Faculty and administrators are aware of students’ holistic needs and make themselves available beyond the classroom. Students in turn feel comfortable sharing their life challenges with faculty and administrators.