Educators in Context and Community (ECCO)
Student participation in the ECCO learning community has an impact on a student’s success at Bowling Green State University. Participants in this community experience a level of personalized attention, and exposure to high impact educational opportunities that their peers do not. This leads to higher retention and graduation rates among members. This means that more of our members stay in school and eventually graduate than typical students at Bowling Green State University.
Student who participate in ECCO stay at BGSU, and graduate at a higher rate than their peers. Over the past 10 years, ECCO members have significantly high proportions of students returning to BGSU from Fall to Spring semester-- typically between 95-98%. In comparison with the College, ECCO members stay through their freshman year at significantly higher rates: typically 3-5 percentage points higher.
Similarly high proportions of students return to BGSU from freshman to sophomore years--typically between 84-90%. In comparison with the College, ECCO members return to BGSU for a second year at significantly higher rates: as high as 8 percentage points higher.
ECCO is a serious commitment on the part of the members: they must devote
one day per week to doing their Field Placement, and they are required to do social, service,
and professional development activities on a regular basis. They have to take more courses,
pay more money, do more field placement hours, and give back to the learning community--all
voluntarily and typically with added stress.
Despite--or because of the challenges--a full 98% of the members surveyed say that ECCO has provided them with experiences that they believe will help them to be a better teachers.
Nearly two-thirds (59%) of the members find it “challenging” to meet the commitments required
to be in ECCO. As one student put it, “I feel like with all my other courses and commitments, PCC was asking too much for being a 1 credit hour [course]”. Clearly, the program is much more than the one-credit Seminar course (RESC 4700C), but some student’s comments suggest that they relate everything to the academic component of the community.
There are some students who are not satisfied. For example, one student said, “I don’t think I got anything from PCC,” but then said, “I no longer would like to teach in an urban district”—which sounds like she learned something important in Urban Educators. As one student put it, though, the challenges come from all sides: “I have to balance a pre-methods course load, my sorority, and my honor’s project,” along with ECCO.
What Draws You to Urban Educators (now ECCO)?
- “I want to get into the school early on”(freshman year rather than senior year).
- “It requires extra commitment, but it’s worth it.”
- “I wanted classroom experience early, and that was why I originally joined.”
- “[ECCO] has provided me with more direction once I arrived here, and [has provided me] with positive relationships.”
- “I love it! Gaining a crap ton of experience!”
- “I am leagues ahead of my peers.”