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.
Students 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% points higher. Similarly high proportions of students return to BGSU from freshman to sophomore years, between 84-90%. In comparison with the College, ECCO members return to BGSU for a second year at significantly higher rates, typically 8% higher.
ECCO members 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. Despite or because of these challenges, 98% of the members surveyed said that ECCO has provided them with experiences that they believe will help them to be a better teachers.
Why Join ECCO? Reflections from ECCO Members:
- “I’m in ECCO for the opportunity to interact with students on a weekly basis through field placements. ECCO has also helped me to gain lifelong connections and friendships” – Ali Brown
- “I am in ECCO to make sure that being a teacher is what I wanted to do. I also wanted to be able to be in a classroom before my junior year of college. I love the fact that I have made some of my best friends through this program and it has honestly made college easier to transition in to” –Alexis Snyder
- “Above all else the most beneficial part of ECCO for me thus far has been the access to other people who are genuinely passionate, concerned, and interested in the field of education…There are people here that can push others out of their mental comfort zones and in to a continuous state of conceptual change and questioning. These people are the reason I’ll do all that I can to remain a part of ECCO during my time at BGSU” –Nico Pinchak
- “Through ECCO I have gained placement hours and have been opened up to different contexts that have shown me that there is a lot more to education than teaching. I have learned through ECCO that being a teacher you need to get to know your students for who they are outside of the classroom in order to effectively teach them” –Stephanie Siegel
- “I am in ECCO because I love getting to know other education majors who are not just in my own content. It is great to make friends who I can talk to about academics, campus life, and such. I also feel that ECCO has provided me with many opportunities that I would not have gotten to experience if it were not for it” –Bailey Gilligan
- “When joining ECCO you immediately gain a sense of community, family, and help. It’s given me a sense of relief in college because it’s shown me that I do belong here in the program I’m in” – Emily Whitman
- “I am in ECCO because it gives me a placement where I can explore myself as a future teacher as well as it gets me out of my comfort zone” – Alexander Graber
- “I am getting the opportunity to see what types of classrooms I really like and what some of the issues there are in education. These issues are things that I hope to be able to help change in the future” –Adonis Jamison
- “I am in ECCO because I enjoy the opportunity to get field experience before waiting until methods and student teaching. It has helped reassure myself that I want to go into education and become a teacher” –Kristen Tabesh
- “ECCO has given me the chance to begin working on my strengths and weaknesses as a teacher right from my first semester. A lot of insights about teaching have come because of my field placement and my interactions with Dr. Vrooman and other ECCO members” – Caleb Harrah
- “ECCO has provided more opportunities than I had ever anticipated prior to arriving at BGSU. Not only have I grown in my understanding of children and how they learn, but also in my leadership, knowledge, and skills. I feel well prepared to enter methods, student teaching, and the workforce with the preparation ECCO experiences have given me” –Derek Goeglein