In January 2020, CARE Services established the CARE ASCEND Impact Model.

The model addresses: Building campus AWARENESS, developing a SYSTEMATIC approach, campus CULTURE building, ENGAGING stakeholders, creating NEED based supports for campus community and students, and having a DATA informed practice.

Awareness is the development and execution of planned outreach programs, strategic marketing and media campaigns, and intentional campus partnerships, resulting in  widespread issue awareness, facilitating an inquiry of campus decision makers as well as referrals for and/or request from students in need. 

Systematic Approach is based on Systems Theoretical Approach which explains human behavior as the intersection of the influences of multiple interrelated systems. Even for individual issues, families, organizations, societies, and other systems are inherently involved and must be considered when attempting to understand and assist the individual. According to this theory, all systems are interrelated parts constituting an ordered whole and each subsystem influences other parts of the whole. In practice this approach can be used to develop the client case plan, identify service gaps or obstacles for in-need students at KSU, and identify possible campus and/or community partners.

Campus Culture Building results from providing high impact immersion experiences for students, faculty, and staff. Stated by NSSE national survey of student engagement, “High-Impact Practices (HIPs) represent enriching educational experiences that can be life-changing. They typically demand considerable time and effort, facilitate learning outside of the classroom, require meaningful interactions with [others], encourage collaboration with diverse others, and provide frequent and substantive feedback.” Giving the campus opportunities to give back through volunteering and donating fosters a deeper connection to the campus and to the program as it is viewed as “taking care of our own.”

Engaging Stakeholders creates opportunities for them to support students in an intentional and meaningful manner. Volunteerism, donation drives, serving as mentors, etc. provides a manner for community stakeholders to support while feeling like a partner in mission of the program, according to Philanthropy Works.

Need Based Supports focuses on two populations:

Campus: Unveiling the needs or services gaps within the campus for a targeted population can be achieved via Campus Assessment, by clarifying the strengths/assets, service gaps, attitudes and threats, values, and campus aspirations. As a goal, the assessment will also identify the campus’ awareness of resources available to all students, availability of targeted services and programs for disconnected students, connectivity to resources within the campus community and surrounding community, and the student body’s financial literacy functionality. (Jen Wells, 01/29/2015)

Students: Case management is used to assess and provide supportive services to address the needs of students. The services can blend the Strengths Based Case Management Model to assess campus and community resources, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to assess student’s needs, and the Intensive Case Management Model to provide services for students requiring long-term and ongoing support. The role of the case manager is to provide monitoring, coaching/life skills training, advocacy, and bridging/referrals.

Data Informed Practice is the use of qualitative and quantitative data to evaluate the programmatic impact then using those results to inform the service model and future planning. This process will assess participants’ experiences with program services; their relationships with program staff, fellow students, and faculty; their perceptions of the effectiveness of the project in helping them achieve their educational goals; and their perceptions of the supportiveness of the overall institutional climate.

Quantitative methods will collect, monitor, and evaluate the project by drawing correlations between the number of kept appointments with project staff and consistent service provision to GPA, academic progress, retention rates, and progress towards degree completion. Additionally, quantitative data will measure the following factors: participants’ awareness of resources available to all students, targeted services and programs for disconnected students, improved connectivity to the campus community and surrounding community, and improved financial literacy skills. Most importantly, the outcomes should be documented, disseminated to campus decision-makers, and reviewed with program staff to discuss programmatic impacts, lesson learned, evaluate effectiveness and areas for improvement in service design and provision. (Jen Wells, PhD, email sent on 01/29/2015)


Copyright 2020 Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, by and on behalf of Kennesaw State University, CARE Services