RCC's Street Team: Amplifying Student Voices and Enhancing Institutional Effectiveness

Apr 15

Riverside City College has been awarded an Honorable Mention for its innovative project, "Amplifying Student Voices – Riverside College's Student Street," at the 2024 RP Group Outstanding Project Awards. Three students presented at the conference, sharing their experiences and how they support student success at the college.

Liz Lecona, from RCC Marketing Services, who often mentors the Student Street team, expressed her excitement, stating,

"It has been a rewarding experience helping guide the students in using equipment, learning new tools, and editing content for social media. Dean McEwen runs a great team. This acknowledgment further motivates RCC to continue providing platforms for student expression and engagement."

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness has hired student workers for the second year. These student workers provide valuable, direct feedback informing planning, communication, student equity, and how to better connect students with RCC's support services. Having students embedded in the Institutional Effectiveness Office has encouraged more student-centered research and several "ah ha" moments. The students have helped staff collect and share student feedback, amplifying student voices and creating solutions to some of the identified gaps.

The Street Team gives the Office of Institutional Effectiveness a direct, daily link to students. Informally, they engage in conversation in the office and provide insight to not only the IE Team but also others in the office area, including marketing, grants, and librarians.

This student presence has made it much easier -- and almost inescapable -- to check assumptions or ideas with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). It also provides an opportunity to get feedback on how they are working to engage students and support faculty and academic support. As a result of this collaboration, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness has become much more student-centered. Additionally, colleagues frequently reach out to talk with the team, either informally or more formally, to ask the Street Team to assist with gathering students' voices about a topic.

The most important thing learned is that students are not aware of all the resources that RCC provides. Efforts are underway to improve the method and frequency of communication with students about these supports. Students also want faculty to be more approachable and encourage engagement in the classroom and during office hours.

It was also discovered that when asked, students are more than willing to provide practical advice on addressing some of the identified gaps -- awareness and communication are frequently those gaps.

RP Group Award winners and honorees were publicly recognized at the RP Conference 2024, held April 10–12 in Long Beach, CA. The annual RP Conference is the largest gathering of professionals in the field of institutional research, planning, and effectiveness in the California Community Colleges system.

Riverside City College looks forward to further expanding and enhancing initiatives that empower student voices and promote a vibrant campus community.

To learn more about the Street Team's project, visit https://rpgroup.org/What-We-Do/Awards/RP-Group-Awards.