Community College Research Initiatives


CCRI’s Coaching for Change briefs are related to advancing equitable outcomes for all students using a racial equity lens.

These briefs span a range of topics and have been written in collaboration with our partners, whom we thank, at Jobs for the Future, the Student Success Center Network Coaching Program, the Student Success Centers and founding director Debra Bragg.

Equity-Minded Coaching

Equity-Minded Change Leadership
There are many ways to think about change leadership and many theories to describe how it should work. Many promote the notion that leaders who readily adapt to new circumstances are most successful in changing their organizations, but this is only part of the necessary skill set. This brief discusses equity-minded change leadership that identifies institutional and systemic causes of inequities in student outcomes to bring about real change.

Coaching for More Equitable Student Outcomes
This brief focuses on coaching for more equitable student outcomes as the overarching purpose of organizational change to bring about student success. We emphasize the importance of equity in comprehensive college reform, including the guided pathways model, to ensure that improved outcomes extend to student groups who have not consistently benefited from past efforts at college improvement.

Integrating Racial Equity into Guided Pathways
This brief argues for the need to focus on racial equity in guided pathways work, to close racial equity gaps and increase the impact of the reform effort. It also discusses the unique position of community colleges to take on racial equity as it relates to their diverse composition and overall mission. The brief concludes with guiding questions for coaches or colleges around the four pillars of guided pathways as a tool for their equity work.

Designing a Coaching Program

Evidence-based Coaching for Change
This brief provides theories, perspectives, and insights into evidence-based coaching for two-year colleges to implement, continuously improve and sustain coaching that focuses on improving performance and results in more equitable outcomes for students.

Essential Design Elements from Five States
This brief showcases the core components of coaching programs across five states—Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas. These states received a two-year coaching implementation grant from JFF in fall 2018 to expand or establish state-based coaching capacity to support colleges’ adoption of comprehensive guided pathway reforms.

Lessons Learned

Ten Ways Institutional Coaching Makes a Difference
This brief summarizes what educational reform partners, JFF and CCRI, learned and drew from interviews and focus groups with Student Success Center leadership, college administrators and staff, and coaches. CCRI offers qualitative research expertise and editing to this brief that compiles ten ways coaching makes an impact.

How Tools Support and Student Success Center Coaching Programs
Learn how coaching tools can maximize the impact of institutional coaching.

Student Success Center Network Coaching Program: Facilitating Institutional Transformation
This landscape report (2022) distills findings from the past five years, includes case studies, lessons learned and what’s next for institutional transformation through the benefits of coaching.

Lessons Learned from The SSCN Assessment, Research, and Coaching Pilot

The Assessment, Research, and Coaching Pilot began with 10 SSCs implementing a range of activities, including using the Scale of Adoption Assessment (SOAA) or other assessments to establish baselines; using assessment data to focus pathway development, improve programs, and target coaching; and developing coaching designs and strategies for organizational change. This document summarizes coaching strategies and program designs along with cross-cutting themes of challenges that SSCs encountered.