Compass 2 Campus named top mentoring program

Western Washington University’s Compass 2 Campus has been recognized as a top mentoring program by Mentoring Works Washington.

Compass 2 Campus, a proactive effort that sends trained WWU student mentors into schools in order to get more kids to see themselves as future college students, was just named an Expert Partner by Mentoring Works Washington. Compass 2 Campus achieved Expert level through a rigorous, guided evaluation process that is based on over 20 years of national research and experienced practitioner insight and includes ongoing assistance from Mentoring Works Washington to develop and implement a 12-month Improvement & Innovation Plan.

“It is a distinct honor to receive this designation recognizing the high quality of our program, made possible by the outstanding and dedicated Western student mentors who have made meaningful and lasting impacts on the lives of thousands of area school children,” said Compass 2 Campus Director Cyndie Shepard.

This designation means that Compass 2 Campus is committed to following quality best practices that help ensure the community’s youth and volunteers are safe and that they experience mentoring relationships that result in positive outcomes such as increased self-esteem, academic success and decreased chances of exhibiting risky behavior.

To achieve Expert status, Compass 2 Campus completed the Quality Mentoring Assessment Path, and follows 100 percent of its outlined best practices. Out of about 200 mentoring programs in Washington, only six have become Dedicated Partners and just three have become an Expert Partners the first two years of the statewide program.  

In rigorous studies, mentoring conducted in high-quality programs: reduced juvenile delinquency and crime; improved school attendance, grades and high school graduation rates; improved mental health; and lowered risk of youth involvement in such risky behaviors as drugs, and alcohol and tobacco use. 

Mentoring Works Washington is a statewide organization dedicated to building and sustaining quality youth mentoring through advocacy, training, technical assistance, research, volunteer recruitment and more.  Mentoring Works Washington is one of the nation’s top leaders in the quality mentoring movement.

Compass 2 Campus, launched in 2009 at Western, has now served thousands of students from the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th grades in schools in Whatcom and Skagit counties. Over the past six years, Western student mentors have provided over 123,000 hours of mentoring service to those students. Last fall, Central Washington University opened Compass 2 Campus, encouraging their local youth to consider college in their futures.

The Washington State Legislature established legislative support for the program in hopes of increasing the number of low-income students, diverse and first-generation college students in higher education.

Compass 2 Campus has won several prominent awards. Among them is the first Washington Association of School Administrators Leadership Award, received in 2012.