Bossier Parish Community College – Cavalier Care Center
In our Vision Statement, Bossier Parish Community College seeks to be a premier learning institution, a valued community partner, and a catalyst for growth and opportunity for individuals to contribute to the social, cultural, and economic vitality of our region. To achieve this vision, BPCC recognizes that the institution must embrace and educate all students to empower them for a better future. Unfortunately, not all students are prepared for their educational journey. BPCC seeks to help alleviate the conditions of poverty affecting our students and promote the chances of those students completing their degrees by investing in the creation of the Cavalier Care Center.
The combination of rising tuition, increasing cost of living, stagnant family income, declining state support, and a greatly diminished safety net marks the new economics of college in America. A growing number of college students are impoverished during college–whether or not they grew up in poverty. More than half of the nation’s community college students endure food and/or housing insecurity. The Cavalier Care Center will build upon needs identified in 2018 by our students.
In fall 2018, the BPCC Rotaract Club saw a need and found an opportunity to address food insecurities for students who are often hungry, which impacts learning. Addressing this critical need is helping our students be more successful in the classroom leading to better retention and higher graduation rates. The Cavalier Care Center will take this idea farther and provide for other student needs outside the classroom. Tax preparation services, counseling services, career preparation, job placement, transportation assistance, mental health counseling, and other social services will be provided.
One problem in affecting college completion rates is the fact that colleges tend to operate within a broader cultural narrative that draws a line between academic and “nonacademic” influences on students. This false dichotomy limits the college’s efforts to address this need directly concerning the conditions of poverty affecting students. Nationally, among students earning low grades and participating in developmental coursework, more than half are food and/or housing insecure. For college completion rates to rise and economic development to ensue from an expanded stock of college-educated labor, students must escape the conditions of poverty long enough to graduate. Facilitating that escape requires a cultural shift that sees financial, family, and health issues as integral to academics.
Colleges are limited in their efforts to address the conditions of poverty affecting students. The BPCC Community recognizes that poverty is a societal problem and the college and community must unite in partnership to provide the support our students need. In alignment with academic research, BPCC seeks an institutionally supported systemic approach to address poverty and the nonacademic needs of our students. The Cavalier Care Center will provide a holistic approach to meet the needs of students leading to success in the classroom and increased graduation rates.
 Goldrick-Rab, S., Richardson, J., & Hernandez, A. Hungry and Homeless in College: Results from a National Study of Basic Needs Insecurity in Higher Education. Wisconsin HOPE Lab (2017); Goldrick-Rab, S., Richardson, J., Schneider, J., Hernandez, A., & Cady, C. Still Hungry and Homeless in College. Wisconsin HOPE Lab. (2018).
 Goldrick-Rab, S. Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. (2016). Goldrick-Rab, S. “Challenges and Opportunities for Improving Community College Student Success.” Review of Educational Research 80(3): 437-469. (2010).
 Goldrick-Rab, S., Richardson, J., Schneider, J., Hernandez, A., & Cady, C. Still Hungry
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