4 Connections

About the 4 Connections FLC

The 4 Connections is a research-based equity producing framework that focuses on building intentional relationships between students and faculty in ways that increase the number of student completions, reduce equity gaps, and ensure the quality of student learning.  

The 4 Connections identifies foundational principles faculty with high completion rates use to dramatically improve the quality of students' experiences in and outside the classroom:

  • Interact with Students by Name
  • Check-In Regularly
  • Schedule 1-to-1 Meetings
  • Practice Paradox

These four pillars are simple, but because fostering, maintaining, and strengthening relationships in ways that deepen learning is hard work, the practices are not always easy for faculty to implement. 

Therefore, educators in this faculty learning community met frequently to learn from and with each other.  In addition to creating a shared understanding of each of the 4 Connections, members of this FLC intentionally developed the trust and mutual respect necessary to share the challenges and barriers they experienced.  Members tested, implemented, and then refined their teaching and assessment practices under each category.   

In addition to improved completion rates in their courses, many members reported experiencing a renewed passion for their work, which they credited to the rejuvenating power of the relationships they created with their colleagues in the FLC and, of course, with their students!

About the 4 Connections artifact

This Canvas shell contains a variety of tools and resources to help instructors and administrators put the 4 Connections to work in their context.  The shell includes

  • a case study from Odessa College
  • a variety of presentation materials from the FLC members, including a webinar recording and slide decks.

For classroom instructors, FLC participants created and vetted a wide variety of teaching practices for each of the 4 Connections.

This content is available as

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