LONG BEACH, CA – Porterville College President Dr. Claudia Lourido-Habib, inspired by her own pivotal experience with a compassionate staff member during college, brought Caring Campus to her school to foster a community where students feel recognized and valued, leading to increased success for all students.

As a 22-year-old immigrant from Colombia, Dr. Lourido-Habib wanted to enroll in community college classes to pursue her then-dream of becoming an architect. She tried three separate semesters to register for classes, only to be told that they were full each time. After her third attempt, Dr. Lourido-Habib went to a restroom and cried.

“I was going to give up, but then a staff member in a green dress came in, picked me up, gave me a hug, and asked me why I was crying,” Dr. Lourido-Habib said. “Then she took me to a new building where I could get the help I needed, starting me on the path that got me to where I am today. Her kindness showed me how much of a difference it makes when staff go the extra mile — that’s why I wanted to bring Caring Campus to Porterville College.”

The Institute for Evidence-Based Change created Caring Campus to provide college and university staff and faculty with the tools and resources needed to create a welcoming environment for students. By establishing a culture of care on campus, students are empowered to persist and succeed in their educational goals.

Porterville College staff completed Caring Campus in November 2023, with the sponsorship of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. Since then, Dr. Lourido-Habib said she has seen her classified professionals find their voices through Caring Campus and show new levels of leadership.

“Our classified professionals are the backbone of our whole operation,” Dr. Lourido-Habib said. “They are the first ones to welcome students and set them on their paths to success, and they’re the last ones at every event, shaking hands and wishing everyone well. It’s incredibly important they see their value and recognize the impact they have on students, and Caring Campus has helped us give them that.”

Porterville College student Sebastian Baca works as a student ambassador in the Counseling Center, providing aid and resources to students in need.

“When I first started my job, there were so many things I didn’t know and I was afraid of making mistakes,” Baca said. “Our student services program technician Nicholas Britt was there every step of the way, answering every single question I had and boosting my confidence. I have always appreciated Nicholas for constantly going above and beyond to ensure I felt comfortable in myself and my abilities.”

Caring Campus equips employees with behavioral commitments and practical tools designed to empower students, helping them succeed inside and outside the classroom.

“Porterville College staff have truly embraced Caring Campus, inspiring and empowering students to reach their full potential,” IEBC President Dr. Brad Phillips said. “This culture of care has helped Porterville College create a nurturing environment where every student can thrive, knowing that help and encouragement are always within reach.”


IEBC_PORTERVILLE1: Porterville College staff pose with president Dr. Claudia Lourido-Habib (third from right) after a Caring Campus session. Dr. Habib, inspired by her game-changing experience with a compassionate staff member as she was trying to enroll in college for the first time, brought Caring Campus to her school to foster a community where students feel recognized and valued.

IEBC_PORTERVILLE2: Porterville College launched Caring Campus to foster a community where students feel recognized and valued, leading to increased success for all students.