Campus Connections

At a Glance

Faculty at Colorado State University developed Campus Connections, an award-winning and high-impact community program that serves local youth who have experienced adversity and offers research opportunities for faculty.

This innovative mentoring program has been successfully implemented at several Universities.

Campus Connections
Dr. Toni Zimmerman


Although research has shown that mentoring works, traditional programs have difficulties recruiting sufficient numbers of volunteers, resulting in youth languishing on long waiting lists prior to being matched with a mentor. Unfortunately, even after being matched, 50% of these mentoring relationships fail due to insufficient support of mentors – resulting in another loss or disappointment for these vulnerable youth.

Campus Connections is receiving national attention from leaders in the mentoring field because its unique design solves problems that continue to plague traditional mentoring programs. Our award-winning program successfully brings local youth and students together in a highly unique and effective mentoring program and service-learning course. Both mentees and mentors experience a sense of belonging, mattering, and support. Clinical graduate students provide on-site mental health services, which are integrated into the program for youth and their families.

We license Campus Connections to other universities (or other higher education institutions), where faculty leaders are securing grants to support research and program operations; publishing research on data efficiently collected from youth, parents/guardians, and student mentors; and, most importantly, seeing impressive outcomes for both college students and community youth.

The program can be adapted to the unique needs of every community, allowing for individualized and successful community engagement and outreach.

Click here for more details about the program.

Hear from those engaged in Campus Connections how the program has benefited their community and University in incredible ways. Contact our office to learn more about the program and how to implement Campus Connections at your University or Higher Education Institution.


  • increased school attendance;
  • reduced alcohol and marijuana use;
  • improved attitudes about drugs and alcohol;
  • enhanced emotional well-being; and
  • fewer behavioral problems at home and school.
  • higher persistence rates toward graduation,
  • higher graduation rates;
  • faster degree completion; and
  • higher cumulative GPAs.
  • crisis management;
  • engaging with larger systems, such as schools, social service, and courts; and
  • facilitating stronger parent-child relationships.
  • a rewarding, high-impact course to teach;
  • a platform to secure funding for research tailored to the faculty’s interests;
  • an efficient means for collecting multi-informant, multi-method, and longitudinal data; and
  • opportunities to meaningfully engage with the community to advance service goals.
  • helps universities achieve success goals
  • increased retention and graduation rates
  • achieve greater community engagement
  • program can be adapted to meet unique needs of community
  • innovative option to guide youth


  • University/Higher Education Programming (applicable to any Higher Education Institution)


Weiler, L. M., Boat, A., & Haddock, S. A. (2019). Youth risk and mentoring relationship quality: The moderating effect of program experiences. American Journal of Community Psychology. doi: 10.1002/ajcp.12304

Weiler, L. M., Chesmore, A. A., Pryce, J., Haddock, S., & Rhodes, T. (2017). Mentor response to youth academic support-seeking behavior: Does attunement matter? Youth & Society. doi: 10.1177/0044118X17697235

Haddock, S., Zimmerman, T. S., Gile Thomas, A., Weiler, L. M., Krafchick, J., & Fredrickson, G. (2017). A qualitative analysis of mentee experiences in a campus based mentoring program. Journal of Youth Development, 12, 61-80. doi: 10.5195/jyd.2017.496

Weiler, L. M., Haddock, S. A., Henry, K. L., Zimmerman, T. S, Krafchick, J, & Youngblade, L. (2015). Time-limited, structured youth mentoring and adolescent problem behaviors. Applied Developmental Science, 9(4), 196-205. doi:10.1080/10888691.2015.1014484

Weiler, L. M., *Zarich, K., Haddock, S., Zimmerman, T., & Krafchick, J. (2014). A comprehensive model of mentor experiences: Perceptions, strategies, and outcomes. Journal of Community Psychology, 42, 593-608. doi: 10.1002/jcop.21640

Weiler, L. M., Zimmerman, T., Haddock, S., & Krafchick, J. (2014). Understanding the experience of mentor families in therapeutic youth mentoring. Journal of Community Psychology, 42, 80-98. doi: 10.1002/jcop.21595

Weiler, L. M., Haddock, S.,

Zimmerman, T., Krafchick, J., Henry, K., & Rudisill, S. (2013). Benefits derived by college students from mentoring at-risk youth in a service-learning course. American Journal of Community Psychology, 52, 236-248. doi: 10.1007/s10464-013-9589-z



2019 – National Award Finalist C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award from the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities

2019 – W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award from the Engagement Scholarship Consortium

2019 – Distinguished Engagement Scholarship Award from the CSU Office of Community Engagement

2018 – Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) Universities Award from the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities

2018 – Excellence in Community Partner Engagement Award from the Engagement Scholarship Consortium

Last Updated: November 2023
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Available for Non-Exclusive Licensing
TRL: 9

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​Toni Zimmerman
Shelly Haddock
Jennifer Krafchick
Lindsey Weiler
Lise Youngblade

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Licensing Manager

Jessy McGowan