Student Success Initiatives Working at UNC Greensboro

The University of North Carolina Greensboro, one of the most diverse institutions in the state, has implemented various student success initiatives in an effort to ensure that students' demographics do not dictate their success in college, reports The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Students' demographic markers often offer some of the strongest clues about whether they ultimately succeed or fail in college, reported the Chronicle. First-generation and low-income students, for example, are more likely to be academically unprepared and have spotty family support and limited financial resources—all obstacles on the path to earning a degree.

In addition, the Chronicle reported, about half of low-income students, as measured by those who received Pell Grants, graduate in six years, compared with a graduation rate of 65 percent for students who don’t get that federal aid. And some minority students struggle with feelings of isolation at colleges where their numbers are few, which is one reason that the black-white achievement gap persists.

Greensboro's work started with identifying high-risk groups—those who were academically unprepared, not taking enough credits to keep financial aid, those experiencing distress, and those applying to the highly competitive nursing school). Officials then analyzed several variables and fed the data points into predictive modeling software, allowing them to see red flags and then reach out to students who need support.

Other efforts implemented on campus include: a Students First Office; student success software, the "UNCG Cares" program; and courses to help undecided students research and find a career path. Recently, UNCG also opened an Office of Retention Initiatives.

Such efforts are helping to close the achievement gap, the Chronicle reported. Black students at UNCG have graduated at a similar rate or higher than white students for more than a decade, and the university has been recognized for excelling in graduating Pell Grant recipients.


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The Chronicle of Higher Education