Funded by the ECMC Foundation, the John M. Belk Endowment, Arnold Ventures and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Student Success Innovation Lab helps UNC System institutions develop and test new strategies for promoting student success. The grants will support innovative practices in three areas: teaching and learning, student services, and financial aid. The grants require each institution to partner with a third-party evaluator to measure and evaluate the impact of these strategies. Individual initiatives that prove successful can be scaled up at the home institution and, in some cases, expanded across the UNC System.
- North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University: The Aggie Success Academy will provide an immersive summer residence program that will integrate incoming first year students into the university community and prepare them for success at the college level.
- East Carolina University: ECU will expand an existing Learning Assistant model to include additional gatekeeper courses in subject areas with high rates of D’s, fails, and withdraws (economics, foreign language, and math). The learning assistants are trained, near-peer undergraduate student instructors, who will co-teach courses with instructors while concurrently enrolled in a course on curriculum and pedagogy.
- UNC Asheville: UNC Asheville will implement two student advising initiatives: a scheduling optimization tool and a full-time case manager, specifically to support students most likely to struggle academically.
- UNC Charlotte: UNCC’s Funds to Finish program will use proactive advising to help students align academic goals with financial resources. Using an algorithmic index and other tools, UNCC’s advisors will be able to intervene when students struggle in gateway courses to help them re-conceptualize their academic pathways.
- UNC Greensboro: UNCG’s Major Transition Advisors will proactively help those students who lose momentum to identify an alternative major, which may be a better fit and which may enable timely degree completion.
- Fayetteville State University, UNC Pembroke, Western Carolina University, and Winston-Salem State University: Each institution, in this multi-site pilot, will provide completion grants to students who are close to graduation, but have unmet financial need, and have exhausted all other sources of financial aid. Priority will be given to rural and low-income students.