Does sustained, intensive college advising that taps the strength of people and technology help students graduate? That question is the focus of a national research project for which UNC Charlotte and two other higher education institutions have been selected to participate.

The Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College, Columbia University, and MDRC, an independent research organization, are conducting a study of technology-mediated advising at UNC Charlotte, Montgomery County Community College in Pennsylvania and at California State University, Fresno.

Melinda Mechur Karp, CCRC’s assistant director and principal investigator for this study, said, “Most studies of advising reform examine only a single piece of the student support puzzle, examine the impact of technology in the absence of other changes or are unable to disentangle the impact of advising from other completion-oriented reforms. This study will help us understand the impact of sustained, personalized and multifaceted support for students, delivered by a combination of technology and people, in a real-world reform environment.”

John Smail, associate provost for undergraduate studies and dean of University College, said UNC Charlotte’s selection resulted from advising changes implemented in fall 2015. The University was one of 24 colleges nationwide to receive a three-year, $225,000 Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (IPASS) grant funded by the Gates Foundation and the Helmsley Charitable Trust.

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