Two Guilford County educational institutions have been selected to take part in a national initiative to help close achievement gaps in higher education.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) and Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) have joined the Frontier Set, comprised of 31 educational institutions across the country, to improve student outcomes and better prepare new generations of students for the college experience.

The Frontier Set is a new model of partnership and sharing best practices to improve student outcomes in higher education. The network brings together a diverse set of high-performing two- and four-year colleges, organizations and state systems that are already pioneers in transforming the way they operate to improve student success in learning, credential/degree completion and transition to the labor market.

The Frontier Set is an integral part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s effort to increase postsecondary credential and degree attainment.

Frontier Set members have committed to document, collaborate and share best practices to improve not only their individual performance but to also spur collective progress. By facilitating knowledge sharing within and across sectors, the Frontier Set helps institutions avoid “reinventing the wheel” of promising practices and instead draws on experience from others about what works and why it works for improving student success.

As Frontier Set colleges, UNCG and GTCC have committed to:

  • Integrate key solutions within broader efforts to strengthen pathways to completion/transfer, including: redesigned advising, enhanced digital learning and courseware, and strengthened developmental education
  • Engage with the Frontier Set Network
  • Build a strong implementation and network engagement team
  • Accelerate improvements in student success and strengthen capacities for sustained reform
  • Submit data and set targets on near-term and long-term key performance indicators

UNCG and GTCC have demonstrated commitment to making significant increases in student success rates.

In 2011, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation selected GTCC to join Completion by Design (CbD), a national five-year initiative to increase student completion. GTCC was the lead school among five North Carolina community colleges selected for the initiative. As part of (CbD), GTCC has been developing and implementing guided pathways and reforms to increase student completion including:

  • Restructuring programs of study to better align with university and employer expectations
  • Implementing reforms designed to help students accelerate into programs of study
  • Improving students’ front door-experience including redesigning orientation and implementing programs to help GED and Adult High School graduates transition to college
  • Reshaping advising to become a more proactive, faculty-centered model

“We want students to stay in school, succeed in their courses, complete a credential, and get a good job or continue their education,” said GTCC President Randy Parker. “Guilford Tech is a national leader in developing and implementing guided pathways to help students reach those goals. The Frontier Set extends the work that began with Completion by Design and provides an opportunity to collaborate with other two- and four-year institutions to provide the best strategies to expand educational technology, ensure expert advising and prepare students to be college-ready and successful. We believe being selected along with UNCG provides a great impetus to develop stronger collaborative opportunities for our mutual students, and with UNCG as our largest transfer institution, we look forward to building on our current relationship.”

Dr. Dana Dunn, provost at UNCG, added: “We are proud to be part of the Frontier Set and to partner with GTCC to improve student college preparedness and success. We have a commitment to student success and a track record of closing the gaps for Pell eligible students. Participating in the Frontier Project will enable us to further this work by partnering on innovative new programs, ranging from leveraging technology to improving the teaching and learning experience, to enhanced advising and academic support programs tailored to the needs of our students.”

Below is a complete list of Frontier Set members:

  1. Arizona State University (AZ)
  2. Claflin University (SC)
  3. College of Staten Island (NY)
  4. Columbia Basin College (WA)
  5. Davidson County Community College (NC)
  6. Delaware State University (DE)
  7. Fayetteville State University (NC)
  8. Florida International University (FL)
  9. Georgia State University (GA)
  10. Guilford Technical Community College (NC)
  11. Indian River State College (FL)
  12. Jackson State University (MS)
  13. Johnson C. Smith University (NC)
  14. Lorain County Community College (OH)
  15. Miami Dade College (FL)
  16. Morehouse College (GA)
  17. New Jersey City University (NJ)
  18. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (WI)
  19. Northern Arizona University (AZ)
  20. Portland State University (OR)
  21. Sam Houston State University (TX)
  22. San Jacinto College (TX)
  23. Santa Fe College (FL)
  24. Sinclair Community College (OH)
  25. Tennessee Board of Regents (TN)
  26. The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley (TX)
  27. University of Central Florida (FL)
  28. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (NC)
  29. University System of Georgia (GA)
  30. Wake Technical Community College (NC)
  31. William Rainey Harper College (IL)