UNC Greensboro (UNCG) today announced the launch of the new Academic Success Coaching Program designed to transform the first-year student experience and prepare new students for success at the university level and beyond.

The program, funded from a $1.2 million Edward M. Armfield, Sr. Foundation grant, will launch as a pilot program in the fall of 2019 with 10 graduate student coaches serving 150 first-year students.

Additionally, UNCG recently received a $250,000 grant from the Cemala Foundation to scale the program after the first year.

“As a campus community, we are increasingly focused on student success and ensuring that all students have an opportunity to maximize their potential,” said UNCG Provost Dana Dunn. “This program will change the way we invest in our first-year students by providing personalized, intentional support. While we are starting with 150 students in the fall, the ultimate goal is to scale this program so that we can offer it to all new students.”

The program, led by experienced advisor and student success coach William “Scott” Holloway, is grounded in standards for executive coaching and research-based skills and abilities that, when improved, increase the likelihood of student persistence and graduation. Through a holistic approach, the program will reach beyond issues of academic preparedness with a focus on developing students’ coping ability, academic achievement, hope, problem-solving ability, and emotional wellbeing.

Specifically, the program will focus on developing students’ growth mindsets and resilience and increasing motivation, which in turn will enable students to create strategies to overcome challenges. Graduate student coaches, certified by the International Coaching Federation, will help students propel their growth. The program is also designed to introduce undergraduate students to cultural experiences, such as art exhibitions, academic lectures, and musical performances. These experiences enhance students’ cultural capital and provide them with the skills and confidence to navigate the professional world.

The Academic Success Coaching Program is currently recruiting incoming first-year students who would benefit from a coaching program and are not eligible for other student success programs within the University.

A rigorous evaluation of the program is being designed in partnership with the Office of Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Services within UNCG’s School of Education. These findings will be used to inform modifications and scaling.