Current Projects

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.

  • UNC System Equity Fellows: The Equity Fellows program will enhance the ability of UNC institutions to deliver high-quality, high-touch first- and second-year advising to underrepresented students that will drive improvement in retention and completion rates. Applications for the Fall 2022 Cohort will open in January. Learn more about the UNC System Equity Fellows.
  • 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: UNC Charlotte’s Funds to Finish program is designed to help students align their academic goals with their financial resources to speed up degree completion and reduce stop outs. The Funds to Finish team has developed a predictive algorithm to identify students who are at risk of not completing. Those students are then engaged in a proactive advising process that enables them to develop a plan that aligns their academic goals with their financial resources.
  • UNC Greensboro: UNCG’s Enhanced Advising intervention combines counsel from an experienced advisor with financial aid information and a modest stipend in effort to support postsecondary persistence and timely degree completion. The project aims to answer the following research question: What is the effect of a locally developed enhanced advising intervention paired with modest financial support on measures of postsecondary progress, performance, and completion among students partially through their college careers?
  • 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.