Five-year Goals and Associated Interim Benchmarks

In January 2017, the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina unanimously approved Higher Expectations, a five-year Strategic Plan for the UNC System. The Plan calls on the UNC System to achieve ambitious goals in access, student success, affordability and efficiency, economic impact and community engagement, and institutional excellence and diversity.

Progress on these goals and metrics will be achieved through the hard work and commitment of institutional leaders, faculty, and staff. In that spirit, University of North Carolina at Charlotte has identified these contributions that University of North Carolina at Charlotte aspires to make to the UNC Strategic Plan over the next five years.


Prioritize

Low-income Completions

By 2021-22, UNCC will produce 3,094 low-income graduates, an increase of 29.8% (711 additional low-income completions over a base of 2,383).

From UNC Charlotte: UNC Charlotte enrolls and graduates the largest number of low-income students in the UNC System. UNC Charlotte was founded to serve returning World War II veterans, and the university remains committed to opening the doors of higher education to increase economic opportunity for a wider population. Prospect for Success engages students in three key learning outcomes that better position them for academic success and timely graduation. Proactive advising, early alerts, tutoring, and supplemental instruction support student success for all. Niner Central, the one-stop shop for financial aid and administrative services, is especially helpful to first-generation and low-income students and provides support beyond academic advising. Gold Rush Grants help students with unmet needs who are close to graduation complete their degrees.

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Five-year Graduation Rates

By 2022, UNCC will improve its five-year graduation rate from any accredited institution to 64.8%. This is an improvement over a base of 59.1% for UNCC’s 2010 cohort.

From UNC Charlotte: UNC Charlotte continues to exceed its goal for improving its five-year graduation rate and make impressive gains as its five-year graduation rate nears 75%. UNC Charlotte received the 2019 APLU Degree Completion Award for its Graduation Initiative, which is a multi-faceted, university-wide effort designed to clarify degree requirements, reduce barriers to student progression, and aid in students’ ability to successfully navigate their curriculum. UNC Charlotte’s Prospect for Success program helps students navigate the college experience; proactive advising keeps students on track to graduation; and every college regularly reviews data on student progression to identify potential problems and bottlenecks delaying graduation.

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Undergraduate Degree Efficiency

By 2021-22, UNCC will maintain its undergraduate degree efficiency at its current level of 25.8.

From UNC Charlotte: UNC Charlotte continues to improve its undergraduate degree efficiency and is ranked among the highest of UNC System institutions. This achievement reflects the university’s commitment to the success of all students. The receptive environment for transfer students contributes to UNC Charlotte’s high undergraduate degree efficiency. UNC Charlotte receives the largest number of transfer students in the UNC System, totaling approximately 50% of the student population. The university’s Transfer Center provides support and resources for a seamless transition with the goal to increase retention and graduation rates among transfer students. This commitment to seamless transfer is also reflected in the university’s newly implemented 49er Next program, which is creating deeper partnerships with community colleges to ensure seamless course transfers and timely graduation.

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Critical Workforces

By 2021-22, UNCC will produce 4,188 critical workforce credentials, an increase of 33.9% (1,061 additional critical workforce credentials over a base of 3,127).

From UNC Charlotte: UNC Charlotte continues to exceed its goal in this area. Uniquely positioned to address the critical workforce needs of the state’s largest metropolitan region, its programs produce teachers for the K-12 sector; nurses and other health professionals for the health sector; and engineers, computing professionals and data scientists for the tech sector. The University continues to add and adapt academic programs to meet changing workforce needs. A Bachelor of Science degree in Data Science, which is the first undergraduate degree of its kind in North Carolina, is a result of direct collaboration between the university and business leaders. The new School of Professional Studies is designed to meet the needs of the working adult student and serve as a resource for businesses and organizations seeking employee development solutions. Additional new degree programs include healthcare informatics, computer engineering, biotechnology, and respiratory care.

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Research Productivity

By 2021-22, UNCC will receive $54,907,015 in research and development sponsored program awards and licensing income, an increase of 44.1% ($16,800,000 additional over a base of $38,107,015).

From UNC Charlotte: The research enterprise at UNC Charlotte continues to grow in tandem with the growth of research doctoral programs and exceed award goals. Since 2016, the University’s awards have increased by 44%, providing momentum for expanding Charlotte’s research profile. The Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) and the recently launched Center for Computational Intelligence to Predict Health and Environmental Risks (CIPHER) are examples of the university’s commitment to meeting the needs of the Charlotte community and the state through interdisciplinary research and partnerships. UNC Charlotte is also committed to extending research opportunities to undergraduates and supports a newly formed Office of Undergraduate Research and Charlotte Research Scholars, a summer internship program open to students from all majors.

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Improve

Low-income Enrollments

By fall 2021, UNCC will enroll 10,056 low-income students, a 17.5% increase over 2015 levels (1,497 additional low-income students over a base of 8,559).

From UNC Charlotte: UNC Charlotte enrolls among the largest number of low-income students — both first-time-in-college students and transfer students — in the UNC System.  Approximately 30% of all incoming students are Pell-eligible, and approximately 50% of those have 0% expected family contribution (EFC). The University provides specialized communication to these students and their families about financial aid options and additional support for the FAFSA completion.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, the university used millions of dollars in HEERF funding to help enrolled students persist through trying financial times. Additionally, recognizing many students choose to begin at community colleges for financial reasons, the university’s 49er Next Program offers guaranteed admission to students from six North Carolina community colleges, helping them with a seamless transition in pursuing a bachelor’s degree. 

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Rural Completions

By 2021-22, UNCC will produce 1,360 rural graduates, an increase of 15.6% (184 additional rural completions over a base of 1,176).

From UNC Charlotte: In 2020-21, UNC Charlotte produced 1,393 rural graduates, exceeding its goal. While most UNC Charlotte undergraduates arrive from the expanding Charlotte-Mecklenburg region or other growing urban regions, students also come from nearby counties classified as Tier 2. The university’s 49er Next Program offers guaranteed admission to students from six North Carolina community colleges, helping them with a seamless transition in pursuing a bachelor’s degree. The campus currently ranks third in the UNC System for awards to “rural” students. Students from outside the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area are attracted to the opportunities for internships available in an urban area. The light rail line connects UNC Charlotte’s main campus to its Dubois Center in the heart of Charlotte and close to major businesses and cultural institutions. This makes Charlotte’s cultural events and internship opportunities more accessible to students who might not otherwise have access to transportation.

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Achievement Gaps in Undergraduate Degree Efficiency

By 2021-22, UNCC will reduce by 50% the achievement gap in undergraduate degree efficiency between underrepresented minority and non-underrepresented minority students.

From UNC Charlotte:

UNC Charlotte surpassed its degree efficiency target for underrepresented minority students. Progress continues guided by the Campus Plan for Access, Diversity and Inclusion and is a priority of the university’s new strategic plan, “Shaping What’s Next.” The Education Trust cited the university for closing the student achievement gap for Hispanic and African American students. Notably, it is No. 1 in North Carolina for bachelor’s degrees to Latinx students (Excelencia in Education), and earned national rankings for graduating African American students with bachelor’s degrees in several STEM fields; for this population, the university is first in the state in mathematics, second in computing and physical sciences, and third in engineering.

UNC Charlotte facilitates student success, offering academic engagement opportunities for traditionally underserved minorities and first-generation students through the Office of Academic Diversity and Inclusion. The University Transition Opportunities Program (UTOP) offers pre-college summer programs to first-time-in-college, underrepresented minority students. 

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Sustain

Rural Enrollments

By fall 2021, UNCC will enroll 6,279 rural students, a 13.5% increase over 2016 levels (748 additional rural students over a base of 5,531).

From UNC Charlotte: Most UNC Charlotte undergraduates arrive from the expanding Charlotte-Mecklenburg region as well as other growing urban regions, but many of its students come from counties in the nearby region classified as Tier 2, attracted by the opportunities available in the city. For these students, the Career Center is an important gateway to internships, co-op experiences, and the experiential learning opportunities available in Charlotte. The university’s 49er Next Program offers guaranteed admission to students from six North Carolina community colleges, helping them with a seamless transition in pursuing a bachelor’s degree. The Transfer Center is designed to help students make a smooth entry into the university and maximize the benefit of previously earned credits.

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