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 Greensboro has identified these contributions that University of North Carolina at Greensboro aspires to make to the UNC Strategic Plan over the next five years.


Low-income Enrollments

By fall 2021, UNCG will enroll 8,161 low-income students, a 15.1% increase over 2015 levels (1,072 additional low-income students over a base of 7,089).

From UNC Greensboro: From our origins as a school for women, through our evolution into a co-educational university, UNC Greensboro has provided opportunity and excellence for students who are historically underrepresented among college populations. We currently serve a diverse student body and are recognized for providing not just access but also support to help all students succeed. UNCG enrolls the largest Pell-grant eligible student population in the UNC System. In 2016, UNCG was one of thirteen public universities recognized by the US Department of Education for excelling in enrolling and graduating Pell grant recipients. UNCG is also now part of a select group of colleges and universities in the Frontier Set, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded project aimed at eliminating racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in college attainment.

Low-income Completions

By 2021-22, UNCG will produce 2,115 low-income graduates, an increase of 32.5% (519 additional low-income completions over a base of 1,596).

From UNC Greensboro: UNC Greensboro prides itself on having a collective and tenacious focus on success for all students. UNCG is known for its supportive and rigorous environment, which promotes students’ timely progress toward their bachelor’s degrees. UNCG is receiving substantial recognition for its efforts. The University ranked as the top university in North Carolina for Social Mobility in the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings in 2019 and again in 2020. This new category highlights the institutions that are most successful in enrolling and graduating students who come from financially disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition to the number 1 ranking in the state, UNCG ranks 13th nationally in this key category. UNCG also scored high for social mobility in Washington Monthly’s annual rankings. This publication also recognized UNCG for affordability and high graduation rates among Pell grant recipients.  

Five-year Graduation Rates

By 2022, UNCG will improve its five-year graduation rate from any accredited institution to 62.4%. This is an improvement over a base of 56.7% for UNCG’s 2010 cohort.

From UNC Greensboro: UNC Greensboro is a Minority-Serving Institution, with approximately 46% percent of our students coming from underrepresented minority groups in Fall of 2021. We are consistently recognized for our success in closing achievement gaps between African-American and White students, including in a report by The Education Trust. For example, our graduation rate for African-American students is almost 20 percent higher than the rate for African-American students at our top 15 peer institutions. In addition to being part of the larger Frontier Set, UNCG is one of six institutions chosen by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities to serve in a leadership capacity to help other high potential universities work to promote timely graduation for students from underrepresented communities.

Achievement Gaps in Undergraduate Degree Efficiency

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

From UNC Greensboro: UNC Greensboro’s commitment to student transformation begins at the point of enrollment, where ensuring that all qualified students have access to our university is critical. UNCG has been widely recognized for closing achievement gaps through its culture of care, attention to barriers to success for students from all backgrounds, and wrap-around support. Examples of these efforts include the TRiO suite of programs, which provide dedicated academic support to first-generation students and those from low-income families, UNCG Guarantee, a scholarship program for high-achieving, very low-income students, and Academic Success Coaching, which provides a mechanism for developing self-confidence, resilience, and problem solving skills while introducing students to a network of support services to aid in their success. In addition, UNCG CHANCEprovides a six-day intensive college readiness experience for Latinx high school students. CHANCE was recognized as a Program to Watch by Excelencia in Education, a national non-profit supporting Latinx student success.     

Critical Workforces

By 2021-22, UNCG will produce 1,544 critical workforce credentials, an increase of 19.5% (252 additional critical workforce credentials over a base of 1,292).

From UNC Greensboro: Home to the strong and vibrant schools of NursingHealth and Human SciencesNanoscienceEducationBusiness, and the College of Arts and Sciences, UNC Greensboro has a long history of educating individuals who become nurses, scientists, health professionals, and teachers in our community and beyond. Several initiatives, like the Union Square Campus – developed in partnership with Cone Health, North Carolina A&T State University, and Guilford Technical Community College – expand our ability to prepare strong candidatesfor the workforce. In 2020, UNCG added an SSS-STEM program to its TRiO offerings, bringing new investments to support success in STEM. A fully online Ed.D. program in kinesiology is meeting the need for advanced education in the rapidly evolving field of human movement. The School of Education has launched the Haggai Academy, a new scholarship program that complements the existing Teacher Education Fellowsprogram, but which is designed to support non-traditional students who seek teacher licensure. 


Rural Completions

By 2021-22, UNCG will produce 1,167 rural graduates, an increase of 12.9% (133 additional rural completions over a base of 1,034).

From UNC Greensboro: North Carolina is fortunate to have a strong community college system, which provides widespread access to post-high school education across the state. UNC Greensboro has created eight co-admissions programs to smooth the transition from the community college to the university. These programs give co-admitted students access to UNCG’s on-campus resources while they are earning their associate’s degrees so that they are more comfortable in the university environment when they transition. Students also have access to coordinated financial aid disbursement and on-site advising at our partner community colleges. UNCG has also joined 12 other institutions in the Southeastern Cluster of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) Powered By Publics initiative. The Cluster maintains a focus on improving transfer student success. Strong online programs also provide greater access to a four-year degree for students from rural areas. With the addition of recently launched programs in Professional Studies and Business Administration, UNCG now offers 13 fully online bachelor’s degree programs.

Undergraduate Degree Efficiency

By 2021-22, UNCG will improve its undergraduate degree efficiency to 21.7 over a base of 20.4.

From UNC Greensboro: Whether the pathway to earning a degree is non-stop and direct or takes some turns along the way, UNC Greensboro is committed to helping each student find a direction toward timely completion. For example, student veterans often bring an array of credits with them. They find assistance by determining an efficient path to graduation in the Office of Military Affiliated Services. Because of services like this, UNCG has been consistently recognized as a veteran-friendly schoolTailored support is also available for transfer students. The Exploratory Majors program helps students who enroll before declaring a major. These students receive dedicated advising and a specially designed seminar course that shortens their decision and completion timelines. UNCG has also rolled out a new, streamlined General Education program that requires fewer hours than the previous curriculum while making sure that students acquire the skills and knowledge that are foundational for success in college. 

Research Productivity

By 2021-22, UNCG will receive $35,447,019 in research and development sponsored program awards and licensing income, an increase of 19.8% ($5,858,522 additional over a base of $29,588,497).

From UNC Greensboro: UNC Greensboro’s faculty, staff, and students are redefining the public research university as an inclusive, collaborative, and responsive institution that makes a difference in the communities we serve. UNCG is one of just 50 doctoral universities in the country classified by the Carnegie Foundation as having both “higher research activity” and a sustained commitment to community engagement. UNCG research makes a difference. We’ve developed strategies for using technology to promote global development and data to foster healthier neighborhoods. We’ve harnessed virtual reality to help stroke victims and developed a wearable device to help patients monitor heart health. UNCG continues to expand campus infrastructure and amenities to accommodate growth, fuel research productivity, and catalyze community-engaged partnerships. A 180,000-square-foot Nursing and Instructional Building is now open, providing state-of-the-art space for research. The university is also exploring several projects along its Millennial Campus corridor to facilitate public/private partnerships and research opportunities. 


Rural Enrollments

By fall 2021, UNCG will enroll 5,436 rural students, a 9.4% increase over 2016 levels (469 additional rural students over a base of 4,967).

From UNC Greensboro: UNCG prides itself on being in the heart of the city of Greensboro, but recognizes that we must serve all North Carolinians. Our co-admission programs with community colleges will help us grow rural enrollment. We are also investing in other strategies for expanding access to rural students. For example, the Moss Street Partnership School brings state-of-the-art education to elementary students, and allows us to talk with students and families about the benefits of a college education. Together with our co-admission program with Rockingham Community College, students in rural Rockingham County have a clearer pathway to becoming Spartans. In 2020, UNCG joined other System schools in offering Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), funded by the Department of Education. UNCG’s GEAR UP works with target high schools in low-income and rural areas in the state to assist students in their transitions to college.