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 Pembroke has identified these contributions that University of North Carolina at Pembroke aspires to make to the UNC Strategic Plan over the next five years.
By 2021-22, UNCP will produce 841 low-income graduates, an increase of 33.1% (209 additional low-income completions over a base of 632).
From UNC Pembroke: UNC Pembroke has been an institution of access and affordability in southeastern North Carolina for 135 years. Founded in 1887 to train American Indian teachers, UNCP proudly serves a distinctly diverse student population. More than 70% of its students receive financial aid or need-based assistance. And now, thanks to NC Promise, UNCP’s uniquely affordable tuition rate will continue to remove financial barriers to degree completion for many low-income students. Since the implementation of the NC Promise Tuition Program in 2018, the university has seen an impressive 32% increase in overall enrollment. The university’s retention rate remains high, with the fall 2021 freshman retention rate reaching a record high, improving low-income students’ progress toward degree completion. Recent institutional improvements will have the most dramatic impact on students early in their academic careers; thus, UNCP should continue to see even more significant gains in this priority area in subsequent years.
By 2021-22, UNCP will produce 944 rural graduates, an increase of 17.4% (140 additional rural completions over a base of 804).
From UNC Pembroke: Nearly 50% of UNC Pembroke students hail from the university’s largely rural, nine-county service region. When students arrive at the university, they often find the small class sizes create a personal atmosphere that enhances their academic journey and campus experience. The university continues to use the latest advising software so UNC Pembroke can monitor predictive risk factors — including those for rural students. Improvements made in recent years will have the most dramatic impact early in students’ collegiate careers; thus, UNCP expects to see even more significant gains toward rural completions in subsequent years. Along with improved retention and increased enrollment due to the NC Promise Tuition Plan, the university anticipates substantial improvements in rural completions as entering students’ progress through their degree programs.
Five-year Graduation Rates
By 2022, UNCP will improve its five-year graduation rate from any accredited institution to 46.5%. This is an improvement over a base of 40.4% for UNCP’s 2010 cohort.
From UNC Pembroke: UNCP has focused on maximizing student success, ultimately leading to improved graduation rates, surpassing its 2022 goal. Establishing the University College — which includes the Center for Student Success — has contributed to the effective retention, progression, and graduation of students. Innovative solutions and technology systems facilitate early identification of students who face challenges. This helps UNCP remove obstacles before they impede students’ success. University College, geared toward freshman and transfer students, coordinates all retention and progression efforts and smooths incoming students’ transition into college. These improvements will have the most dramatic impact on students early in their academic careers, so UNCP expects to see even more significant gains in subsequent years.
Achievement Gaps in Undergraduate Degree Efficiency
By 2021-22, UNCP will reduce by 50% the achievement gap in undergraduate degree efficiency between male and female students.
From UNC Pembroke: Over the coming years, UNCP will continue to significantly reduce male students’ achievement gap in undergraduate-degree efficiency. The university will make progress in this critical area by strengthening support systems and measuring performance metrics among the target group. Consistent with national trends, 35% of UNCP’s students are male. Historically, this population has not been retained as consistently as its female counterpart, with many male students transferring or leaving school altogether. For the 2020-21 academic year, UNCP saw an increase in male undergraduate-degree efficiency to 24.5. The Center for Student Success and Division of Student Affairs, along with individual academic programs and departments, are partnering to ensure this population is retained and progresses at a rate that puts students on a trajectory for timely degree completion. The results of these initiatives will be most noticeable in the plan’s subsequent years.
By 2021-22, UNCP will produce 499 critical workforce credentials, an increase of 29.6% (114 additional critical workforce credentials over a base of 385).
From UNC Pembroke: UNC Pembroke seeks to strengthen its position as the anchor economic institution in southeastern North Carolina. Thus, it will focus on educating a qualified, well-trained workforce in key fields including health sciences, STEM, and K-12 education. In fall 2018, UNCP announced the formation of a College of Health Sciences, focused on expanding health care programs and adding new ones in high demand fields. In spring 2021, the McKenzie-Elliott School of Nursing was established to expand the university’s successful nursing program. That expansion could significantly impact progress toward this goal. Another critical workforce, K-12 education, is at the core of UNC Pembroke’s historic mission. Founded as a normal college to train American Indian teachers, UNCP remains committed to this vision, producing well-trained educators through the School of Education. Innovative partnership programs like the 3+2 engineering program and pathways to veterinary school and medical school will result in even more STEM graduates.
By fall 2021, UNCP will enroll 3,458 low-income students, a 11.2% increase over 2015 levels (349 additional low-income students over a base of 3,109).
From UNC Pembroke: UNC Pembroke serves a distinctly rural, low-income, and diverse student population. More than 70% of the university’s students receive financial aid or need-based assistance. As an institution of access and affordability, UNC Pembroke remains committed to serving low-income students, many of whom may be the first in their families to attend college. By lowering in-state, undergraduate tuition to $500 per semester, the NC Promise Tuition Plan is attracting a greater number of students for whom financial barriers to a college education might otherwise have been too great. A 32% increase in overall enrollment since 2018 — including a significant increase in the number of transfer students — and a record number of applications indicate that low-income enrollment at UNC Pembroke may continue to grow.
By fall 2021, UNCP will enroll 4,021 rural students, a 9.8% increase over 2016 levels (359 additional rural students over a base of 3,662).
From UNC Pembroke: Located in predominantly rural southeastern North Carolina, UNC Pembroke serves a distinctly rural student population, with the majority hailing from the primary nine-county service region. UNCP offers an educational environment where all students are embraced and supported throughout their academic journey. This nurturing atmosphere appeals to many rural students. In spring 2022, UNCP opened the doors to the James A. Thomas Hall housing the Thomas School of Business, providing students access to cutting-edge technology to provide the region’s next generation of business leaders. With in-state, undergraduate tuition set at $500 per semester, the NC Promise Tuition Plan is improving access to a college education for many rural, low-income, and first-generation students. UNC Pembroke surpassed its 2022 enrollment goal with a 32% increase since 2018. That number included a significant increase in the number of transfer students, indicating that rural enrollment at UNC Pembroke may continue to grow.
Undergraduate Degree Efficiency
By 2021-22, UNCP will improve its undergraduate degree efficiency to 19.2 over a base of 18.1.
From UNC Pembroke: Over the coming years, UNC Pembroke will work to improve undergraduate efficiency by strategically focusing on initiatives that address student progression, retention, and completion. Several initiatives in place yield a tremendous benefit as students receive assistance early in their academic journey. The University College coordinates all retention and progression for freshmen and transfer students, promoting a smooth transition into college. UNCP’s advising and tutoring structure is designed to ensure optimal delivery with student success coaches providing supplemental math and English composition instruction. Coaches use EAB-SCC-Campus software and a Hawk Alert Program to improve advising, predict student success, and enable early intervention — critical components of the University College mission.
By 2021-22, UNCP will receive $4,241,519 in research and development sponsored program awards and licensing income, an increase of 10.2% ($392,591 additional over a base of $3,848,928).
From UNC Pembroke: Through participation in research, UNC Pembroke’s faculty, students, and staff embrace engaged scholarship as a means to further the institution’s mission to “enhance the intellectual, cultural, economic, and social life of the region.” Major research projects conducted in the Biotechnology Center are in areas of applied microbiology, Alzheimer’s Disease, nematology, fermentation, agricultural science, and molecular biology. At UNCP, programs like PURC and RISE encourage undergraduate and graduate students alike to participate in research alongside professors. Having already surpassed its 2022 goal, the university will continue to support these efforts and encourage growth opportunities whenever possible.