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Guilford Technical Community College
Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) began requiring Student Orientation, Advising and Registration (SOAR) in 2011 because of the course's positive association with student retention, especially retention of African American men.
GTCC's policy that all new students must take SOAR is based on results with 7,000 students since 2005.
- 57% of SOAR participants, on average, persisted from fall-to-fall compared with 42% of non-participants
- 82% of African American male SOAR participants in Fall 2010 persisted to Spring 2011 compared to 69% of African American male non-participants
- 77% of African American male SOAR participants persisted to the next term, on average, compared to 62% of African American male non-participants
GTCC launched an online version of SOAR in 2010. It has offered Specialized SOAR to students who test into two or more developmental courses since 2009.
GTCC began in 1958 as an industrial education center. In Fall 2009, the college had 13,400 students on three campuses. In Fall 2009, the college had 13,400 students on three campuses, and of those students 45% were African American, 4% were Hispanic, and 4% were Asian – 38% received Pell grants.
GTCC’s Achieving the Dream work initially focused on improving its “front-door experience.” To eliminate the maze of departments and procedures that new students had to navigate, GTCC invested $300,000 to renovate a central location for admissions, testing, financial aid, counseling, and advising services.
GTCC won the 2010 Leah Meyer Austin Institutional Student Success Leadership Award for the outstanding accomplishments that resulted from changing its institutional culture.
GTCC has embedded data mining into its core structure and Achieving the Dream goals into its strategic plan.
The college monitors the progress of student cohorts like those in developmental math with Supplemental Instruction (SI). In Fall 2010, 54% of the math repeaters whose courses included SI were successful compared to 33% of repeaters whose courses did not include SI.
Evidence of college-wide engagement in student success comes from the Advocacy Initiative: 250 faculty and staff members have volunteered to serve as student advocates.
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