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Student Success

Minnesota to Build Statewide Coaching Service to Boost College Completion

The Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) is working to help first-time student loan borrowers stay on track to complete their degrees. The agency has partnered with student success nonprofit InsideTrack to provide dedicated coaching support to students enrolled in the state's SELF low-interest educational loan program.

Over nine months, students will work with success coaches to set educational goals, chart a path to achieve those goals, and navigate around obstacles, according to a news announcement. Coaches will help these first-time borrowers develop time management skills and make sure they can access on- and off-campus resources for both academic and personal support. The service will be delivered virtually via phone, e-mail and text, at no cost to students.

In addition, data gathered and analyzed by InsideTrack will help OHE better understand the challenges and structural barriers faced by students, as well as ways to offer additional support. OHE also plans to work with InsideTrack to launch its own success coaching program; InsideTrack will advise OHE student support staff for three years to train them on its coaching model.

"At a time when the typical college student is balancing the complexities of work, family, finances, and academics, making good on higher education's promise of social and economic mobility requires us to make wise investments in the success and well-being of students," said Ruth Bauer White, president of InsideTrack, in a statement. "This work is about backstopping the financial investments that students make in higher education by providing them with the wrap-around support they need to stay on track to graduate."

"To unlock the full economic and financial potential of these important higher education investments, it's critical that we match our commitment to college access with a similar dedication to college success and completion," commented Dennis Olson, commissioner at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. "This work is about providing first-time student loan borrowers with the support they need to obtain a credential, changing their educational and career trajectories for years to come."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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