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University of Maryland Global Campus Expands Coaching Program for First-Time College Students

With the goal of increasing student retention and graduation, the online University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) has engaged nonprofit student coaching organization Inside Track to expand the university's coaching program to give support for first-time college students.

Inside Track will work one-on-one with up to 600 new students over their first five months to give personal support in that "critical first year of study and provide short-term expansion of coaching support," according to a news announcement.

The organization will also provide intensive training, development, and certification to UMGC coaches, staff, and administrators to learn the best practices of student coaching. It will also use student feedback data to help the university develop a usable coaching model for years to come.

The coaching can be especially helpful to students from underrepresented backgrounds, the release noted, citing UMGC student demographics:

  • Average age: 31;
  • Undergraduates working full time: 79%;
  • Those working and caring for children: 35%
  • Underrepresented minorities: 54% (28% of whom identify as African American); and
  • Military affiliated students, including active duty, in the reserves, spouses and dependents, or veterans: over 53,000.

"Given the rich diversity of the students we serve, taking a holistic approach to understanding their needs, aspirations and barriers has always been a core tenet of UMGC's work throughout our history as an adult-serving public university," said Martina Hansen, senior vice president and chief student affairs officer. "The unique combination of InsideTrack's evidence-based methodology and the 'teach-to-fish' approach will enable us to provide even more personalized support for students as they navigate the complexities of higher education."

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.

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