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Technology-mediated Success Coaching can help colleges address equity gaps in persistence and completion

INDIANAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#edtech–Almost 6 million students enroll in community colleges each Fall, and only 40% earn a college credential within six years. We haven’t done enough to ensure these students have the support they need to succeed. Success coaching, or essentially relationship-building with a professional on campus, is a way forward to help more students advance to complete their degrees and other courses of study.

DVP-PRAXIS LTD, a research and evaluation firm focused on education and the workforce, partnered with the Carolina Works consortium led by Central Carolina Community College to conduct a large-scale, rigorous study on the effects of success coaching within 10 North Carolina community colleges over the span of five years. Success Coaches used a technology platform from Aviso Retention to prioritize outreach to students based on predictive analytics and early alerts.

Findings from the final report make the case for success coaching as an intervention to be implemented in community colleges nationwide and highlight specific institutional and coaching practices shown to increase student academic achievement and engagement.

Key Findings

The aggregated data contains great variability among students and between institutions. When DVP-PRAXIS looked more deeply at the data across institutions, focusing on students who started college in the fall, we learned that:

  • Longer-term engagement between students and success coaches (especially face-to-face meetings) brings better results, as it takes time to develop quality relationships with students.

    • Students assigned a coach are 4% more likely to stay enrolled for two academic years (fall to second spring semester).
  • Students benefit more from success coaching when their coaches don’t change, as building trusting, personal relationships with coaches takes time.

    • Students who had the same coach for the duration of the study experienced a 12% increase in credential completion.
  • Colleges that implemented the program with fidelity – demonstrating strong leadership support and successfully folding coaches into their existing staff – saw better results.

    • The top performing colleges saw a 9% increase in longer-term retention and a 9% increase in credential completion for their students who had coaches.
  • Black students and male students are especially likely to benefit from success coaching when compared to all students.

    • Male students assigned a success coach experienced an 8% increase in fall-to-fall retention and an 8% increase in credential completion.
    • Black students assigned to a coach are 8% more likely to remain enrolled for a year (fall-fall retention) and 18% more likely to stay enrolled for two academic years (fall to second spring semester).c

DVP-PRAXIS LTD, a research and evaluation firm focused on education and the workforce, led a rigorous study to test the Carolina Works Success Coach initiative funded by a First in the World grant by the U.S. Department of Education, which aimed to increase student retention and credential completion across 10 North Carolina community colleges. To learn more, visit

If you would like more information about this topic, please call Derek V. Price at 317-575-4011, or email [email protected].


Derek V. Price, Principal and Founder DVP-PRAXIS LTD

Phone: 317-575-4011

Email: [email protected]

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