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Top Virginia Public Research University's Personalized Student Support Generates Increased First-Year Student Retention

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NORFOLK, VA, Aug. 29, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Old Dominion University, a leading public research university in Virginia, today announced the initial results of a multi-year initiative to use success coaching to improve student and institutional outcomes. In partnership with leading student success organization InsideTrack, ODU reported that students who participated in one or more coaching sessions in both the fall and spring semesters had a retention rate (fall to fall) 9% higher than the control group and 4% higher than the overall freshman class.

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"For many college students, a degree is about more than starting a career; it's about boosting socioeconomic class for generations to come," said Ellen Neufeldt, Vice President for Student Engagement and Enrollment Services at Old Dominion University. "In order to fulfill our role as agents of social mobility, institutions must address the obstacles to access and success faced by an increasingly diverse student population. ODU's partnership with InsideTrack to build a student success coaching program is a critical part of our ongoing efforts to ensure that all ODU students get the personalized support they need throughout their higher education journey."

Through a multi-faceted partnership, InsideTrack's experts worked closely with ODU's student-facing teams to develop large-scale sustainable approaches to support prospective and enrolled students in ODU's traditional and distance education programs. To provide students with immediate access to coaching while the program was being developed, InsideTrack's professional coaches worked directly with ODU students to help them develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for collegiate success and navigate career, personal and other non-academic challenges that can hinder success.

In its first year, the ODU coaching program for admitted students resulted in 5.5% increase in freshman enrollment for fall 2017. During the same time period, coaching for enrolled students resulted in a 9% increase in fall-to-fall persistence, compared with students who were eligible for success coaching but did not participate, boosting the size of the 2017 sophomore class. In addition, the gains support ODU's effort to improve outcomes for the 40 percent of its students who receive federal Pell Grants for low- and moderate-income families — the most at any state school in Virginia.

"These results are an example of the significant, positive impact that student success programs can have - both on student outcomes and on the bottom line," said Ellen Leher, associate vice president of client partnerships at InsideTrack. "We are proud to be partnering with ODU which is a university that stands apart in its innovative practices for student success."

Located along the Elizabeth River in Norfolk, Virginia, ODU is a forward-focused research university that provides students with rigorous academics and an energetic residential community. Committed to social mobility, ODU provides students with affordable undergraduate, graduate, certificate, and professional development programs that enable them to graduate into well-paying careers. Through its Social Mobility Symposium, ODU is also bringing together leaders from education, industry, government and philanthropy to ensure that higher education remains an engine of equality and economic prosperity.

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About Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University is Virginia's forward-focused metropolitan research university with rigorous academics, an energetic residential community, entrepreneurial research and collaboration, and initiatives that contribute more than $2.1 billion to the economy. For more information see www.odu.edu

About InsideTrack

InsideTrack is passionate about student success. Since 2001, we have been dedicated to partnering with colleges and universities to create adaptive coaching solutions that generate measurable results. These solutions combine professional coaching, technology, and data analytics to increase enrollment, completion, and career readiness. Our adaptive coaching methodology is based on the latest behavioral science research and knowledge gained from working with more than 1.5 million students and 1,600 programs. In combination with our uCoach® Platform, our approach optimizes student engagement and generates valuable insights on the student experience through predictive modeling, behavioral analysis, and multichannel communication. InsideTrack is a member of the nonprofit Strada Education Network. Join us and the leading institutions, foundations, and others working to bring the transformative power of education to all individuals. Visit us at www.insidetrack.com and follow us on Twitter @InsideTrack.

Ben Heverly
InsideTrack
818-939-8312
Heverly@whiteboardadvisors.com

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