Bacone hires company to coach students in hope of keeping them

By Cathy Spaulding
The Muskogee Phoenix

A personalized student “coaching” program could help Bacone College retain students and prepare them for graduation, officials say.

Bacone officials announced on Thursday a three-year-partnership with the program InsideTrack to provide personalized support to students.

Kindle Holderby, Bacone director of enrollment management and student life, said InsideTrack specializes in retention, graduation and job placement.

“Their philosophy is one-on-one,” Holderby said. “They’ll connect with them weekly via phone calls, text messaging, emails, video conferences. And they have their own technologies, where they have videos on student success habits. There’s a wealth of knowledge available to students lucky enough to be a part of this program.”

Other student success programs were mostly online, he said.

The program begins this fall with 140 selected students, Holderby said. InsideTrack coaches will work with students from the first day of classes on Aug. 24 until next Aug. 24.

“They’ll stay on through the summer,” he said.

An additional 50 students will be selected in January and will be coached through Aug. 24, 2017, he said.

Students of various populations will be targeted, said Mike Embry, InsideTrack’s associate vice president of program development.

“Our strategy is that we’re going to target populations we feel have needs and that we can impact from a coaching perspective,” Embry said, adding that Bacone officials will select the students.

“At some later date, there could be some opportunity for students to opt in,” Embry said.

Holderby said that when he began working with enrollment, he noticed Bacone needed a way to retain students.

“We did a really great job of bringing new students in, and we did a fairly decent job of retaining them, but we really could do better,” Holderby said. “So, I really started looking at how we could help boost retention, help students persist (in studies) and ultimately graduate from college, which is the goal.”

He said he also admires InsideTrack’s success “at all types of institutions.”

“They go from junior colleges to small, private four-years, like us, to major four-year colleges,” he said. “They partnered with people all across the spectrum and have succeeded in every one they’ve been at.”

InsideTrack was established in 2001 and has worked with at least 1,300 academic programs. It is based in San Francisco.

This article originally appeared in The Muskogee Phoenix on July 29th, 2016

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