Major National Grant Helps Community Colleges Build Capacity for Next Generation Coaching and Advising with InsideTrack

Foundation funds four innovative community colleges to help improve outcomes among low-income, minority and first-generation students

SAN FRANCISCO (April 20, 2017)

Pioneering student success company, InsideTrack, today announced its selection as part of a new initiative to improve student outcomes at four U.S. community colleges with significant low-income, minority and first-generation student populations. With support from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, InsideTrack will work with leaders from Austin Community College, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, East Mississippi Community College and a California-based institution currently being selected, to build and maintain data-driven student success coaching and advising programs.

The initiative takes a “teach to fish” approach, helping college administrators, staff and faculty build the institutional capabilities and infrastructure required to provide highly personalized student support. By focusing on geographically distributed community colleges with highly diverse student populations, the initiative will serve as a model for closing higher education achievements gaps nationwide.

“Coaching programs and other proven approaches to improving student outcomes can be challenging to implement and sustain at scale,” said Kai Drekmeier, founder and president of InsideTrack. “By assisting community colleges in building the foundational capacity to launch and ensure the ongoing efficacy of these programs, we can positively impact deserving students for generations to come.”

The new partnership represents an extension of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s groundbreaking Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (IPASS) initiative. Under the grant, participating institutions will receive full access to InsideTrack’s Capacity Building services, which include support with training, pedagogy, data analysis and technology.

“ACC is proud of the progress we’ve made in supporting students through guided pathways and technology-supported advising strategies,” said Virginia Fraire, Vice President of Student Services at Austin Community College. “Working with InsideTrack will enable us to extend this support through coaching to help students develop skills in self-advocacy, motivation, and problem-solving so they can truly drive their own success.”

InsideTrack’s coaching methodology, technology and tools have been proven to improve student outcomes in hundreds of randomized control trials. The grant is geared toward enabling institutions to scale and sustain similar coaching efforts and includes training for college staff on how to best engage students through a variety of channels including voice, email, text messaging, social media and mobile apps.

“Student success and helping our students overcome challenges is our number one goal at NWTC,” said Dr. Jeff Rafn, president of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. “We are excited to work with InsideTrack. Our partnership will assist Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in providing the most effective student advising and support throughout the learner’s journey to graduation.”

“For most of the students that we serve, going to college is a means of unlocking career opportunities either through a degree, career and technical pathways or workforce-specific training,” said Dr. Thomas Ware, Vice President for Instruction at East Mississippi Community College. “But many of our students are balancing multiple priorities, including work or family obligations, and require a different set of supports. We’re excited to work with InsideTrack to focus on how to provide the best type of support geared towards meeting the needs of individual students.”


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. Join us and the leading institutions, foundations and others working to bring the transformative power of education to all individuals. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @InsideTrack.

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