Press Release
April 11, 2024

New Guide Offers Colleges a Playbook for Building an In-House Student Coaching Program

Student success nonprofit InsideTrack unveils report with step-by-step recommendations to build a financially sustainable in-house coaching program using train-the-trainer methods

PORTLAND, Ore. (April 11, 2024) -- Against the backdrop of declining college enrollment and student success rates, a new guide from nonprofit InsideTrack offers step-by-step guidance and recommendations to help college and university leaders boost student persistence and completion by building their internal capacity. Entitled “Empowering Teams, Transforming Outcomes: A Guide to Building a Holistic In-House Student Support Program,” the new guide includes insights, best practices and ready-to-use tools to help on-campus teams build internal capacity and to scale high-impact student success practices.

“In an era of financial and economic pressure and volatility for higher education, student success leaders are once again being asked to do more with less even as a growing number of students face a multiplicity of complex new challenges,” said Ruth Bauer White, president of InsideTrack.  "Meeting those challenges—and making good on the promise of higher education for a new generation—requires that institutions meet the needs of learners in a more holistic sense. This is about giving institutions a roadmap for transforming their approach to student support by unlocking the full potential of their internal teams and culture.”

The report comes at a time when higher education enrollment remains well below pre-pandemic levels at many institutions, and a growing number of students are facing new barriers to college access and completion. In the 2021-2022 academic year, 2.3 million students stopped out — joining the more than 40 million people in the United States who have left college without earning a credential. More than 40 percent of college students now say they have considered stopping out within the past six months, according to a recent survey from Gallup and the Lumina Foundation, with rates even higher for Black and Hispanic learners, at 43 percent and 52 percent respectively. 

The report is drawn from InsideTrack’s frontline experience working side-by-side with hundreds of college and university programs to help them design, build and scale holistic in-house student support programs capable of meeting the fast-changing demographics and complex needs of today’s students. The guide breaks down the four essential elements necessary to help institutions bolster their in-house capacity, beginning with an institutional needs and readiness assessment to understand the specific challenges and opportunities they face. It then recommends that institutions choose an evidence-based methodology, focus on building an internal culture that can sustain the impact of the program, and finally securing sustainable funding sources to ensure the program can continue to operate for many years to come.

“Nearly every college in the country now recognizes the financial and economic imperative of student success, but as institutions grapple with mounting financial and economic pressure, finding the capacity to actually make these necessary investments — from funding to human capital — is a different story altogether,” said Dr. Timothy Renick, founding Executive director of Georgia State University's National Institute for Student Success, who contributed a foreword to the guide. “This report provides a powerful new playbook for institutional training, development and change management — all with an eye toward dramatically improving learner outcomes. It’s a blueprint for institutions looking to build the kind of sustainable, in-house capacity they need to ensure all students not only persist but thrive.”

The guide includes real-world case studies from three institutions—Austin Community College, Loyola University of New Orleans, and California State University Bakersfield—that have worked to scale on-campus coaching programs and generated impressive, and in some cases, double-digit improvements in student success. The report also includes a set of downloadable tools and resources for institutions, including a “Change Management Best Practices Checklist” with actionable strategies to help institutions successfully implement an institution-wide transformation focused on student outcomes, as well as a “Funding Toolkit'', which provides a checklist of potential steps to help institutions secure public or philanthropic funding for holistic student support programs.

For more information on “Empowering Teams, Transforming Outcomes,” visit this link to view the full report, access campus-specific case studies, and download tools to get started on building an in-house holistic student support program.


About InsideTrack: InsideTrack is a mission-driven nonprofit that fuels positive change by advancing all learners to achieve their educational and career goals through the transformative power of coaching. We help individuals get the education they need to enhance well-being, create opportunity and secure meaningful employment — ultimately facilitating economic and social mobility. Since 2001, we have directly served more than 3.2 million students and 350 institutions to improve enrollment, retention, completion and career advancement. To expand our impact in the postsecondary ecosystem, we also directly serve institutions and organizations by training and certifying their staff, administration and leaders in our evidence-based and research-confirmed coaching methodology. This equips teams with proven tools to sustain the impact of coaching in-house and help their learners thrive for years to come. InsideTrack coaching is a catalyst for transformational impact, both empowering students and the organizations who serve them. To learn more, visit and follow us on LinkedIn @InsideTrack and X @InsideTrack.

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