InsideTrack and UMGC
Press Release
February 21, 2024

University of Maryland Global Campus Launches Major Student Coaching Initiative to Scale High-Touch Support for Learners

In collaboration with coaching innovator InsideTrack, adult and online education pioneer University of Maryland Global Campus to expand its in-house corps of success coaches and provide one-on-one coaching for first-time college-goers

ADELPHI, MD. (February 21, 2024) -- The University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), one of the largest public, nonprofit online universities in the U.S., today announced the expansion of an institution-wide coaching initiative designed to bolster its proven current student success model. In collaboration with national student coaching nonprofit InsideTrack, the university will work to refine and scale up its in-house success coaching program to increase support for online students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds, including working adults, part-time students and first-time college-goers.

“Meeting the needs of today’s fast-changing workforce and society demands that college leaders continuously ask ourselves what we’re doing to become student-ready, not the other way around,” said Susan Hawkins-Wilding, vice president of student success at UMGC. “The simple fact is that there are many entry points to and through higher education, whether you are a first-time college-goer, a returning learner or a military service member or working adult making a transition in the peak of your career. No matter the circumstance, our commitment to every learner is to meet them where they are—and work to remove obstacles every step of the way.”

To help expand its wraparound support for its highly diverse population of first-time students, the university has engaged InsideTrack, which has served more than 3.2 million learners since its founding in 2001 and has developed a coaching model proven to measurably increase student persistence and graduation. Over the course of five months, professional coaches from InsideTrack will work one-on-one with up to 600 first-time students, helping to provide newly-enrolled students with personalized support needed to persist during the critical first year of study and provide short-term expansion of coaching support to UMGC’s growing number of new students. 

A member of the University System of Maryland, UMGC’s diverse student body is reflective of the emerging demographics of today’s students: The average age of UMGC students stands at 31. Approximately 79% of its undergraduates work full-time and 35% are juggling work responsibilities while also caring for dependent children. More than half (54%) are underrepresented minorities, and nearly a third (28%) self-identify as African American. More than 53,000 UMGC students are military-affiliated, including those who are on active duty, in the reserves, as spouses and dependents, or veterans.

In addition to the initial focus on first-time students, UMGC has also engaged InsideTrack to  provide training, development and certification to its student-facing staff and leaders, which will enable the university to deepen its proven approach to serving learners. Through a set of intensive coach training and development offerings for UMGC staff and administrators, the university will build on its in-house coaching program rooted in InsideTrack’s evidence-based methodology.

"Given the rich diversity of the students we serve, taking a holistic approach to understanding their needs, aspirations and barriers has always been a core tenet of UMGC’s work throughout our history as an adult-serving public university,” said Martina Hansen, senior vice president and chief student affairs officer. “The unique combination of InsideTrack’s evidence-based methodology and the ‘teach-to-fish’ approach will enable us to provide even more personalized support for students as they navigate the complexities of higher education."

To build the coaching program, a core group of student support staff will participate in a series of InsideTrack Coach Development & Training programs, which equip staff on the principles of effective student coaching and the skills needed to train peers on best practices, creating a scalable model that will enable the university to maintain and expand the program in years to come.

Using data and research to understand the student experience will also be a core component of work. Through the process of interacting with students via phone, email and mobile channels, coaches gather a wealth of insights on the learner experience, which can then be used by UMGC staff and administrators to improve the delivery of student support services and enhance the overall student experience.

“The challenge for many institutions today is that they need support systems that are adaptable enough to meet the needs of today’s increasingly diverse student demographics, but also consistent and proven to drive results at scale,” said Ruth Bauer White, president of InsideTrack. “This is about working with institutions to build their capacity to deliver impactful student support services in a highly cost-effective and scalable manner.”

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About UMGC: University of Maryland Global Campus was founded more than 75 years ago specifically to serve the higher education needs of working adults and military service members. Today, UMGC is the largest provider of postsecondary education in Maryland and continues its global tradition with online and hybrid courses, more than 175 classroom and service locations worldwide, and more than 125 degrees and certificates backed by the reputation of a state university and the University System of Maryland. For more information, visit umgc.edu.

About InsideTrack: InsideTrack is a mission-driven nonprofit that fuels positive change by empowering and advancing all learners to achieve their educational and career goals through the transformative power of coaching. We help people 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 served over 3.2 million learners, partnering with more than 350 institutions and organizations to directly improve enrollment, retention, completion, and career advancement – tailoring our coaching outcomes to fit the needs of our partners and the learners they support. Our coaching methodology is evidence-based and research-confirmed, supporting all types of learners at every stage of their journey — especially those who face systemic barriers to postsecondary success. We are a catalyst for transformational impact, ultimately empowering learners and the organizations who serve them. To learn more, visit www.insidetrack.org and follow us on LinkedIn @InsideTrack and X @InsideTrack.

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