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UNCF Expands HBCU Student Coaching Network to Advance College Access and Success

With capacity-building support from UNCF, HBCUs will provide one-on-one success coaching to help thousands of students on the grading paths to and through college

WASHINGTON, April 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — UNCF (United Negro College fonds), the nation’s largest and most effective advocate for minority education and community engagement, today announced an ambitious four-year initiative that will scale one-on-one coaching and help students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) across the country to access and complete college. The project will be based on a one-year collaboration between UNCF Capacity Building Institute and the National Student Success Association inside track which focused on supporting former HBCU students through the process of re-enrolling in higher education. The initiative is funded by Strada Education Network, the Macquarie Group Foundation and Blue Meridian Partners.

UNCF and Insidetrack are now in the second year of a multi-year, multi-campus partnership focused on the enrollment and success of HBCU students. The project started in 2021 as one year pilot focused on helping former HBCU students re-enroll in higher education following a tumultuous year for the colleges and their students. Supported by seed funding from Strada Educational NetworkInsideTrack coaches have contacted more than 4,000 former students and helped nearly 400 of them return to nine campuses participating in the project.

“Research – and lived experience – tells us that HBCUs provide a strong positive return on investment for their graduates, while making a powerful contribution to social mobility across generations,” said Edward Smith-Lewis, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Institutional Programs at UNCF. “This work is about equipping our member institutions to develop high-impact support services that can help current and prospective HBCU students achieve their academic and career aspirations. It’s also about helping HBCUs support change sustainable for elders, families and communities that we know they are the only ones capable of producing.”

Nationally, HBCUs make up just 3% of all four-year nonprofit colleges and universities, enroll 10% of all black students, produce 16% of bachelor’s degrees, and 20% of STEM degrees. obtained by black students. A recent analysis from UNCF’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute found that HBCUs move their graduates into the middle class at a rate nearly twice that of all institutions of higher learning.

“Since the start of the pandemic, HBCU leaders and advocates have come together to effectively respond to the unprecedented challenges our students have faced over the past two years, from financial headwinds and public health concerns. to pandemic isolation and even threats of violence,” said Julian Thompson, Director of Strategy at UNCF. “Drawing on the same spirit of collaboration, it’s about working with HBCUs to build on an extraordinary legacy of student achievement and engagement to help more HBCU students fully realize the promise of the ‘Higher Education.”

In fall 2021, the Macquarie Group Foundation funded an expansion of the program to help more alumni navigate the complexities of re-enrolling in higher education and overcome the barriers to successful return to education that students face. interrupted are often faced. As a result, the re-enrollment program will grow this year to reach an additional 4,000 students.

“We are proud to partner with UNCF to expand its network of student coaching across HBCU institutions, increasing access to critical mentoring services that promote student retention and create greater opportunities for students. who re-enter higher education,” said Shawn LytleHead of Americas at Macquarie Group and member of the Macquarie Group Foundation Board.

With generous funding from Blue Meridian Partners and Strada Education Network, UNCF is also launching a third phase focused on scaling the program through 2026. Over the next four years, the program will provide one-on-one success coaching to 10,000 students seeking an HBCU education, 4,000 HBCU students already in their first or second year of enrollment, and re-enrollment coaching for 3,000 HBCU students who did not graduate.

“To deliver on the promise of HBCU access and completion, we must use every tool at our disposal to improve the student experience and remove barriers to student success,” said Dr. Glenell PruitProvost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Jarvis Christian College. “This collaboration with other HBCUs and national partners will allow us to pull out all the stops and strengthen our ability to provide high-impact student services on our campus.”

Together with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Partnership for Education Advancement, UNCF will work with InsideTrack over the next four years to build a shared services model that will provide at least 10 schools with training and staff development support to build their internal capacity to provide coaching using InsideTrack’s evidence-based methodology. The shared services initiative will create a financially sustainable model that will allow HBCUs to adopt innovative approaches to student success and enrollment management that will serve more students.

Institutions participating in the next phase include: Benoit College, Bethune Cookman CollegeClaflin University, Atlanta Clark University, Dillard UniversityFlorida Memorial UniversityJarvis Christian University, Johnson C. Smith University, Lane College, Morehouse CollegePhilander Smith University, Stillman College, Talladega College, Voorhees College and Wiley College.

“As a proud alumnus of HBCU, I know firsthand the deep, nurturing, and personal connection that so many graduates of these institutions develop,” said Malika Clinkscale, associate vice president for partner success at InsideTrack. “UNCF is creating a unique shared services model that will advance HBCU’s excellence and success and strengthen the sector’s ability to support learners at every stage of the student lifecycle.

About the United Negro College Fund

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community, and the nation, UNCF supports student education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance minority education and college preparation. Institutions at UNCF and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20% of African American bachelor’s degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarships, internships and fellowships, mentoring, summer enrichment, and faculty training and development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo represents the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized brand, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”.® Learn more about or for ongoing updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.

About InsideTrack

InsideTrack is passionate about helping all learners achieve their educational and career goals through the transformative power of coaching. Since 2001, we’ve served 2.6 million learners, partnering with more than 250 institutions and organizations to directly improve enrollment, persistence, completion and career readiness. Our coaching methodology is evidence-based and backed by research, with proven results for every type of learner – from traditional to adult, part-time to full-time, online to in-person – including students first generation and those who face systemic barriers to post-secondary success. We also work with partners to build internal coaching capacity through staff training and professional services – designed to support internal progress for lasting and scalable impact. InsideTrack is part of Strada Collaborative, a mission-driven non-profit organization. To learn more, visit and follow us on Twitter @Inside track and LinkedIn @Inside track.

About Blue Meridian Partners

Blue Meridian Partners is a pioneering philanthropic model for finding and funding scalable solutions to issues that limit the economic and social mobility of young Americans and poor families. We provide transformative capital combined with capacity building support and strategic advice, enabling visionary leaders to dream bigger and dramatically expand their impact, influence and reach. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter at @bluemeridianp and LinkedIn @blue-meridian-partners.

About the Macquarie Group Foundation:

The Macquarie Group Foundation (the Foundation) provides support to community organizations around the world each year through financial, volunteer and skill-sharing support, primarily in the places where Macquarie operates. Her work is significantly influenced by the activities of Macquarie staff with a focus on building capacity within the community sector and increasing social and economic mobility. In the year to March 31, 2021the Macquarie Group Foundation, together with the efforts of Macquarie Group staff, have contributed more than 64 million Australian dollars to more than 2,400 community organizations around the world and has contributed more than 5 million Australian dollars in value given by skilled volunteering. Since its inception in 1985, the Macquarie Group Foundation and Macquarie staff have contributed more than A$475 million globally.

About the Strada Education Network

Strada Education Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people enjoy education and training after high school that helps them find good jobs, do meaningful work and lead fulfilling lives. We believe education and training after high school has the potential to be the most powerful and equitable ways to help all people thrive in their careers and in their lives. To help students succeed beyond obtaining a certificate or degree, we conduct research, make charitable grants and social impact investments, and support Strada Collaborative, which directly serves students and the workers. Learn more about

SOURCE InsideTrack