ECSU Receives First-Year Student Success Program Grant
Dr. Melinda J. Anderson, Interim Associate Chancellor for Student Success
First year students at Elizabeth City State University will reap the benefits of a statewide program designed to give them support with academic development. A $75,600 grant will help ECSU participate in a partnership with GEAR UP NC (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), the UNC System and Inside Track, Inc. GEAR UP is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Education.
According to Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Success, Dr. Melinda J. Anderson, the grant will support the hiring of a full-time success coach. The success coach will focus on developing student success strategies for first-year freshmen, she said.
“We will partner with Inside Track for training and development and use the coach-platform to develop new practices and strategies to support students who need additional academic resources, academic recovery strategies or career and major coaching,” said Dr. Anderson.
First-year students who have recently graduated from area high schools within ECSU’s 21-county service area are eligible for the GEAR UP services.
ECSU’s University Studies department will house the GEAR UP program. University Studies specializes in first-year student services and academic advising, said Dr. Anderson.
“The student success coach will provide one-on-one support through appointments,” she said. “The coach will also provide workshops to support students who need guidance and additional support that goes above and beyond the scope of the academic advisors and the course content offered during their first-year seminar courses.”
The student success coach will also conduct outreach to area high schools. The position will partner with ECSU’s Office of Admissions, providing schools with information about the opportunities that exist for first-year students.
Thirty-seven high schools throughout the region will be served by the program. Some of those schools include Gates County High School, Perquimans County High School, Pasquotank County High School, John A. Holmes High School, Kinston High School, and Washington High School.
“We are excited about this grant opportunity and partnership with GEAR Up and Inside Track, Inc. Additional staffing and grant funds dedicated to student support are always welcome as student success is key and paramount to ECSU’s goals,” said Dr. Anderson.