Montana Colleges Spark Dramatic Increase in Student Success by Linking Returning Students with Success Coaches

New data show that Great Falls College and Missoula College coaching programs successfully raised student GPAs and boosted credit accumulation

GREAT FALLS, MONT. (JANUARY 9, 2019) — Today, RevUp Montana released the findings of an independent evaluation, conducted by research firm RTI International on the results of a student success coaching program that increased students’ academic progress and success at Montana two-year colleges. Through a partnership with InsideTrack, a leading provider of student success solutions, Great Falls College MSU and Missoula College provided one-on-one coaching to students to help them develop the skills required for success in and outside the classroom.

Professional coaches from InsideTrack worked one-on-one with Great Falls College and Missoula College students on a broad range of issues, including time management, self-advocacy and proactively connecting to campus resources. Comparing the performance of students that received InsideTrack coaching to a propensity-matched peer group, the study found that coached students earned 15 percent more credits per semester and 24 percent more total credits over 2 years. They also achieved 12 percent higher cumulative GPAs.

The coaching program was a centerpiece of the Strengthening Workforce Alignment in Montana’s Manufacturing and Energy Industries (SWAMMEI) initiative, later renamed RevUp Montana, a $25 million statewide program funded through a U.S. Department of Labor grant, designed to link low-skilled workers with jobs in the fast-growing manufacturing and energy workforce.  

The decision to include coaching in RevUp was made after an analysis found that Montana campuses could benefit from specialized support services to engage, enable and motivate students to persist through the non-academic challenges that impact credential attainment.

“Montana’s colleges play a critical role in upskilling and retraining our state’s workforce, providing a pathway to greater economic opportunity for thousands of Montanans each year,” said Dr. Susan Wolff, Chief Executive Officer and Dean at Great Falls College. “Through the student success coaching partnership between RevUp and InsideTrack, we not only empowered students to reach their full potential, but also set them on the path to long-term success in growing industries, which also benefits local employers and the state’s economy.”

Great Falls College is a two-year institution of higher education affiliated with the Montana State University System located in Great Falls, Montana. The college plays a leading role in transforming the lives of students and fostering economic prosperity in Montana through the use of partnerships, innovation, outreach and technology. Missoula College, the two-year program at the University of Montana, provides outstanding occupational and technical education covering 35 programs. Areas of study include business and health care professions, applied computing and electronics and energy and industrial technologies.

“RevUp Montana has been at the forefront of forging innovative connections between higher education and high demand careers, especially for working adults who may have been left behind by economic changes,” said Sarah Eustis, director of program operations at InsideTrack. “Their commitment to supporting students in developing the mindset and skills needed for long-term success is one of the many reasons we’ve enjoyed working with them to advance opportunities and improve outcomes among Montana students, institutions and employers.”

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About RevUp Montana

RevUp Montana is a workforce project supported by a $25 million dollar grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. RevUp Montana creates short-term degree, certificate and apprenticeship programs that lead students into high-wage, high-demand jobs in Montana. Filling these jobs with skilled, experienced workers will help increase employment, strengthen Montana businesses, and grow our economy.

About InsideTrack

InsideTrack is passionate about student success. Since 2001, we have been dedicated to partnering with colleges and universities to create adaptive student success 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. InsideTrack is a member of the nonprofit Strada Education Network. Join us and the leading institutions, foundations, and others working to bring the transformative power of education to all individuals. Visit us at www.insidetrack.com and follow us on Twitter @InsideTrack.

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