Student Coaching Program Helps Loyola University New Orleans Post Record First-Year Retention Rate

Working with national student success experts at InsideTrack, leading private Jesuit university achieves historic success in first-year student persistence

New Orleans, L.A. (OCTOBER 25, 2018) — Loyola University New Orleans (Loyola) announced recently that they had achieved a record 85% first-year retention rate, reflecting an all-time high for the institution. The results represent a 5 percentage point increase over the prior year.  

The university attributes its success in part to a new student coaching program, developed in partnership with InsideTrack, a leading national student success organization. Through the program, professional coaches work one-on-one with every first-year student to develop the skills and attitudes required to navigate college life, including time management, self-advocacy and proactively connecting to campus resources.

“With today’s students increasingly juggling professional and personal obligations and coming from more diverse backgrounds, preparing them for success goes far beyond academic readiness,” said Maria Calzada, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Loyola University New Orleans. “We provide holistic student support that addresses challenges and aspirations both in and out of the classroom. Through our partnership with InsideTrack, we’ve been able to develop a coaching program that empowers students to achieve their full potential.”

Now entering its second year, the Loyola-InsideTrack partnership was structured to deliver both immediate impact and sustainability. Initially, Loyola leveraged InsideTrack’s professional coaches to augment their internal capacity and model best practices while InsideTrack’s consultants and trainers helped the institution build out its own coaching capacity. Going forward, coaching duties will increasingly be brought in-house as the partnership focus shifts to coach certification, managerial development, quality assurance, and other capabilities. Already, four of Loyola’s coaches are certified by InsideTrack, with several more on pace to be certified within the academic year.

Through the coaching program, Loyola has been able to deliver personalized support to students from a broad range of backgrounds, including Vinlisa Khoeum – a first-generation college student whose family immigrated to the United States from Cambodia.

“As a first-generation college student, I have seen that seeking out the right resources and advice is actually far wiser than trying to go it alone,” Vinlisa wrote in a recent article for the Hechinger Report.  “I feel like [coaching has] helped me find my strengths and build connections, not only to individuals but also to the school community as a whole.”

A private, Jesuit university that serves a student body of over 5,000 students, Loyola University New Orleans has been ranked as #10 in the Best Regional Universities of the South ranking conducted by U.S. News & World Report, which also identified Loyola as one of the top value universities in the Southern U.S., as well as one of the most ethnically diverse. As a Jesuit university, Loyola emphasizes the benefits of a liberal arts education and the lifelong value of continuing education, social justice, and community service and offers over 60 majors for undergraduates across four colleges.

“As a mission-driven organization, we succeed when students are thriving and institutions are able to make dramatic progress toward improving outcomes,” said Mike Embry, associate vice president of program development at InsideTrack. “Loyola University New Orleans’ coaching program is another powerful example of how institutions can personalize support to student needs in a sustainable and scalable way. We’re proud to work with such dedicated student support professionals and excited to watch Loyola’s impact grow for many years to come.”


About Loyola University of New Orleans

Loyola University New Orleans, a Jesuit and Catholic institution of higher education, welcomes students of diverse backgrounds and prepares them to lead meaningful lives with and for others; to pursue truth, wisdom, and virtue; and to work for a more just world. Inspired by Ignatius of Loyola’s vision of finding God in all things, the university is grounded in the liberal arts and sciences while also offering opportunities for professional studies in undergraduate and selected graduate programs. Through teaching, research, creative activities, and service, the faculty, in cooperation with the staff, strives to educate the whole student and to benefit the larger community.

About InsideTrack

InsideTrack is passionate about student success. Since 2001, we have been dedicated to partnering with colleges and universities to create adaptive coaching 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 and follow us on Twitter @InsideTrack.

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