Five-year Goals and Associated Interim Benchmarks
In January 2017, the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina unanimously approved Higher Expectations, a five-year Strategic Plan for the UNC System. The Plan calls on the UNC System to achieve ambitious goals in access, student success, affordability and efficiency, economic impact and community engagement, and institutional excellence and diversity.
Progress on these goals and metrics will be achieved through the hard work and commitment of institutional leaders, faculty, and staff. In that spirit, North Carolina A&T has identified these contributions that N.C. A&T aspires to make to the UNC Strategic Plan over the next five years.
By 2021-22, N.C. A&T will produce 1,186 low-income graduates, an increase of 31.8% (286 additional low-income completions over a base of 900).
From N.C. A&T State University: North Carolina A&T is among the most successful universities in America in terms of generating social mobility – enrolling students from modest backgrounds, graduating them, and setting them on career paths that have the potential to change the course of their lives. According to the 2017 Chetty Study of economic diversity and student outcomes, 29 percent of N.C. A&T students moved up two or more income quintiles following graduation. In the first year of its Performance Agreement with the UNC System, A&T graduated 1,008 low-income students, surpassing its first-year goal of 943.
Five-year Graduation Rates
By 2022, N.C. A&T will improve its five-year graduation rate from any accredited institution to 45.8%. This is an improvement over a base of 39.8% for N.C. A&T’s 2010 cohort.
From N.C. A&T State University: With the 2011 creation of the university’s strategic plan, A&T Preeminence 2020: Embracing Our Past, Creating Our Future, North Carolina A&T committed itself to improving four- and six-year graduation rates. The 2018 refresh of that plan, A&T Preeminence: Taking the Momentum to 2023, seeks to build on institutional momentum around those goals through heightened emphasis on academic advising, tutoring, mentoring, supplemental instruction, and structured learning assistance programs. Now with an additional emphasis on five-year rates through the Performance Agreement, the university reached a rate of nearly 49 percent in 2018, more than 8 percent ahead of its 2018 goal of 40.7 percent and significantly past the five-year goal of 45.8 percent.
Undergraduate Degree Efficiency
By 2021-22, N.C. A&T will improve its undergraduate degree efficiency to 18.8 over a base of 16.9.
From N.C. A&T State University: Over the past several years, curriculum guides have been standardized across N.C. A&T undergraduate degree programs at 120 hours, streamlining many programs by taking out non-essential coursework. This effort has not only enhanced degree efficiency but also has helped reduce student debt, keeping college affordable, and helping students complete their degrees more quickly. N.C. A&T recognizes the power of strong academic advising in achieving greater degree efficiency and has organized 10 workshops per year to help advisors improve. These workshops place a special emphasis on preliminary degree audits, which provide insight into challenges that individual students may be facing. The university has also launched the Academic Advising Council, placing advisors in each of its colleges who work with students and coordinate with other advisors in the Center for Academic Excellence to meet student needs. Those and other changes are helping A&T to achieve new success in overall undergraduate degree efficiency. In the first year of its Performance Agreement, the university achieved a measure of 18.3, exceeding the overall undergraduate degree efficiency 2017-18 goal of 17.2.
By 2021-22, N.C. A&T will produce 892 critical workforce credentials, an increase of 14.1% (110 additional critical workforce credentials over a base of 782).
From N.C. A&T State University: A recognized national leader in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, with additional strengths in teacher preparation, nursing, and counseling, N.C. A&T brings considerable experience to bear in producing critical workforce credentials. With a mission emphasizing STEM preeminence and top five national rankings in conferring undergraduate STEM degrees to African Americans, the university continues to develop and expand undergraduate and graduate degree programs in these areas. N.C. A&T introduced seven one-year engineering MS programs and six new Ph.D. concentrations in applied science and technology in the 2017-18 school year alone. In the first year of its Performance Agreement, A&T exceeded its goal of graduating 799 students with critical workforce degrees, awarding 844 such degrees. New programs combined with the university’s growing enrollment hold promise for more success in this area in the years ahead.
By 2021-22, N.C. A&T will receive $70,051,550 in research and development sponsored program awards and licensing income, an increase of 18.2% ($10,800,000 additional over a base of $59,251,550).
From N.C. A&T State University: North Carolina A&T is this state’s third most productive public research university. In the 2018 fiscal year, the university’s growth in research contracts and grants represented a substantial increase over N.C. A&T’s 2015-16 baseline, expanding its total funding to nearly $64.3 million and surpassing its first-year Performance Agreement goal by $3.4 million. In early 2019, the university announced plans to add to its research capacity through the creation of new Centers of Excellence in advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, and entrepreneurship and innovation, expanding its total centers and institutes to 20. That capacity building–combined with the ongoing growth of A&T’s research-oriented faculty ranks through the university’s Faculty and Staff of the Future initiative–will contribute to greater research productivity going forward.
By fall 2021, N.C. A&T will enroll 5,048 low-income students, a 6.8% increase over 2015 levels (321 additional low-income students over a base of 4,727).
From N.C. A&T State University: Our university’s commitment to serving low-income students is reflected in our strong performance against interim benchmarks and the five-year goal of this component of our Performance Agreement. In 2017-18, the university not only exceeded its benchmark but also surpassed the 2021-22 goal of 5,048 with a total of 5,152 low-income students enrolled. Those students are well-supported through A&T scholarships. Endowed scholarships have grown through our current capital campaign from 131 in 2012 to 369 currently on the strength of $31.5 million in private gifts support both current-use awards and endowments. Roughly two-thirds of A&T’s undergraduate student body represent the first generation in their families to attend college.
By fall 2021, N.C. A&T will enroll 2,422 rural students, a 6.8% increase over 2016 levels (154 additional rural students over a base of 2,268).
From N.C. A&T State University: As a public, land grant, doctoral higher-research university, North Carolina A&T has a historic and abiding commitment to providing educational opportunity to those least likely to be served by colleges and universities, including students from rural areas. In the first year of our performance agreement, A&T enrolled 2,514 undergraduates from rural areas, not only exceeding our 2017-18 goal, but surpassing our 2021-22 enrollment goal of 2,422. A&T’s longstanding relationship with rural North Carolina includes representation from all but one of North Carolina’s 80 Tier I and Tier II counties. To ensure the success of those students, N.C. A&T provides mentoring programs, robust academic advising, and campus programming throughout the year to engage rural students and make them feel a part of the overall student body.
By 2021-22, N.C. A&T will produce 537 rural graduates, an increase of 27.0% (114 additional rural completions over a base of 423).
From N.C. A&T State University: As a public, land grant, doctoral higher-research university, North Carolina A&T has a historic and abiding commitment to providing educational opportunity to those least likely to be served by colleges and universities, including students from rural areas. That commitment lives on today as evidenced by a student population that includes representation from all but one of North Carolina’s 80 Tier I and Tier II counties. To ensure the success of those students, N.C. A&T provides mentoring programs, robust academic advising, and campus programming throughout the year to engage rural students and make them feel a part of the overall student body. As the university continues its growth toward its strategic goal of enrolling 13,500 students and producing 2,700 graduates each year by 2020, it is also pursuing its overall commitment to students from rural communities and has demonstrated success in this metric, exceeding by 30 the first year goal of graduating 440 rural students.
Achievement Gaps in Undergraduate Degree Efficiency
By 2021-22, N.C. A&T will reduce by 50% the achievement gap in undergraduate degree efficiency between male and female students (increasing the degree efficiency of male students from 15.6 to 16.7).
From N.C. A&T State University: N.C. A&T is mobilizing across the university to increase degree efficiency and success for male students and reduce the gap between them and female students. Launched in 2017, the Male Student Success Initiative developed an inventory of programs for men, gathered research on what best supports male student success, and outlined implementation ideas for new initiatives. As part of that, the Aggie MEN (Male Empowerment Network) program was expanded to become a residential learning community in Cooper and Curtis Halls, serving approximately 500 male students. The confluence of numerous efforts in this area enabled the university to increase the degree efficiency of male students from its 2015-16 baseline of 15.6 to 17.1 in the first year of the Performance Agreement, exceeding even its 2021-22 goal of 16.7.