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, University of North Carolina at Pembroke has identified these contributions that University of North Carolina at Pembroke aspires to make to the UNC Strategic Plan over the next five years.


Low-income Completions

By 2021-22, UNCP will produce 841 low-income graduates, an increase of 33.1% (209 additional low-income completions over a base of 632).

From UNC Pembroke: UNC Pembroke has been an institution of access and affordability in southeastern North Carolina for 132 years. Founded in 1887 to train American Indian teachers, UNCP proudly serves a distinctly diverse student population. More than 80 percent of its students receive financial aid or need-based assistance. And now, thanks to NC Promise, UNCP’suniquely affordable tuition rate will continue to remove financial barriers to degree completion for many low-income students. NC Promise began in fall 2018, growing enrollment by more than 14 percent over the previous fall and helping UNCP shatter all prior records. In addition, the university’s retention rate grew by more than 5 percent, improving low-income students’ progress toward degree completion. Recent institutional improvements will have the most dramatic impact on students early in their academic careers; thus, UNCP should see even more significant gains in this priority area in subsequent years.

Rural Completions

By 2021-22, UNCP will produce 944 rural graduates, an increase of 17.4% (140 additional rural completions over a base of 804).

From UNC Pembroke: More than 60 percent of UNC Pembroke students hail from the university’s largely rural, nine-county service region. When they arrive at the university, they often find that the small class sizes and personal attention create an atmosphere that enhances their academic journey and campus experience. To ensure student progression and retention, the university recently implemented EAB-SCC-Campus advising software so UNCP can monitor predictive risk factors—including those for rural students. Improvements made in recent years will have the most dramatic impact early in students’ collegiate careers; thus, UNCP expects to see the even more significant gains toward rural completions in subsequent years. Along with increased enrollment and retention due to the NC Promise Tuition Plan, the university anticipates substantial improvements in rural completions as entering students progress through their degree programs.

Five-year Graduation Rates

By 2022, UNCP will improve its five-year graduation rate from any accredited institution to 46.5%. This is an improvement over a base of 40.4% for UNCP’s 2010 cohort.

From UNC Pembroke: In recent years, UNC Pembroke has focused its operational objectives, or BraveBook, on maximizing student success. BraveBook projects annually focus on initiatives that will promote student success, ultimately leading to improved graduation rates. Establishing the Center for Student Success—with programs like Emerging Scholars, the writing centertutoring and peer mentoring—has contributed to the effective retention, progression, and graduation of students. Innovative solutions and new technology systems that will facilitate early identification of students facing challenges. This early identification system will help UNC Pembroke remove obstacles before they impede students’ success. The newly established University College, geared toward freshman and transfer students, coordinates all retention and progression efforts and smoothes incoming students’ transition into college. These recent improvements will have the most dramatic impact on students early in their academic careers, so UNCP expects to see even more significant gains in subsequent years.

Achievement Gaps in Undergraduate Degree Efficiency

By 2021-22, UNCP will reduce by 50% the achievement gap in undergraduate degree efficiency between male and female students.

From UNC Pembroke: Over the coming years, UNC Pembroke will seek to significantly reduce male students’ achievement gap in undergraduate-degree efficiency. Strengthening support systems on campus, along with measuring performance metrics among the target group (including early and mid-term grades, credit-hour progression, and performance in specific gateway courses) will allow the university to make progress in this critical area. Consistent with national trends, some 38 percent of UNCP’s students are male. Historically, this population has not been retained as consistently as its female counterpart, with many male students transferring or leaving school altogether. The Center for Student Success and Division of Student Affairs, along with individual academic programs and departments, are partnering to ensure this population is retained and progresses at a rate that puts students on a trajectory for timely degree completion. The results of these initiatives will be most noticeable in the plan’s subsequent years.

Critical Workforces

By 2021-22, UNCP will produce 499 critical workforce credentials, an increase of 29.6% (114 additional critical workforce credentials over a base of 385).

From UNC Pembroke: UNC Pembroke seeks to strengthen its position as the anchoring economic institution in southeastern North Carolina. Thus, it will focus on educating a qualified, well-trained workforce in several key fields, including health sciences, STEM, and K-12 education. In fall 2018, UNCP announced the formation of a new College of Health Sciences focused on both expanding existing health-care programs and adding new ones in high demand fields. This could significantly impact progress toward this goal area. Another critical workforce, K-12 education, is at the core of UNC Pembroke’s historic mission. Founded as a normal college to train American Indian teachers, UNCP remains committed to this vision, producing well-trained educators through the School of Education. Innovative partnership programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, like the 3+2 engineering program and pathways to veterinary school and medical school, will result in even more STEM graduates.


Low-income Enrollments

By fall 2021, UNCP will enroll 3,458 low-income students, a 11.2% increase over 2015 levels (349 additional low-income students over a base of 3,109).

From UNC Pembroke: UNC Pembroke serves a distinctly rural, low-income, and diverse student population. More than 80 percent of the university’s students receive financial aid or need-based assistance. As an institution of access and affordability, UNC Pembroke remains committed to serving low-income students, many of whom may be the first in their families to attend college. By lowering in-state tuition to $500 per semester, the NC Promise Tuition Plan is attracting a greater number of students for whom financial barriers to a college education might otherwise have been too great. A 14 percent increase in enrollment for fall 2018 and record applications for fall 2019 indicate that low-income enrollment at UNC Pembroke will grow in the coming years.

Rural Enrollments

By fall 2021, UNCP will enroll 4,021 rural students, a 9.8% increase over 2016 levels (359 additional rural students over a base of 3,662).

From UNC Pembroke: Located in predominantly rural southeastern North Carolina, UNC Pembroke serves a distinctly rural student population, with the majority hailing from the primary service region. UNCP offers an educational environment where all students are embraced and supported throughout their academic journey; this nurturing atmosphere appeals to many rural students. By lowering in-state tuition to $500 per semester, the NC Promise Tuition Plan is improving access to a college education for many rural, low-income and first-generation students. A 14 percent enrollment increase for fall 2018 and record applications for fall 2019 indicate that this trend in enrollment, including that of rural students, will continue.

Undergraduate Degree Efficiency

By 2021-22, UNCP will improve its undergraduate degree efficiency to 19.2 over a base of 18.1.

From UNC Pembroke: Over the coming years, UNC Pembroke will work to improve undergraduate degree efficiency by strategically focusing on initiatives that address student progression, retention, and completion. Several initiatives in place will yield a tremendous benefit as students receive assistance early in their academic journey. UNCP recently restructured advising and tutoring services to ensure optimal delivery, hired additional student success coaches to provide supplemental math and English composition instruction, and deployed EAB-SCC-Campus software and a HawkAlert system to improve advising, predict of student success, and enable early intervention. Establishing the University College to coordinate all retention and progression efforts for freshman and transfer students promotes a smooth transition into college.


Research Productivity

By 2021-22, UNCP will receive $4,241,519 in research and development sponsored program awards and licensing income, an increase of 10.2% ($392,591 additional over a base of $3,848,928).

From UNC Pembroke: Through participation in research, UNC Pembroke’s faculty, students, and staff embrace engaged scholarship as a means to further the institution’s mission to “enhance the intellectual, cultural, economic and social life of the region.” World-class researcher and UNC Board of Governors’ 2017 O. Max Gardner Award winner, Dr. Ben Bahr, continues ground-breaking research on neurobiology and Alzheimer’s disease. Additional major research projects being conducted at the Biotechnology Center are in areas of applied microbiology, nematology, fermentation, honey bees, and molecular biology. Biofuels and medical tourism are other areas of research conducted at the university. At UNCP, programs like PURC and RISE encourage undergraduate and graduate students alike to participate in research alongside professors. The university will continue to support these efforts and seek to encourage growth opportunities whenever possible.

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