Greenville Technical College

Data-activated Student Support Propels Largest Persistence Lift in Six Years

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Greenville Technical College’s strategic plan focused heavily on completion and student engagement, but they did not have an easy or efficient way to measure the effectiveness of their current programs or understand how those programs were supporting their goals. They also needed to address the day-to-day items that end up derailing students in their academic journey, encompassing more holistic advising support and communication. 

In particular, GTC leaders wanted to understand the impact of their Academic Coaching program. It was seeing increased demand, and they wanted to unpack its effectiveness so that they could make decisions about how to best invest in the program.

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Case management for student success

Much of GTC’s initial work to understand what was working best for their students laid the foundation for using new data to make decisions about how to support their students. They began to see new trends, including the outsized positive impact of certain student success initiatives on students with a low predicted probability to persist. As they turned to take action, GTC connected with another member of the Civitas Learning community, University of South Florida (USF).

Proactive care & a wider safety net

Inspired by USF’s success, GTC leaders decided to apply a similar case management approach to focus and scale proactive student outreach. They didn’t have the resources to hire more advisors, but they did form a cross-departmental committee, or retention response team, to identify students in need, build relationships, and ensure those students were wrapped in support. 

As a result of this committee’s actions and GTC’s new infrastructure for understanding what specific students need, GTC is reporting a two percentage point lift in their student persistence.

Dr. Larry Miller reflects on how GTC is helping more students and improving institutional outcomes.


“As a result of this work, we’ve actually increased our persistence and retention rates in our first year of these efforts. This is the biggest lift we’ve seen in six years.”

Dr. Larry Miller
Interim Vice President, Learning and Workforce Development
Greenville Technical College

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