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Project Description

Bears First is a new program in its first year at UNC. The objective of Bears First is to work with incoming first year students with a high school GPA of less than a 3.00. Data shows that these students are at greater risk for attrition, so Bears First was created to provide additional support in their first year of college. Before the start of the semester, students in the program are paired with an academic success coach with whom they are required to have five appointments during the fall and spring semesters (10 appointments total). The purpose of this assessment is to gather qualitative data on the students’ perception of the program after completing the fall semester. Students’ general perceptions of UNC as well as how their first semester went overall were also assessed.

Research Questions

  1. What are common factors that cause students to struggle in their first year of college?
  2. What types of support that students need are not currently provided by UNC?
  3. What barriers prevent students from accessing support?
  4. What can SOAR do that would potentially increase UNC’s retention numbers for incoming students with a high school GPA less than a 3.00?

Our assessment answered three out of four of our research questions. Number two was not directly addressed in the questions that we asked, and we focused, instead, on what support systems at UNC were being utilized.


2019-2020 Assessment Mini-Grant