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New UNC innovation labs hope to boost graduation rates

Carolina Journal’s Kari Travis reports on the University of North Carolina system’s launch of Student Success Innovation Labs. The purpose of the program is to boost graduation rates across the 16-campus system by allowing researchers to test what programs do and do not work.

The university will use innovation labs to collect data on “student success interventions” and increase coordination among the campuses. More information makes for better use of taxpayer money, Spellings said.

The project falls in line with system’s strategic plan. It focuses on access, affordability, efficiency, student success, and economic impact. The UNC Board of Governors in 2017 unanimously adopted the goals.

University leaders will scrutinize programs to see what works — and what doesn’t, Spellings said.

The system also is committed to summer learning and better software programs to help teachers tailor coursework for students, Spellings told CJ.

“Higher education is built around the idea that evaluation, inquiry, and data-driven debate advance society. We must apply that same level of rigor to our own operation, using data and research to guide how we teach and support our students from enrollment through graduation.”

Read more of Kari’s article here.

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