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Improving College Access: Examining the Past to Move to the Future. 2009 NCCEP/GEAR UP Annual Conference July 21, 2009. David English Chrissy Tillery. Presentation Overview. Why Access? A North Carolina Imperative Evaluating CFNC.org Statistics and Results Questions and Discussion .

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improving college access examining the past to move to the future

Improving College Access: Examining the Past to Move to the Future

  • 2009 NCCEP/GEAR UP Annual ConferenceJuly 21, 2009

David English

Chrissy Tillery

slide2

Presentation Overview

  • Why Access? A North Carolina Imperative
  • Evaluating CFNC.org
  • Statistics and Results
  • Questions and Discussion
slide3

“We found that access to American higher education is unduly limited by the complex interplay of inadequate preparation, lack of informationabout college opportunities and persistent financial barriers.”

Former US Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings

slide4

North Carolina

Public & Nonpublic High School Graduates

2003-2004 – 2017-2018 (projected)

slide6

Primary Goal = Access

To increase the college-going rate in North Carolina with particular attention toward “first-generation” college students.

GOAL

  • Obstacles facing first-generation college students:
  • Can I really go to college in NC?
  • Can I afford to go to college in NC?
slide7

What is CFNC.org?

  • CFNC is a joint effort of the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority, College Foundation, Inc., and Pathways of North Carolina.
  • The Pathways partnership was requested by the UNC Board of Governors, funded by the 1999 General Assembly, and includes the:
    • NC Department of Public Instruction (K-12)
    • NC Community College System (58)
    • NC Independent Colleges and Universities (36)
    • UNC System (16)
slide8

501(c)(3) nonprofit -administers grants, loans and savings program on behalf of the state

State-funded K-16 partnership (NCDPI, NCCCS, NCICU, UNC) administered by UNC General Administration

State agency responsible for statewide college aid programs – grants scholarships, loans, 529 savings

slide9

CFNC Access Services

GEAR UP North Carolina

CFNC Resource Center

CFNC Technology & Internet Services

  • 1.866.866.CFNC
  • Toll-free Telephone Hotline for Career and College Planning
  • Email from CFNC.org
  • Publications
  • Training
  • Spanish Services
  • Low-income (FRL) school students
  • $37 million
  • Two grants from US Dept of Education (2000-11)
  • 35 NC counties
  • 16,000+ students
  • www.CFNC.org
  • Career Center
  • Student Planner
  • College Fair
  • Free SAT & ACT Test Prep
  • Online Applications
  • Electronic High School Transcripts
  • Transfer Articulation
slide12

Overview

  • By 2007 CFNC.org was a stable and mature college access initiative
  • Senior leadership desired an enhanced level of program evaluation and assessment
  • Lumina Foundation for Education had interest in learning more about best practices in college access web portals
  • Grant support began September 2007
  • Evaluation report completed May 2009
slide13

Key Research Study Components

  • CFNC.org Account Holder Analyses
  • WebTrends Site Usage Analysis
  • CFNC.org Applying to College Services and Initiatives
  • Future Directions
  • Recommendations
slide14

CFNC.org Account Holder Analyses

  • Account Holders since site inception
  • Account Holders by user type
  • Account Holders enrolling at a UNC system institution
slide17

First-Time Freshmen at the University of North Carolina, Distribution of CFNC.org Account Holders

* UNC student data is the most recent data from the Division of Institutional Research and Analysis at the

University of North Carolina General Administration.

slide18

First-Time Freshmen at the University of North Carolina, Distribution of CFNC.org Account Holders by Gender

slide19

First-Time Freshmen at the University of North Carolina, Distribution of CFNC.org Account Holders by Ethnic Group

slide20

First-Time Freshmen at the University of North Carolina, Distribution of CFNC.org Account Holders by Constituent Institution in Fall 2005

slide21

First-Time Freshmen at the University of North Carolina, Distribution of CFNC.org Account Holders by Constituent Institution in Fall 2006

slide22

First-Time Freshmen at the University of North Carolina, Distribution of CFNC.org Account Holders by Constituent Institution in Fall 2007

slide23

WebTrends Site Usage Analysis

  • CFNC.org utilizes WebTrends for site analysis
  • Data was pulled for the period 07/01/2007 – 06/28/2008
  • Over 30 high visibility pages were selected for review
  • Limited analysis to pages related to college and career planning, exploration, and application
  • Information gathered on Views, Visits, Average Time Viewed, and Overall Page Rank on Server
slide26

CFNC.org Applying to College Services and Initiatives

  • CFNC.org hosts branded admissions applications for all 110 colleges and universities in North Carolina
    • 89 of the 110 institutions utilize the CFNC.org branded application as their exclusive online option
  • CFNC.org partners with the NC Department of Public Instruction to serve as the sole provider of electronic high school transcripts
    • Project has been implemented in phases over the past 6 years
    • Every public and charter high school will be live in Fall 2009, excluding Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
slide30

High School Transcripts Submitted through CFNC.org Annually 2003 – 2008

Student Comments:

“I liked the help with filling out, submitting and paying for applications. It was easier to do than by myself.”

“I never thought I would go to college anywhere, but I realized that it is my future and I can do it.”

  • An event cosponsored by CFNC and CACRAO in an effort to further expand statewide college access
  • The goal of the initiative is to motivate and support students who might not consider college an option the opportunity to apply to college online using CFNC.org.
  • Pilot Programs in 2005, 2006, 2007
  • Statewide as of 2008
slide33

Applications Submitted to University of North Carolina Constituent Institutions During College Application Week 2008

slide35

Applications Submitted to Member Institutions of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities During College Application Week 2008

slide36

Future Directions

  • Expanded Data Availability and Enrollment Verification
  • Transfer Articulation
slide37

Expanded Data Availability &

Enrollment Verification

  • UNC-General Administration will run enrollment verification on all students participating in the 2008 and 2009 College Application Week events
  • North Carolina College Access Challenge Grant Program (NCCACGP) funds are being used for this initiative
  • Data will allow for enhanced evaluation of CAW program, and impacts on students postsecondary matriculation
slide38

Transfer Student Planner & Articulation

  • View Transfer Student Guarantees offered by the CAA
  • Transferable Course Equivalencies for all CAA General Education courses between NCCCS and any UNC institution.
  • A list of Transfer Students most frequently asked questions
  • Majority of courses taken by students participating in a dual enrollment program covered
slide39

Transfer Student Navigator

  • Provide students with a report of how courses will transfer between all 110 North Carolina colleges and universities
  • Partnership between NCCCS, NCICU, and UNC
  • Perform a degree audit to guide students on course work that will need to be completed after they transfer
  • System is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
    • Step 1. Create an academic history by selecting courses from the Community College Course Catalog.
    • Step 2. Confirm selections.
    • Step 3. View an equivalence report that shows course by course equivalence. Users can compare equivalence for 2 institutions at a time
slide44

Recommendations for Policy and Practice

  • CFNC.org philosophy is based around 3 fundamental themes
  • Plan: What do I need to do to be prepared to go to college? How can I learn what courses different colleges expect me to have taken? Are there minimum admission requirements?
  • Apply: What do I need to do to apply to college? Can I apply online? What is the cost to apply? Do I need to visit a campus for an interview?
  • Pay: Can I afford to go to college? What are the financial aid options available to me?
slide45

Recommendation #1: Build and sustain broad partnerships and high levels of collaboration among all education interests.

  • CFNC is a partnership of UNC, NCCCS, NCICU, NCDPI, NC SEAA, and CFI
  • Power of a legislative mandate should not be underestimated
  • Keep all partners and stakeholders engaged and informed
slide46

Recommendation #2: Provide a comprehensive internet-based platform and complementary call-center support.

  • CFNC.org website provides college and career planning resources and information applicable to all ages
  • CFNC Online Admissions Application is accepted by all 110 NC Colleges and Universities
  • CFNC Electronic High School Transcript is the sole option, and accepted by all 110 colleges and universities
  • Two specialized toll-free call centers provide information on planning, applying, and paying for college
slide47

Recommendation #3: Build a brand and commit to a comprehensive marketing program to build awareness and understanding.

  • Utilize a combination of media advertising, direct marketing, and in-school marketing to build awareness among all target audiences
  • Build awareness through strong visual continuity - brand standards bring unity and continuity
  • Target specific messages to professional and consumer audiences
  • Continue to promote the basic brand positioning in all communications while building awareness of specific information and services
slide48

Recommendation #4: Complement advertising with training and outreach activities.

  • School counselors are an important source of information for parents and students
  • Full time CFNC Training Director works to engage and educate school counselors on CFNC.org services
  • CFNC Regional Representatives provide outreach to financial aid personnel, community members, churches, and schools
  • Dedicated space is provided on the website for school counselors and education professionals
slide49

Recommendation #5: Address the needs of schools, colleges, students, and families.

  • Online applications are provided free of charge to the 110 participating institutions, including development and technical support
  • Professional tools allow school counselors and educators the ability to monitor students application and transcript activity
  • CFNC State Grant Information System enables NC colleges and universities to process over $350 million per year from five distinct grant programs
slide50

Recommendation #6: Leverage financial resources from diverse sources.

  • Federal Family Education Loan Program (NC SEAA & CFI)
  • State Appropriations (Pathways)
  • Federal Grant Funding (GEAR UP North Carolina and North Carolina College Access Challenge Grant Program)
slide51

Recommendation #7: Plan for sufficient staffing and share staff responsibilities.

  • CFNC Technology & Internet Services has grown from 2 FTE to 6 FTE
  • CFI provides 5 FTE for core technical support and development
  • Marketing and outreach program planning and support are shared between CFI, NC SEAA, and Pathways
  • Call center support is provided by both CFI and Pathways
slide53

9,250

visitors per day for an average of

8 min 30 sec

1,422,063

Online Applications

Submitted

126,238

High School Transcripts

Sent

2,725,518

Accounts Created

CFNC.org Site Usage

slide54

Impacts

  • North Carolina had the second largest increase in College Participation Rates for Students from Low Income Families between 2000 – 2007
  • US Average was negative over this time period
  • Data calculated by Tom Mortenson of Postsecondary Education Opportunities
slide55

Questions?

David English

Director, CFNC Technology & Internet Services

UNC-General Administration

919.843.5369

englishdj@northcarolina.edu

Chrissy Tillery

Research & Evaluation Specialist

GEAR UP North Carolina

UNC-General Administration

828.262.7365

tilleryc@northcarolina.edu