Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
- This strategy can help address educational disparities. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
- Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
- Provides individualized coaching for students to address academic and nonacademic barriers to remaining in college through graduation
- Coaching provided through diverse media such as phone, video, email, text, and mobile apps
- Partners directly with the university in order to provide relevant course and resource information
- Target Population
Students enrolled in post-secondary education
- Cost per Participant
Approximately $390 per student per semester
Evidence and impacts
Ranked as having the second-highest level of evidence by Social Programs That Work
- No discernible effect on degree attainment
- Increased credit accumulation and persistence
Best practices in implementation
- Note: This content is under review.
- Cast a wide net when recruiting participants, shifting away from a deficit-model mindset and towards a goal-setting method. Still, prioritize serving high-risk students first.
- Hire enough staff for initial one-on-one counseling sessions with participants. Initial personalization of services yields higher retention.
- Train coaches on other available institutional resources, allowing them to provide actionable guidance for students on everything from financial assistance to mental health services.
- Leverage coaches for feedback on the success of the program and the student experience – in addition to counseling, coaches can be deployed as gatherers of general information about what students face.
- Offer counselors peer training programs and information exchanges to help ensure a more uniform experience from both the coach and student perspective.
- Establish an ongoing quality assurance plan, including refresher courses and formalized feedback system for coaches.
- Encourage counselors to split their time equally across three different areas: academics, finances, and non-academic commitments.