February 2024

HPS Undergraduate Advising receives thousands of dollars for training, and to collaborate with UNT TRIO SSS team to address at-risk student retention, and support first-generation and low-income students

The funding from the Office of the President’s College-Level Retention Proposals & Awards will be used for new initiatives and programs to holistically support students’ college experience.

DENTON (UNT), Texas – Advisors in the UNT College of Health and Public Service and staff from UNT TRIO Student Support Services (SSS), a federally funded academic support program that serves undergraduate students who are first-generation, Pell-eligible, and have disabilities at UNT, have received a total of $12,000 for two different retention initiatives to help HPS at-risk students. The goal is to help increase student grade point averages and Fall-to-Fall retention, as well as provide advisors with skill sets to address a variety of student needs beyond general academic planning. Ja’Tiara Armstrong, Brisa Finegan, Liz Perez and Amanda DeVaney in HPS Advising, and Detra Craig, Anthony Vazquez, and Rebecca Werts in UNT TRIO SSS, developed the proposals selected for the funding.

The first, which received a $7,000 College-Level At-Risk Retention Proposal award, will target probation, alert and suspended students, with special consideration to first generation and Pell-eligible students. It will be used to pay for a one-time, four-day intensive training for Armstrong, Perez and DeVaney to become certified in Academic Coaching. They will use their new skills to develop workshops and a Canvas course to address students’ academic needs, emotional wellbeing and aspirations.

Our HPS Advisors recognize the importance of supporting students in all areas: “We know that for students to be successful academically, challenges in personal, career, emotional, and academic areas must be addressed,” the team said. “Academic Coaching creates a holistic skillset for our advisors to best serve students in all aspects.”

They also will partner with UNT TRIO SSS and UNT's Wellness and Employment Learning Lab (UNTWELL) Wellness Clinic, which provides counseling, vocational and adjunctive therapy services to students free of charge, to enhance student learning and motivation towards academic success.

The $5,000 College-Level Collaboration Retention Proposal award will be used for a collaborative program between HPS Advising and UNT TRIO SSS called FLIGHT (Foundations of Learning and Interdisciplinary approaches towards Graduation and Highly Transformative success) that will support first generation and Pell-eligible students through proactive workshops and curricula. This will include summer orientation programming, and other fall and spring workshops and co-curricular activities to help support student success.

“We are excited to collaborate with the HPS Advising team on this retention initiative, as this will maximize the reach of the TRIO SSS program,” said Craig, director of TRIO SSS. “This partnership with HPS will allow our program to support additional first-generation and Pell-eligible students through innovative learning experiences.”

Fall-to-Fall retention data will be used to assess the success of these initiatives and how they’ve benefitted the more than 2,200 students HPS Advisors serve.