University of North Carolina system joins national network to improve student success

As a member of the PAR Framework, a division of Hobsons, the UNC system joins 39 pioneering institutions in using intervention measurement, benchmarks, and predictive analytics to improve student outcomes.

PAR Framework, a division of Hobsons, today announced that the University of North Carolina (UNC) system is joining its national network. PAR uses predictive analytics and benchmarking services to help colleges and universities identify students at risk, measure the impact of interventions, and share research findings within a community of practice.

The UNC system joins PAR as part of an ongoing plan to increase postsecondary success for students and to align with the state’s plan to increase the number of people with postsecondary experience and credentials by 2025. The PAR Framework was established to provide colleges and university leaders with useful benchmarks and insights from peer institutions to make better use of data and apply new insights to improve student outcomes.

“Unlocking insights from student success benchmark data is essential for realizing our vision for academic excellence, access and opportunity for all of our students,” said Margaret Spellings, president of the University of North Carolina system. “As a member of the PAR Framework, we will tap into the collective experience of our peers. We look forward to contributing the expertise of North Carolina’s faculty and institutional leaders to shape the conversation and improve outcomes nationwide.”

As a member of PAR, the UNC system and its five participating institutions will gain access to tools and services that inventory and measure the impact of their student success interventions, and benchmark institutions’ academic success in comparison to peer institutions. PAR uses state-of-the-art predictive analytics to identify students most likely to experience challenges achieving their academic goals, and then aligns intervention programs to best address student needs. The collaborative PAR membership model wraps the tools and services with a community of researchers and practitioners, actively collaborating to learn from one another’s practices to develop an evidence-based framework based on scaling effective practices.

The UNC system’s Division of Academic Affairs is leading the partnership effort and the system’s investment in the UNC Student Data Mart will allow for more efficient and effective standardized data usage with PAR.

“PAR’s approach to the measurement of intervention effectiveness makes it possible for systems to collaborate on shared strategic goals aimed at transforming institutional effectiveness and student success,” said Beth Davis, CEO of PAR at Hobsons. “We are thrilled to have the University of North Carolina system join our community, and look forward to learning more, together.”

The newest PAR members include the UNC system office as well as five individual UNC institutions, including Fayetteville State University, Winston-Salem State University, East Carolina University, University of North Carolina Pembroke, and North Carolina Central University.

Founded in 2011 with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and acquired earlier this year by Hobsons, the PAR community includes a growing number of systems of higher education, four-year colleges and universities, and community colleges, all sharing insights and findings as they collaborate to accelerate driving institutional change and local action, informed by data, that improves student success.

The UNC system joins other system members including the University of Hawaii System, the North Dakota University System, and the University System of Maryland.

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Material from a press release was used in this report.