SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 15, 2015) - InsideTrack, the nation's leading provider of student success coaching solutions, joined with civil rights and business leaders this week to focus on improving educational outcomes among African-American students at a conference co-hosted by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF).

Despite improvement over time, research shows that African-American students continue to experience lower academic achievement, greater high school dropout rates, and lower postsecondary enrollment and persistence rates than their white peers. The NAACP and USCCF are partnering to highlight the urgency behind this national problem and empower leaders to implement solutions at the local level.

Speakers at the two-day convening discussed promising approaches for expanding educational opportunity and success for students of color. Liz Derrough, Training Manager at InsideTrack, presented on strategies for student support personnel to establish trust and ensure that students of color feel supported by their educational institutions. She provided evidence from controlled experiments and student case studies demonstrating how student success coaching creates a support structure for students by tapping into educational, career and life goals and helping them develop the skills and confidence to tackle challenges along the way toward those goals.

"While there have been hard-fought gains in expanding access and equity in higher education, disparities in outcomes and educational experience continue to exist for students of color," said Derrough, who consults with higher education institutions across the country on ways to improve support for historically underrepresented student populations. "Even for students who don't face academic or financial challenges, the transition to college can be daunting if they feel disconnected from the campus community. Personalized coaching can help increase a student's feeling of connection and confidence, improving the likelihood that they will persist and graduate."

The impact and cost-effectiveness of InsideTrack's coaching methods have been tested and validated in more than 100 randomized controlled trials, verified by independent researchers, published in peer-reviewed journals and promoted by leading organizations, including the U.S. Department of Education, as an example of best practices. At one mid-sized public university, for example, InsideTrack Coaching improved first-year retention of African American students from 61.4 percent to 76.3 percent in one year. At another, InsideTrack coaching increased yield of African American students by 10.3 percent.

"Closing college achievement gaps is both a moral and economic imperative," said Pete Wheelan, CEO of InsideTrack. "Workplace demand for well-prepared college graduates continues to grow and we must endeavor to unlock the potential in all of our nation's students if we're going to maintain our national competitiveness and fulfill our commitment to equality of opportunity. InsideTrack strongly supports partnerships between the education, civil rights and business communities to enhance outcomes for underrepresented students."

InsideTrack partners with institutions to design and operate student support programs that are proven to increase enrollment, graduation, career readiness, institutional effectiveness and overall satisfaction with the student experience. The company is currently engaged with more than 850 programs nationwide at a broad range of institutions, including Ivy Tech Community College, Columbia University, Penn State University and Arizona State University.

About InsideTrack

Society thrives when students succeed. Since 2001, InsideTrack has used a proven combination of coaching, analytics, consulting and technology to unlock potential in 1 million+ students and 850+ academic programs. We invite you to join the leading colleges, universities, foundations, and others working with us to enhance the transformative power of higher education. Please visit us at and follow us on Twitter @InsideTrack.

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