DEVELOPING YOUR PROGRAM
The 49er Finish Program at UNC Charlotte
is a successful degree completion model.
GOT STOP-OUT STUDENTS?
FIND OUT WHY THEY’RE A
TARGET TO RECRUIT.
to recruiting and graduating stop-outs?
At UNC Charlotte, home of the 49ers, the answer
is the award-winning 49er Finish Program.
ON THIS SITE WE SHARE...
Winner of the Outstanding Institutional Advising Award from the National Academic Advising Association
Recognized as an important innovation by the
of State Colleges
Research shows it’s a
Leave in good
Increase in annual enrollment
from effective degree completion
programs (Public Research Univ.)
Net tuition per year
common among programs
in the United States
Since beginning in 2005, 49er Finish Program has graduated more than 1000 former UNC Charlotte stop-outs.
Graduating these “stop-outs” is becoming a critical issue not just for
higher education institutions, but for students as well.
In fact, it is estimated that 65% of U.S. jobs will require some form of postsecondary education by 2020.
Source: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center; EAB, "Leveraging the EM Core for Success," 2015
UNC Charlotte’s 49er Finish concierge-style advising program changes students’ lives by helping them attain personal and professional objectives while supporting the enrollment and retention goals of the University, and generating significant incremental tuition revenues.
Developing your Program
Recruiting and re-enrolling
adult and non-traditional students
approach to advising
of the program
Recruiting adult, nontraditional, or stop-out students
is different than recruiting traditional students.
For these students, the decision to return to school mainly depends on their personal life circumstances. So timing and persistence is important.
Communications and marketing must be ongoing and consistent to
remind students of the opportunity to complete their degree at your
university. We have found that many students hold on to their mail
pieces (some for years!) and refer back to them when they
are ready to return.
The messaging must resell the value of higher education and the end
goal of returning to the workplace with a degree.
You must also respect the student’s privacy and FERPA policy by
avoiding explicit reference to their stop-out status.
For some, the process of re-enrollment can be daunting. An effective
stop-out program should include ongoing advising from pre-enrollment through graduation. This involves assigning a dedicated point of contact to advise students on degree completion options and serve as a liason between the student and academic offices and enrollment services.
CLICK ON THE NEXT TAB ABOVE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR
CONCIERGE-STYLE APPROACH TO ADVISING.
4 steps of the program
At the heart of 49er Finish is getting to know the individual student and providing high-touch support from recruitment to graduation.
Your program should aim to make the transition as smooth as possible for
students and help them overcome any obstacles for returning. Students
may need or want to change majors, or need assistance tailoring course
choices for new career goals. Students may also need help evaluating
their completed course curriculum and integrating it with a current degree
Your program coordinator will actively assist students in getting connected
with academic departments and other university resources by providing
direct contacts that make students feel more comfortable seeking advise
ment and assistance. The coordinator will also act as an advocate on
behalf of the student to navigate through institutional policy.
The concierge “one-stop” approach of the program involves providing
connections and resources for administrative issues, community services,
(finding child care, etc.), and supporting and encouraging students
throughout their degree completion.
Specific program initiatives include setting up welcome-back seminars,
mentoring programs, unique scholarship opportunities, ongoing transition
seminars, and referrals to appropriate campus resources.
CLICK ON THE NEXT TAB ABOVE TO LEARN ABOUT PROGRAM COSTS.
planning ahead for the expenses involved will ensure success of the program.
You can decide whether you want your program coordinator to be a part-time or full-time employee. Therefore staff expenses would range from $5,000-$45,000.
Marketing costs vary based on the size of your stop-out population. Whether you invest in an email or mail campaign will determine your marketing expenses.
A starting budget can range from $4,000-$10,000 per year.
The benefit to your university will be greater than the cost of operating this program.
retention rate for
the 49ER finish program at unc charlotte
per year in the 49er
finish program at
click on the numbers below for a step-by-step guide
Identify the number of stop-outs
on your campus
Set up program structure and
tracking system for student population
Recruit students to return
Create and present business
proposal for institutional buy-in
Establish Program leader
Develop marketing strategy, including student survey
your institution's stop-outs are an
These students know your institution, have completed the majority of their degree coursework, and those
you target will have proven themselves academically successful before stopping out.
Typically older and wiser, they know the value of time and money, and easily grasp the value
your program offers them if you communicate that value clearly and repeatedly.
They understand a degree can improve their earning power and contribute more to the economy of the
region and the state. And, they are impressed when your institution reaches out to them personally.
Stop-out recruitment and re-enrollment programs provide community support while being a classic win-win for academic institutions and their students.
Sample Stop-out Programs:
UNC Charlotte 49er Finish Program Coordinator