Nicole Carr

Associate Vice President, Student Academic Success

University of South Alabama

Nicole Carr

Associate Vice President, Student Academic Success

University of South Alabama

Nicole T. Carr is Associate Vice President for Student Academic Success at the University of South Alabama. In this position she provides university leadership targeting one of the five institutional priorities: student success and access. Her unit encompasses a range of services rounding out students’ academic experience, including academic advising, tutoring, Career Services, and the university Writing Center. Carr has developed and/or supervised a variety of student success initiatives including a wide-scale implementation of learning communities; the development and implementation of the university’s First Year Advising Center; the implementation large scale technology in support of student success; the production of a university-specific first year experience course text and the establishment of common learning objectives for first year courses; a robust peer academic leader program; and the development of the annual South Alabama Conference on Teaching and Learning (now in its 8th year). She has also collaborated extensively with Student Affairs, most notably in designing the university Week of Welcome and instituting an academic Convocation.

Since 2010, Dr. Carr has led the University in improving first year student retention by 13 percentage points, and four year graduation rates by 9 percentage points Persistence from fall to spring for first year students topped 92% for the 2016 freshman cohort. Continued focus on persistence and graduation now involve attendance initiatives, degree milestones, probation advising, and additional engagement with technology in support of success


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15 to Finish

Boost the number of students who are on track for on-time graduation by encouraging enrollment in 15 credits each semester (30 credits per year, including summers). Financial aid dollars, as well as institutional process and practice, should support that standard.

Math Pathways

Ensure all students enroll in and complete gateway math in their first year by designing math courses that are aligned with the skills students need for their chosen program of study.

Corequisite Support

Increase gateway course completion within the first year by enrolling entering students into the college-level math and English courses, providing those who need additional help a concurrent course or lab that offers just-in-time academic support.

Momentum Year

Build momentum so students meet first-year benchmarks: informed choice of meta major or major, enrollment in 30 credits with nine in the program of study and completion of gateway courses. Provide early support and guidance for decision making, using interest assessments and labor-market data.

Academic Maps with Proactive Advising

Default students onto highly-structured academic maps that include 15 credits per semester (or 30 per year), indicate milestone and pre-requisite courses, and empower advisors to effectively monitor progress and provide intervention as needed.

A Better Deal for Returning Adults

Increase degree attainment by inviting adult learners back to complete their education, providing a redesigned system that offers accelerated courses, year-round enrollment and predictable schedules. Give credit for prior learning and experience and additional support to help students navigate the system.

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