It is typical college freshmen need a lot of support. Whether it’s regarding choosing classes, career guidance, finding a way around campus, and more. However amid a pandemic, freshmen will need all the support they can get. Thankfully, a new federal grant is set to give the incoming students at Elizabeth City State University just that! Find out how the new aid will strengthen their education at ECSU in the story from channel 10 Wavy below.

Courtesy of Visit Elizabeth City

First-year students at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) will receive some of the benefits of a statewide program designed to support academic development. 

A $75,600 grant will help ECSU participate in a partnership with GEAR UP NC (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs — federally funded through the Department of Education), the UNC System, and Inside Track, Inc. 

“We will partner with Inside Track for training and development and use the coach-platform to develop new practices and strategies to support students who need additional academic resources, academic recovery strategies, or career and major coaching,” said Anderson.

Students who recently graduated from area high schools within ECSU’s 21-county service area are eligible for the GEAR UP services.

ECSU’s University Studies department will house the GEAR UP program. University Studies specializes in first-year student services and academic advising, according to Anderson.

The grant will help support the hiring of a full-time success coach for first-year freshmen.

“The student success coach will provide one-on-one support through appointments,” she said. “The coach will also provide workshops to support students who need guidance and additional support that goes above and beyond the scope of the academic advisors and the course content offered during their first-year seminar courses.”

Courtesy of WITN

The student success coach will also conduct outreach to area high schools. The position will partner with ECSU’s Office of Admissions, providing schools with information about the opportunities that exist for first-year students.

Of the 37 high schools served by the program, Gates County High School, Perquimans County High School, Pasquotank County High School, John A. Holmes High School, Kinston High School, and Washington High School are included. 

“We are excited about this grant opportunity and partnership with GEAR Up and Inside Track, Inc. Additional staffing and grant funds dedicated to student support are always welcome as student success is key and paramount to ECSU’s goals,” said Dr. Anderson.