How a Technical College Improved Grad Rate with TechEnabled Academic Planning and Streamlined Onboarding

How a Technical College Improved Grad Rate with TechEnabled Academic Planning and Streamlined Onboarding

York Technical College, Two-Year Technical College, Rock Hill, SC


York Technical College, part of the South Carolina Technical College System, enrolls 5,819 undergraduate students in 108 academic programs. They have an 18% FTFT graduation rate and 64% fall-to-fall retention rate.

The Challenge

Faced with several years of stagnant persistence and completion rates, York Tech undertook a large-scale approach to improving student success utilizing a Guided Pathways framework. They focused on addressing their fragmented onboarding process and inconsistent advising experience that failed to provide adequate support to undecided students, a population with higher attrition.

The Solution

York Tech partnered with EAB in 2017 and launched Navigate to empower and better guide students inside and outside the classroom. York Tech leveraged Navigate’s Academic Planning module to help students craft better plans. They also streamlined onboarding, implementing the Navigate Student app to engage students in their first year.

The Results

The implementation of various improvement efforts to onboarding, major exploration and pathways, and academic planning in conjunction with other initiatives contributed to a 4.4% increase in the overall graduation rate across two years, as well as $1.39M in preserved tuition revenue.

Impact Highlights


Increase in overall graduation rate in two years


Estimated preserved tuition revenue from reenrolled students

Academic Planning Helps Students Maintain Momentum Toward Completion

Students Who Create Plans in Navigate Are More Than Twice as Likely to Reenroll

Navigate’s Academic Planning allows students to set a graduation goal, plan courses for each term, and collaborate with their advisor in a shared workspace


Engaging Students

Students learn about Navigate’s Academic Planning during Orientation and receive push reminders to create a plan

Engaging Advisors

The Advising Center leads trainings to teach advisors how to help students understand, craft, refine their academic plans

Fall-to-Spring Reenrollment Rate With and Without Academic Plans

  • 0%

    Students who created an Academic Plan in Navigate

  • 0%

    Students who didn't create an Academic Plan in Navigate


Students who may not have reenrolled without a Navigate Academic Plan


Estimated preserved tuition revenue from reenrolled students

Navigate Improves Onboarding and for Undecided Students

BEFORE: Fragmented Process
AFTER: New Streamlined Process
  • Undecided students filled out a confusing application that did not include options for exploring or finding a potential major

  • All undecided students were tagged as general Associate of Arts seekers in the computer system, but staff couldn’t determine which students were truly seeking this degree and which were undecided

  • Some students were referred to a counselor or advisor, but this wasn’t consistent for all students

Addition of New Course Improves Major Exploration

  • A new College 101-course section specifically for undecided students provides dedicated support as they transition to college and find their path

  • Student Success leadership added Navigate’s Program Explorer into the College 101 curriculum to help students identify programs and careers of interest

Grad Rate Up 4.4%, with Notable Increases in Course Completion Rates

Fall-to-Spring Reenrollment Rate With and Without Academic Plans


Key Outcomes Are at Their Highest in York Tech History


Post-completion job placement rate


Fall-to-Fall persistence rate


Overall course pass rate


Graduation rate


Additional revenue from various initiatives to improve completion

Navigate is entwined in both the classroom and structural changes we’ve made. It is the primary mechanism by which we will truly accomplish a streamlined, Guided Pathways approach for our students.

Executive Vice President of Academic and Student Affair, York Technical College


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