• Identify cultural and institutional conditions that influence student academic achievement, particularly retention.
  • Identify, recommend, and assess best practices.
  • Communicate these strategies to the Appalachian community.

The success and persistence of our students is a campus-wide responsibility. Retention and graduation are performance indicators and an index of our effectiveness in teaching and assisting in the personal development of our students. These performance indicators are also utilized by the UNC General Administration in the new performance funding model.

Appalachian State University Performance Goals Related to Student Success (pending final approval by Board of Governors)

  • Retention rate to 89% for the Fall 2013, freshman cohort
  • Six-year graduation rate to 68% for the Fall 2009, freshman cohort
  • Four-year graduation rate to 68% for the Fall 2011, transfer cohort
  • Four-year graduation rate to 44.3% for the Fall 2011, freshman cohort
  • Improve the number of Bachelor’s degrees awarded to Pell Recipients
  • Improve undergraduate degree production and efficiency


The Student Success Team focuses specifically on student success and retention at Appalachian and is one of six subgroups represented on the Enrollment Planning Council. Once approved, recommendations from Student Success Team go to the Enrollment Planning Council for review and recommendation to the Provost, Student Development, and/or Dean’s Council. The 2015-2016 representative from Student Success Team to the Enrollment Planning Council is Dr. Kathleen Lynch-Davis, Assistant Professor in the Reich College of Education.