Carol Tonge Mack is a bold leader and visionary in her non-traditional methods to help retain and graduate students. Carol believes she’s the Quarterback on her team; when given the opportunity, she will score.
She is the Director of Student Retention Initiatives in the College of Arts and Sciences. Carol’s primary focus is to provide creative and innovative strategies to retain and graduate students. Previously, she was the co-creator and Associate Director of the Center for Exploratory Studies (CES). The center was designed in 2003 to assist exploratory (undecided) and undeclared students with choosing the best major among the university’s twelve colleges. Carol is a major contributor to the centers above 90% student satisfaction rate and the 79% first year retention rate. CES has been recognized by the National Academic Advising Association as one of the top three exemplary programs for helping exploratory students. Carol is also committed to diversity in the workplace. She believes cultural awareness through open, honest discourse is an essential component to understanding racial and ethnic differences. As a result of this awareness, she is the architect of the first Cultural Competence Training Series for the academic advising staff in the College of Arts and Sciences. Three years after the series was created, the advising team received the Marian Spencer Diversity Ambassador Award. Most recently, Carol was invited to serve as a resource representative at the Diversity Recruitment Training Institute. She continues to plan and implement diversity initiatives for the college, as it is the destination college for many students.
Carol serves as the coordinator of two unique mentoring programs: PR1ZE (Putting Retention 1st in the Zest for Excellence)and S.T.E.E.R (Striving to Transform, Enrich, Empower, and Reward). Each program is specifically designed to increase the graduation rates of African-American and other under-represented students. Mentoring is nationally recognized as an effective strategy for student retention and success and these innovative programs will help students achieve their graduation goal. Carol piloted the university’s first Sophomore Program to prevent the “sophomore slump”. This is a retention initiative specifically for sophomores/second year students grant-funded by the University of Cincinnati’s Alumni Association. Top university administrators have recognized Carol’s work. The former Senior Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences appointed her to the Higher Learning Commission/North Central Association Self-Study, and the Council on Student Affairs. The Senior Associate Vice-Provost of the University also selected Carol as co-chair of the Strategic Enrollment Management Access Committee. As she continued to build her leadership skills, Carol was also selected for the C-Change Young Professionals Leadership Program with the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber as well as the nationally known Kaleidoscope Leadership Institute for Women of Color. Carol is an accomplished presenter. Her inspirational and engaging presentation style will captivate any audience. She presented at a variety of regional and national conferences which include: National Symposium on Students Retention, Academic Advising, College Access, and Women’s conferences.
Prior to Carol’s arrival in Cincinnati, she spearheaded the transformation and redesigned the Connect Program at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). The program assists students of color with their transition from high school to college while providing the appropriate academic support to retain and graduate all students.