Personalized Achievement Contract (PACT) Program

PACT Program
Mercy University
New York
Academic Level
Issue Area
Key Personnel
Program Focus


The Personalized Achievement Contract (PACT) Program provides undergraduate students—a majority of whom are Latino—a pathway towards graduation through mentoring provided during the length of a students’ college career. PACT’s goal is to increase the retention and graduation rates of Latino students at Mercy University and close the achievement gap for these students.

Program Description

Established in 2009, PACT was first designed as a pilot program to improve the retention and graduation rates for Mercy University’s diverse student population.

PACT pairs participants with a professional mentor through the length of their college career to work together on topics essential to student success including choosing the right major, navigating requirements, registering for classes, tracking academic progress, career exploration, and financial literacy. Currently, PACT has 50 mentors who are selected based upon their ability to relate to current program participants. Mentors include Mercy University alumni, Spanish-speakers, first-generation college graduates, and individuals with experience in the field or major of participants.


  • Increased retention: As of 2018, Latino, first-time in college, full-time students accomplished a retention rate of 77%. Prior to PACT, Latino students had a retention rate of 60%.
  • Increased 6-year graduation: As of 2019, the six-year graduation rate for Latino program students is 43%. Prior to PACT, Latino students had a six-year graduation rate of 27%.
  • Decreased achievement gap: As of 2019, the achievement gap among graduation rates between Latino and white students stands at 6%. Prior to PACT, the gap stood at 22%.

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