Academic programs that aim to recruit and retain underrepresented students should incorporate research-based strategies and models to provide the support structures necessary to ensure student success. The Multicultural Scholars Program Forestry Fellows is a partnership between three community colleges (CCs) across east Tennessee (TN) and the University of Tennessee (UT) aimed at increasing the recruitment, retention, and graduation of non-traditional students (NTS) into Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Science (FANH) majors. In designing, developing and implementing the program, a model for recruit and retention emerged that is grounded in literature. The Holistically Removing Barriers to Student Success (HRBSS) model consist of four key elements: (1) intrusive mentoring; (2) removal of financial barriers; (3) a chief knowledge officer model of advising; and (4) meaningful, targeted professional development. Taken together, these elements comprise the HRBSS model to recruit and retain non-traditional students into FANH disciplines using the urban forestry concentration to pilot test the model. This paper will discuss specific strategies for each of the four key elements, as well as the theoretical framework supporting each element.