Skip to content Skip to navigation

Atlanta Metropolitan State College Campus Plan Update 2022

Institutional Mission and Student Body Profile

A core tenet of the Atlanta Metropolitan State College (also referred to as AMSC or “the Institution”) mission is to “offer student-centered instruction, civic/community engagement, and quality services that lead to the success of inter-generational 21st century graduates.”  This Complete College Georgia (CCG) update continues to build on these AMSC mission themes. AMSC serves a highly diverse student population, with 40% adult learners, 55% first-generation, and 100% commuter.  Therefore, the strategy and plan AMSC develops and implements to support its first-year students (called “Momentum Year” or “Momentum Approach”) is multi-faceted, taking into account the various types of students who attend the Institution. Because AMSC, as other University System of Georgia (USG) State Colleges, is an open-access institution, a significant number of academic strategies are built into the Institution's Momentum Approach plan for first-year success to ensure students have real-time and individualized teaching and learning opportunities to provide them the best opportunity for completion and success.  

A variety of modalities and pedagogies are important to provide AMSC's adult learners and traditional students the flexibility they need to work and maintain their family lives while completing a degree. These include a balance of on-campus, online, and hybrid classes. Associate and bachelor program options allow 100% completion both on-campus and online to better complement students’ schedules.  AMSC provides academic coaching and mentoring for first-generation and other students who do not have the high-level family support afforded to many traditional students. A revised New Student Orientation (NSO) Program is underway to better address the needs of the Institution’s commuter population, particularly an NSO that is accessible, efficient, and one that provides students a comprehensive introduction to AMSC’s programs and services.

AMSC has a large part-time student population, typically 55-60%, yet it implements various strategies for the timely graduation of all students. The Institution fully supports and promotes the 15-to-finish strategy, realizing that students with a full load, on average, perform at a higher level. Part-time students are advised to take at least 10 credits per semester, when possible, including summer terms. In doing so, part-time students will graduate within three years, or 150% of the time expected, a national standard upon which graduation and retention rates are based. Evening and early morning classes are offered to provide access to courses for working students so that they can also complete their programs within 150% of the expected time to graduation.

Providing relevant, High-Impact Practices (HIPs) that engage students and provide them opportunities to experience cutting edge teaching methodologies and real-world career opportunities are at the core of AMSC academics to enhance the experience of AMSC students, including first-year freshmen. Internships, apprenticeships, and summer programs provide students the opportunity to make meaningful relationships with potential future employers and empower students to make purposeful choices that raise the value of their education and give them deeper purpose to complete college.

The goal of this report is to provide the strategies that expand the AMSC Complete Georgia Plan to target additional support and assistance to AMSC students, particularly first-year students.  Data clearly show that the first year is the most challenging time in a student’s college career.  Any gains obtained in the retention and success of first-year students will provide momentum for them to stay the course and complete their post-secondary education pursuits. The benefit of enhancing the performance of first-year students will not only increase their academic success in courses, but also it is expected to enhance their retention and graduation rates.



Table 1 provides a summary of the AMSC goals, planning objectives, strategies, and areas of exploration associated with the College’s momentum approach.  This document outlines objectives and areas of exploration that are at various stages of planning and implementation.

Table 1. Momentum Approach Goals and Planning Elements (Completions and Future Objectives and Explorations)



Planning Objectives


  1. Intentional Program Planning
  1. Update of program planning templates with 9 hours in focus area in the first year
  1. Intrusive advising to ensure adoption
  1. Add the “9 hour in Area F” strategy to the First Year Experience course to ensure adoption
  2. Block scheduling (morning and afternoon) to ensure adoption
  1. Redesign elements of the 1st Year Gateway Courses (Math and English; High DFW Rates)
  1. Utilized adaptive learning pedagogy experience for students
  2. Newton Platform includes an analytical dashboard on how students are currently performing
  3. Included a growth mindset component
  4. All English courses have standardized syllabi
  5. Added e-core curriculum and assessment in ENGL 1101
  1. Include growth mindset component in English classes
  2. Expand adaptive learning to all math classes
  3. Expand ENGL 1101 strategies to ENGL 1102
  1. Expand adaptive learning to science - pilot
  1. Decentralized Tutoring
  1. Decentralized tutoring in English is complete
  2. The Writing Center is open and staffed
  3. All English instructors serve in the Writing Center for a portion of their office hours; service has been expanded to include all instructors in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities
  4. Decentralized tutoring for on-line classes has launched utilizing and tutor Ocean for virtual students.
  1. Computer Science will be complete in the Fall 2022 semester
  2. Science has space identified
  3. Identification of space for Math is underway

Note: Students in these three disciplines will receive decentralized tutoring.

Plan and Implement a Math Lab

  1. Student On-boarding
  1. Launched First Year Student Convocation
  2. Assessed current New Student Orientation (NSO) and recognized some deficiencies
  3. Students with 0-60 hours have Professional advisors; Those with 61+ hours have faculty advisors.
  1. Revamp and Launch New Student Orientation
  2. Execute Faculty Mentoring
  3. Develop adult learner focused outreach and an onboarding process
  1. Make NSO Mandatory
  2. First Year Experience course to be mandatory in the first year, preferably first semester. To include full-time and part-time students
  1. Career Services

Career Fair each semester

  1. Resume Help Sessions
  2. Mock Interview Sessions
  3. Soft Skills and Professional Attire Workshops

Provide a more comprehensive career planning and exploration tool


The following Momentum goals and planning components represent updates to Section 1 of the current Momentum Plan. For each of the four momentum goals presented, additional planning elements include: (1) objective(s) identifying the target result(s) expected, (2) rationale for why the goals and objective(s) were chosen and their importance in student success; (3) a strategy that provides action steps to be taken and assignments, and (4) assessments that provide methods for measuring progress in achieving goal objectives. Momentum goals not listed in this report are in early or intermediary stages of planning/development and will be provided in a future update.

Goal 1  

Intentional Program Planning

Objective 1

Students in the FYEX 1101 course will have a 10% increase, annually, in hours earned for area F. courses.


The literature on student success shows that students who take and pass courses in their major, in the first year after matriculation, have significantly higher rates of completion and academic success. By focusing on the freshmen orientation class, FYEX 1101, the highest risk students, new freshman, will benefit most and are expected to experience the greatest impact of this objective.    


The class assignment, Academic Degree Plan, was modified to include a new activity. The activity requires students to incorporate nine (9) hours of area F courses in their personal course scheduling in the first year of classes. Student will utilize their Academic Degree Plan in their pre-registration advising sessions to ensure implementation of the 9-hour, first year strategy, with reinforcement and documentation by the Academic Advisors. The Academic Degree Plan and Advisor’s notes on this strategy will be utilized to determine adjustments needed, moving forward. The School of Social Sciences and Humanities will lead this effort. Partial implementation of this objective has occurred, with full implementation expected by the Fall 2023 semester.


A baseline (Table 1) was established for assessing the extent to which the objective is achieved. When correcting for enrollment changes, the past two academic years have been very close in results, with a two-year average of 18 students. The % of Enrollment will be utilized as the baseline value for measuring progress in the 2022-2023 academic year’s outcome.  Prior years show a random pattern of results, with no consistent trend, suggesting that the outcomes have been by chance, common when no specific interventions/strategies are implemented.   

Table 1. Area F Courses Earned (First 29 Attempted Hours) by Academic Year

Academic Year

Number Students earned 9 Area F Hours, First 29 Hours Attempted

Fall Enrollment

% Of Enrollment






















Goal 2

Redesign elements of the 1st Year Gateway Courses (Math and English)

Objective 1

The growth mindset components will be incorporated into English 1101 gateway classes, with a 5% increase in the growth mindset of students annually.


A growth mindset, purpose and relevance, and a sense of belonging are important qualities for student success. Students who do not have these qualities often drop out or do not perform well academically because they lack the needed support structures. Addressing these critical needs of students, therefore, will result in higher student retention, progression, and graduation.


The English faculty have incorporated growth mindset curriculum, activities, and assignments into the English 1101 gateway course. Students are assigned a series of foundational mindset readings:
1 “The Perils and Promises of Praise,”  (2) “The Two Faces of Effort,”  (3) “Fixed or Malleable,”  (4) “The Effects of Praise”, (5) “Motivated to Learn”

Students will write discussions and essays on these writings, demonstrating their understanding of the writer’s viewpoint, identifying growth and fixed mindsets, purpose and relevance, and a sense of belonging. The objective is that students will be aware of the various mindsets, developing a deeper appreciation and value for the growth mindset.  This assessment has been partially implemented and is expected to be fully implemented by the Fall 2023 semester. The School of Social Sciences and Humanities will lead efforts for the ENGL 1011 gateway course strategy.


Pre- and post- assessments will measure the students’ Growth Mindset, Purpose and Relevance, and Sense of Belonging GPS, utilizing the Bloom’s Affective Domain (Figure 1). A growth mindset baseline will be determined in the 2022-2023 academic year, against which future results will be measured to access progress in achieving the objective.

                        Figure 1. Bloom’s Affective Domain

Bloom's Taxonomy: The Affective Domain

Objective 2

Implement adaptive learning strategies into gateway Mathematics courses:  MATH 1101 and MATH 1111


Students’ success in gateway courses is important because these courses set the momentum for new freshmen, and student failure in gateway courses is a leading cause of academic standing problems and student attrition.  Moreover, gateway courses have the highest DFW rates of all courses and jeopardize student financial aid due to Student Academic Progress (SAP) violations. Thus, this goal seeks to increase student success in gateway courses by providing innovative strategies that minimize the negative impact of gateway courses.


The Mathematics Faculty have incorporated adaptive learning into gateway Math courses, utilizing Knewton software. The adaptive learning algorithm evaluates students’ responses for each question. If a student provides the correct answer to a question, the student is allowed to move forward to complete the assignment. For a student who does not get the correct answer to a problem, the adaptive learning algorithm will analyze the incorrect response and re-route the student to curriculum and questions that fill in gaps of the student’s knowledge base, which ultimately allow him/her to return to and successfully complete the class assignment. This adaptive learning process is utilized in homework assignments and chapter quizzes. Class exams do not utilize the adaptive learning strategy because it is expected that by that time the adaptive learning strategy will have reached its maximum effect. This objective was fully implemented in the Fall 2022 semester. The School of Science and Health Professions will lead this effort.


Course Exams and Pass rates will be the primary metrics for measuring the effectiveness of the adaptive learning strategy. Baselines (Table 2) for the Spring 2022 semester will be utilized to measure progress in the Fall 2022 results.

Table 2. Gateway Math Course Baselines (Spring 2022)


Pass Rate Baseline (Spring 2022)

Math 1101

55.9% (N = 118)

Math 1111

64.5% (N= 110)



Goal 3

To provide students access to decentralize tutoring, utilizing online and in-person modalities


Decentralized tutoring, with focus in discipline areas and at locations close to classes, will be provided for STEM and Computer Science students.


Students do not attend centralized tutoring at desirable rates, typically 20-25%. When students are surveyed and interviewed to determine the changes necessary to increase their participation in tutoring, leading responses include: “Centralized tutoring does not provide the depth, in the discipline, necessary to meet my academic needs”;  “In-person tutoring is more effective for me”; and “Holding tutoring in locations close to where I take classes and attend study sessions would make tutoring more practical and increase the opportunities for me and my friends to attend tutoring more regularly.” This goal and objective seek to respond to students in a way that makes tutoring more accessible and relevant to their needs.


Decentralized, in person, and online tutoring will be provided for science, technology, and engineering students in the McMillan Sciences building, the primary location STEM classes are taught. Science faculty will utilize a portion of their office hours to provide in-person tutoring for science, technology, and engineering students.  The same tutoring opportunities will be provided for Computer Science and Mathematics students in the Science Lecture Building. Students receiving Computer Science tutoring will have access to the new cybersecurity computer lab, which has 24 computers. 

Tutoring will occur 6 hours per day, at least three days per week. Full-time faculty in the School of Business and Technology will provide the in-person tutoring. Mathematics faculty in the School of Science and Health Professions will provide tutoring for the mathematics tutoring lab, which will have comparable resources to those in the cybersecurity lab. This objective has been implemented for science and technology students and is expected to be fully implemented for computer science and mathematics students by the Fall 2023 semester. The School of Science and Health Professions will lead the effort for STEM tutoring, and the School of Business and Technology will lead the effort for Computer Science students.


The success of this objective will be measured by the number of students attending decentralized, discipline-specific tutoring sessions, compared and benchmarked against students attending centralized, general tutoring sessions (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Centralized, Tutoring Activity by Top Sessions by Subject (Fall 2020)

Chart, bar chart</p>
<p>Description automatically generated



Goal 4

AMSC will expand career service resources to students.


The Institution will develop and implement a plan that monitors and increases the impact of career services on new freshmen and students near graduation.


Career services are critically important components of a student’s success toolkit, for freshmen exploring and solidifying their career choice, and as a bridge for graduating seniors transitioning to the workforce or graduate/ professional schools. Students who do not have access to career service are at a competitive disadvantage. Thus, AMSC places career services as a high priority for its students. While the expanded career services will be available to all students, new freshmen and students near graduation will be monitored to ensure that the Institution’s career services impact at these critical touch points and meet the needs of AMSC students.


AMSC will plan the implementation a Systemwide software tool, SteppingBlocks, and provide this comprehensive career tool for AMSC students, faculty, and staff. The Department of Institutional Effectiveness will assist the Office of Counseling, Career, and Disability (OCCD) Services in implementing a plan that determines the following metrics for new freshmen and students near graduation:

  • The effectiveness of recruiting efforts that target new freshman and students near graduation
  • The number of new freshmen and students near graduation who receive career services
  • The impact of career services with these two student cohorts
  • The AMSC Quality Enhancement Plan Staff will collaborate with OCCD to provide growth mindset workshops for new freshmen facing financial and academic challenges.


(1) The number of new freshman and students near graduation served annually, (2) Indirect assessment of student feedback, measuring the impact of AMSC career services

AMSC Complete College Georgia Leadership Team (FY 2022)



Dr. Babatunde Onabanjo

Faculty Representative, School of Business and Technology, Associate Professor of Computer Science

Dr. Brian Crawford

Faculty Representative, School of Science and Health Professions, Associate Professor of Biology

Dr. Mark A. Cunningham

Associate Provost, Division of Academic and Student Success, Institutional Effectiveness and Research; CCG Committee Chair                                                       

Ms. Sharon Duhart

Director, Center for Academic Advising and Student Success

Ms. Sharday Lee

Student Government President

Dr. James McGee

Provost and Vice President, Division of Academic and Student Success

Dr. Curtis L. Todd

Faculty Representative, Professor of Social Work, School of Social Sciences and Humanities