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Columbus State University Campus Plan Update 2017

Institutional Mission and Student Body Profile

Columbus State University (CSU) is a four-year public institution that offers more than 100 programs at the certificate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral levels. Many degrees are conferred in professional areas of pursuit at both undergraduate and graduate levels in response to student demand and service area needs. Due to the nature of Complete College Georgia, this report primarily concerns our two- and four-year degree programs.

Institutional Mission

The mission of Columbus State University is to “empower people to contribute to the advancement of our local and global communities through an emphasis on excellence in teaching and research, life-long learning, cultural enrichment, public-private partnerships, and service to others.”

The institutional focus on excellence in teaching and research as well as the emphasis on life-long learning, cultural enrichment, public-private partnerships and service to others influences the key priorities of the college completion work undertaken by Columbus State University. The University financially supports student research and creative inquiry projects facilitated by faculty mentors. CSU has a strong commitment to service and has provided significant leadership in meeting the needs of the community, the region, and the state through endeavors such as the Early College initiative, Move On When Ready, service to military-affiliated students, Embark on Education (for homeless and foster youths), BOOST (childcare reimbursement program) and the development of high-quality online programs and services that allow students to decrease time to completion regardless of their geographic location.

Student Body Profile

In Fall 2016, CSU enrolled 8,407 students, including an undergraduate student population of 6,789. Enrollment declined by 0.4% over Fall 2015. The institution’s population is comprised of 65% full-time students. CSU also follows national trends with the female population representing 59% of the student body. The student population is 51% white, 37% black, 2% Asian, 5% Hispanic, and 4% other (American Indian or Alaskan Native, international, two or more races, or unknown). Since Fall 2010, the number of transfer students has risen by 8.9%. Of the new transfer students in Fall 2016, 63 (10%) transferred from Columbus Technical College, with whom the university has a robust articulation agreement. Of the total undergraduate student population, 1,991 (29%) of these students were first generation college students, an increase of 8.8% in the last five years. For more information on these and other “at risk” populations, see our goal “Persistence and Progression: Through use of predictive analytics, provide intentional advising and helpful interventions to keep ‘at risk’ students on track to graduate” (pp.2-4).

Columbus State University utilizes moderately selective admissions standards and processes for most applicants (high school grade point average of 2.5 and SAT minimum scores of 440 Critical Reading and 410 Math or ACT English 17/Math 17). Modified standards are utilized for applicants within the local service area in accordance with the University System of Georgia-mandated local access mission (high school grade point average of 2.0 and SAT minimum scores of 330 Critical Reading and 310 Math or ACT English 12/Math 14).

The University System of Georgia (USG) designates CSU as one of the three “access” institutions within the state because no state colleges in the USG are located within the geographic service area. The service area of Columbus State University is defined in terms of the following Georgia counties: Chattahoochee, Harris, Marion, Meriwether, Muscogee, Stewart, Talbot, Taylor, and Troup. In Fall 2016, 45.7% of the new student population was drawn from these counties.

The University takes pride in its role as an access institution, but this role also presents challenges in student recruitment and retention. As noted in Tables 1.1 and 1.2 below, first-time, full-time students admitted with learning support status through the institution’s access mission were retained and graduated at much lower rates than students admitted with regular admission status. These tables display FT/FT because total retention or graduation rates would include transfer students.

Table 1. CSU Retention Rate Trends for First-Time, Full-Time Freshmen: 2008-2009 through 2015-2016










Non-Learning Support

















Learning Support


































Table 2. CSU Bachelor’s Degree Six-Year Graduation Rate Trends for First-Time, Full-Time Freshmen: 2003-2009 through 2010-2016










Non-Learning Support

















Learning Support


































Columbus State University continues to address the goals and objectives identified in the CSU Complete College Georgia plan. We look forward to continuing this work, as we believe that it will positively affect the lives of our students.

Institutional Completion Goals, High-Impact Strategies and Activities

Persistence and Progression:

Through use of predictive analytics, provide intrusive advising and helpful interventions to keep “at risk” students on track to graduate

With the help of the predictive analytics capability of EAB, the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) strives to serve the whole student—academically, financially, and socio-emotionally. This year’s emphasis areas have been on the Early Alert System, BOOST (a Quality Care for Children program), transfer students, and Embark in Education.

First, some information on transfer students: CSU has a high transfer population, in part because of our presence near Fort Benning. Transfer students with more than 30 hours can transfer to CSU regardless of their GPA. Often times, transfer students have well below a 2.0 GPA and are not meeting Satisfactory Progress with their financial aid, resulting in no degree completion. ACE has begun a new program with the Dean of the College of Letters and Sciences (COLS) whereby an assigned advisor will meet with all COLS transfer students to help them complete an associate’s degree while becoming more successful in their classes and improving their GPAs. Once they achieve an associate’s degree and continue to have financial aid, they can move toward a bachelor’s degree. In addition, CSU has an online orientation for students with more than 30 transfer hours. Here is the link for the online transfer student orientation: .

Another “at risk” group is that of first-generation college students. Tracking these students was not possible until last year when we starting using EAB, so we will include this population of “at risk” students in next year’s report.

Positive results with “at risk” student groups will positively affect our successful completion of credits, retention rates, and graduation rates.

High-Impact Strategies

Used predictive analytics (EAB) and established criteria for identifying students who are “at risk” and may need special interventions:

  • names of students submitted by faculty through Early Alert System
  • student parents in need of child care services (BOOST)
  • homelessness and foster care youths (Embark in Education)

Completion Goal

Through use of predictive analytics (EAB), provide intentional advising and helpful interventions to keep “at risk” students on track to graduate

Demonstration of Priority or Impact

Goal and strategies are designed to improve retention of students needing special interventions and intentional advising. As an “access” institution, we have many such students.

Summary of Activities

Faculty submitted names of academically “at risk” students using the Early Alert System (EAS) in EAB. EAS is designed to assist undergraduate students who demonstrate difficulty in their classes by making them aware of support services available and by encouraging them to use these resources to promote academic success and student retention.

ACE advisors met with “at risk” students identified through its Early Alert System (EAS) and referred identified students to appropriate and effective campus resources, such as Academic Center for Tutoring (ACT), Counseling, Office of Accommodation and Accessibility, and the Center for Career Development. In the 2017-2018 school year, we will work to develop a process to track which students are actually participating in the referrals recommended.

CSU was the first USG school to offer BOOST, a program of the Quality Care for Children program that provides childcare scholarships for full-time student parents with children under age 4. These scholarships are for student parents who are on PELL and who have a GPA of 2.0 or higher. Quality Care for Children is gatring data to show the difference childcare assistance makes in college graduation, so it can make a very strong case for state investment. Their claim is that taking care of the childcare for student parents allows them to concentrate more on their studies and make better grades. Currently college studheents are not eligible for a childcare subsidy in Georgia.

Sasha Hernandez, BOOST scholarship recipient, talks about how the BOOST Child Care Program has helped her and her family.

In its Embark in Education program, ACE also aids homeless and foster care students with groceries, emergency housing, tuition aid, bill payment, etc., as needed. Wisconsin HOPE Lab Study will collaborate with CSU and other USG Institutions to administer a survey to all freshmen entering this fall. This survey will reveal results that can lead to additional services for students with housing and food insecurities.  

Measures of Progress and Success

Baseline Status

  • Baseline for EAS was 48 for 2013-2014.
  • 5 students participated in BOOST in Fall 2016
  • 8 students participated in Embark efforts in Fall 2016
  • Fall 2010 percentage of credits successfully completed was 66%
  • Fall 2014 - Fall 2015 retention rates for all students was 71.4%.
  • Fall 2014 – Fall 2015 retention rates for FT/FT freshmen was 71.1%.
  • Graduate rate 28.7% of FT/FT Freshmen in 2002.

Interim Measures of Progress

Our data here is so extensive, we have put it in Appendix I.

Measures of Success by 2020

  • Number of EAS referrals: 150
  • Number of BOOST scholarships: 50
  • Number of Embark students helped: 10
  • Successfully completed credits: 85 (already achieved)
  • Retention rate all students: 95%
  • Retention rate FT/FT freshmen: 75%
  • Graduation rate: 36% (currently at 31.9% for FT/FT freshmen)

Lessons Learned

ACE greatly improved intentional advising efforts and helpful interventions with EAS, BOOST, and Embark due to EAB and partnerships/connections with outside resources.

Because EAB is user friendly, faculty have found it easier to submit Early Alert documentation and ACE has found it easier to contact advisors and monitor messages through EAB.

Primary Point of Contact

Ms. Lisa Shaw, Director, Academic Center for Excellence (ACE)


Increase the number of degrees that are earned “on time” (associate degrees in 2 years, bachelor’s degrees in 4 years)

In 2013, a review of institutional data indicated that many students were not enrolled in a minimum of 15 credit hours each term. In Fall 2013, 3,680 undergraduate students were taking less than 15 credit hours per term. This group had an average overall GPA of 2.81. During the same term, 1,015 were enrolled in 15 or more credit hours. The average overall GPA of that group was 3.12. A campus-wide initiative was implemented in Summer 2014 to provide new students beginning in Fall 2014 with 15-hour schedules for their first term of study. These schedules were developed in advance by academic advisors with input from the students.

Since Fall 2014, we have provided information on the 15-to-Finish campaign to incoming students through our orientation presentations and to faculty staff advisors through our advising training sessions throughout fall and spring semesters. 

High-Impact Strategies

  • Improve core course scheduling to accelerate progression
  • Use preference surveys for entering freshmen
  • Change institutional culture to emphasize taking full-time course loads of 15 hours or more: freshman orientation video, advisor training, intentional advising, financial incentive after 15 hours, default 15-hr schedule

Completion Goal

Increase the number of degrees earned “on time”

Demonstration of Priority or Impact

Goal and strategies affect all students, but especially entering freshmen

Summary of Activities

  • Improved scheduling of courses—number of sections, number and types of Freshman Learning Communities, distribution/balance of core courses needed—to improve student access to needed classes and to allow students to follow the program maps published in the catalogs. Using the program maps developed in 2015-2016, the Provost’s Office created a tentative “course demand” schedule in 2016-2017 indicating the number of seats needed in certain core courses.
  • Academic Affairs coordinates scheduling with various points of command in each college. Physical space is allocated with Optimizer through AdAstra.  
  • Continued using preference survey on entering freshmen. The University is pro-actively sending preferences surveys to new students ahead of orientation and creating schedules prior to their attending orientation. This ensures students are taking 15 credit hours, courses related to their major, and a balanced schedule that fosters success. 
  • Continued using 15-to-Finish video at freshman orientations.
  • Stressed 15-to Finish philosophy to faculty and professional advisors through training each semester.
  • Defaulted freshmen into 15-hour schedules whenever possible
  • Encouraged students to take 15+ semester hours due to financial incentive (all credits over 15 hours are “free”).

Measures of Progress and Success

Baseline Status

  • In Fall 2013, 1,951 students (27.8%) were enrolled in 15 hours or more.

Interim Measures of Progress

  • Increased number of students enrolled in 15 hours or more—increase of 4.4% from Fall 2013 to Fall 2016.
  • See Appendix II for Cohort Progression of FT/FT Freshmen.
    • Fall 2016: 2,235 (32.2%)
    • Fall 2015: 2,228 (32.1%)
    • Fall 2014: 2,115 (30.7%)
    • Fall 2013: 1,951 (27.8%)

Measures of Success

By 2020, we aim to have 35% of our students enrolled in 15 hours or more per semester.

Lessons Learned

Creating a precise “course demand” schedule is extremely difficult but necessary if we are going to offer the right number and kinds of courses students need to progress. If 90% of students are able to enroll in needed Area A courses each semester, we feel we have achieved a significant accomplishment.  We achieve this goal every Fall and Spring semesters.

Primary Point of Contact

Dr. Tina Butcher, Interim Provost

Persistence and Progression:

Decrease Excess Credits Earned on the Path to Getting a Degree Through Judicious Creation of Program Maps and Interest-Area (Meta-Major) Maps

We have passionately pursued this goal and have had 100% compliance and buy-in on campus from advisors, advising centers, faculty, chairs, deans, and administrators.

High-Impact Strategies

  • Developed program maps for every undergraduate degree, major, and track and for combination five-year BS/MS programs
  • Created interest-area maps for students uncertain of major choice (See Appendix III.)

Completion Goal

Decrease excess credits earned on the path to getting a degree  through judicious creation of program maps and interest-area maps

Demonstration of Priority or Impact

Program and interest-area maps affect every 2-, 4-, or 5-year degree seeking student at CSU

Summary of the Activities

  • In 2016-2017, we added program maps for all 5-year combination bachelor-master’s programs and updated all maps, including interest-area maps.

← Video featuring Assistant Director of ACE, Dustin Worsley, talking about Interest-Area Maps

  • Maps are vetted annually before being published in the current catalog. It takes a PT employee working 19 hrs. /wk. approximately 3 months to verify correlation of map information with the catalog. In the process, many maps are corrected and quite a few errors are discovered annually in the online catalog. 
  • For 2017-2018, we issued new guidelines for all maps, including adding course titles as well as the course codes on all maps, and updated all maps.  

Measures of Progress and Success

Baseline Status

0 program maps or interest-area maps in 2012

Interim Measures of Success

  • In 2013-2014 we created program maps for all 4-year degrees at CSU.
  • In 2014-2015, we created maps for all 2-year degrees, updated all maps, and revised the map template, standardizing it across 99% of the disciplines; the exception is a carousel map used by the RN to BSN program, a two-year program of short-term rotational courses.
  • In 2015-2016, we updated all maps; added interest-area maps to the ACE website.

Measures of Success

Keep all program maps updated so that they match requirements for the degree/major/track and accurately reflect course rotations and offerings each semester/year.

Lessons Learned

Keeping maps updated and current is time-consuming but extremely important. The maps must be accurate in order to be useful and effective.

Primary Point of Contact

Dr. Barbara Hunt, CCG Project Manager

Persistence and Progression:

Increase the Likelihood of Degree Completion by Transforming

In accordance with recommendations made by the USG Committee on Transforming Remediation, in 2015 CSU revamped the remediation model for students requiring support in English and reading. Beginning Fall 2015, there were only two areas of remediation: English and math. Reading remediation as a separate course no longer existed. While we have also completed the co-requisite and remedial process for math, which has also been quite successful, this report focuses on our success with the English remediation courses.

Entering freshmen who scored significantly below the institution’s admission requirements in English and reading were placed in an Integrated Reading and Writing (IRW) course, ENGL 0989, Foundations for English Composition. Following the successful completion of this course, students then enrolled in ENGL 1101 with a co-requisite, one-credit remedial course ENGL 0999 Support for English Composition. The goal for combining English and reading remediation was for students with significant reading and writing remedial needs to complete the gateway English composition course within two semesters, or one academic year.  Students who required only writing remediation, or whose placement scores were not significantly below admissions requirements, were placed in the gateway course, ENGL 1101, with the co-requisite ENGL 0999. The goal for these students was successful completion of the gateway course in one semester by providing the additional support of ENGL 0999.  With this goal, we have increased completion rates for our students needing English and/or reading remediation by removing obstacles to entering college credit courses, while providing appropriate support for those who need remedial help.

High-Impact Strategies

  • Combined English and Reading into one Foundations course (ENGL 0098) for students with significant English and/or reading deficiencies at the college level.
  • Provided a co-curricular course for students with minimal writing deficiencies (ENGL 0999).

Completion Goal

Reduce time for completion of gateway courses.

Demonstration of Priority or Impact

As an access institution, we admit many student who are weak academically and statistically not likely to advance. Our combined English and Reading into one Foundations course (ENGL 0989) affects 24 CSU students, a low but significant number since these students are not likely to succeed. In 2012, we collected data showing that students had a 0% chance of graduating in 6 years if they entered with a reading deficiency. We hope eventually to have the data to prove we have reversed that trend.

Summary of the Activities

  • Created appropriate English Placement Index (EPI) to determine students’ placement at the Foundations level or the co-curricular level.
  • Provided training and assistance for instructors of the new courses, especially the Foundations course.
  • Provided adequate technological support for these courses, including an online reading program.
  • Offered ENGL 0989, the Foundations course, for the first time in Spring 2015.
  • Started teaching ENGL 0999 in Fall 2015.

Measures of Progress and Success

Baseline Status

Number of students receiving co-requisite remediation in Fall 2015 in English (or combined English/reading): 29

Interim Measures of Progress

We can validate for 2016-2017 the following goals: 

→60% of students assigned to ENGL 1101/0999 will exit LS and pass ENGL 1101 on the first attempt.

% of students assigned to ENGL 1101/0999 who passed ENGL 1101 on first attempt—
Spring 2016: 75% (18/24)
Fall 2015: 73% (22/30)

→60% of students assigned to the IRW foundations course (ENGL 0989) will successfully complete ENGL 1101 within one year of enrollment.

% of students assigned to ENGL 0989 who successfully completed ENGL 1101 within 1 year:
Fall 2015: 61.5% (16/26)
Spring 2016: 80.0% (16/20)

Measures of Success

  • Our goal is to have 75% of all students enrolled in ENGL 0989 successfully complete ENGL 1101 within one year of enrollment.
  • Our goal is to have 75% of all students enrolled in ENGL 0999/1101 successfully exit LS on the first attempt.

Lessons Learned

Teachers of the IRW Foundations course and of the co-requisite ENGL 1101/0999 courses are English teachers trained to teach writing; they needed to be cross-trained to teach reading as well, quite a different discipline from that of their primary SACS qualifications.

Primary Point of Contact

Dr. Judi Livingston, Chair, Department of English

Persistence and Progression:

Restructure Online Support Services and Instructional Delivery—Expand Completely Online Opportunities

High-Impact Strategies

  • Improve online opportunities and experiences at CSU
  • Provide faculty training on accessibility (and other software relevant to online delivery)

Completion Goal

Restructure online support services and instructional delivery to enhance educational excellence and student success

Demonstration of Priority or Impact

Providing strong student support to online students is essential to their success.  CSU has 1,540 fully online students (18%); 3,282 students are taking at least one online courses (39%). The improvement of student services will increase their satisfaction and may increase their engagement and learning. Faculty training on accessibility should make online learning much more successful for many students. We are using the WCAG standards and have created our own CSU Accessibility Checklist for faculty to use. Our policy and checklist are available at

Summary of Activities

A number of priority enhancements were developed in 2016-2017:

  • On-line Orientation programs for Veterans and Active Duty is in final production now and target completion is to have it available for Fall 2017 orientation.
  • The VA-required Enrollment Certification process requiring Veterans or their dependents to submit by hand their schedules for review and verification by the VA office in the Military Enrollment Service Center has been converted to an automated workflow process first used for Spring 2017. While we do not expect this improved process will increase enrollment, we do believe it will increase efficiency of enrollment and overall customer satisfaction, two difficult-to-measure outcomes.
  • Financial Aid verification has been transformed into an on-line process through implementation of the One USG project using Campus Logic cloud services. Implementation was complete in Spring 2017.
  • A single on-line application form is being developed which will use branching logic so that the single form for all types of applicants can replace the now multiple on-line forms we use. Testing will commence in June 2017 with target date for implementation for use for Summer and Fall 2018 applicants.  
  • In 2016-2017, the Distance Learning Committee expanded its 2014-2019 Strategic Plan for Distance Learning. Strategic Priority 4 Student Support Services has as its goal: Offer a full range of student support services for online students. Objectives/action items include:
  1. Evaluate online student readiness orientation, including the use of SmarterMeasures. Because problems with the use of SmarterMeasures surfaced, we decided to stop requiring its use. We found that the SmarterMeasures requirement was creating a barrier for students to enroll. The integration with Banner did not work as well as we would have liked. For example, we had some students who were being asked to take it again after they had already completed it and found that some online classes allowed registration without it. We have decided to keep our license and provide it as an optional resource for students after we found that over 50% of our online students reported the tool useful in assessing their readiness for online coursework through the online student satisfaction survey we conducted in the spring. Finally, we are in the process of developing a student orientation to online coursework.
  2. Complete a Needs Analysis and plan to ensure equitable support services for online students.
    • Funds were authorized to hire an accessibility specialist
    • A comprehensive plan was developed for ADA compliance and training sessions for faculty on accessibility in online courses (see Faculty Training, below)
  3. Continue to evaluate mobile technology enhancements for online students.
    • Members of the DL Committee interviewed several units that provide student support services (Counseling Center, Career Center, Student Affairs, Student Life, Tutoring Center,) regarding the scope of the services provided to online students, and their thoughts on how services to online students might be expanded.
  4. Administer student survey to assess student satisfaction with distance learning.
    • In Spring 2017, students enrolled in online courses during the previous two years were surveyed about multiple aspects of online learning in order to assess student satisfaction and needs.
    • Faculty Training: We are in the process of implementing policy to require CougarVIEW, QM, and Accessible Course Design Training for all faculty who teach online. They will also be required to use a common template. We are phasing this in with new faculty this fall.

Measure of Progress and Success

Baseline Status

0 forms online prior to 2015-2016

Interim Measures of Progress

Measures of Success

Lessons Learned

Putting all forms and processes online is a costly and time-consuming process, but a necessary one for the benefit of our online students and programs; allowing student access and helping faculty with accessibility technology are vital for the improvement of the online experience.

Primary Points of Contact

Dr. Ellen Roberts, Associate Provost for Online Education
Dr. John McElveen, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management


Increase Access for Priority Communities—STEM Majors

As an access institution, CSU strives to attract students to and graduate students from our STEM programs. Since 2015-2016, we have focused our efforts on recruitment and retention.  Increasing the number of STEM graduates would make Columbus State a contender in the competition for math, science, computer science and engineering students. CSU is striving to become a “First Choice” institution for STEM study. 

High-Impact Strategy

Focus on recruitment and retention of STEM majors, as well as expansion of the program. 

Completion Goal

Increase the number of students graduating with degrees in the STEM fields.

Demonstration of Priority or Impact

Goal and strategies target the kinds of students we want to recruit and retain. Doing so, supports our mission since CSU has many public-private partnerships (AFLAC, TSYS, Muscogee County School District, Pratt-Whitney, Cott Beverage, etc.) which

Need STEM graduates. Currently, STEM majors constitute 17% of the student body.

Summary of Activities



  • Put these forms online (2015-2016) for ease of use by all students:
    • Change of Major form, 
    • DegreeWorks Adjustment form (for transfer students), and
    • Exception Petition form (for students requesting an exception to policy or procedure).
  • The Change of Major workflow automation was live, as of 8/15/16. The DegreeWorks Adjustment form and the Exception
    • Petition form as available as online forms, but not yet as workflow automations.
    • Put these forms and processes online in 2016-2017: Financial Aid verification, on-line orientation for Veterans and Active Duty, VA-required Enrollment Certification process
    • In 2016-2017, 730 students responded to the online student survey; data are extensive and still being analyzed. It has been determined, however, that 38% of the students are “very satisfied” and 45% “satisfied” with online learning at CSU.
    • Accessibility training began in June 2017; faculty “trainers” have been identified who will undergo a deeper level of training and serve as trainers themselves to faculty in their colleges.
    • We have achieved partial completion of an audit of student support services through interviews with providers on the CSU campus; to be continued Fall 2017.
    • Center of Online Learning (COOL) has hired an accessibility specialist as well as hired 3 student workers to caption videos and outsourced some captioning/transcribing work.
    • Completion of 2-3 forms per year, thereby gaining efficiency.
    • Desire to make online education equitable in every way to face-to-face education. The Distance Learning Strategic Plan has identified action items related to support services for online students.
    • Development and administration of a student satisfaction survey for online students
    • Development of an accessibility plan and training modules for faculty
    • Participated in the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. In 2015-2016, nine students were awarded Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarships, five of whom transferred in with 60 or more semester hours of credit. We graduated 7 Noyce scholars in 2016-2017, which is the most we have graduated in a single fiscal year (next highest was 5 in 2013-2014). Each Noyce scholar graduate is expected to teach 2-4 years in a high need school district (depends on how long they held the scholarship). Many actually end up teaching in a high need school (not just school district); this year's crop is no exception, with 5 of them expressing a goal of teaching in a high need school in their exit interview or already having accepted a position at a high need school. Our Noyce scholarship program is currently slated to end Aug. 31, 2017.
    • ← Video on CSU’s Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships featuring Marcus Stevens
    • In 2015, CSU was one of three schools in the state to offer Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships. CSU had 1/3 of the fellows (12/36); all twelve of them are now teaching in Georgia. In Fall 2016, CSU was one of five schools in the state to offer this Fellowship and had twelve new students in the program, with eight of the twelve from outside of Georgia. Graduates from the Woodrow Wilson MAT commit to teaching in high schools in Georgia for three years after they finish the program.
    • Projected FOCUS replication via the first two courses in the UTeach (UTCH) Columbus program:
      • In 2016-2017, we enrolled 49 students in UTCH Step 1 and Step 2 classes.
      • In 2015-2016, we offered four sections of UTCH 1201 that enrolled 39 students, and two sections of UTCH 1202 that enrolled 25 students.
      • In 2014-2015, CSU offered six sections of UTCH 1201 that enrolled 43 students, and offered two sections of UTCH 1202 that enrolled 25 students.

    Video on the CSU’s UTCH program featuring Mark Schippel

    Measures of Progress and Success

    Baseline Status

    FY10: 86 students completing bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields

    Interim Measures

    Number of students currently enrolled in STEM programs.

    Number of currently enrolled students making satisfactory academic progress (Overall GPA of 2.0 or higher).

    Final Measures of Success

    Annual increase of students completing bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields (mathematics, environmental science, chemistry, biology, computer science, geology, secondary science, or mathematics education). We attribute these increases to various initiatives, including tutoring in Gateway STEM courses and peer instruction. Target of 150 students by FY20.












    (5.04% increase)

    (3.25% increase)

    (1.63% increase)

    Lessons Learned

    We have made great strides in keeping STEM students by emphasizing tutoring and peer instructional leaders. Retaining

    them has resulted in an increase in number of graduates (since FY10).

    Primary Points of Contact

    Dr. Kim Shaw,  UTeach Project Co-Director

    Dr. Deborah Gober, UTeach Project Co-Director

    Dr. Tim Howard, Associate Dean of the College of Letters and Sciences

    Dr. Eliot Rendleman, Director of Academic Center for Tutoring (ACT)

    Reflections, Observations & Plans for Next Year

    Reflection on fifth full year of CCG updates

    CSU has made tremendous progress in achieving the CCGs we have set. We have

    Successful Strategies from last year

    Least Effective Strategies from last year

    We hoped to put more forms online than we did, but we did put three additional forms online. Lesson learned: Sometimes we dream bigger than what we can realistically accomplish due to financial or labor restraints. 

    Changes for next year and beyond

    Some new goals for the upcoming year include these:

    These goals blend some existing initiatives (EAB) with some new ones (transfer degrees). In addition, we plan on “staying the course” on other initiatives such as retaining STEM majors.

    As always, we strive to continue our success not so much by doing the same thing but by having the same attitude: a can-do spirit that truly sees obstacles as opportunities.  It requires us to be bi-focal; that is, possess the capacity to see the particulars and see the “big picture” at the same time.  The latter is strategic vision, a rare commodity; the former is operational vision that is just as precious. CSU is fortunate to have the precise combination of people who, together, allow us to see something two ways at once, both close and far.  Who knows? We might soon start seeing CCG initiatives in even more dimensions.

    • We graduated 8 undergraduates from UTCH programs during 2016-2017 academic year, which is double our annual average before establishing UTCH.
    • We received a STEM Initiative grant that permitted us to award 10 faculty, working on seven projects, mini-grant funding to allow them to develop materials or strategies to promote stronger student learning in STEM courses at CSU.  Projects included attending professional development conferences to learn about new techniques in their field; flipping an organic chemistry sequence; implementing peer instruction in courses that are obstacles for majors, etc.
    • The STEM Initiative grant also facilitated the creation of a survey instrument for CSU STEM majors and former STEM majors.  The results of this survey project are being analyzed in Summer 2017 in order to determine common areas of difficulty that can be addressed.  Our hope to use this data to identify action items that can be implemented to support retention of STEM degree students.
    • See Appendix IV for data supporting the effectiveness of ACT and Peer Leaders in retaining students in STEM courses. ACT (Academic Center for Tutoring) provided tutoring to students in gateway STEM courses as well as trained and provided Peer Instruction Leaders for targeted STEM introductory level courses, including CHEM 1212, MATH 0989/0987, MATH 1111, and MATH 1131. See Appendix V for detailed information on ACT and on the training of tutors and peer leaders.
      • Bachelors: Fall 2016—1,294 or 13% increase since 2013
        Bachelors: Fall 2015—1,217 or 6% increase since 2013
      • Bachelors: Fall 2014 – 1,154 or .8% increase since 2013
      • Bachelors: Fall 2013 - 1,144
      • Bachelors: Fall 2016—1,142 or 12% increase since 2013
      • Bachelors: Fall 2015—1,085 or 4% increase since 2013
      • Bachelors: Fall 2014 – 1,040 or 2% increase since 2013
      • Bachelors: Fall 2013  - 1,019
      • Increased retention of students in general and of STEM majors in particular; 
      • Created and maintained program maps for every major/track/degree; 
      • Developed successful programs for “at risk” students such as combined Reading/English remediation, Embark, Early Alert System, and BOOST; and
      • Improved our predictive analytics system.
      • Increasing STEM recruitment and retention by using a multipronged approach. We saw an increase in the retention of students due to our emphasis on tutoring and peer instructional leaders and an increase in productive grades, as well as a 1.63% increase in the number of STEM graduates. We also improved future recruitment opportunities through our Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program and Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships.
      • Improving efforts at providing better targeted tutoring and peer instructional support for all students, but especially for STEM students, thereby providing students with the skills they need to pass the collegiate course in which they are enrolled. Data indicates that about 50% of the time, students attending the ACT have higher GPAs than those who do not.
      • Increasing number of degrees that are earned on time by targeting institution culture to increase number of students enrolled in 15 or more hours. Success here is due to preregistering students and showing the 15-to-Finish video to students and families at orientation. There was an increase of 11.9% since Fall 2013 in the number of students enrolled in 15 or more hours. We also focused efforts to offer the numbers and kinds of core classes needed as well as rewarded juniors and seniors with extra special attention (such as increased number of internships and workshops on soft-skills development).
      • Transforming the catalog to include program maps for all undergraduate degrees. We are confident that these maps will positively affect RPG in the future and contribute greatly to the culture of “15-to-finish.” The 2016-2017 catalog represents the third year these maps are included. In addition, five interest-area metamajor maps were developed for entering freshmen who are having difficulty deciding on a major. 
      • Transforming remediation in English/Reading by reducing the number of courses learning support students need to take.  We have achieved a 75% pass rate into the next gateway course.
      • Using various methods to keep students on track and identify students “at risk.” These methods range from training faculty in use of Brightspace, reminding faculty to use the Early Alert System in EAB, working with outside organizations to create childcare for student parents, and using intentional and proactive advising to refer students to appropriate and effective campus resources.
      • Award transfer degrees through the reverse transfer of credit and audit baccalaureate degree-seeking students to allow for award of associate degrees as appropriate
      • Improve the pass rates of core courses with high DWF rates
      • Track student referrals so we can confirm which students are actually participating in the referrals recommended by advisors in ACE, faculty advisors, or other professional advisors.
      • Support student success through Athletic Mental Health Awareness (and perhaps the mental health of other “performance majors” such as music and theatre).
      • Expand the use of EAB to keep students on track to graduate, including new focus on first-generation college students
      • Define and communicate the standard of care expected for all undergraduate students especially those in “at risk” populations
      • Review the current FYE program to support student access and transition