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Completion Toolkit

Completion doesn't happen by accident.

Increasing completion depends on applying high impact strategies to local situations to create structures and conditions that support students success, progression, and completion.

Implementing appropriate high-impact strategies is a key element of Complete College Georgia, fostering a more successful community of learners on campuses across Georgia.

Completion strategies

15 to Finish is a Complete College Georgia initiative that emphasizes the fact that students need to take 15 (or more) credits per semester to finish degrees “on time.” “On time” means associate degrees are completed in two years and bachelor’s degrees are completed in four years. 

Degree completion is important because students with bachelor’s degrees can expect to earn 84% more over a lifetime than students without bachelor’s degrees.  Students with “some college, no degree” do not enjoy this advantage and may have incurred substantial educational debt with little or no increased earning power.

Many students need help to identify an appropriate degree program and remain on track to complete their post-secondary credential. Proactive advising provide meaningful, credible, timely support to students on selecting a program that will meet a student’s academic and career goals and provide support when they become off track in their program. The role of advising with relation to student success cannot be underemphasized.

As a primary point of contact for students on campuses, academic advisors are responsible for developing lasting relationships with students to help them navigate college and graduate. Professional advisors, faculty, and even other students serve as advisors at USG institutions, working to provide accurate, appropriate, and timely information to students as they progress through programs of study. In recent years, changing needs among students and new technology have influenced the role of advisors and highlighted a need for additional skills within the profession.

Within the USG, it is common for students to transfer out of associate degree institutions prior to completing the requirements for the degree. In some cases, students will be successful in earning bachelor's degrees. In many cases, however, students will not complete their bachelor’s degrees, and will become part of the group of adults with "some college, no degree," even though they may have met the requirements for associate degrees.

Beyond Financial Aid is a toolkit designed to help two- and four-year institutions close attainment gaps for low-income students. BFA expands the concept of “financial supports” for college beyond grants, scholarships and loans and describes six college-tested strategies for helping low-income students overcome the significant challenges created by limited resources. BFA features a self-assessment that college teams can use to analyze their service capacities and an interpretation guide to help map out their first steps toward strengthening these capacities.

"Go Back. Move Ahead" is a part of Governor Nathan Deal's Complete College Georgia initiative, which launched in 2011.

Gov. Deal and higher education administrators recognize that the state must do more to make it easier for Georgia adults to return to school and complete their degrees. This group includes approximately 1.1 million working-age adults, or 22 percent of the state's population, who attended college for some time but did not finish.

Guided Pathways to Success is an initiative of Complete College America to ensure that students receive guidance to complete degree programs efficiently, without taking excessive courses that will not count toward degrees. Overall, the goal is to increase guidance to students by providing clear degree roadmaps and intrusive advising to keep them on the path to a degree. Guided Pathways to Success moves away from offering students a "menu" of options that can lead to excessive credit accrual and no clear path to a degree.

Math Pathway Recommendations by Program of Study or Major

These downloadable matrices show the non-STEM Math Pathway recommendations from Regents Advisory Committees. STEM pathway recommendations are based on the Academic and Student Affairs Handbook.1

Among the goals of Complete College Georgia is shortening the time to degree through programs that allow students to earn college credit while still in high school and by awarding credit for prior learning that is verified by appropriate assessment.

Nationally, and in Georgia, relatively few students who begin college requiring remediation ever complete their degrees.

As part of Complete College Georgia, Georgia aims to change these statistics so that more students who enter in Learning Support are able to complete degrees. Across the nation and within the state of Georgia, dozens of pilot projects show that by transforming the way that we do remediation, we can dramatically increase success rates in collegiate gateway courses and beyond, without compromising the integrity of the content.