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Innovation and Incubator Grants from the University System of Georgia

Get to Graduation in Two Years

East Georgia State College


Grant Type: 
Project Lead: 
Tim Goodman
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Other team members: 
  • Jordyn Nail, Interim Director of Learning Support, East Georgia State College;; 478-289-2151
  • Deborah Kittrell-Mikell, Director of Academic Advisement, East Georgia College;; 478-289-2161
  • Karen Murphree, Assistant Director of Academic Advisement, East Georgia State College;; 912-623-2465
  • Jessica Palumbo, Instructor of English and Phi Theta Kappa Advisor, East Georgia State College;; 478-289-2135
Project Overview: 

The (g2)2 Team will identify students who can finish their degrees in two years and actively assist those students through faculty mentoring, proactive advisement, degree planning, and a rewards program to increase the number of students who complete their academic programs in two years. A sophomore cohort of students will be developed from students who began Summer 2013 and subsequent terms to initiate refinements to the program prior to the starting time for the grant. Lessons learned will be applied to the initial cohort for completion of their degrees in their second year of attendance and to semester cohorts to assure the continuation of the program.

Project Description: 

Impact on Completion:

Students in the initial cycle of the program will not complete until the end of the grant period, but the number of students completing in two years will increase to 30 by Spring 2015. The students in the program after the grant begins will not be finished with the program during the grant period, but there should be significant indicators to determine potential graduation numbers for that group. The focus on graduation should have an overall effect of increasing the number of graduates and the graduation rate.

Potential Lessons Learned:


  1. The value of early intervention to assist students to degree completion in two years;
  2. The appropriate time for intervention to promote graduation;
  3. Factors which impact a student's ability to graduate on time;
  4. The potential need for expansion of academic and advising services;
  5. The need to increase graduation and the awareness of the value of a two-year degree.


Concept Description


An analysis of the data for the graduates of East Georgia State College for the last five years (Table I) shows approximately 10% of our graduates finish a degree in two years from entry and 30% finish a degree within three years of entry.

Two-Year and Three-Year Graduates


Number of











Fall 2009






Spring 2010






Summer 2010






Fall 2010






Spring 2011






Summer 2011






Fall 2011






Spring 2012






Summer 2012






Fall 2012






Spring 2013






Summer 2013






Fall 2013












The number of graduates for each academic year (fall-to-summer) has increased from 143 graduates in AY 09-10 (fall 2009-to-summer 2010) to 173 graduates in AY 12-13 (fall 2012-summer 2013). During the same time period the number of students graduating in two years has declined from 15 in AY 09-10 to 14 in AY 12-13 and the number of students graduating in three years has declined from 54 to 43 in the same period. This would indicate at the same time we are increasing the number of graduates, the number of graduates who are completing in a timely fashion is declining. Our first-time, full-time graduation rate for the fall 2009 cohort as reported by the USG is 5.76%.

In Fall 2013, the East Georgia State College Complete College Committee approved a program to identify and support students who could potentially finish their academic programs within two years. The program was entitled (g2)2 or "Get to Graduation in Two Years" and is a "15-to-Finish" program. The program was developed to actively assist those students wishing to complete their degrees in two years or six successive academic terms. Originally begun as a student organization, twenty-six students initially showed an interest in the program, but only six students followed through with an actual commitment to complete in two academic years. The program was adjusted to remove the commitment to the organization and to actively track all students who could complete a degree in two years, not just those willing to commit to the program. To expand the program, it was paired with the "Commit to Completion" initiative, sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa. In addition, efforts were made to proactively work with all students ready to graduate. The efforts were associated with this program and with our reverse transfer initiative with Georgia Regents University and Georgia Southern University.
The (g2)2 program is for those students who plan to finish an associate degree in two years. The mission of the program is to assist students to achieve that plan by (1) providing active attention from the Academic Affairs staff and direct assistance from the faculty and staff mentors, (2) providing assistance in developing and following an academic plan focused on graduation, (3) waiving of the graduation fee for (g2)2 students, (4) providing a learning community of like-minded students to support each other, and (5) recognizing those students who successfully achieve their (g2)2 goals.

Those students who plan on completing an associate degree in two years:

  1. Must be completed in a maximum of 6 successive terms (includes summer school).
  2. May reverse transfer up to 34 credit hours back to East Georgia State College if they transfer to a four-year school before finishing an associate degree at East Georgia State College as long as they have taken at least 30 hours at EGSC and were on the (g2)2 track.
  3. May reverse transfer to East Georgia State College as long as they take at least 25 additional hours at EGSC and follow a plan to complete an associate degree in an average of 15 hours/semester from entry into East Georgia State College.   
  4. Must follow practices which keep them on track for graduation in two years by limiting withdrawal from no more than 2 courses, completing all learning support requirements in one attempt, utilizing all academic services of the college, meeting regularly with their advisor and/or mentor during all terms of enrollment, and developing an academic plan to finish an associate degree in two years.


Project Plan


The initial year of the program will focus on students entering in Summer 2013 through Spring 2014 and developing data about those students prior to the beginning of the official grant period. Students who appear to be on track for two-year graduation will be given assistance to remain on track. This preliminary data will be gathered to assess what needs to be done during the grant period in order to insure the success of the program. This group will be designated as the sophomore cohort during the grant period. These students will be evaluated for adjustments in the program. Initially 96 new students have been identified for this cohort.

The initially defined cohort along with those new students defined in spring 2014 will be tracked as candidates for (g2)2 and will be intrusively advised beginning with early summer and fall registration which begins in mid-March. Members of the Project Team will take the lead in setting the final cohort defined as the sophomore cohort. The Academic Advising Center will take the lead in the proactive advisement activity. Staff and faculty mentors will be assigned if the grant is awarded. In addition, Project Coordinators and the Academic Advising Team will be identified and will begin working on the program with the Project Team.

In addition, some materials will need to be developed prior to beginning the grant period. These materials will be developed in late spring to be available after July 1, 2014.

With the students starting summer 2014, a freshman cohort will be identified by the Project Team from that summer term and from fall 2014 and spring 2015. The freshman cohort will begin with approximately twenty students in the summer term, but will expand as more are added during the fall 2014 term and spring 2015 term.

The full program staff will meet during the summer and be ready to proceed with all parts of the program at the beginning of the fall 2014 term.

Assessments of the program will take place at the end of each term.


Logic Model


(g2)2 Logic Model:




Short-Term Outcomes

Long-Term Outcomes

5-Member Project Team

The Project Team will consist of the Project Leader and four Academic Affairs faculty/staff to assess the success of the program using data provided by the Campus Coordinators.

The Project Team will produce a report of the activities in the (g2)2 program.

In the short-term the Team will focus on the sophomore and freshman cohorts in order to modify the program as required.

The long-term outcome will be to increase the number and percentage of students who graduate in two years. Since the importance of graduation will be emphasized, it should also increase the overall graduation rate.

3 Campus C ordinators

The Campus Coordinators will coordinate the activities of mentors on their assigned campus. They will gather and summarize data and make recommendations to the Project Team.

The Campus Coordinators will produce an assessment report each term showing the progress toward the goals for each campus.

Assessment data should show an increase in the number of graduates.

It is expected that this program will continue well beyond the term of the grant and will show a need for a campus coordinator to work to increase the number of and percent of graduations.

6 Faculty or Staff Mentors

Each faculty mentor will be assigned up to 40 students to mentor.

A report of the activities of the mentors with emphasis on those activities that promote on-time graduation.

Short-term contact with mentors should begin to generate information about what needs to be done to assist students to graduate on time.

All of the data gathered when mentors interact with the students should provide information on what academic and student services successful students need and use.

USG Funding - $25,550

The funding will be used to support the activities listed in the budget.

A promotional flyer, funding for Campus Coordinators, Faculty/Staff Mentors, awards for success, and exemption of graduation fees.

The flyer should make the (g2)2 program more recognizable and attract some students to the program.

In the long-term, students and staff should recognize the importance of graduation and the need for students to graduate and for the EGSC community to promote graduation.

3-Member Academic Advising Team

The Academic Advising Team will consist of one Academic Advisement Center personnel from each campus. They will work on the advisement piece of the program.

The advisement materials will be developed and utilized by this group of professional advisors.

Materials will be developed to be given to students planning to graduate in two years.

The materials will be given to all students and advisors and they will be used by students in developing a graduation plan.

Sophomore Student Cohort

A cohort of students entering in Summer 2013-Spring 2014

100+ students will be identified and tracked to graduation. In addition, they will be assigned mentors.

An intrusive advising model will be implemented to assist students who are on track for on-time graduation.

The intrusive model will be adopted by all advisors to increase the number of graduates and the rate of graduation.

Freshman Student Cohort

A cohort of students entering Summer 2014-Spring 2015

200+ students will be identified and tracked to graduation. A mentor will be assigned.

Intrusive advising will continue with the freshman cohort.

Intrusive advising will be adopted by all advisors to increase graduates.


Project Budget and Evaluation Plan


Budget Item

Total Cost


Campus Coordinator Stipend (3)


Campus Coordinators would be assigned to the Swainsboro, Statesboro, and Augusta campuses and would have responsibility for the success and reporting for the program. They would report findings to the Project Leader and the Project Team.

Mentor Stipend (6)


Six mentors will be assigned with up to 40 students to mentor.

PR Materials


4-Color At-A-Glance promotional brochures.

Awards for (g2)2 Completers


Certificates and (g2)2 medals for students who successfully complete the program.

Graduation Fees for (g2)2 Completers


The graduation fee is $35. The program will graduate 30-40 students during the grant year.

Advisement Materials


A special advisement portfolio and advisement materials for students planning to graduate in two years.




The Campus Coordinators will have the responsibility of gathering program assessment data. This data will include number of students served, number of successful students, characteristics of the successful students, academic and student services used by the successful students, and barriers encountered by students who were successful and were not successful. This data will be compared to all students. The Campus Coordinators will also meet with the mentors and Academic Advising staff to obtain feedback on the success of students in the program.