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Goals and Strategies

Goal 1:  Increase in the number of undergraduate degrees awarded by USG institutions.

Strategy 1.1:  Increase degree completion in STEM fields

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

Strategy 2.1:  Change institutional culture to emphasize taking full-time course loads (15 or more credits per semester) to earn degrees “on time.”

Strategy 2.2:  Create financial incentives (through tuition plans) to encourage students to take full course loads and finish on time.

Goal 3:  Decrease excess credits earned on the path to getting a degree

Strategy 3.1:  Provide “program maps” that plot the path to a degree and reduce choice through “choice architecture.”  Program maps should define the appropriate mathematics pathway for each major and drive students to complete Area A1 English requirements in the first year and the Area A2 mathematics requirements in the first semester.

Strategy 3.2: Provide “meta-major” maps for students who have not decided on majors that provide them with courses that are likely to count toward their majors when chosen.  Meta-major maps should define the appropriate mathematics pathway for each meta-major and drive students to complete Area A1 English requirements in the first year and the Area A2 mathematics requirements in the first semester.

Strategy 3.3: Create default schedules for students in majors or meta-majors; students cannot register for other courses without permission.

Strategy 3.4:  Offer block schedules for students in meta-majors or majors for the first semester or first year.

Strategy 3.5:  Require students to select majors or programs of study by the end of the first semester (two-year institutions) or first year (four-year institutions).

Strategy 3.6:  Provide students with exposure to majors and careers within the first semester or year of study to facilitate selection of appropriate programs of study or majors.

Strategy 3.7:  Establish regional partnerships to provide degree pathways that match workforce needs.

Goal 4:  Provide intentional advising to keep students on track to graduate.

Strategy 4.1:  Establish milestones as part of program maps to facilitate defining when students are “off track.”

Strategy 4.2:  Use predictive analytics (EAB, D2L, Ellucian, or other) to help identify students who are off track and to help students understand their likelihood of success in particular programs.

Strategy 4.3:  Use Degree Works to track student progress.

Strategy 4.4:  Establish criteria for identifying students who may need special interventions in the semester (e.g., lack of attendance, poor performance on early assignments).

Strategy 4.5:  Ensure that students who meet off-track criteria receive timely and targeted advising intervention.

Goal 5:  Award degrees to students who may have already met requirements for associate degrees via courses taken at one or more institutions.

Strategy 5.1:  Add information at matriculation about automatic degree award for all institutions, with opt-out option (so that degrees may be awarded when earned).

Strategy 5.2:  Eliminate requirements to apply for associate degrees.  (Could still be required to apply to participate in graduation ceremony.)

Strategy 5.3:  Eliminate graduation application fees for associate degrees.  (Could wrap into another fee OR charge only for students who wish to participate in graduation ceremony.)

Strategy 5.4:  Automatically conduct degree audits of all students with 60 or more credit hours at associate degree institutions to see whether they have met requirements for degrees.  If so, an associate degree would be awarded unless students have opted out or did not have the opportunity to sign off on the initial permission for automatic award of degree.

Strategy 5.5:  Add information about “reverse transfer” opportunities when students matriculate at transfer institutions.  Students must “opt-in” to have their information sent back to associate degree institutions and to have degree awarded, if eligible.

Strategy 5.6:  Publicize the idea of degree completion via “reverse transfer” within the institution and locally.

Goal 6:  Shorten time to degree completion 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.

Strategy 6.1:  Participate in dual enrollment or joint enrollment programs for high school students.

Strategy 6.2:  Award credit based on ACE credit recommendations.

Strategy 6.3:  Award credit based on portfolio review.

Strategy 6.4:  Participate in dual enrollment or joint enrollment programs for high school students.

Strategy 6.5:  Sponsor an Early College.

Strategy 6.6:  Award credit based on Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate scores/exams.

Strategy 6.7:  Award credit based on assessment of prior learning via CLEP or DSST scores.

Goal 7:  Increase the likelihood of degree completion by transforming the way that remediation is accomplished.

Strategy 7.1:  Enroll most students in need of remediation in gateway collegiate courses in English and mathematics, with corequisite Learning Support.

Strategy 7.2:  Combine remediation in English and reading.

Strategy 7.3:  Ensure that all remediation is targeted toward supporting students in the skills they need to pass the collegiate course.

Strategy 7.4:  End the practice of requiring students to withdraw from all collegiate courses when they withdraw from Learning Support courses.

Strategy 7.5:  Students have unlimited “attempts” to complete corequisite remediation.

Goal 8:  Restructure instructional delivery to support educational excellence and student success.

Strategy 8.1:  Expand completely online opportunities.

Strategy 8.2:  Implement alternative delivery models, such as hybrid instruction, flipped classrooms, and emporium-model instruction.

Goal 9:  Improve access for underserved and/or priority communities.

Strategy 9.1:  Target increases in access and completion for students traditionally underserved in post-secondary education.

For example:

  • Part-time students
  • Adult learners (undergraduate students 25 or older)
  • Military and former military students
  • First generation
  • Underserved minorities
  • Gender
  • Low income (Pell recipients)
  • Students with disabilities