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South Georgia State College Campus Plan Update 2021


Academic Year 2020-2021


South Georgia State College, a state college of the University System of Georgia, is a multi-campus, student-centered institution offering high-quality associate and select baccalaureate degree programs.  The institution provides innovative teaching and learning experiences, a rich array of student activities and athletic programs, access to unique ecological sites, and residential options to create a diverse, globally-focused, and supportive learning environment.


In academic year 2020-2021 SGSC offered three associate degree programs (A. A., A. S., and A. S. in Nursing) with a total of nineteen academic transfer pathways, as well as seven bachelor’s degree programs (B. S. in Nursing, B. S. in Biological Sciences, B. S. in Management, B. S. in Long-Term Healthcare Management, B. S. in Public Service Leadership, B. A. in Business & Technical Writing, B. S. in Elementary/Special Education).  Associate’s degree-level students comprised over 90% of SGSC’s fall 2020 enrollment.

SGSC’s mission, completion priorities, and student body demographics clearly align.  SGSC consistently enrolls primarily “traditional” students (80% fall 2020, excluding dually-enrolled students).  However, a variety of student-support services for all students is extremely important at SGSC, where approximately one-half of all students have been Pell grant recipients (51% fall 2020), well over one-third of entering freshmen were enrolled in a LS math corequisite course, and one-fourth (25% fall 2020) have been first-generation college students.  Such student demographic data has led SGSC to select, in addition to Momentum Year strategies, several additional college completion improvement practices focusing on helping students to succeed and earn a degree. 

The “Enrollment and Demographic Trends” and “Underserved Enrollment Trends” tables (Appendix tables A and B, respectively) provide a good look at the SGSC student body’s characteristics. 

 In addition to the data in the tables, it is noteworthy that in the fall of 2020 SGSC enrolled students from 111 of the 159 Georgia counties, from 18 states and 4 other countries, and from 369 high schools.  The students represented in these enrollment figures help “to create a diverse, globally-focused learning environment” (SGSC Mission Statement).


SGSC continues to use a multi-faceted approach to improve student success. With budget reductions the previous year, we lost most of our professional advisors, pushing the college into a primarily faculty based advising model. We engaged with EAB Navigate in order to provide tools to the faculty to make the process more efficient and effective. We have engaged in a number of faculty training sessions both last year and this year to familiarize the faculty with the platform and its use. Our Director of Academic Success holds monthly training meetings with faculty on using the tool, as well as providing guidance on effective advising methods. As we become more adept with mining data in Navigate, we are looking at elements such as participation rates of faculty in the Early Alert Process, which has been increasing each semester, as well as monitoring overall retention and progression data.

We continue to communicate with students through FTFT freshman orientation sessions and with all students in-person as much as possible and via student email and social media.

Each semester we engage in the Early Alert process to attempt to identify and support students who are struggling in their classes in the 3rd-6th weeks of the semester. With EAB Navigate, we are able to track the response to students through advisor notes. Professors identify these students, and advisors, as well as the students, are notified of the alert so that help can be provided. We will continue to utilize the Early Alert program to provide positive interventions for struggling students.

In addition to faculty advising and faculty participation in the Early Alert system, we have piloted a “concierge coaching” advising model to help students engage in a more meaningful in-person, as well as electronic, relationship with faculty advisors.  This strategy is our “One Big Idea” discussed below.

We have also engaged assistance from the USG in conducting a course schedule analysis to improve schedule offerings and further remove any barriers to student progression due to course availability.

The table below contains names, positions, and contact information for SGSC’s primary planning and decision-makers involved in all aspects of student success.

SGSC Student Success/Completion Team and Primary Planning and Decision-Makers




Dr. Katy Dye

Asst. Prof. of Biology, Mindset

Ms. Brandi Elliott

Director of Academic Success

Dr. Jodi Fissel

Dean, School of Arts & Prof. Studies

Dr. Charles Johnson

Dean, School of Sciences

Dr. Jaime Carter

Dean, School of Nursing

Dr. Carl McDonald

Academic Affairs Specialist (writer)

Dr. Robert Page

Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs

Mr. Jimmy Harper

VP for Enrollment Management and Instructional Technology

Ms. Sandra Adams

Dean of Students & Housing

Ms. Lynn Kelley

Director of Libraries

Ms. Arlena Stanley

Director of Admissions, Douglas

Ms. Dani Sutliff

Director, Institutional Effectiveness


SGSC makes data-based decisions when engaging in planning, developing, implementing, and assessing initiatives affecting student achievement.  We encourage disaggregation of data in order to dig deeper to find ways to improve student learning.  For instance, faculty have been trained by SGSC’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness to disaggregate assessment data even when outcome targets are met in order to discover areas for improvement.

In addition to assisting students academically, SGSC also assists in removing financial barriers through offering need-based scholarships, and SGSC also continues to be an active participant in Affordable Learning Georgia and consistently performs well above the State College averages in this regard. 

An analysis was provided by Jeff Gallant regarding SGSC’s performance in ALG efforts; the institutional report is in Appendix table C.  Non-eCore sections marked with no-cost materials are consistent with previous semesters with 28.78% of all sections marked as ZNCM, above the State Colleges average of 15.43%. Low-cost materials were marked at 7.19%, above the State Colleges average of 5.3%. All eCore sections were correctly marked as ZNCM, and including those eCore sections, SGSC offered about 44% of all sections as using no-cost or low-cost materials.


The SGSC “Big Idea” from the Momentum Summit is to develop a “Concierge Coaching” model to help students in their journey while at SGSC, thereby providing an additional layer of support and connection for students.  The College launched a pilot of the Concierge Coach program during summer semester 2021, targeting primarily first-time students matriculating with a high school GPA of 2.5 or below.  Twenty-one students were assigned one each to twenty-one coaches.  The initial coaching program outcomes are the following:

Students in the CC program will--

  • Indicate that they feel that  SGSC cares about them and their success.
  • Express satisfaction with the ability to access needed services at the College.
  • Have a highly favorable view of the coaching program.
  • Have a higher retention rate than that of comparable peers in past summer semesters.
  • Have a higher GPA than that of comparable peers in past summer semesters.

SGSC is currently determining benchmarks and metrics to measure the degree to which students meet the above outcomes, as well as to measure the program’s impact on student GPA and persistence each semester.  Data gathered at the conclusion of the summer term 2021 provides a starting point for SGSC’s development of metrics and data results.

A survey of students engaged in the summer term 2021 concierge coaching program pilot addresses the first three bulleted outcomes above.  Appendix table D contains survey questions and average student rating responses for each question.  Overall, the survey response data shows that participating students were “satisfied” with the Concierge Coaching Model pilot and are developing a positive mindset toward SGSC’s services and attitude toward student success.

Appendix table E shows coaching contact, GPA, and persistence data from the summer pilot.  The data shows that 76% of students in the pilot had contact with their academic coach and that the average summer GPA of students with an established relationship with their coach was 2.86.  Participating students enrolled at SGSC the following semester at a rate of 69%.  The Concierge Coaching Model is still in its developmental stages; however, it shows promise for student success and positive mindset.


The “Big Idea” discussed above is the first element of the SGSC Momentum Plan for academic year 2021-2022; therefore, it is not included in this section since it has already been addressed.  The strategies below are the additional elements of the plan.

Pilot and release Mindset BOOST workshops

The SGSC STEM grant team is designing virtual and in-person Mindset/BOOST workshops during the current fall semester 2021.  We have a prototype of the asynchronous BOOST workshop that we had planned to release in conjunction with our already-established Early Alert process, but it is not quite ready to implement.  It is to function post-midterm as a “Grade First Aid.”  In academic year 2019-2020 we held five BOOST workshops attended by 102 STEM students and had put in place four virtual workshops for academic year 2020-2021.  However, no one attended any of those workshops, preferring instead to attend in-person workshops.  In spring 2020 we had an attendance of 51 STEM students participate in BOOST in-class sessions.  So, while we are developing both virtual and in-person workshops, our primary focus continues to be on meeting in person.  Session titles and attendance numbers for the AY 2019-2020 year are in Appendix tables F and G.

Use Navigate to encourage Area A completion

Academic advisor training in Area A completion was conducted prior to and in conjunction with spring 2021 registration.  In training we cover how to advise students who were not successful in Area A classes or classes to be completed the previous semester or within 30 hours of enrollment.  In addition, advisor training includes recognition of classes appropriate for a particular student’s academic pathway.

We had been working toward building success markers into the Navigate platform to indicate when a student had missed a Momentum Year milestone to allow advisors to track Momentum progress and allow them to work with students on planning ahead for optimal scheduling.  However, the intricacies and complex nature of building the logic into Navigate prevented us from implementation by fall 2021.  Currently, we are working with the Navigate team to implement the same success markers on a smaller scale to track student progress for Area A completion by 30 hours.

SGSC intends to explore the ability to mine data related to the reports listed from Navigate, to establish report cycles for data collection and analysis, to publish and disseminate findings to faculty and staff, and to create ongoing action plans based on the data and at appropriate levels.

The Area A completion audit in Appendix table H shows Areas A1, A2, and A (total) completion data.  It is noteworthy that the total Area A completion rate has more than doubled from the fall 2013 rate of 25.74% to the fall 2020 rate of 53.29%. 

Train advisors to help students create fuller schedules

Advisor training to help students create fuller schedules is on the training calendar.  During spring semester 2021, this topic was covered in Momentum Year training along with Focus Areas.  The training is to be recorded and placed on with other advisor training videos on GeorgiaView.

SGSC is exploring how best to use data related to student academic scheduling in reports from Navigate.  We are currently establishing report cycles for data collection and analysis, as well as developing a process for publishing and disseminating data findings for faculty and staff.  Data analysis will result in creation of ongoing action plans at appropriate institutional levels.

Data on student enrollment in 15 or more credit hours is in Appendix table I.  The rate of enrollments in 15 or more credit hours declined for fall 2020, undoubtedly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and SGSC’s move to online-only classes.  At the same time, however, the fall 2020 rate at which students successfully completed 15 or more hours (54.78%) was at its highest since fall 2015 and well above the 2018 lowest point of 35.40% (Appendix table J) .

Provide programs/services that create connections for students with potential careers

The SGSC Career Services Coordinator has been collaborating with other staff members to develop collaborative career programming through alumni involvement in dissemination of career information.  Such involvement focuses on alumni guest speakers, guest panels, and guest interaction with students.  Office of Student Success personnel, as well as current and former STEM Center Coordinators, are engaged in STEM career services programming.  Career Services activities also include workshops on resume writing and development of soft skills.

Upcoming career-related events include the following:

  • Resume workshop in Tiger Village residence hall, fall 2021
  • “Adulting 101” three-week workshop developed to help students with soft skills and other fundamental knowledge that they need but were never formally taught
  • Showcasing of the SGSC Biology Department and biology-related careers
  • Requiring B. S. in Public Service Leadership students to meet with Career Services to create career portfolios
  • Requiring B. S. in Management students to engage in discussions of career path options, including graduate school
  • Establishing Career Services presence and activities at the Student Center and in residence halls
  • Using the SGSC 1000 first-year experience course to provide instruction on career planning
  • Assisting in developing, monitoring, and assessing faculty training on career connections to academic subject matter

Provide Mindset training focused on promoting growth mindset college-wide for faculty

Ten faculty (total) from the School of Sciences and the School of Arts and Professional Studies are currently collecting data on a series of mindset-promoting interventions/activities.  An example of one of their plans is as follows:

  • Activity summary for Principles of Chemistry I—
    • Growth:  Virtual Mindset Module (google survey), study logs
    • Purpose and Relevance:  letter to self (also metacognition)
    • Social Belonging:  ice-breaker activity
  • Day 1:
    • After course structure is introduced, students will participate in an ice-breaker with the following format:
      • Students will write their names and academic pathway and what they want to do after college on a sticky note.  The instructor will collect the notes and redistribute them.  Then students will introduce each other to the whole class.
      • After the ice-breaker students will complete a guided “letter to self” that includes space to describe their goals for the class, why they are taking the class, what they hope to accomplish, and how they plan to reach tier goals.
  • Before exam 1:
    • Complete the Virtual Mindset Module
  • Midterm:
    • Students will review their letter and reflect on if they are reaching their goals and what change(s) they might need to make in order to achieve them now.
  • End of term:
    • Students will reflect on both letters they wrote and then write a letter to a future student on how to be most successful in the course. 
    • Students will create presentations for faculty on how to promote mindset to students.

Using the work done by faculty on the above, we hope to create some guides for the variety of interventions/activities that are being utilized.  Faculty engaged in this work will then act as a resource for other faculty wanting to try adding mindset promotion to their courses.  One of the first presentations will be during the “Mindset Lunches” described in the next activity.

  • Conduct faculty panels/presentations on Mindset
    • Faculty were surveyed, and 34 (approximately half) indicated they would be interested in learning more about Mindset.  During academic year 2021-2022 we will be offering several informal sit-downs about academic mindset.  At the end of these sessions we ho0pe to recruit new Mindset FLC members to participate in the broader SoTL work on mindset across our campus.
    • “Mindset Lunches” for academic year 2021-2022
      • October – What Is Mindset GPS?
      • November – Mindset Intervention Examples
      • January – Faculty Mindset and Sense of Community
      • February – Share Out: Results of Fall Activities
      • March – Developing an Outline:  How to Address Mindset in Your Classroom and Yourself
      • June-July – Summer of Mindset:  Support to Create or Adapt Interventions for Your Course(s)

Scale undergraduate research efforts and other High Impact Practices at the Institution

Undergraduate Student Research

“Undergraduate Student Research” was the topic of SGSC’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), the Impact Report of which was submitted to SACS COC in September 2021.  The SGSC QEP is included here as a High Impact Practice because it has had a significant effect on the culture and mindset of the institution, so much so that it has become an integral aspect of SGSC campus life.  The following Executive Summary of the plan explains the purpose, outcomes, and assessment of the QEP.

Purpose and Outcomes of the QEP: 

The South Georgia State College (SGSC) Quality Enhancement Plan focuses on infusing the development of undergraduate student research skills into the curriculum. Particularly in its bachelor’s degree programs, but also within the scope of general education courses at the A.A. and A.S. levels, the college recognizes an obligation to help students achieve a solid foundation of research skills to prepare them for the future.  In addition, the growing body of literature on undergraduate research demonstrates that student participation in this activity yields active student engagement and positive results for student achievement.  Hence, teaching research skills in undergraduate courses can be an effective pedagogical tool.

The purpose of the QEP is reflected in the nine student learning outcomes:  (1) to identify ethical research practices, (2) to generate answerable research questions, (3) to analyze prior research, (4) to develop a hypothesis from a research question, (5) to construct a research plan, (6) to collect relevant data, (7) to analyze relevant data, (8) to draw appropriate conclusions based on analysis, (9) to present research.  While there are some differences in bachelor’s and associate’s level general education research expectations and outcomes assessment, all affected students are engaged with all or some of the nine QEP outcomes, depending upon the level of degree pursued.  Consequently, all participating students of whatever classification, from freshman to senior, are demonstrating their level of research skill acquisition, which is the unifying focus of the initiative.

Definition of “Undergraduate Research”:  

As a member institution of the Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR), SGSC subscribes to the CUR definition of “undergraduate research,” but with the addition of one phrase (in boldface) to arrive at a definition that best suits the institution’s students and QEP purposes:  Undergraduate Research is “’an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the disciplineor that demonstrates clear and well-supported understanding of a fundamental aspect of the discipline.” SGSC’s definition encourages originality and creativity but insists on clear and well-supported understanding derived from student application of specific research skills.

Assessment of the QEP: 

There are rubrics for each of the nine QEP outcomes. There is also a rubric for the bachelor’s degree capstone courses—the only rubric designed to measure all nine outcomes at once. The capstone rubric will not be employed in A.A. and A.S. general education courses. Rather, the general education courses will assess particular individual QEP outcomes, as appropriate to specific courses, using the nine individual QEP outcome rubrics.  Surveys of both student and faculty opinions and attitudes about the effect of the QEP will also be administered throughout the entire five years of the plan’s implementation.

The most important effects of the SGSC QEP are evident in two areas:  (1) student learning outcome achievement and (2) the two annual undergraduate research symposia (fall and spring semesters).  Each of these areas is discussed below.

Student Learning Outcome Achievement in Undergraduate Research QEP

The table below shows the degree to which students achieved the target outcome of 70% of students achieving a rubric rating of “good” or “excellent” for each of the nine QEP outcomes.  Year 1 was comprised of 8 Nursing courses; Year 2 of 7 nursing courses; Year 3 of 8 nursing and 6 biology courses; Year 4 of 8 nursing courses, 5 biology courses, 2 history courses, 2 psychology courses, 2 economics courses, and 2 political science courses; Year 5 of 8 nursing courses, 6 biology courses, 2 history courses, 2 psychology courses, 2 economics courses, and 2 political science courses.

QEP SLOs and Percentages of Students Achieving Outcome Targets, Years One through Five

(All Outcome Targets = 70% of students in QEP courses will demonstrate “good” or “excellent” proficiency)


Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Identify ethical practices in research

Not assessed

Not assessed




Generate answerable research questions






Analyze prior research






Develop a hypothesis from research question






Construct a research plan






Collect relevant data






Analyze relevant data






Draw appropriate conclusions based on analysis






Present research






The data in the table above shows clearly that by the last two years of the QEP the level of student achievement for each of the nine outcomes was met.  In fact, it is also clear that percentages for all nine outcomes increased consistently over the five-year period.  SGSC believes this increase can be attributed to (1) increased faculty engagement as a result of training, experience, and interest—and (2) student awareness of the undergraduate research focus on campus, as evidenced in classes and in significant student attendance numbers at the annual undergraduate research symposium.

Undergraduate Research Symposia and Campus Culture (Environment)

An SGSC student research symposium took place each semester for each of the five years of the QEP. The purpose of the symposium has been, and will continue to be, to provide a forum for students to present their research to the SGSC community and interested residents of surrounding communities.  Any student may engage in research to be presented, and each presenter has a faculty mentor.  From modest beginnings involving 9 presenters and a very small fall 2015 audience, to a fall 2016 audience of 135, attendance and student research presentation have grown significantly over the years.  The spring 2019 symposium was attended by a record 402 faculty, staff, students and community members, while the fall 2020 event had 396 attendees—even though the COVID-19 pandemic was affecting student enrollment, course delivery, and student participation in campus events.  The most recent symposium, spring 2021, also during a COVID-19 semester, had an attendance of 314, including 272 students.  When the number of attendees who came to more than one day of the symposium is counted for multiple visits, the total attendance number for spring 2021 is 2,423. 

The number of student presenters at symposia during the five years of the QEP also increased significantly as the event grew in number of days, courses, faculty mentors, attendees, and importance as a campus event.  The fall 2015 symposium, the first during the QEP era, featured 9 presenters in a one-day event.  The next semester, spring 2016, the event expanded to two days and featured 19 presenters (doubling the number from the previous semester).  In fall 2017 the event blossomed into a full week featuring 50 presenters.  The number of presenters and length of symposia has since remained fairly constant since the spring of 2018 at roughly 50 presenters during research symposium week.  Fall semester 2020 and spring 2021 symposia stand out among all the symposia as two that took place virtually because of an international pandemic—and with approximately 40 presenters and a virtual audience.

Appendix tables K, L, and M show data results for three different surveys collected from symposia faculty mentors, student presenters, and symposia attendees, respectively.  Each survey is from the most recent symposium (spring 2021).

The faculty mentor results indicate that mentors were more engaged with students as a result of preparing for the symposium. Further, the mentors perceived the students as more engaged with the materials than they otherwise would have been. Mentors perceived additional benefits for the student-presenters, such as improving communication skills. Importantly, mentors felt the experience increased their ability to write a supportive letter of recommendation for the students. Last, while most mentors did view presentations of students other than the ones they mentored, that behavior was not as common as would have been hoped.

The results of the student-presenter survey indicate that the researchers had a positive experience. Presenters were diverse in terms of previous symposium experience, with some first-time presenters and some who had presented at multiple prior symposia. Presenters received mostly positive feedback on their presentations and indicated an intent to continue with their research efforts. Last, the respondents indicated the research process provided an enhanced learning experience without taking them away from other academic responsibilities in any significant way.

The student attendee results indicate that students had a very positive experience. Attendees indicated that at least some topics were new to them, were of interest, encouraged them to consider conducting research of their own, and were related to a higher opinion about research than they had when beginning their SGSC experience. Item 6 was framed negatively to try to determine the degree to which agreeability or inattentiveness contributed to response patterns; the high percentage of ‘strongly disagree’ responses indicates the answers were due to neither high agreeableness nor to inattentiveness. Respondents also all attended multiple presentations. While the survey results do not necessarily indicate the attitudes of the entire population of attendees, the results for number of presentations viewed does (as indicated by the attendance log).

High Impact Practices (HIPs)

HIPs Implementation Team Momentum Plan Appendix

South Georgia State College’s (SGSC) high impact practices (HIPs) implementation team consists of four faculty members engaged in the following activities:

SGSC has implemented four HIPs. These include

  1. Service Learning - Courses that (A) require student participation in service projects or community engagement (either on campus or through institutional partnerships with off campus organizations) and (B) integrate the service experience into the course content.
  2. Undergraduate Research or Creative Project - Courses that are primarily focused on an undergraduate research experience where the students conduct an original research or creative project.
  3. Work-based Learning - Courses that (A) require for-credit internships, practicums, clinicals, co-ops, or similar work-based experiences and (B) integrate the work experience into the course content.
  4. Capstone courses - Courses offered to undergraduate students to create a culminating project or exhibition (e.g., a thesis, performance, project) that serves as a final academic experience.

The college registrar has coded different courses on Banner containing these HIPs. These codlings are reviewed every year for revision. 

All new proposed Bachelor of Science or Art programs have HIPs, such as work-based learning, and capstone courses are built into them.

Courses that contain HIPs are identified by teaching faculty in coordination with department chairs and deans. Faculty and chairs help identify the banner codes that can be used to tag the courses (depending on the number of hours involved). For example, only psychology 1101 and 2103 courses taught by one instructor are coded as undergraduate research because only he uses that HIP in his classes.

We hope that in the near future all faculty will be trained on HIPs, their implementation, and quantifications.

The HIPS Team recommends that during fall semester convocations faculty be trained on HIPs, their implementation, and quantifications.  

SGSC ‘s Momentum/CCG strategies currently include plans to increase access and participation in HIPs, and several activities are in the planning process. The long-term activity undergraduate research has been going on since 2013 and has included faculty members that encourage their students to do presentations.  The URS (undergraduate research symposium) is now an official event on the College calendar and there are no classes on Douglas and Waycross Campuses during these days during both Fall and Spring semesters. These events have had the highest student participations in last few years. The Symposium will be back to face-to-face November 16, 2021.

Another HIP activity that has occurred in the last few years and will occur next year is that SGSC School of Science faculty and students will do science demonstrations at the Boys & Girls Club of Douglas (service learning).

Several Courses in the Biology Program have Hips-embedded activities, such as field trips (USDA, Sunbelt  Greenhouses, Coffee County State Park, Douglas Water Treatment Facilities and Okefenokee Park.

The data plan for HIPS includes monitoring and acting on data related to scaling HIPs, establishing benchmarks for faculty training and participation in HIPs, and monitoring and reporting on student performance in courses with HIPs versus non-HIPs content (data to be analyzed annually in summer).

Program Maps and Pressure Tests

The table below is a summary of activities, process/steps, responsibility, and timeline with regard to program maps and pressure tests, both of which have been developed and applied for the past two years.



Person(s) responsible


Continue to conduct already -established pressure tests on pathways & majors.

-Adhere to annual cycle of review.

-Adjust pathways & majors as necessary.

-Adjust course needs identified by pressure tests.


Faculty Advisors

Enrollment Management

Annual - Summer

Explore ability to mine data from Navigate, which might reflect on success in navigating pathways and programs.

Work with EAB Navigate team to identify data collecting capabilities within the Navigate platform related to student success.

Director of Academic Success

By August, 2021.

Conduct annual review and update of all pathways.

Implement reviews of pathways for accuracy and consistency.

Academic Deans and Chairs

 Annual - summer



An integral part of SGSC’s Momentum plan addresses communicating Momentum strategies and progress to our diverse audiences, including all College constituencies.  Support for faculty and staff to aid in understanding and participating in facilitation of student success is an important aspect of our global Momentum Support efforts.  SGSC considers it significant that since the initiation of Momentum Year activities 61% of the total full-time SGSC faculty have been involved with Momentum strategies, and 26% have been involved in more than one of the strategies.  In addition, SGSC’s Momentum strategies are integrated, so that initiatives work together, rather than as silos.

The following tables identify communication, outreach, and support activities, as well as steps, and timelines related to activities.



Person(s) responsible


Launch Momentum Web Page.

-Work with Institutional Advancement to create the web page.

-Determine topics and develop training components.

-Update regularly with info, video clips, blogs, etc.

-Use for dissemination of Momentum data.

-Set regular schedule for training delivery.

Momentum Scholar

SGSC Office of Institutional Advancement

Initial implementation planned for summer 2021; however,  an entirely new SGSC webpage, including the Momentum page, is being constructed fall 2021.  Preliminary content for Momentum page was sent to Institutional Advancement early fall 2021.  The intent is to create awareness of purposeful choice, transparent pathways, and academic mindset in the classroom and beyond.  The page will define, describe, and delineate (the latter refers to posting of both virtual and live events related to Momentum Year/Approach).

Scheduled communications via email / newsletter.

-Develop communication calendar, topics.

-Determine publishing frequency.

-Solicit contributions.

-Compile and publish.

Momentum Scholar

Institutional Advancement

Implement Fall 2021.

Social Media Communications regarding Momentum.

-Provide social media outreach in conjunction with the email campaign, working with SGSC Office of External Affairs.

Momentum Scholar

Institutional Advancement

Implement Fall 2021.

Faculty and staff training/ meetings on Momentum.

-Identify meeting times and training opportunities related to Momentum Year and approach.

-Incorporate momentum presentations/updates during monthly Academic School meetings.

-Determine topics and develop training.

-Set regular schedule and deliver training.

-Identify “Momentum Champion” for each School.

School Deans

Momentum Scholar

Implement Fall 2021.

Faculty and Staff Outreach and Support Strategies



Person(s) responsible


Scale work of the Chancellor’s Learning Scholars’ FLCs, HIPs Implementation Team.

-Develop shareable resources from FLCs.

Incorporate those resources into the Virtual CTL.

-Make materials available to faculty and staff on Momentum web page.

-Schedule presentations to faculty for sharing information, including panel discussions.

Chancellor’s Learning Scholars (4 faculty)

AA Project Specialist

HIPs Implementation Team (4 faculty)

Implement beginning in Summer 2021.


The HIPS Team reported out to entire faculty during fall 2021 opening Convocation.

Take back to fellow faculty and staff lessons learned, ideas from MSIV.

-Compile lessons learned and ideas.

-Make materials available to faculty and staff on Momentum web page.

-Schedule presentations to faculty for sharing information, including panel discussions.

Momentum Summit IV participants

Complete in May 2022.

Data Plan Strategies



Person(s) responsible


Monitor and Act on Demographic Performance Data.

-Review reports on student performance by demographic breakdown, key subjects.

-Discuss findings with faculty in key subjects, explore implications for modality and/or pedagogy

Director of IE/IR



Deans, Faculty

Each semester


The Gardner Institute “Gateways to Completion” (G2C) Collaborative

Ongoing implementation of G2C seeks to improve student performance in foundational high-enrollment, high-risk courses through course redesign, use of predictive analytics, and improved teaching and learning pedagogy.  G2C provides faculty with processes, instructional and curricular guidance, and analytics tools to redesign teaching, learning, and success in high-risk gateway courses. 

Since the 2018 launch of SGSC’s cohort I course, BIOL 2107K, the overall DWFI rate has declined sharply in that course from an FY 2016 high of 49.8% to an FY 2020 significantly lower rate of 27.3%.  DWFI rates for BIOL 2107K by gender, age, ethnicity, and full-time status also declined in FY 2020 to their lowest rates since the inception of the initiative. 

DWFI rates for the current (FY 2020; the initial data) cohort II courses (ENGL 1101, MATH 1111, HIST 2112, POLS 1101), on the other hand, have remained level or have gone up overall and in most demographic categories.  We are not sure of the effects of the COVID-19 but believe it likely that there has been an adverse effect created by the pandemic, especially due to the inability to conduct in-person meetings.  We are engaging in conversations among faculty involved in all the G2C courses to discuss barriers, problems, and conditions that could explain the success rate differences between the cohort I course and the cohort II courses, while keeping in mind that we are in the early data-capturing stages for cohort II.  Differences can in part be attributed to G2C course and cohort leadership changes that took place in FY 20 and the absence of our Director of Institutional Effectiveness for personal reasons.  G2C data for both cohort I and cohort II courses is in Appendix tables N through S.

Academic Advising as a Means to Increase Student Retention and Graduation Rates and to Eliminate Barriers to Progress

Although budget cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic have eliminated all but two of SGSC’s professional advisors, necessitating a return to a faculty advising model, we continue to employ efficient academic advising as a means to help in eliminating barriers to student progress and to bolster student retention and graduation rates.  The data in Appendix table T shows that the one-year institution-specific retention rate for SGSC’s FTFT associate degree-seeking students has remained consistent at a five-year average of 45%, while the institution-specific average all eight USG state college is 55%--this differential contributing to the rationale for an SGSC metric goal of a 55% one-year FTFT associate’s degree-seeking student retention rate by fall 2022.

While the SGSC-specific one-year retention rate for FTFT degree-seeking students has been consistently lower than the average for all eight USG state colleges (but not the lowest among those institutions), the one-year rate of retention of former SGSC students within the USG over the five-year period averages 65%, while for the same period the average for all USG state colleges is 64%.  Given the A. A. and A. S. transfer mission of  USG state colleges and the ease of transfer among USG institutions facilitated by a common core curriculum, it is clear that SGSC prepares students for continuation of their academic pursuits as well as do other USG state colleges. 

The three-year graduation rate data in Appendix table U  compares the five-year SGSC rates to the average rates for the same period for all eight USG state colleges.  “Institution-specific” refers to students graduating from SGSC, “System-wide for SGSC” refers to former SGSC students who graduate from any USG institution, and “System-wide for all state colleges” refers to students who began at a USG institution, transferred to another USG institution, and graduated from the USG institution to which they transferred.

The data in the table shows that the three-year institution-specific graduation rate for SGSC’s FTFT associate degree-seeking students has increased for every cohort year but one (fall 2015) and is at a five-year average of 15%, while the institution-specific average for all eight USG state colleges is 14.5%. The rationale for an SGSC metric goal of a 20% three-year FTFT associate’s degree-seeking student graduation rate for the fall 2022 cohort is based on significant rate increases for the fall 2016 and 2017 cohorts.  It is noteworthy that SGSC’s institution-specific graduation rate for the two most recent cohorts significantly exceeds the average graduation rate for all USG state colleges.

Not only does the SGSC three-year institution-specific graduation rate exceed the average for all USG state colleges, but the rate for the two most recent student cohorts of former SGSC students transferring to other USG state colleges (18%)  far exceeds the average rate for all USG state college associate’s degree-seeking students transferring within the System (15%).

Appendix table V demonstrates that declining enrollment does not necessarily result in fewer degrees conferred.  In fact, the Degrees Conferred by Degree Offered table shows that the reverse is true at SGSC for the five-year period.  During the five-year period, there has been a significant increase in the number and type of student success strategies created to foster student achievement.  The two SGSC campuses both have academic success tutoring centers, STEM centers, writing centers, and 24/7 tutoring availability through  In addition, there is a student success program for residential students on the Douglas Campus (there are no residence halls on the Waycross Campus).

Related to Area A completion is correct FTFT freshman math placement.  Appendix table W shows that for fall 2020 9.39% of FTFT students were not placed in the correct math course.  While this is a decline from the 10.54% of fall 2018, it is up from the 5.71% incorrectly placed in fall 2019.  These data points have been brought to the attention of faculty advisors.

The USG “Getting to Know Our Students” Survey

Student participation responses to the survey have been very low, although they have increased considerably since fall 2017 (5.33% of all students).  Fall 2018 through fall 2020 participation rates were 15.11%, 13.86%, 12.33%, respectively, for each of the three years.  Participation rates are in Appendix table X.  The COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly had an adverse effect on participation in the survey, as it generally did in overall communication with students.

The mindset survey data in Appendix table Y shows an overall favorable mindset development among responding students and also demonstrates growth in mindset over the three-year period shown (fall semesters 2018 through 2020.  This data is used to engage both faculty and staff in digital as well as in-person communications and training to help foster an overall positive and student-supportive campus mindset environment.