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Student Success Inventory for Student Learning Communities (East Georgia State College-2023)

Strategy/Project Name: 
Student Success Inventory for Student Learning Communities
Momentum Area: 
Strategy/Project Description: 

Student Learning Communities

Summary of Activities: 

Student Learning Communities

Activity Status: 
Evaluation/Assessment plan: 

Evaluation Plan and measures: See pg. 55 of the QEP:

KPIs: (pg. 34 of QEP)

  1. Success-rate: Percentage of passing grades (ABC)
  2. Average Cumulative GPA for participants in SLCs
  3. Retention Rates

Baseline measure (for each KPI): (pg. 34 of QEP)

  1. Participants in SLCs who are taking first-year courses will have a higher percentage of passing grades (15% more) and fewer DFWI grades than students who did not participate in an SLC.
  2. Average Cumulative GPA for participants in SLCs will be .5 higher than similar students who did not participate in an SLC.
  3. Participants in SLCs will have retention rates several percentage points higher than students who did not participate in an SLC.

Current/most recent data (for each KPI): 

  1. Success-rates: In the Table below, the percentages of passing grades for students taking SLC courses are compared to students who did not participate in an SLC. In Spring 2021, Fall 2021, and Spring 2022, students in SLCs performed significantly lower and had higher rates of DFWI grades. In Spring 2022 and Summer 2022, training sessions for faculty were implemented for creating and teaching SLCs. In Fall 2022 and Spring 2023, the passing rates of students participating in SLCs increased and surpassed those in previous semesters (by 18-21%). In addition, the DFWI rates decreased and was less than those for students who did not participate in an SLC. However, the goal of a 15% more pass rate for students in an SLC was not achieved in any of the semesters that SLCs were conducted.

SLC v Non-SLC Grade Performance

Student Count

ABC Grades

DFWI Grades





Spring 2021

SLC Sections






Non-SLC Sections






Fall 2021

SLC Sections






Non-SLC Sections






Spring 2022

SLC Sections






Non-SLC Sections






Fall 2022

SLC Sections






Non-SLC Sections






Spring 2023

SLC Sections






Non-SLC Sections






  1. Cumulative GPA: The goal is for students who participate in an SLC to have an Average Cumulative GPA .5 higher than similar students who did not participate in an SLC. The Table below compares students who participated in an SLC with those who did not in terms of their semester GPAs and overall GPAs. In Spring 2021, Fall 2021, and Spring 2022, students in SLCs performed significantly lower in regard to their term and overall GPAs. In Fall 2022, students in SLCs showed an increase in their term GPA, which was closer to those of their non-participating equivalents. However, students who did not participate in an SLC had a greater overall GPA (by .2). In Spring 2023, students who participated in an SLC had a higher term GPA by .03, but still fell behind in the overall GPA by .08. Thus, while students have shown progression towards the baseline KPI in the last year, our current goal has not been met.

Grade Point Averages

SLC Students

Non-SLC Students

Term GPA

Overall GPA

Term GPA

Overall GPA

Spring 2021





Fall 2021





Spring 2022





Fall 2022





Spring 2023





  1. Retention Rates: The goal is that participants in SLCs will have retention rates several percentage points higher than students who did not participate in an SLC. In Fall 2021, non-SLC students had higher retention rates than students who participated in an SLC. The Table below illustrates that non-SLC students had a 6.9% higher rate of retention. However, in Fall 2022, students who participated in SLCs had a 10.1 % higher retention rate. It is also important to note that in comparison between Fall 2021 and Fall 2022, the retention rate for SLC students increased from 29.9% to 46.9%; this was a 17% increase for the year. Thus, while SLCs did not meet their goal in the first year, they did meet it in the second year.

1-Year Retention

SLC Students

Non-SLC Students

Not Retained


% Retained

Not Retained


% Retained

Fall 2021







Fall 2022








Goal or targets (for each KPI): pg. 34 of the QEP:

Time period/duration: QEP was implemented in 2020. The QEP is currently in its second piloting stage. During Fall 2022, the QEP Team entered Phase 3 of the timeline. During Phase 3, the QEP evaluated the SLCs effectiveness and attempted to revise accordingly. Initially the QEP proposed that it would be increasing the numbers of SLCs during Fall 2023 and Spring 2024, lack of enrollment, scheduling issues, and other factors led to a discussion of a new approach to implementing SLCs. This new approach was approved at the end of April 2023. The first thematic approach to SLCs will be implemented in spring 2024. The 5-yr plan will be in 2025.

Progress and Adjustments: 

Over the last year, the Quality Enhancement Plan team has focused on training faculty to prepare them for creating, teaching, and assessing Student Learning Communities. As the Director, Jessica Todd has assisted with training faculty and led presentations to assist faculty with their learning objectives, teaching strategies, and assessment.

On February 25, 2022, at least 25 faculty members attended a training workshop which Jessica Todd led on using the backward design process to create an SLC.

On March 25, 2022, a faculty workshop was held to review how to complete and submit an SLC Application. In addition to training, at least 4 faculty members who taught an SLC shared their insights on their past experiences of teaching an SLC. For instance, faculty discussed some approaches and assignments they used with their English and History linked courses. In addition, other faculty shared their experiences with their linked Wellness and English courses. Each faculty member shared how SLCs can be improved and a few challenges that they encountered.

In April 2022, Jessica Todd coordinated SLC classrooms visits with Harley Smith, our Marketing and Community Relations Coordinator. Mrs. Smith visited classrooms to interview the professors and students about their SLC experiences. These video interviews and photos were used in the new promotional materials on campus (i.e., freshman orientation module and QEP banners).

On May 17, 2022, Dr. Ren Denton led a workshop to discuss direct and indirect assessment. The workshop was designed to assist faculty with developing assessment methods for their SLCs and to aid in the completion of the SLC Faculty Self-Assessment Form. Jessica Todd assisted with the workshop and led a Zoom discussion with some of the attending professors.

On June 9, 2022, at least 10 faculty members attended a training workshop, which Jessica Todd led. During the workshop, topics such as student success strategies for SLCs, interdisciplinary learning, and activities to engage students were addressed. Resources from the K. Patricia Cross Academy were shared with faculty, so they could explore activities to incorporate into their classrooms. In addition, the importance of being transparent about course objectives, links between the two SLC courses, and course policies were addressed (TILT). 

On July 12, 2022, 15 faculty attended a training workshop, which Jessica Todd led. She reviewed how to create learning objectives, how to assess objectives, how to assess a course, how to create effective lesson plans, and how to promote student engagement. This workshop was in response to faculty feedback from the previous workshop on June 9, 2022. 

On September 9, 2022, Jessica Todd took part in the Faculty Professional Development workshop. She reviewed the Quality Enhancement Plan and its purpose for new faculty. She also discussed some of the feedback she received from the Spring 2022 faculty concerning their SLCs (reported on their self-assessments). She also discussed some activities that she was using in her ENGL 1101 Composition course to foster the connection between the students, their linked ART 1100 Introduction to Art course, and the campus community. She encouraged other faculty to share how their SLCs were doing and any strategies they were implementing. Lastly, she discussed some free webinars for educators hosted by Adobe.

On September 22, 2022, EGSC Augusta faculty participated in the Augusta University reading of the Amendments for Constitution Day. The professors not only participated in the reading, but they also brought their SLC students from their American History and American Government classes to the event. At least 16 of their 20 students attended the 2-hr. celebration with readings, voter registration information, and snacks.

In November 2022, the students in Jessica Todd’s Student Learning Community with Mr. Purcell, ART 1100/ENGL 1101 class, showcased an exhibit of artwork created with AI. The students’ work was displayed in the EGSC Art Gallery and was the basis of a collaborative effort for students to argue whether art created by AI was considered “true art.”

In November 2022, Jessica Todd worked in conjunction with the EGSC Library  to develop a Faculty LibGuide to help with Faculty Development and the QEP:  Topics on the LibGuide include interdisciplinary teaching, high-impact practices, student learning communities, and faculty/student mindset. We tried to incorporate many eBooks and online sources, so that faculty on any campus would have access to the resources without having to request them through GIL or Interlibrary Loan. 

In December 2022, Jessica Todd attended the SACSCOC Annual Conference in Atlanta. As the QEP Director, Jessica Todd attended various workshops and seminars related to the QEP and retention in order to help benefit the college with our current QEP regarding Student Learning Communities (SLCs).

In Spring 2023, there were four SLCs. Of these four, two SLCs were conducted on the Statesboro campus, one was conducted on the Swainsboro campus, and one was conducted online. During the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 semesters, the QEP team met to discuss new approaches and strategies for implementing SLCs due to decreasing enrollment and scheduling issues. From these discussions, a new approach to SLCs was proposed. The QEP Director, Jessica Todd, presented the new thematic approach to SLCs to faculty on February 2, 2023. Faculty were able to express their opinions and vote whether they approved of this new approach. Jessica Todd also contacted faculty to gauge which faculty would be interested in working with students in the residence centers, clubs/organizations, and/or teaching thematic SLCS for the Spring 2024 semester. Note: Survey was sent out on Feb 10, 2023. Only 5 faculty completed the survey.

On April 7, 2023, Jessica Todd presented the new thematic approach to SLCs to the APCC where it was approved. On April 21, 2023, Jessica Todd presented the new thematic approach to SLCs to the Faculty Senate where it was approved. On April 28, 2023, the new thematic approach to SLCs went to the President and was approved. Note: No SLCs were planned or implemented during fall 2023 because of the change in approach. The fall 2023 semester was spent on informing and training faculty/staff about the new approach to SLCs and planning and creating new SLCs for spring 2023 and fall 2024.

On Aug 8, 2023, Jessica Todd met with the Learning Support Directors to plan which courses and themes might be best for students in Learning Support English and Learning Support Math. This team created two possible Learning Communities around the themes of Community and Literacy.

On Aug 9, 2023, Jessica Todd met with the Director Student Success, to discuss a few possible SLCs and the best times for scheduling these courses. Jessica Todd discussed the two SLCs targeted toward Learning Support Students (Community and Literacy) as well as two other SLCs which focus on the minority experience in the United States and entrepreneurship. Dr. Georgia Sanders felt that the themes and topics would interest and engage our students. We discussed the best times for the SLCs, and Director Student Success noted that students tend to be more successful in classes that start around 9:30 am and end by 3:15 pm. She noted that students tend to focus and engage more in classes that fall between these time frames.

On Aug 18, 2023, Jessica Todd led an information session to inform faculty of the policy and structural changes for SLCs. For instance, the co-requisite model will no longer be used, and the thematic approach will replace it. The reasons behind the change were illustrated to faculty; the QEP Team wants students to have flexibility with scheduling and the ability to withdraw from a class if they are at risk of failing.

The QEP Director held an information and training session on Sep 8, 2023, to demonstrate how faculty will form thematic groups. In addition, Jessica Todd discussed the process of creating the SLCs’ themes, learning objectives, and how to complete the SLC Thematic Group Proposal Form. Training materials and links were also provided on how to construct measurable learning objectives and how to use Bloom’s Taxonomy in the development of learning objectives.

Plan for the Year Ahead: 

During the Fall 2023 semester, Jessica Todd will continue to initiate connections between thematic SLCs and the college community. For instance, she will also be contacting Housing to arrange a possible residential learning community for the fall 2024 SLCs. Note: The QEP Director has a possible meeting on Nov 2, 2023, to discuss the fall 2024 Residential Program with Sherrie Helms and Mikella Hansley.

In addition to fostering connections to Housing, Jessica Todd will be contacting program directors for certain pathways to encourage student on student interaction. For instance, we hope to have students within the Teacher Education program lead various activities or workshops in the student residence centers to facilitate student engagement and a sense of community.

Jessica Todd will also contact advisors of various campus clubs to start building themes for possible SLCs and collecting their interests to foster connections between SLCs and student clubs and organizations.


Training sessions for faculty interested in teaching an SLC in fall 2024 will be conducted in January-February 2024.

Promotion of the SLCs for the Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 semester is also another goal for this year. Jessica Todd would like to have the fall 2024 and spring 2025 SLCs prepared in advance, so promotional materials for spring 2025 SLCs can be printed to distribute to club advisors and students during the Fall 2024 semester.

Challenges and Support: 

Student enrollment may impact the QEP. In addition, faculty participation in teaching SLCs and faculty involvement in the community aspect of the campus will also play a role (i.e., whether faculty advisors agree to participate in SLCs with their clubs, whether program directors agree to allow their students to participate in outside class college community activities, etc.). Promotion of the SLCs will also affect their success. Thus, the QEP Team hopes to have the support of faculty, administration, and the marking team to assist with the development and support of the project.

Primary Contact: 
Director of QEP, Jessica Todd