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University of North Georgia Campus Plan Update 2018

Institutional Mission and Student Body Profile


The University of North Georgia, a regional multi-campus institution and premier senior military college, provides a culture of academic excellence in a student-focused environment that includes quality education, service, inquiry and creativity. This is accomplished through broad access to comprehensive academic and co-curricular programs that develop students into leaders for a diverse and global society. The University of North Georgia is a University System of Georgia leadership institution and is The Military College of Georgia.

  • The University of North Georgia (UNG), a 5-campus institution of approximately 20,000 enrolled students, includes campus locations in Blue Ridge, Cumming, Dahlonega, Gainesville, and Oconee.
  • UNG focuses on academic excellence in liberal arts, pre-professional, professional and graduate programs, military education, service, and leadership. UNG is one of only six senior military colleges in the United States, and is designated by the Georgia General Assembly as The Military College of Georgia.
  • UNG seeks to assure the success of its students and contribute to the quality of life in the surrounding region. In 2017, U.S. News and World Report ranked UNG 22nd among public regional universities in the South. UNG was also ranked No. 1 in the South for the least amount of student debt among regional public universities on U.S. News' 2017 Student Debt Load at Graduation list, reinforcing the university's reputation for excellent academics and affordability. In 2017, UNG had an economic impact of more than $625 million and generated 6,204 jobs.
  • UNG emphasizes academic excellence, military education, leadership, engagement, and broad access by providing multiple pathways for degree completion and career preparation. The goals and strategies chosen for our Complete College Georgia plan reflect the breadth of our mission and utility of multiple pathways, which include certificates, associate degrees, bachelor degrees and graduate programs. The two-tiered tuition model for our associate degree and bachelor’s degree pathways provides a fundamental level of access to higher education for the population of Northeast Georgia. UNG also provides greater access to higher education through a strong dual enrollment program.
  • UNG is one of only six military colleges in the United States, and its Corps of Cadets includes more than 800 students.

Institutional High-Impact Strategies, Activities & Outcomes

15 to Finish Initiative/Campaign


Fall 2017

Fall 2018 to date *

% Change

Students taking 15



+ 9.66

Students taking > 15



+ 5.22

Total # of full-time students (12 or more credits)



+ 5.66

% of full –time taking 15 or more credits



+ 0.6%

* As of August 14, 2018.
UNG has witnessed a steady positive trend line from fall to fall in the number of students enrolled in 15 or more credit hours that mirrors UNG’s overall enrollment growth. The parallel trend line makes the percentage of students taking fifteen or more credit hours appear essentially flat; however, the raw number of students enrolled in 15 or more credits grew approximately 15 percent over fall 2017 enrollment, suggesting that consistent messaging is having the desired effect. Nevertheless, the institution is conscious of the need to reaffirm the commitment to 15 to Finish and going forward will re-emphasize the importance of the campaign with orientation leaders and academic advisors.
There is also recognition that many students work part-time while attending school full-time, and that students bring increasing numbers of credits into college via dual enrollment and AP credit. When appropriate, UNG has adjusted its messaging in this initiative to “What is your right 15?” For these students, the focus is on the importance of earning 30 credits for the first year in order to stay on track. We will analyze our entering freshmen cohort to verify that they are earning 30 credits by the beginning of the subsequent fall term.

Demonstration of Priority or Impact

Raw data suggests that messaging and efforts to address issues of course availability have resulted in UNG maintaining the percentage of students enrolling in 15 or more credit hours alongside enrollment growth. Additionally, USG data on graduation rates for First-Time, Full-Time Freshman has been slowly rising for both Associate and Baccalaureate students, suggesting that 15 to Finish is helping to reduce time to graduation for UNG students. The institution is also examining credit hours attempted compared to credit hours earned by freshman cohorts, to identify possible opportunities to more appropriately tailor messaging on 15 to Finish.

Dual Enrollment (previously known as the MOWR program)

UNG continues to grow in its dual enrollment program. This past year, 1068 high school students participated in the dual enrollment program at UNG across our five campuses and two external sites:  Jones Early College in Hall county and East Jackson High School, exceeding our target of 900 students.  Fourteen dual enrolled students graduated from UNG with an Associate degree in spring 2018. The dual enrollment population for fall 2018 exceeded 1200 students, a 30% increase over fall 2017.


Dual enrolled students

Credits earned

Fall 2016



Fall 2017



Fall 2018



UNG is partnering with Jackson County School System (JCSS) as they develop their College and Career Academy, moving dual enrollment courses from East Jackson High School to the JCSS location in order to serve additional students more effectively. At the request of the Hall County School system, UNG expanded its offerings at Jones Early College, which draws students from six high schools and provides access to dual enrollment programming for traditionally underserved students, to include enrollment of very high achieving 9th and 10th graders in a pilot program for the 2018-19 academic year.
In reviewing our efforts to increase the number of dual enrolled students who matriculate to UNG, we discovered an error in previous reporting and calculating of the number of matriculating students. These corrected data, shown below, is based on Dual Enrollment seniors participating in the previous summer, fall and spring that matriculated in the current Summer/Fall as freshmen.

Fall Term

Student Count

% of eligible
















Grand Total



Demonstration of Priority or Impact

To serve the North Georgia region, UNG expanded its partnerships with area school systems and augmented on-campus and online offerings to better serve dual enrolled eligible students. In developing partnerships and increasing course offerings, UNG expanded access for dual enrolled eligible students by 31% generating nearly 9,000 credit hours. Additionally, the number of dual enrolled students matriculating to UNG has increased by 63% since fall 2014.

Distance Education

Headcount and Registration data are provided for eCore and UNG online. Totals include all undergraduate online students.
Headcounts are unduplicated student counts for the term and success rates were A-B-C grades.

Fall 2017  



Success Rate





UNG Online








Spring 2018




Success Rate





UNG Online








Summer 2018




Success Rate





UNG Online








Demonstration of Priority or Impact

Enrollment in online courses continues to grow at UNG. Student success in online learning, measured in completion of a course with a grade of C or higher, reached just above 78% during the 2017-2018 academic year. The number of students graduating from UNG with at least one course taken fully online also continues to grow. In the 2017-2018 Academic Year 68.6% of graduates completed at least one online course. Similarly, Adult students earning a degree with at least one fully online course rose slightly, surpassing 66% in the 2017-2018 Academic year. Online courses can help students shorten time to degree and stay on track by providing the flexibility in scheduling, avoiding program bottlenecks, and increasing access to courses, especially in the core curriculum.

Prior Learning Assessment

Demonstration of Priority or Impact

UNG is examining the institutional data to determine how many graduates used prior learning assessments such as CLEP exams to earn credits towards a degree. The exact impact on shortening time to degree is unknown at present. CLEP exams and similar exam credits do reduce degree costs for students. The estimated tuition-savings to students in 2017 was approximately $600,000.

Momentum Year 90-Day Update

UNG has already implemented components of the Momentum Year plan approved by the Board of Regents and is positioned to reach full implementation by the start of the fall 2019 term. Building on UNG’s Quality Enhancement Plan, “On Time and On Target”, Momentum Year strategies will increase institutional capacity to provide additional resources for students’ use in planning their educations. Many of these resources leverage technology to better serve students; an example of technology available to students for planning purposes is DegreeWorks. Also available to assist students in planning their educations are fillable Plans of Study and Program Course Planning Guides developed under the QEP that map out academic programs at UNG. All academic programs should have these resources available for students by the start of the fall 2019 term. UNG is also using technology to monitor program and course bottlenecks that can impede students’ timely progression. The use of Banner waitlists and Civitas Illume predictive analytics programs aid in identifying issues tied to course availability that may delay a student’s academic progress. Greater use of technology allows coordination of academic success efforts that include ‘nudge’ campaigns focused on mattering and belonging as well as directing students to resources or support services to assist them in reaching educational goals. To coordinate institutional nudge efforts, a Persistence Steering Committee consisting of 11 members from academic and student affairs, was formed in the spring of 2018 to identify targeted student groups using our Civitas Illume platform starting in fall 2018.
UNG conducted workshops for staff and faculty involved in New Student Orientation, First Year Experience, and Academic Advising to integrate Growth Mindset goals into programs for students in their first year of college. Professional development programs were designed to both inform faculty and staff of Momentum Year objectives and to help them identify ways to promote a growth mindset and a sense of mattering and belonging in communications with students and in academic programming.
UNG’s Momentum Year efforts includes participation in the Gateways to Completion program to increase student success rates in key first year courses. UNG identified, through an institutional review, four courses for redesign: English 1101 Composition I, Math 1111 College Algebra, History 2111 U.S. History I, and Psychology 1101 Introduction to Psychology. UNG has committed additional resources to support faculty professional development, the inclusion of best practices, and participation in a year-long Teaching and Learning Academy facilitated by the John N. Gardner Institute.
UNG has also identified specific staff and administrators who are responsible for coordinating the university’s multipronged approaches to student success identified through its Momentum Year effort.

Demonstration of Priority or Impact

As this is a new strategy supporting student success, direct measures are not available for 2018. UNG has tasked key personnel including Dr. Chris Barnes, Associate Dean for Academic Administration, Oconee Campus, Ms. Terri Carroll, Executive Director of Academic Advising, Ms. Michelle Eaton, Associate Director for Enrollment Management, and Dr. Eugene Van Sickle, AVP for Strategic Student Success Initiatives with coordinating Momentum Year programs and strategies with the goal of full implementation in fall 2019.

Intentional Advising:

As part of the SACSCOC 2016 decennial review and compliance report Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), UNG identified an institutional project that improved student learning. After an extensive review process, the institution selected a QEP topic that improves student learning through advising. UNG's QEP, On Time and On Target, uses a blended model of intentional advising and faculty mentoring to develop students' knowledge of and ability to achieve their educational goals and to support student responsibility in accomplishing those educational goals. The QEP goals and student learning outcomes are as follows:
The UNG QEP Will Support Students in Achieving the Following Goals:

  • Defining academic goals and taking personal responsibility for developing educational plans.
  • Utilizing appropriate campus resources to support educational goals.
  • Engaging in appropriate learning experiences to achieve educational goals.

To achieve these outcomes, the UNG QEP developed advising curriculum for mandatory advising sessions, created multiple exposure points for learning outcome constructs, increased the number of Professional Advisors, created Master Faculty Positions to advise/mentor junior and senior level students, and developed interactive advising tools that empower students to map their educational goals.

QEP Impact

Development of Advising Structure to Support a Blended Advising Model

UNG began the QEP with seven Professional Advisors and five Master Faculty Advisors. By the end of spring 2018 and the completion of the second year of the QEP, UNG had 28 Professional Advisors and 21 Master Faculty Advisors that supported nearly 40 associate degree pathways and baccalaureate programs on four campuses.
Under the University’s QEP, students in QEP majors receive mandatory advising up to 45 credit hours by professional advisors who specialize in their majors. After 45 credit hours, a faculty member from the student’s major program becomes the primary advisor. The faculty member also serves as a mentor who consults with the student on learning opportunities such as internships and undergraduate research to enhance the educational experience. Together, professional advising and faculty mentoring supports students in making the most of their college careers.

Shift in Advising Culture

Under the blended advising model, advisees work with Professional Advisors for the first two years to understand their interests and strengths as related to their chosen majors, the core curriculum, registration and program policies and procedures, academic support services, and the process to establish academic goals. Students then transition to Faculty Advisors where they receive a greater focus on mentoring, discipline-specific learning and career opportunities.
Although the ultimate purpose of “On Time and On Target” was to improve student learning, the many elements needed to accomplish this have positively changed the landscape of advising at UNG. Students now experience advising sessions that utilize an “advising as teaching” strategy with a consistent curriculum designed to support student self-efficacy and self-regulated learning and provide accurate and timely advising and program planning tools. The emphasis has shifted to allow the advisor to teach the student the best approach to academic success as well as direct the student to the online and institutional tools. With this support and these tools, the student is able to take the primary responsibility for his or her own academic success.
Traditionally, students have sought advising at the time of registration. This limited the time available for developmental advising and the exploration of resources. The QEP has emphasized the importance of seeking advising prior to registration and, consequently, students in QEP majors have begun to schedule advising sessions well in advance of the registration period. This has enabled advisors to focus on the advising “curriculum” and the support students need to be successful.
UNG Academic Advising Visits: QEP v. Non-QEP Students, 2017

Changes in Student Understanding, Ability, Confidence, and Behavior

Beginning in the students’ matriculating semester and continuing through the course of their UNG academic experience, data were collected to measure the change in student self-efficacy and self-regulated learning constructs. Understanding the core curriculum, program of study, and planning guides and how they work together to map and achieve a student’s educational goals is critical to successful program planning and completion. Observational data from Professional Advisors demonstrated that as QEP students move from their first semester to subsequent semesters, their understanding of the core curriculum, program of study sheet, and course planning guide increases substantially.  Professional Advisor data shows a 44% increase in student understanding of how to use these tools for planning their educations by the third semester.

  • Students must understand themselves and their chosen major well enough to articulate how their strengths, weaknesses and interests support success in a selected major or career. Professional Advisors observed the QEP students’ understanding of their own interests and abilities concerning chosen majors. Here student understanding increased with each advising session. By the third semester 90% of students demonstrated moderate or substantial understanding of the relationship between interests and strengths with chosen major or program. 
  • The QEP also looks to increase student ability to create an educational plan for subsequent semesters, an important skill in academic planning and degree completion. Data from Professional Advisors reported growth in QEP students’ ability to create these educational plans over multiple semesters. QEP students’ ability to create an educational plan for the next two semesters based on the Plan of Study increased by over 55% from their first semester to their third semester. In addition to creating educational plans, successful students demonstrated the ability to reflect on their academic progress and experiences to determine the appropriateness of their current academic path. Professional Advisors (PA) observed the level of this ability in students during the first three semesters at advising visits and reported an increase in the QEP students’ ability to reflect on their individual academic paths. The percentage of students with “No” or “Minimal” ability in this area declined from 49% in the first semester to 8% in the third semester. 

Academic support programs are designed to provide additional academic support and encourage successful study and learning behaviors. Supplemental Instruction and Labs have been demonstrated to substantially support students’ academic success within the classroom. QEP students reported increased use of Supplemental Instruction and Academic Labs from their first semester to their third semester. 
At any academic institution, understanding registration policies and procedures, including schedules and implications of drop/add, can impact a student’s ability to successfully navigate his or her academic program. The QEP included multiple points of exposure to ensure student awareness of policies and procedures. QEP students reported increased confidence in explaining registration policies and procedures including drop/add and withdrawal from first to third semester.

Improved Retention and Progression

Although the QEP design was focused on providing students with better tools and guidance to support self-efficacy and self-regulated learning towards their academic goals, QEP majors matriculating summer and fall 2016 had higher rates of retention and progression for students in QEP majors when compared to students in non-QEP majors. The table below outlines the one-semester persistence and one-year retention rates for students in QEP majors and students in non-QEP majors. Overall, students in QEP majors had a 7% higher one-semester persistence rate and an 11% higher one-year retention rate. These rates will continue to be tracked for the duration of the QEP.

QEP Students

Degree Level/Time Status


1-Semester Persistence

1-Semester Persistence %

1-Year Retention

1-Year Retention %





































Grand Total






Non-QEP Students

Degree Level/Time Status


1-Semester Persistence

1-Semester Persistence %

1-Year Retention

1-Year Retention %

Associate or less




































Grand Total







UNG continues its tradition of academic excellence, expanding its access mission, and supporting student success. The institution, by virtue of its QEP and other strategic programs like Momentum Year, continues to create infrastructure to support student success. Additionally UNG is actively planning the integration of all its student success strategies, building bridges between units of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs to increase collaboration, and marshalling resources to holistically support the communities the institution serves. UNG still faces challenges in bringing student success programs to full implementation because of its continued growth on all campuses. UNG must balance its growth alongside efforts to expand institutional capacity to strengthen the learning community it provides for all students.

Plans for Next Year:

UNG will integrate and coordinate its CCG programs with larger institutional programs and strategies that support student success, progression, retention, and ultimately graduation. Specifically, UNG seeks to capitalize on its QEP by integrating Momentum Year strategies into the on-boarding process for incoming students and infusing growth mindset principles into FYE programs. By the fall of 2019 UNG should have advising tools available for all undergraduate programs that students can use to plan their educational experience, clear pathways for academic programs, and intentional advising to support program choice for students exploring academic focus areas in their first year. Additionally, UNG has started work on redesigning gateway courses that many students take. This work will continue with piloting of the reworked courses in fall 2019.
As part of its overall strategy in providing clear pathways for students, UNG has started a review of institutional processes/policies and will make recommendations to senior administration in an effort to reduce or remove barriers that inadvertently impact student progression. UNG will pursue strategies to increase overall institutional persistence, assess strategies piloted during fall 2018 in order to make revisions, and scale up persistence efforts in preparation for fall 2019. Finally, UNG is seeking USG enhancement funding that directly supports institutional efforts to bring these programs and strategies to full implementation by fall 2019.