Posted September 10, 2012 Atlanta, GA
Center for Academic Success
When Gov. Nathan Deal announced the Complete College Georgia initiative in August 2011, he challenged each of the state’s public higher education institutions to develop plans for increasing the number of postsecondary graduates. One year later, the Institute is aligning with the governor’s vision, producing a document that starts with data analysis as a foundation for improving undergraduate student success at Georgia Tech.
In the state of Georgia, 42 percent of the population holds some form of a college degree; the governor is hoping to raise that number to 60 percent by 2020. To reach that goal, the state’s public and private colleges will need to produce an additional 250,000 graduates.
The overall goal of Georgia Tech’s Complete College Georgia plan is to reach and consistently maintain an 80 percent six-year graduation rate before gradually increasing this rate to 84 percent, the average of Tech’s national peers. The team that developed the plan was established by President Bud Peterson and Provost Rafael Bras and included faculty and administrators from Undergraduate Education, Learning Excellence, Student Affairs, the Office of Minority Education Development (OMED), Enrollment Services, Government and Community Relations, Professional Education, the Office of the President, and the Office of Institutional Research and Planning (IRP).
The committee used a demographic analysis of Tech’s undergraduate student population to examine common characteristics among enrolled students who want to graduate from Georgia Tech but are ultimately unsuccessful. The analysis helped the committee begin to identify factors that may be impeding success.
“At Georgia Tech, our retention and graduation rates are among the highest in the state ,” said Steven Girardot, assistant vice provost for undergraduate education and a member of the committee. “but having the detailed statistical analyses that IRP provides has allowed us to set goals and strategies for how we can make improvements.”