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Georgia Southern University Campus Plan Update 2020

Institutional Mission and Student Body Profile


Georgia Southern University is a public comprehensive and Carnegie Doctoral/R2 university offering associate, bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in nationally accredited programs in the liberal arts, sciences, and professional disciplines.

The learner-centered culture at Georgia Southern University prepares the members of our university community to think, lead, teach, and serve. Faculty, staff, and students embrace the values of collaboration, academic excellence, discovery and innovation, integrity, openness and inclusion, and sustainability. Georgia Southern University promotes talent and economic development to enhance quality of life through scholarly pursuits, cultural enrichment, student life, and community engagement across three distinctive campuses. Our success is measured by the global impact of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. 

Fall 2019 Undergraduate Student Profile

As evidenced by fall 2019 student demographic data, Georgia Southern University enrolls a primarily full-time, residential, undergraduate population. Of 26,054 students enrolled in fall 2019, 22,715 (87.2%) were undergraduates and 84% were full-time. With a freshman on-campus residence requirement, the University housed 90% of beginning freshmen on campus. Consistent with its mission as a University System of Georgia institution, 90% of undergraduates were state of Georgia residents. The University enrolled 58% (n=13,175) undergraduate female students and 42% (n=9,540) undergraduate male students. Minorities accounted for 39.4% of the total University enrollment. Only 6% (n=1,305) of undergraduates were transfer students with most of these coming from other USG institutions.

The University first-year retention rate for first-time, full-time, degree-seeking freshmen who entered in fall 2019 (and returned in fall 2020) was 79%, increasing one percentage point over the previous three years. The six-year graduation rate for first-time, full-time, degree-seeking freshmen who entered in fall 2014 and completed a bachelor’s degree is 53.6%, completing at a higher rate than the previous cohort (50.7%). It is also worth noting that the four- and five-year graduation rates also improved over previous cohorts. The four-year graduation rate for the 2016 cohort is 31% (compared to 25.5%) and the five-year graduation rate is 49.1% (compared to 46.2%).

Georgia Southern recognizes that there are differences in both retention and graduation rates, depending upon campus and student type. Our institutional priority is to address the variance in retention and graduation rates by continuing to build and scale student success initiatives and resources across the institution. The implementation of professional academic advising and academic success coaching on all three campuses has been a promising first step towards providing individualized student support services and mechanisms to undergraduate students.

Table 1: Undergraduate Student Populations and One-Year Retention Rates

Undergraduate Student Demographics

Fall 2019 Percent of Student Body

Retention Rates Fall 2020 (for Fall 2019 cohort)

















First Generation



Adult Learners



Pell Eligible



Military & Military-Affiliated




Overall GS Retention Rate FTFTF



Source: Georgia Southern University Office of Institutional Research
Note: Figures are based on the preliminary Fall 2020 census data

Evidence of Undergraduate Student Academic Preparedness

Regular Admission
Regular freshman admission at Georgia Southern University requires students to have a total SAT (evidence-based reading & writing + math) score of at least 1030 or have an ACT composite score of at least 20 and meet the Board of Regents minimum requirements for each portion of the SAT/ACT. Students must also have a satisfactory grade point average on the required high school curriculum (2.5 or higher). To be considered for transfer admission, students must be eligible to return to their current school, have a cumulative college GPA of 2.0 or higher on all work attempted, and have a minimum of 30 transferable semester hours or 45 transferable quarter hours.
The academic profile of beginning freshman for fall 2019 was a 3.43 high school GPA, a score of 1129 on the SAT, and a score of 23 on the ACT. Table 2 displays the average high school GPA for beginning freshmen for the past seven years. The data indicates that Georgia Southern University generally admits above average students but would not be categorized as a “highly selective” institution.

Table 2: Average High School GPA for FTFT Freshmen for Past SEVEN Fall Terms

















Source: Georgia Southern University Office of Institutional Research

Improvement Practices


Improve academic alert communications and expand the academic alert program to all students in areas A-E CORE courses, along with other key courses as designated by academic programs.
Related Goals

  • Increase the first-time, full-time freshmen retention rate to 85% by fall 2025 (79% for Fall 2019 cohort).
  • Increase sophomore to junior persistence and progression rate to 70% by fall 2025 (currently 65%). 

Demonstration of Priority and/or Impact
Student attrition is greatest between the first and second years. However, an additional fourteen (14) percent of Georgia Southern students leave the institution after their sophomore year. Georgia Southern continues to work to identify potential barriers and alleviate those barriers, where possible, to help students persist at the institution and progress to graduation.

Many sophomore students experience both academic and financial challenges that did not present in their first year – or were alleviated by the high degree of programming and support in place for first-year students. Our goal in expanding the Academic Alert program was to provide additional support, as well as an early warning system to our sophomore students, as well as first-year students.

Summary of Activities
In 2017-2018, the CCG team implemented a revised Academic Alert policy. Beginning in fall 2017, academic alerts were expanded from the freshman population to all students enrolled in core courses in areas A-E, as well as in other key courses as designated by departments. Academic alerts were also renamed from early alert/midterm grades to emphasize that they are not midterm grades, but rather indications that students are not performing satisfactory work in one of several categories (i.e., grades, attendance, participation, missed assignments, or some combination of these categories). In Spring 2019, we added “lack of engagement in online environment” as an academic alert category.
Faculty are encouraged to submit academic alerts as early as possible to allow more time for students to make improvements and, in most cases, to allow academic advisors, academic success coaches, and faculty opportunities to intervene. Faculty may submit academic alerts as early as the first day of the term. However, the academic alert campaigns to faculty begin the third week of the term. Faculty are then asked to submit their alerts within a specified time frame (generally a month). We send separate academic alert campaigns for full-term, Term A, and Term B classes (based on the start date of the term).
Measures of Progress
AY 2019-2020

  • Georgia Southern University: Fall 2019 cohort first-year retention = 79%
  • Georgia Southern University: Fall 2018 cohort second-year retention = 65%

Baseline measure(s):

  • Georgia Southern University: Fall 2017 and Fall 2018 first-year retention = 78%
  • Georgia Southern University: Fall 2017 and Fall 2018 second-year retention = 65%

Historical Data

  • Georgia Southern University: Fall 2012-Fall 2016 first-year retention = 79%
  • Georgia Southern University: Fall 2012-Fall 2016 second-year retention = 66%
  • Armstrong State University: Fall 2012-Fall 2016 first-year retention = 69.2%
  • Armstrong State University: Fall 2012-Fall 2016 second-year retention = 53.4%

Lessons Learned
Georgia Southern University transitioned to EAB SSC Navigate for alert submission in fall 2018. We use a campaign model to capture grades, which also allows us to nudge instructors to submit academic alerts multiple times. Each alert issued for a student creates a case that allows for structured follow-up from an academic advisor, academic success coach, or other student success and support professional. Alert notifications to students also direct them on how to reach out to their instructor for advice, support, and course-specific guidance.

For AY 2019-2020, the data seems to indicate that Georgia Southern has begun to move the needle in a positive direction on first-year retention again. Second-year retention continues to hold at 65% which may indicate additional programmatic, particular major-specific course-focused, support is needed for sophomore students.
In addition, has also become clear that the broader use of alerts in CORE courses has limited opportunities for strategic outreach and intervention. Using historical institutional data, as well as USG data and guidance, we have identified key CORE and major- and program-specific courses that are most predictive in terms of students’ likelihood to graduate.
In AY 2020-2021, we will both revise the Academic Alert policy to reflect a more strategic focus and we will implement success markers in EAB, based on the key courses, for all programs of study. 


Increase the number of undergraduate students enrolling in 15 or more credit hours per semester.
Related Goal
Increase average undergraduate credit hour load from 12.38 (Fall 2018) to 14.00 by Fall 2022.
Demonstration of Priority and/or Impact
A minimum full-time load is not sufficient to allow students to graduate on time. Encouraging students to register for a 15-credit hour load per semester has considerable potential to reduce time to degree. Furthermore, both USG and Georgia Southern data demonstrates that students who attempt at least fifteen hours per term in their first year graduate at substantially higher rates than their peers.

Summary of Activities
Prior to summer 2019, we showed a two-minute “Soar in 4!” video to students and parents at orientation. The video had three objectives: (1) promote graduation in four years; (2) inform students that completing more than 15 hours per semester often corresponds with higher term and overall GPAs; and (3) demonstrate the costs of additional semesters.
In summer 2019, we moved to an interactive conversation with students and parents in a joint information session, led by academic advising teams and student success leaders at orientation. The presentation and discussion had three objectives: (1) promote graduation in four years; (2) inform students that completing more than 15 hours per semester often corresponds with higher term and overall GPAs; and (3) demonstrate the costs of additional semesters.

Academic advising teams also provided both students and parents program maps, with all degree requirements presented in eight semesters (four years). In addition, we registered the majority of our first-year students for fifteen-hour schedules, arranged in day/time blocks that students had identified as best fit. Students had to opt out of a fifteen-hour schedule, rather than opting in. Students with credits earned through dual enrollment presented a challenge and a number were registered for fewer than fifteen credit hours because of upper-division course availability by summer registration.

We have also continued previous “Soar in 4!” marketing efforts, including social media placement, digital signage, yard signs, door decals, and posters, and significant information on “SOAR in 4!” on the Provost’s website and academic advisement websites.

Measures of Progress
Fall 2019:

  • Fall 2019 average undergraduate credit hour load: 13.3

Baseline measure:

  • Fall 2018 average undergraduate credit hour load: 12.38

Lessons Learned
Initial data from fall 2019 indicates a small increase in undergraduate credit hour load. Furthermore, more students began fall 2019 with a fifteen-hour schedule. Moving from a generally passive approach to information sharing to a proactive strategy of interaction with parents and students, coupled with guaranteeing students the right schedule as they enter their first semester in college, seems to be moving Georgia Southern and its students in the right direction.

We adjusted and refined our registration strategy and timing for our first-year students for Fall 2020, based on student feedback gathered through academic advising. We are also exploring opportunities to pre-register sophomore, junior, and senior students for key progression courses – allowing them to complete a schedule, rather than create it from whole cloth. Finally, we have created a report in Business Objects (Undergraduate Students Enrolled in Less than 15 Hours) that allows academic advisors to quickly identify students who have dropped below fifteen credit hours for the upcoming semester. Advisors are able to reach out to students proactively to assist them with adding courses to their schedules.
We identified additional possible impediments to student registration in AY 2019-2020. We undertook a project to update the course search for students so they are better able to see information about courses, including instructional modality, course availability, and low-cost/no-cost textbooks identification. Our approach to course scheduling is also a barrier to students registering for fifteen or more credit hours. We are working on identifying scheduling solutions, as well as better training for course schedulers, program directors, and department chairs. Finally, we have identified the need to make registration an easier process for students and will work towards finding a solution in AY 2020-2021. 


Decrease the number of students suspended from Georgia Southern University, effectively limiting their chances of earning a degree.
Related Goals

  • Increase student persistence and progression rates, particularly in the sophomore and junior years.
  • Decrease unnecessary credit hour accumulation by students moving into good standing and towards graduation.

Demonstration of Priority and/or Impact
Each year, approximately 25% of students dip below an institutional GPA of 2.0. Students in poor academic standing often leave the institution—not because of suspension—but because their academic progress (or lack thereof) negatively impacts their financial aid (SAP), their self-esteem, their ability to balance work and to support themselves academically by seeking academic support, etc. Each of these students met the admissions requirements of the institution and should, by all rights, be successful in meeting their goal of earning a degree.

Summary of Activities
Partnering with the Provost’s Office (Associate Provost for Student Success and Advising), two Faculty Senate committees revised the institutional Academic Standing Policy and wrote a Limited Grade Forgiveness Policy. The new policies were approved by the Faculty Senate in November 2017 and took effect fall 2018.

The new Academic Standing Policy is intended to hold students accountable without imposing excessively punitive requirements for continued enrollment at the institution. Students struggle academically for many reasons and some stumble spectacularly during their academic careers. An academic standing policy should both hold students accountable and provide them with a safety net of support, resources, and opportunities. It should also reward, not continue to punish, movement in the right direction (i.e., term GPAs above 2.25). Revising the Academic Standing Policy provided an opportunity for the institution to articulate the standards we expect of students, outline the consequences of failing to meet those standards, and clearly explain both the pathways to success and the tools, resources, and support a student can reasonably expect to receive as they strive for academic excellence.
Georgia Southern also established a limited Grade Forgiveness Policy. Not having a grade forgiveness policy meant that missteps in the transition from high school to college were often punitive rather than instructional and transformative. In addition, many students who end up in poor academic standing require additional semesters to bring their GPAs up to 2.0. These students end up with anywhere from 10% to 40% more credit hours than required for graduation alone. The Limited Grade Forgiveness Policy (a) requires an application from the student; (b) limits both the number of re-take attempts and the number of grade replacements; (c) limits the grade forgiveness to courses in which a D or an F was earned; and (d) limits the type of course for which a student can apply for grade forgiveness to CORE (Area A-E) courses.

Finally, to provide support for students in poor academic standing, the Academic Intervention Policy was revised to include all students in academic difficulty, not just first-year students. Students needing academic intervention will be paired with Academic Success Coaches and will create individualized Academic Improvement Plans.

Measures of Progress
AY 2019-2020

  • AY 2019-2020 undergraduate students moved into good standing = 1172 (26.78%)
  • AY 2019-2020 undergraduate students earned 2.25+ GPA and held status = 2173 (49.66%)
  • FA2019 (enrolled) undergraduate students on academic intervention (GPA below 2.0) = 1660
  • SP2020 (enrolled) undergraduate students on academic intervention (GPA below 2.0) = 2026
  • SU2020 (enrolled) undergraduate students on academic intervention (GPA below 2.0) = 690

Baseline measures:

  • FA2018 (enrolled) undergraduate students on academic intervention (GPA below 2.0) = 994
  • SP2019 (enrolled) undergraduate students on academic intervention (GPA below 2.0) = 2251
  • SU2019 (enrolled) undergraduate students on academic intervention (GPA below 2.0) = 942
  • AY 2018-2019 undergraduate students moved into good standing = 925 (22.09%)
  • AY 2018-2019 undergraduate students earned 2.25+ GPA and held status = 1787 (42.68%)

The new and revised policies went into effect with the start of the 2018-2019 academic year. The first term in which students could be suspended, under the new policies, was fall 2019.

The new academic intervention policy created large caseloads for academic success coaches. In Spring 2019, the average case load was 150 intervention students. However, almost immediately our intervention students began to take the Academic Improvement Plans they created seriously. In AY 2019-2020, 386 more students earned GPAs of 2.25 or higher and held status. This represents an almost seven (7) percent increase in students earning stronger GPAs over the previous year. Furthermore, 247 more students moved from intervention into good standing (GPA 2.0 or higher). This represents a 4.69% increase over the previous year.

Lessons Learned
We continue to work to educate faculty on the challenges that students face, outside the classroom, that impact their academic output and progress. We also want faculty to see the many ways students work to improve their academic performance. As part of that process, we have created a role in EAB SSC Navigate for the Academic Standards Committee. As the Committee reviews student appeals, they are guided through the advisement and success coaching notes and a review of the students’ Academic Improvement Plans.
In the coming year, we will also focus our attention on substantially decreasing the number of students who are suspended for academic reasons. 


Increase number of students registered for the next term by end of current semester.
Related Goal
Increase student retention, persistence, and progression metrics by creating a culture of enrollment.
Demonstration of Priority and/or Impact
Each semester, a number of students fail to register for the subsequent semester. While many of these students have valid reasons for not registering (such as graduating or transferring), others do not register due to difficulties experienced with registration or academic success issues.

The reasons why undergraduate students routinely do not register are shown in Table 3. These data were collected from the survey portion of the injection pages (with a 30% response rate). Please note that these are the students that respond to the survey; we are still working on understanding why the non-responsive students do not register in a timely manner.

Table 3: Reasons for Not Registering for Spring 2019 and Spring 2020


Spring 2019 Number of Students Listing as Reason

Spring 2020 Number of Students Listing as Reason

























Courses Unavailable









Summary of Activities
Each semester, several thousand undergraduate students fail to register during their scheduled registration period. To encourage them to register, the Associate Provost, working with ITS, administers an electronic survey (commonly referred to as the injection pages) to unregistered students at least three times each semester.

The first injection page is sent the day after registration begins for that particular group of students. The page is sent via My.GeorgiaSouthern to any student who has not registered for the subsequent semester. The injection page asks whether the student plans on registering for the following semester. If the student replies “no,” then the injection page asks for the reasons why: academic reasons; courses unavailable; family issues; financial issues; graduating; internships; military duties; personal reasons; transferring to another college; or other. Some of these reasons (like internships, graduating, transferring, military duties) are valid and do not require any further action. Others (academic reasons, courses unavailable, financial issues) are more within the control of the University and are the areas where our efforts are most likely to result in conversions from unregistered to registered status. Academic Advisors, associate deans, and other academic faculty and staff reach out to students, no matter what their reason, to gather more information and to offer registration assistance. If the student replies “yes,” then the injection page inquires as to why they have not registered.

The second injection page is sent towards the end of classes for that semester. This page is sent to all students who originally indicated that they plan to register but have still not done so. The injection page asks whether they plan to register and the reasons why they will not register or have not registered thus far. The third injection page is sent just before classes begin the following term, reminding students to register and asking if they need assistance from their advisor or another support unit on campus.

To convert ‘not registered’ students in areas within our control, the following activities are employed:
Current data on each college’s ‘not registered’ student population is shared by the Associate Provost with the applicable college dean’s office and academic advisement coordinators. Academic advisors use the information to reach out to ‘not registered’ students (through emails, phone calls, text messaging, and campaigns through EAB SSC Campus) to assist students in getting registered before the end of the semester.

In addition, Georgia. Southern has created a Student Dashboard to function as another tool for communicating critical deadlines and other alerts that could affect a student’s registration and academic progression. The alerts focus on tuition and fees, financial aid, and registration and advising. Alerts are time-bound and triggered throughout the semester so students will receive personalized, timely communications as needed.

Measures of Progress
For Spring 2019, Georgia Southern changed how we calculate eligible to register students for the subsequent term. This may not be a measurable action moving forward. While we will continue to engage students in registration and in creating a culture of enrollment, the reporting for this strategy may change – or be eliminated - in AY2020-2021.

Baseline measure:
Baseline measure is the number of ‘eligible to register’ undergraduate students in the fall semester. While this number will vary each fall term, the objective is to successfully convert 94% of eligible to register students to registered by the end of drop/add the following spring semester. The baseline measure (fall 2018 to spring 2019 eligible to register students) was 15,719.

Lessons Learned
The injection page format provided us with data we were previously unable to collect. Academic advising now engages in more personalized registration campaigns through EAB SSC Navigate. Students report that they respond much better to the personalized communications from their advisors facilitated by the EAB platform. Although we have not seen a marked increase in the number of students registering for classes during early registration. 

Observations and Next Steps

Georgia Southern is engaged in many student success initiatives and high-impact practices. The following are additional Student Success initiatives that are on-going.
First-Year Experience course (FYE 1220) redesign:
Georgia Southern engages in First-Year course redesign processes every five years or so. After participating in the USG FYE Academy, our recent redesign is closely aligned with our Momentum Year and Transition Improvement Plans. We strategically and deliberately included elements of Inform, Discern, and Affirm, academic mindset, grit and perseverance, and transitions into and through college.

The First-Year Seminar is a two-credit hour introduction to college-level inquiry and campus engagement. In this course, students:

  • Develop and apply information literacy skills in academic and non-academic contexts;
  • Engage with their degree program, campus resources, and community; and
  • Engage with questions of diversity and inclusion.

Sophomore-Year Experience course (CORE 2000) implementation:
Georgia Southern created a new Sophomore-Year Experience (SYE), CORE 2000, in the consolidation process. The course, which is styled as a CORE capstone that bridges general education to the discipline for students, had a pilot implementation in spring 2019. The goal of the course is to directly addresses second-year attrition by engaging students earlier – and more fully – with their desired major and professional goals.

In addition, our Office of First- and Second-Year Programs has created and published sets of competencies and goals for both first-year and sophomore students. Our goal is to better engage students during these transition years and to retain them as they begin to interact more fully with their chosen degree programs.
The First- and Second-Year Programs Steering Committee will review the requirements and outcomes for CORE 2000 in AY 2020-2021 and make decisions about revisions and/or redesign of the course.

Scaled Student Success Offices and Services

  • EAB SSC Navigate used by Academic Advising, Academic Success Center, Student Athlete Services, ROTC, Military & Veteran Student Services, and TRiO. Onboarding underway for Dean of Students and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
  • Academic Success Center available on both the Armstrong and Statesboro Campuses
    • ASC services provided on the Liberty Campus twice a week and by appointment
  • Major and Career Exploration Center available on both the Armstrong and Statesboro Campuses
    • MACE services provided on the Liberty campus one a week and by appointment
  • Peer tutoring and peer mentoring available on all three campuses
    • Tutoring partnership development

Course Scheduling, Curriculum, and Programming

  • Strategic Scheduling Committee
  • Comprehensive Curricular Review and Redesign

Improving Student Transitions

  • Integrated Career Services in Orientation programming and major choice affirmation
  • Redesigned academic elements of Orientation
    • Redesigned pre-orientation online modules
    • Includes aptitude assessment
    • Changes emphasis of college academic information sessions
  • Include peer mentors in orientation sessions
  • Continued reevaluation and update of Orientation; partnership between Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, and Academic Affairs

Momentum Update: Observations and Next Steps

Section 3.1 Existing Momentum Work

 Purposeful Choice 

Strategy or activity 

Students choosing an academic focus area or major prior to Orientation; affirming (or changing) that choice based on major/career aptitude assessment (MyMajors).

Summary of Activities 

Prior to summer 2019, students could start their first-year at Georgia Southern as “undeclared”. In 2019, we created academic focus areas and implemented a major/career aptitude assessment as part of our pre-orientation programming from Academic Advising.
In Fall 2018, 705 (18% of first-year class) students started their first year in an undeclared major.
In fall 2019, 337 students (9% of first-year class) started their first year as “exploratory” without a focus area.
In fall 2020, 132 students (2% of first-year class) started their first year as “exploratory” without a focus area.

Outcomes/Measures of progress 

In Summer 2019, 96% of incoming first-year students completed their MyMajors assessment prior to Orientation. 3,465 students completed the full assessment. And 2,330 students reported that they had decided on a major or focus area by the start of the academic year.
In Summer 2020, 98% of incoming first-year students completed their MyMajors assessment prior to Orientation. 6,059 students completed the full assessment. And 4,006 students reported that they had decided on a major or focus area by the start of the academic year.

Lessons Learned and Plans for the Future 

GS faculty who attended the Momentum Summits would like to see GS change the focus areas to be broader and more meaningful to students. We will continue to explore this as an option; although before we move forward in that direction, we will have to engage students and prospective students about the efficacy of different focus areas.

Changes because of COVID-19 

No changes required because of COVID-19.

 Transparent Pathways 

Strategy or activity 

Verify/update program maps; use in course scheduling; better course scheduling practices and procedures.

Summary of Activities 

In the Comprehensive Curricular Review & Redesign, programs have been asked to stress-test their program maps. Can a student actually complete the program, as mapped, in four years? Worked to identify a scheduling solution that will integrate program maps into course scheduling predictions and optimization.

Outcomes/Measures of progress 

CCRR is a 3-year process and progress was halted in spring 2020 as we pivoted in response to COVID-19. Academic advising working with departments to update program maps based on initial review and proposed curriculum changes.
Progress measures focus on (a) reducing excess credit accumulation and (b) increasing number of students graduating in four-year time period. Related measure (in process of implementation) focused on tracking whether students complete Success Markers (based on comparison of program maps with institutional completion data) in the time frame articulated by the program in program maps.

Lessons Learned and Plans for the Future 

Moving forward on a course scheduling/prediction solution. Success Markers will be in place and able to be tracked/reported for Spring 2021.

Changes because of COVID-19 

We continue to move forward on all activities related to this strategy. Our progress was set back approximately six months but no changes to implementation. The schedule and instructional changes made necessary by COVID-19 actually gave these activities more urgency.

Academic Mindset

Strategy or activity 

USG Academic Mindset Survey

Summary of Activities 

Georgia Southern initially distributed the USG Academic Mindset Survey, via email request to new students each Fall. In 2017 and 2018, both the initial survey and the follow-up survey had poor response rates, although the numbers improved in 2018.
In Fall 2019, the USG Academic Mindset Survey was administered as an assignment in our required First-Year Seminar course. Students completed the first survey during the first week of classes, with the follow-up survey administered in mid-November. Our response rate was much higher in 2019 (1971 students took the early survey and 975 took the late survey).
We will administer the 2020 USG Academic Mindset Survey as an assignment in FYE 1220 again this year. 

Outcomes/Measures of progress 

Strong participation by first-year students in both the first and second distribution of the survey.

Lessons Learned and Plans for the Future 

Our primary challenge was getting students to participate. By embedding it in our First-Year seminar course and instructors encouraging participation, we are starting to make progress on student participation in the survey.

Changes because of COVID-19 

No changes made due to COVID-19.

Strategy or activity 

Growth Mindset module in FYE 1220 First-Year Seminar

Summary of Activities 

The FYSY Steering Committee, made up of faculty, staff, and students, worked together to develop a Growth Mindset curriculum module for first-year students. The student learning outcomes are that students will be able to:
Compare and contrast growth and fixed mindsets
Explain why a growth mindset can promote success in achieving their goals
Apply a growth mindset to their academic work

Outcomes/Measures of progress 

Fall 2020 is the first semester that the new module will be offered. 

Lessons Learned and Plans for the Future 

No lessons learned yet; in first semester implemented.

Changes because of COVID-19 

Since students are not engaged as fully on campus – and zoom meetings really aren’t doing it for students - we have concerns about whether students can engage with academic mindset when they’re struggling to engage at all. We have encouraged FYE 1220 instructors to work even more closely with students on helping them find campus support and resources, whether their students seem to be struggling or not. 

General Overview and Observations 

Our efforts to provide students with opportunities to make a purposeful choice have been effective. We continue to move forward with developing (or retooling) programs of study that are meaningful to students and that will help them achieve both their personal and professional goals. Comprehensive Curricular Review and Redesign has been challenging because program faculty conceptualize student goals and student success differently than students do. But we continue to work through those discussions and differences.
Georgia Southern has adjusted its completion activities to try include a wider spectrum of students. While there are many challenges associated with COVID-19, it also gave us impetus to provide a greater range of services to a more diverse group of students. Virtual advising, peer mentoring, tutoring, success workshops, orientation sessions – to name a few – are now available to our online student population more fully. Students can access many support services on demand, rather than on our schedule, which provides them with greater flexibility to engage with those offices and activities.

Section 3.2 Follow up from Momentum Summit III - “Campus-Wide” Momentum Approach Activities (Beyond the Classroom)


Priority Work

Building upon the use of MyMajors guidance for incoming first-year students, develop complementary and targeted programming for support for 2nd and 3rd year students.

Description of Activities

Develop and implement programming aimed at first- to second-year transition, second-year students, and the third-year students. In particular, strengthen the partnership between the Office of Career & Professional Development, First- and Second-Year Programs, and other units in Academic Affairs.

Activity status and plans for 2020

The Office of First- and Second-Year Programs has developed and published transition tasks, student competencies, and goals for first-year and second year students in the areas of: academic success, personal growth, health & wellness, financial wellness, career development, and inclusive excellence. Academic Affairs continues to partner with Career & Professional Development on the Major & Career Exploration Centers/ spaces on all three campuses. Additional programming opportunities

Lessons Learned

In Summer 2020, 96% of incoming first-year students completed their MyMajors assessment prior to Orientation. Student engagement with major and career exploration in the first year is strong. We still need to build clearly defined career focus pathway for students that articulates tasks and allows students to chart outcomes. The Division of Student Affairs is implementing a new co-curricular portal and electronic co-curricular transcripts tool that will help build (stack) student outcomes and competencies for programming across multiple areas.


Priority Work

Inclusive Excellence

Description of Activities

Inclusive Excellence is a major element of our institutional strategic plan. We are also making Inclusive Excellence a hallmark of our Momentum Plan. The scope of our Momentum-focused strategies includes: inclusive environment in our classrooms; inclusive environment for learning communities; inclusive campus environment for co-curricular activities; faculty & staff development; and focus on student social belonging and growth mindset.

Activity status and plans for 2020

As part of the FYE 1220 (First Year Seminar) redesign, we incorporated an inclusive excellence learning outcome, designed lesson modules focused on inclusive practices and worldview, and developed additional lesson modules focused on developing social belonging and engaging with a growth mindset. Institutional professional development opportunities for faculty and for staff in 2020-2021 will focus on inclusive excellence and on Momentum.

Lessons Learned

The institution is engaging strongly with inclusive excellence and each unit has been tasked with identifying how to incorporate inclusive excellence into its actions – and particularly its student success activities and initiatives.


Priority Work

Expand (create where needed) and publicize transition tasks and milestones for all levels and populations of students (i.e. sophomores, juniors, seniors, transfer students, adult learners, military and veteran students, commuter students, Honors, athletes, first-generation, international, etc.).

Description of Activities

Identify what students need to stay on track for a four-year graduation. Create student success website (landing page) that includes this information and links students to Academic Advisement, Career & Professional Development, Financial Aid, Dean of Students, Academic Success Center, etc. Develop an institutional Faculty Mentor program.

Activity status and plans for 2020

We have begun to build this from the Transition to College standpoint first. We are blowing up Orientation and working to create a comprehensive philosophy of programming and engagement that encompasses all new student elements from Orientation through the first year of enrollment and results in desired first year outcomes. Once that’s built – and we have created pathways through the first year (for diverse populations of students) – we’ll begin to build more comprehensive programming for students’ second, third, and fourth years. We’ll also begin to articulate how the transfer student experience is different (and similar) and how students can capitalize on transferring to GS.

Lessons Learned

In process. Launch early summer 2021 for Fall 2021.

Student Success and Completion Team

Please provide the names and titles for the individuals on your campus responsible for implementing, monitoring, and evaluating your Student Success and Completion Strategies.




Dr. Carl Reiber

Provost and VP Academic Affairs

Dr. Christine Ludowise

Associate Provost, Student Success & Advising

Dr. Scot Lingrell

VP Enrollment Management

Dr. Shay Little

VP Student Affairs

Ms. Amy Smith

AVP Enrollment Management