John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Ten University System of Georgia Institutions Launch Work in JNGI’S Gateway to Completion® Process to Improve Student Learning and Success in Historically High-Failure Rate Courses

BREVARD, NC. (June 6, 2016) – Student success in lower division and/or developmental-level “gateway” courses – such as accounting, biology, chemistry, history, math, psychology and writing/English – is a direct predictor of whether a student will be retained at a particular institution and/or complete a degree at any institution all together. This is why improving teaching and learning in gateway courses is one of the most pressing actions necessary in higher education today.

As a national non-profit leader in helping colleges and universities increase student learning and success, the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education (JNGI) is proud to announce that the University System of Georgia (USG) has elected to address gateway course performance issues by working with JNGI’s Gateways to Completion (G2C) process

G2C is designed to provide institutions – most notably faculty – with processes, pedagogical and curricular guidance, and analytics tools to redesign teaching, learning and success in the gateway courses they teach.

Ten of the 29 USG public institutions of higher learning recently launched their efforts in JNGI’s three-year G2C process. This means that faculty in over a third of the institutions in one of the nation’s largest university systems are being mobilized to address failure in gateway courses and the persistence issues associated therewith.

“The University System of Georgia’s effort is the first-of-a-kind, system-wide application of the G2C process,” said Houston Davis, USG chief academic officer and executive vice chancellor. “This undertaking reflects the deep commitment the USG institutions and their faculties have for improving student learning and success. We are happy to work with a proven partner like the Gardner Institute.”

The following USG institutions join 20 other institutions currently involved in the G2C process:

  • East Georgia State College
  • Georgia Highlands College
  • Georgia Southern University
  • Georgia Southwestern State University
  • Gordon State College
  • Middle Georgia State University
  • Kennesaw State University
  • South Georgia State College
  • University of West Georgia
  • Valdosta State University

“The University System of Georgia’s effort is the first-of-a-kind, system-wide application of the G2C process,” said Drew Koch, Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Leadership & Innovation Officer, John N. Gardner Institute. “This is a bold and ambitious undertaking, and it reflects the deep commitment that the USG institutions and their faculties have for improving student learning and success.”

“Our work with G2C to date shows that failure in these courses is not a hallmark of rigor or excellence,” added Koch. “Far too often, low-income and historically underrepresented students constitute the bulk of those who fail these courses. Higher education institutions cannot fulfill their mission to the communities they serve if they leave this issue unchecked.”

“We applaud USG for their leadership in and involvement with the G2C effort,” said John N. Gardner, President, John N. Gardner Institute. “They recognize that they cannot leave teaching and learning to chance, and they are getting their faculty involved in completion agenda-related work in meaningful and appropriate ways. We hope that other postsecondary systems and districts across the nation emulate the USG example and systematically address teaching and learning in their gateway courses.”

JNGI is currently accepting applications from individual institutions and/or systems interested in joining the next G2C cohort. For more information, visit jngi.org.

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