Digging into the Disciplines: The Impact of Gateway Courses in Accounting, Calculus, and Chemistry on Student Success

Andrew K. Koch, PhD, President and Chief Operating Officer, Gardner Institute

Brent M. Drake, PhD, Vice Provost for Decision Support, University Nevada, Las Vegas & Gardner Institute Fellow

The content found on this document comes from a broader study examining the rates of D, F, W (for any form of withdrawal on the transcript), and I (for incomplete) grades (DFWI rates) in introductory courses at thirty-six different colleges and universities in the United States. The thirty-six institutions include seven community colleges, two proprietary (for-profit) four-year institutions, eight independent (private) four-year institutions, and nineteen public four-year institutions – twenty-nine four-year and seven two-year total. The twenty-nine total four-year institutions further break down into six Baccalaureate Colleges, fourteen Masters Colleges and Universities, and nine Doctoral Universities

The data displayed in this document includes aggregate and disaggregate DFWI rates for Principles of / Introductory Accounting courses at 32 of the aforementioned institutions (18,217 students earning grades), Introductory Calculus courses at 32 of the institutions (13,253 students earning grades), and Introductory Chemistry courses at 31 of the institutions (20,987 students earning grades). 

A detailed report that explores the issue and describes the data, method, limitations, and implications of this research, written by Drs. Andrew Koch and Brent Drake, will be released by the Gardner Institute in early 2019.

To learn more download the full article here.

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National Student Transfer Week

The Gardner Institute would like to recognize all the institutions who have demonstrated a strong commitment to transfer students through completing the Foundations in Excellence - Transfer self-study. Transfer students account for over 60% of students who receive baccalaureate degrees.

Congratulations to these two-year institutions:

•      Ashland Community and Technical College

•       Big Sandy Community and Technical College

•       Bluegrass Community and Technical College

•       Bossier Parish Community College

•       Columbus State Community College

•       Elizabethtown Community College

•       Gateway Community and Technical College

•       Hazard Community and Technical College

•       Henderson Community College

•       Hopkinsville Community College

•       Jefferson Community and Technical College

•       Kirkwood Community College

•       Lone Star College-Montgomery

•       Lone Star College-North Harris

•       Madisonville Community College

•       Malcom X College

•       Massachusetts Bay Community College

•       Maysville Community and Technical College

•       Mercer County Community College

•       Minnesota State Community and Technical College

•       NorthWest Arkansas Community College

•       Olive Harvey College

•       Owensboro Community and Technical College

•       Palo Alto College

•       San Antonio College

•       Somerset Community College

•       Southcentral KY Community and Technical College

•       Southeast KY Community and Technical College

•       St. Cloud Technical & Community College

•       Truman College

•       Tulsa Community College

•       Waubonsee Community College

•       Waycross College (Now South Georgia College)

•       West Kentucky Community and Technical College

And these four-year institutions:

•       American Public University System

•       Arizona State University

•       CUNY Brooklyn College

•       CUNY Lehman College

•       CUNY Queens College

•       East Carolina University

•       Georgia Gwinnett College

•       Illinois State University

•       Indiana State University

•       IUPUI

•       Kean University

•       Kennesaw State University

•       Langston University

•       Lourdes College

•       Northeastern State University

•       Northwood University

•       Oklahoma State University-Tulsa

•       Rogers State University

•       Shenandoah University

•       SUNY –Oswego

•       SUNY –College at Brockport

•       Texas A & M University-San Antonio

•       University of Central Florida

•       University of Houston-Clear Lake

•       University of Main-Fort Kent

•       University of Northern Iowa

•       University of Southern Maine

•       University of Texas Brownsville

•       University of Tulsa

NACADA and Gardner Institute announce charter cohort of 12 institutions for Excellence in Academic Advising.

NACADA and Gardner Institute announce charter cohort of 12 institutions for Excellence in Academic Advising.

Monday, Oct 1, 2018, at the NACADA Annual Conference Dr. Charlie Nutt, executive director, NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising announced the charter institutions for Excellence in Academic Advising (EAA). EAA is an evidence-based, redesign process that helps institutions create and implement a comprehensive strategic plan for academic advising. The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education (Gardner Institute) partnered with NACADA to create the EAA process to change and affirm the role and influence of academic advising in higher education.

The twelve institutions, selected from a large pool of applicants with diverse advising structures, represent a diverse range of institution types. Schools within the cohort include 2-year and 4-year institutions, small private liberal-arts colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as well as large, private, online, regional and state institutions, public and private research universities.

The charter cohort include:

•       American Public University System (APUS)

•       Claflin University

•       College of the Mainland

•       Florida International University

•       Frostburg State University

•       Johns Hopkins University

•       State University of New York at New Paltz

•       University of Hawai’i at Manoa

•       University of Southern Maine

•       University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire

•       Wheaton College Massachusetts

•       Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

The two‐year program kicked off at the NACADA annual meeting in Phoenix this week. The inaugural cohort will be guided through evidence‐based decision making, planning, and an implementation process to improve their academic advising efforts. They will engage in an institution‐wide initiative using NACADA and the Gardner Institute’s nine “Conditions of Excellence in Academic Advising.” These standards acknowledge the role of academic advising in promoting student learning, success, and completion as well as the complexity of higher education and organizational change. Excellence in Academic Advising Fellows will support the development of a set of evidence‐based institutional recommendations for change, as well as provide support for plan implementation.

“Academic advising is a key component of student success, persistence, and degree completion on many campuses,” said Charlie Nutt, NACADA executive director. “By examining advising through multiple lenses and implementing evidence‐based recommendations, institutions can ensure alignment with priorities for student success.”

About this significant collaborative effort, John Gardner, Gardner Institute chair and chief executive officer, noted that, “The launch of the Excellence in Academic Advising initiative is the most important development for improving the quality of academic advising and raising its overall level of priority on US campuses since the establishment 39 years ago of the National Academic Advising Association.”

Drew Koch, Gardner Institute president and chief operating officer added, “We believe the combination of analytics, sage and trusted external guidance, and wise internal institutional knowledge that we are building into the EAA model will yield measurable improvement in institutional outcomes related to academic advising – especially for our nation’s most historically underserved and underrepresented students. There are important completion agenda and equity imperative considerations at work here. We are delighted to be part of this historic endeavor.”

NACADA is a global association of professional advisors, counselors, faculty members, and administrators working to enhance the educational development of students in higher education through research, professional development, and leadership. The Gardner Institute is a non‐profit organization dedicated to partnering with colleges, universities, philanthropic organizations, educators, and other entities to increase institutional responsibility for improving outcomes associated with teaching, learning, retention, and completion.

For more information, contact nacadajngi@ksu.edu

American Historical Society Receives Grant to Redesign Introductory History Courses

From the American Historical Society 9/18/2018

The American Historical Association (AHA) has received a $1.65 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to lead “History Gateways,” an evaluation and substantial revision of introductory college-level history courses to better serve students from all backgrounds and align more effectively with the future needs of a complex society. 

Introductory history courses, like those in chemistry, math, English, biology, and psychology, unfortunately are directly linked with a significant proportion of attrition among “first generation” college students. According to recent research faculty development can be more effective than remedial courses as a pathway to student success. The AHA, in collaboration with education researchers and faculty professional development specialists at the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education (Gardner Institute), will work with history faculty to rethink what it means to be “introduced” to history at the post-secondary level, and to implement necessary curricular change.

Drawing on the successful AHA’s Tuning project and the Gardner Institute’s successful Gateways to Completion (G2C) program this initiative will work closely with eleven 2-year and 4-year institutions in Chicago, Houston, and New York. History Gateways will launch in January of 2019 and will continue until December of 2022.

Institutional partners include:

New York Metro Area

St. Francis College

Bergen Community College

Kean University


Houston Community College

University of Houston

University of Houston Downtown

Texas Southern University



Roosevelt University

Waubonsee Community College

University of Illinois at Chicago

Purdue University Northwest

The American Historical Association is the largest professional organization serving historians in all fields and all professions. Founded in 1884, the AHA has become a trusted voice for history education, the professional work of historians, and the critical role of historical thinking in public life.

The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education is a non-profit organization dedicated to partnering with colleges, universities, philanthropic organizations, educators, and other entities to increase institutional responsibility for improving outcomes associated with teaching, learning, retention, and completion. It is dedicated to advancing higher education’s larger goal of achieving equity and social justice.