Action Plan for the University Strategic Plan



2001 Progress Report

Recruitment & Retention of Students | Undergraduate Experience | Graduate Experience | Academic Programs & Faculty | Connection to the Greater Community | Infrastructure/Support Improvements

Undergraduate Experience

Strengthening Student Learning

Learning Communities:

The number of Freshmen Learning Communities (FLC) was expanded for fall 2001 to serve over 600 students in 27 communities. There was an increase of seven percentage points in one-year retention rates for FLC students in the initial pilot project of 295 students for fall 1999. Table 5 indicates that participation in FLCs is increasing,

Gateway courses:

A gateway course is defined as a large-enrollment, multi-sectioned course. If, historically, students have earned a high number of W, D, or F grades, such a course is a 'gatekeeper'. We wish to transform a gatekeeper course to a gateway course. Biology and mathematics are piloting various strategies to transform some courses into gateway courses and hence increase retention rates. A new course, Mathematics Modeling that emphasizes real-world applications to mathematics problems, was introduced. Similarly, the biology department implemented a new non-majors course sequence in Introductory Biology.

Student Advisement Center:

A center was initiated in December 1999 to provide all new students a centralized point of contact for academic advice. Effectiveness of academic advising is being assessed and information will be used to improve support for student success. The Academic Improvement Program (AIP) with required advisement and enrollment in GSU 1050, Survival Skills for College, is being evaluated for its effectiveness. The number of students permanently excluded has been halved since changing from the no-intervention approach before AIP.

Student Learning Outcomes:

There continues to be development of student learning outcomes for both General Education and majors. All departments are to develop outcomes for their majors. Academic Program Review will include examination of student learning outcomes for programs to which a department contributes. Pilots for learning outcomes based on high standards are continuing to be developed in biology, history, and mathematics as part of a national project. In addition, performance assessments for admission to the university as freshmen or transfer students are being developed in conjunction with four two-year and three other four-year System institutions.

Placement Examinations:

Placement exams in mathematics during INCEPT (New Student Orientation) were introduced for the fall 2001 freshman class to ensure students take mathematics courses best suited to their abilities and academic plans.

International students and Study Abroad

Table 6 gives the number of international students and the number of students who participate in study abroad courses.

Undergraduate Indicators

Undergraduate process indicators related to percent of hours taught by tenure track and full-time faculty are given in Table 7. Undergraduate output indicators such as number of degrees, percent of entering class who graduate in six years, and pass rates on various national examinations are given in Table 8.

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