2002 Progress Report
Recruitment & Retention of Students | Undergraduate Experience | Graduate Experience | Academic Programs & Faculty | Connection to the Greater Community | Infrastructure/Support Improvements
Strengthening Student Learning
Freshmen Learning Communities
(FLC) continued to attract an increasing number of students. FLCs
were expanded for fall 2002 to serve over 700 students in 32 communities.
For each of the first three years of FLCs, there is an increase
of six to seven percentage points in one-year retention rates
over students who are not in FLCs. A pilot Jump Start program
was initiated for some freshman students who enrolled in summer
2002. Two FLCs were established around a set of three linked courses.
Table 5 indicates that participation in FLCs
is increasing. The Freshman Learning Community program was named
a finalist in the Institutions of Excellence in the First College
Year competition sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trust.
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,
Introduction to Mathematical 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 Learning Outcomes:
There continues to
be development of student learning outcomes for both General Education
and majors. The University Senate passed a policy that requires
inclusion on all syllabi of course objectives that specify measurable
and/or observable student learning outcomes. Further, the University
Senate passed a policy that every undergraduate major will include
at least one writing intensive course that has the features that
at least 40% of the course grade will be based on written work
and that students will be given feedback on writing and opportunities
for revision. 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, English, 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 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. Analysis of
effectiveness of the placement exams is underway.
International students and Study Abroad
Growth in student participation in study abroad programs and
international students hosted by Georgia State continued in 2001-2002
with 1,677 international students enrolled at Georgia State and
441 Georgia State students participating in study abroad programs.
6 gives the number of international students and
the number of students who participate in study abroad courses.
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. The University System of Georgia is now required
to report retention rates and six-year graduation rates to the
Office of Educational Accountability (OEA) who will publish disaggregated
rates annually in December. The overall first-year retention rate
for the entering class of 1995 was 66.1% compared with 79.9% for
2000. Thus, we anticipate significant improvement in six-year
graduation rates for the more recent entering classes.
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