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Higher Education Compact Plans to Watch and Advise College-bound Students

Georgia State University VP for Student SuccessTimothy Renick speaking at CSU.
Georgia State University VP for Student SuccessTimothy Renick speaking at CSU.

These kids might as well be wearing tracking devices. The compact isn’t just watching how they score on the ACT. They’re following them as they progress through college. In the past 3 years the number earning 24 credit hours their first year has increased and since 2011 the number earning 4 year degrees has doubled.

With Ohio’s new system of funding colleges based on graduation, the schools are placing new emphasis on advising. The Compact partners heard from the Vice President for Student Success at Georgia State University, which leads the country in granting bachelor’s degrees to black students.

Timothy Renick described a system that watches every course at-risk students take and is ready to swoop in with advice, or even a small grant if they can’t pay off their tuition one semester.

“The students we’re trying to deal with in Cleveland and Atlanta, the students enrolled at Georgia State, Cleveland State and the like – they’ve got one chance. They are on that very thin edge and if they make one or two MINOR mistakes and it’s the difference between graduating or not."

Renick suggest one way to make life simpler for college freshmen is to give them a compact and focused schedule. And then intervene at the first sign of a student faltering such as a student getting a grade of C in an important subject in his major.

“Now as soon as they get the C there’s an intervention. The advisor will call them in, we’ll have a conversation. ‘Did you have problems with the writing assignments? The reading assignments? Do you not take multiple choice tests well? Is there something going on personally or financially?’ Diagnose it now, don’t sit back and wait until the problem becomes too big to resolve.”

Cleveland school officials plan to use focus groups of students to ask why they haven’t applied for college loans.