Georgia State Backed Up Analytics With Support System - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

Georgia State Backed Up Analytics With Support System

by

ATLANTA — The predictive analytics system that administrators here at George State University implemented five years ago has gotten a lot of positive publicity for how it helped the institution become what one administrator describes as the only public university without an achievement gap.

Dr. Timothy Renick

But the other part of the story, says Dr. Timothy Renick, vice provost and vice president for enrollment management and student success, was the university’s decision to hire 42 academic advisors to act on the information gleaned from the predictive analytics.

In short, the predictive analytics system at GSU is one that triggers an alert to advisers when students exhibit any one of the 800 risk factors that could derail the student’s academic success. Those risk factors can range from getting a mediocre grade in a prerequisite for one’s major to dropping a course mid-semester.

“What we’ve found is the real challenge is not coming up with the data,” Renick said. “But once you have all these thousands of risk factors identified, do you have a system to take those alerts, put them into action and have mediation so that students can be helped?”

The investment in 42 academic advisors resulted in an additional yearly cost of $2 million, but more than paid for itself because the increased retention rate meant more revenue for the school, Renick said.

“Every one percent we increase our retention rate, that’s $3 million in continuing revenue,” Renick said, explaining that each retained students contributes about $9,800 in tuition.

He said GSU saw an increase of four percentage points in its retention rates within 12 months of using predictive analytics.

“So we more than covered the cost of those advisors,” Renick said.

Renick shared GSU’s success story Monday at a higher education seminar being convened by the Education Writers Association.

The seminar — which ends Tuesday — touches on a variety of topics that range from political speech and racial conflict on campus to undocumented students and race-conscious affirmative action in higher education.

Dr. Walter Kimbrough, president at Dillard University, stressed the need for colleges and universities to develop students who can deal with speakers who espouse views with which they disagree.

Kimbrough drew flak last year when he stood by a decision to let former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke speak at the university — an HBCU — during a debate of political candidates, even though he had nothing to do with the rules that determined which candidates would participate in the debate.

Still, Kimbrough said he would not shy away from bringing controversial speakers to campus.

“How do we teach students how to debate, understand other ideas that are not their own?” Kimbrough said “It’s something that I model by the people that we bring in.”

Jamaal Abdul-Alim can be reached at jabdul-alim@diverseeducation.com or you can follow him on Twitter @dcwriter360.

RELATED ARTICLES >>
Berea College and the Father of Black History Preeminent scholar Dr. Carter G. Woodson has been dubbed “the father of Black history” and is known for earning degrees at the University of Chicago and Harvard, but less well known is how living in Appalachia and attending Berea College informed his...
Robeson Centennial Celebration Inspires New Diversity Efforts at Rutgers NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – In celebrating the 100th anniversary of the graduation of one of its most famous alumni, Rutgers University–New Brunswick is endeavoring to give Paul Robeson a measure of respect and honor in death that eluded him in life. No...
Seminar Exposes HSI, HBCU Students to Diplomacy Careers A career in international conflict resolution has been on Ava Greene’s radar, and the Spelman College senior learned more about the possibilities when she was selected to attend a new fellows program in Washington, D.C. The Cox-State Department Di...
Rowan University Announces Launch of Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Rowan University has recently announced the establishment of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), an office on campus that will help the university become a model of diversity where equity and inclusion are intertwined with the scho...
Semantic Tags: