ALBANY, Ga. — Colleges and universities from throughout the state have released their plans on how to improve graduation rates and grow the number of college graduates in the state, part of an initiative created by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.
Locally, both Albany State University and Darton State College have released their plans.
ASU has pledged to reduce midterm and final grade academic deficiencies by 2 percent each year for the next five years, increase its retention rate to 70 percent by 2017 and increase its graduation rate to 45 percent by 2017.
The plan includes creation of a Summer Bridge program and a Saturday Academy of Excellence, which the university said will involve 200 high school students from two local, but unnamed, school districts.
At Darton, college officials hope to shorten the time it takes for students to obtain a degree by offering a credit-by-exam option that would essentially allow students to test out of a course by successfully completing a comprehensive course exam.
Darton officials will also begin awarding prior learning assesment credits aimed mostly at adult students that would allow them to earn college credit for what they already know, thereby decreasing time to graduation and tuition cost, according to the college’s plan.
Darton also plans to increase its role in programs that partner with local school systems by 15 percent and grow its reach to traditionally underserved student groups.
In a press release from Deal’s office, the governor points to the completion plans — the first of their kind in the nation — as a means of reaching his goal of adding 250,000 post-secondary graduates to Georgia’s rolls by 2020. The call for the completion plans was part of the governor’s Complete College Georgia initiative launched last month.
“I am encouraged by USG and TCSG’s swift response to this critical issue and commend the partnerships they have formed in an effort to raise college completion rates,” said Deal. “These necessary actions will provide a highly-educated work force to businesses that choose to operate in Georgia and allow us to continue on the path of making our state the No. 1 place in the nation to do business.”