Strong Start To Finish

University System of Georgia

In 2017, the University System of Georgia (USG) was selected to serve as one of Strong Start to Finish's six scaling sites.

Spearheaded by the system office and engaging all 26 institutions, USG-SSTF has supported students in making a purposeful program choice and enrolling in clearly designed degree pathways that begin with completion of a gateway math and English course in the first year of study.

Ongoing supplemental funding, which began in 2020 through Strong Start to Finish, has helped USG develop and scale a statistics pathway available for students in non-STEM degree programs.

Hear From the Scaling Sites

Priority Action Areas

USG-SSTF's action areas as part of its initial grant are integrated into their systemwide Momentum Year model. Each institution will create a coherent strategy so that during their first academic year, each incoming student will have the opportunity to:

  • Make a purposeful program choice.
  • Attempt as much of the first 30 hours of a clear degree pathway as possible.
  • Enroll in at least 3 courses within their area of focus.
  • Create a productive academic mindset.
  • Successfully complete both a freshman English and math class.

USG-SSTF through its supplemental grant is focused on the following priority action area:

  • Develop a statistics math pathway.

Strategies at Scale

Through the support and professional networks of Strong Start to Finish, USG-SSTF through its initial grant will scale the following reforms:

  • Host annual Momentum Summits for presidents, provosts, vice presidents for student affairs and finance officers to plan and implement the campus Momentum Year framework.
  • Change campus policies to bring the corequisite model to scale at all campuses and provide faculty training as necessary. 
  • Conduct ongoing research, prototype interventions and train faculty, administrators and staff on how academic mindset can influence first-year student success outcomes.
  • Transform new student advising and onboarding through policy changes, implementation of systemwide BANNER data modification and three advising professional development summits.
  • Redesign critical math and English gateway courses and provide professional development to faculty and administrators at all campuses.
  • Revise statewide math transfer pathways and develop statistics pathways.
  • Create a customizable intake system that requires all institutions to provide pre-enrollment advising to help students identify appropriate courses and learning support resources.
  • Develop and utilize program maps to maximize appropriate course selection and limit unnecessary credit accumulation.

Through the support and professional networks of Strong Start to Finish, USG-SSTF through its supplemental grant will scale the following reforms:

  • Conduct analysis of the Statistics Pathway model and service definition.
  • Engage USG leadership teams and faculty in ongoing planning and goal setting.
  • Assess pilot site implementation and results.
  • Convene faculty and system stakeholders to refine Pathway model and ensure future scaling and alignment with academic focus areas and majors.
  • Implement Statistics Pathway USG-wide that includes low cost and just-in-time features, visualization and computation tools, and model syllabi.

Project Leadership and Campus Involvement

USG-SSTF is managed by leadership from the Division of Academic Affairs and Division of Strategy and Fiscal Affairs. The team coordinates campus leadership, a partner council and Regents Advisory Committees to lead USG-SSTF.

The first-year experience initiatives, above, are crafted statewide as a comprehensive approach, with the system office lead and participation of all 26 institutions. These institutions collectively serve more than 44,000 first-year students annually.

  • Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
  • Albany State University
  • Atlanta Metropolitan State College
  • Augusta University
  • Clayton State University
  • College of Coastal Georgia
  • Columbus State University
  • Dalton State College
  • East Georgia State College
  • Fort Valley State University
  • Georgia College & State University
  • Georgia Gwinnett College
  • Georgia Highlands College
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Georgia Southern University
  • Georgia Southwestern State University
  • Georgia State University
  • Gordon State College
  • Kennesaw State University
  • Middle Georgia State University
  • Savannah State University 
  • South Georgia State College
  • University of Georgia
  • University of North Georgia
  • University of West Georgia
  • Valdosta State University