LAWRENCEVILLE -- On Monday, Gov. Nathan Deal announced that all colleges in the state have submitted plans on how they plan to meet the goal of adding 250,000 post-secondary graduates to Georgia's rolls by 2020.
Locally, Georgia Gwinnett College was one of only four institutions that got a grant to fund initiatives designed to enhance student success and help meet the goal.
The statewide call for completion plans was part of the governor's Complete College Georgia initiative launched in August. A study in 2011 by Georgetown University found that, to meet projected workforce needs, Georgia must increase the percentage of its population that holds a post-secondary degree from 42 percent to 60 percent over the next eight years.
The state's intiative looks at key areas where higher education plays a role in Georgia's economic prosperity and assesses how colleges and universities can strengthen their contributions to the areas.
As part of the Complete College Georgia initiative, the Completion Innovation Challenge grant awarded $150,000 to GGC to pilot innovative remediation programs. If their programs achieve success by meeting benchmarks, they could serve as models for other institutions in the University System of Georgia and Technical College System of Georgia.
Barry Biddlecomb, interim dean for the school of transitional studies at GGC, oversees much of the innovative programs at the college.
"We were tasked, as part of this grant, with doing new things," Biddlecomb said. "So we tried a number of different things, and some of the stuff we found to be most successful we took to the board of regents to share."
In English, GGC staff developed the Segue course, which takes a single remedial English class, splits it into two parts, putting the students into two standard freshmen writing classes."They're being mainstreamed," Biddlecomb said. "They take material from their freshman writing class and take it back to the remedial course."
Biddlecomb said that without Segue, about 55-60 percent of those students passed the remedial course. With Segue: about 90 percent.
The grant, which allows GGC to experiment with courses like Segue, ends at the end of this semester. The board of regents will then evaluate the results along with those of other colleges that received the grant around the state.