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University System of Georgia (USG) Awarded $2.1 Million Grant to Support Student Success Efforts

Atlanta — February 16, 2018

The University System of Georgia (USG) received a $2.1 million grant from Strong Start to Finish (SSTF) to support and advance the University System’s efforts to increase college attainment levels in Georgia.

The grant will support the expansion of the USG’s Momentum Year program for all 26 institutions. Research shows college students are more likely to graduate when, in their first year, they immediately explore an area of academic interest, receive help to stay on track and follow a clearly outlined course of study. This critical time is what the USG calls students’ “momentum year.”

“This recognition is a direct response to the hard work that faculty and staff across the USG are doing toward improving student success,” said Chancellor Steve Wrigley. “Building upon the ongoing successes of the state to increase completion rates, the Strong Start to Finish grant will help to accelerate these results.”

The SSTF grant was announced at the USG’s two-day 2018 Momentum Summit held Feb. 15-16 at the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center. Faculty and staff from across all USG institutions were invited to attend the summit for a statewide discussion about student success in the first academic year, and to develop 18-month Momentum Year implementation plans. From these initial conversations, the USG will work with institutional leadership during spring 2018 to implement strategies that support all incoming students.

The USG was one of only four higher education systems in the nation awarded funds for work to increase the number of students completing their college degrees. This effort helps support the Complete College Georgia initiative, launched by Gov. Nathan Deal in 2011.

The SSTF grant, which will be received over three years, presents a unique context for learning how to effectively support student success in the first year of college. In ongoing years, the USG will continue to provide appropriate support to continue momentum with the goal of on-time completion.

“We’re thankful to the Strong Start to Finish committee for this support,” said Dr. Tristan Denley, USG executive vice chancellor for academic affairs and chief academic officer. “Thousands of USG students will be served during the term of the grant as we help them obtain successful pathways to college completion.”

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