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Georgia State University: Perimeter College's grad rate rose after merger

From Georgia State today:

Since the consolidation of Georgia State University and Georgia Perimeter College last January associate degree graduation rates at Perimeter College have risen by 5 percentage points, the highest increase in the college’s history.

Perimeter’s three-year graduation rate, now 11.9 percent, has almost doubled since 2014 when it was 6.5 percent.

“We still have a very long way to go, but these gains will only grow exponentially,” said Tim Renick, vice president for enrollment management and student success. “We will continue to look proactively for ways to bring our student-success programs to all students.”

In the year since consolidation, Georgia State officials have begun analytics tracking for Perimeter students, expanded the university’s successful Panther Retention Grant program to hundreds of students enrolled in Perimeter’s two-year programs and begun hiring 30 new advisers to help students and to continue the upward trajectory.

Georgia State has redirected more than $6.5 million in administrative cost-savings from the consolidation into student-focused initiatives and academic programs.

Georgia State has dramatically increased the number of African-American and Hispanic students earning degrees on its Atlanta campus. Georgia State is graduating 42 percent more African-American students and 52 percent more Hispanic students than it was five years ago.

Graduation rates have remained “incredibly consistent” across all categories, Renick said. The university is one of few institutions in the country where there is no gap between graduation rates among races, ethnicities or socio-economic statuses.

In addition, the university’s four-year graduation rates have continued to rise rapidly, increasing 9 percentage points since 2011, according to new graduation reports. Students are taking fewer credit hours to reach graduation than they did three years ago.

For example, the class of 2016 took half a semester less time on average to reach graduation, saving $15 million in wasted credits compared to the class of 2013.


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Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.