Completion rates at the University of Georgia continue to set records, thanks to a number of ongoing initiatives to enhance the academic environment and student support.
The latest data shows the six-year completion rate at UGA has increased to a record 87%, and the four-year completion rate has increased to a record 69%. In addition, the first-year retention rate, another important measure of student success, has matched the university’s all-time high of 96%.
For comparison, the average six-year completion rate for UGA’s peer institutions is 79%, while the average four-year completion rate is 56%. UGA also far exceeds the completion rates for Southeastern Conference institutions.
“These outstanding completion and retention rates demonstrate the University of Georgia’s commitment to our students and their success,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “I am grateful to our faculty and staff for their efforts to support our students across all aspects of their academic experience. With their engagement, UGA is reaching new heights of excellence in undergraduate education.”
A number of faculty hiring initiatives have added instructors in high-demand courses and ensured a low student-to-faculty ratio of 17-to-1. Investments in academic advising have enabled greater access to academic support and a more personalized experience for students as they navigate coursework and choose their majors.
To foster active learning on campus, the university renovated 12 traditional classrooms this year to create spaces that accommodate innovative teaching methods. Fifty-five faculty members have completed the Active Learning Summer Institute at UGA since it was created in 2018, and their efforts have transformed a wide range of courses benefiting more than 24,000 students annually.
“We constantly evaluate what students need to be successful and, in turn, implement programs that help them achieve their goals,” said Vice President for Instruction Rahul Shrivastav. “These programs succeed only because we have had great support and collaboration from many offices across UGA.”
The university has developed programs in the Division of Academic Enhancement, where students have access to tutoring as well as academic coaches who help them create personalized strategic learning plans. Enhanced resources such as the Peer Learning Assistants program, in which students support the learning of their peers in a course they have previously completed with a high level of success, and a variety of student engagement programs through the Division of Student Affairs also contribute to an environment that promotes student achievement.
The university’s Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program has created 470 endowed scholarships for low-income students, and resources have been directed to support other students with unique needs. Examples of such programs include the ALL Georgia Program for students from rural areas, the Student Veterans Resource Center for student veterans, and the RISE Scholars program for underrepresented students.
Additional initiatives to lower costs for students, such as eliminating laboratory and supplementary course material fees beginning in spring 2020 and expanding access to free online textbooks and other open educational resources, exemplify UGA’s commitment to removing financial barriers to student success.
“The University of Georgia has distinguished itself as one of America’s leading public universities, and we continue to innovate for the benefit our students,” said S. Jack Hu, the university’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.