GPC Awarded National Gateway Grant to Boost Student Success

08/25/2010
Contact: Beverly James
Phone: 678-891-2686
Fax: 678-891-2966   
Author: Beverly James   

For Immediate Release

Georgia Perimeter College is one of only nine colleges in the country to receive a Project DEgree grant from Gateway to College National Network. The grant of $187,500 over two years helps underprepared students accelerate through developmental education and move on to success in transfer-level classes.

“We are committed to helping students successfully navigate rigorous college coursework that leads to a degree, transfer and careers. Project DEgree is an excellent tool for accomplishing this task,” said GPC President Dr. Anthony S. Tricoli. “We are proud to be acknowledged as a change agent in the educational community.”

Project DEgree is designed for students ages 18 to 26 who have earned a high school diploma or GED, but who still require further developmental education in order to be ready for college-level coursework. The program provides students with intensive, individualized academic and social supports, offers an engaging project-based curriculum within a learning community, and helps students structure their lives so they can build and maintain the momentum necessary to complete a college degree.

In the first year, students enroll in developmental courses, receive extra tutoring in math, and take a course in study skills. A resource specialist works intensively with students to ensure success in the program. During the second year, students take college-level courses and are supported by a completion advisor who works with other advising staff to connect students to college resources and supports.

“The additional resources through Project DEgree will not only help students stay in school, but also will aid them in navigating the rigors of college,” said Alan Jackson, interim vice president of academic affairs at GPC. “Georgia Perimeter has always been a great place to start, and this grant reinforces our efforts to help students all the way to graduation and transfer via support systems that are engaging and efficient.”

Project DEgree is a new way to think about student services and classroom instruction to dramatically improve retention and course pass rates, said Nick Mathern, associate vice president for policy and partnership development at Gateway to College. It is based on seven years of learning through national replication of Gateway to College—a successful college-based dropout recovery model currently available at 26 colleges in 16 states, including at Georgia Perimeter. “Compared to published results on developmental education nationally, Gateway to College students are passing [developmental education] classes at higher rates, and succeeding in first transfer-level courses at higher rates than regular degree seeking students.”

-# # # -

Georgia Perimeter College, the third largest institution of the University System of Georgia, serves more than 25,000 students through four campuses and several sites in metro Atlanta. For additional information, visit www.gpc.edu.