Demographics are Not Destiny: Using Data to Close the Achievement Gap

Friday, May 27, 2016 - 06:00

One of the most pressing challenges in higher education is the large gap in graduation rates that persists between college students from different racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Georgia State University has engaged in a multi-faceted effort to use data and analytics to create an institution at which students from all backgrounds succeed at comparable and high rates. Large-scale initiatives include an advising tracking system based on predictive analytics that has produced 45,000 one-on-one interventions between advisors and students over the past twelve months and a microgrant program that has prevented 7,300 students from being dropped from their classes since 2012.

Through these and other innovations, Georgia State has increased graduation rates by 22 percentage points and eliminated all achievement gaps based on race, ethnicity and economics. It now confers 1,700 more degrees annually than it did five years ago and more bachelor’s degrees to African Americans than any non-profit college or university in the nation. The lecture explores concrete examples of a series of data-based and the results that they have produced.

Tim Renick earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University and went on to serve Georgia State University as an Associate Chair of the Department of Philosophy, Director of the Honors Program, Director and Chair of the Religious Studies Program, Vice Provost and Chief Enrollment Officer, and now as its Vice Provost and Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Success.

Watch a video of Dr. Renick's 5/27/16 talk

TLTC Seminar Speaker: Dr. Tim Renick from TLTC @ UMD on Vimeo.