International Educator - March/April 2018 - 17

Could you talk about the increases in retention
accomplished through early advisement and how a oneor two-point increase in retention has impacted Georgia
State's return on investment?
We now use meta-majors and learning communities to
onboard students. We've seen significant gains across the
board in student outcomes. We're graduating 2,800 more
undergraduates every year than we were when we launched
this platform a little over five years ago. That's a 67 percent
increase over this time period. The graduation rates for every
demographic group has gone up. What we found that's particularly interesting is while we raised our graduation rates by
about 22 percentage points [for all groups], the biggest gains
have come for the students who were struggling the most
under the old system.
For instance, our upper-income and middle-income
students are doing much better than they were before we
launched the platform. But the gains made by our low-income
students are greater than for the middle and upper-income
students. Our white students are doing better than they were
before we launched the platform. But the gains made by our
African American and our Latino students are greater than
the gains made by white students. It's not merely that these
interventions help students succeed. What also has happened
is that it's helped us close the achievement gap. For each of the
last three years, our African American students, our first-generation students, and our Pell students on average graduated at
or above the rate of the overall student body.
Has the success of the program increased your
applications? Do you find that your applications are up
across the board, across demographic groups?
Yes, there are two positive outgrowths of this. One is that
it has helped our recruitment in many ways. We've had a
significant increase in applicants for our programs. And the
other positive has been it's really helped the finances of the
university. We did a calculus-every 1 percent we increase our
retention rates on the Atlanta campus-the main campus that
has about 32,000 students enrolled-that's 320 students who
are going to be held on to who in the past would have dropped
out of the university. We also then did a calculus to work with
our finance team and looked at what the average student bill
was over the previous 12-month period. What does a student
contribute in tuition and fee payments to the university? And

the average bill for a Georgia State student over 12 months is
about $9,800. You put those two things together, it means that
every time you increase the retention rate by 1 percent, you're
holding on to 300 students, each student is worth, you know,
$9,800, that's over $3 million a year in additional revenues for
every single percentage point that you increase the retention
rate. This is a significant source of additional revenues. It definitely helped get the university through the recession.
So, it's been been very positive. And I think that's a way to
build buy-in for programs like this. There are lots of people
who recognize the social justice reason why we pursue these
efforts-that it's important that we succeed in graduating
more students. This is a trust that the families and the students
put in us to support them. It's unconscionable that we have
the national achievement gaps that we do where, by some
measures, upper-income students, students at the top quartile,
are as much as 10 times more likely to graduate from college
as students in the lowest quartile ... where white students are
up to 20 percentage points more likely to graduate than black
students, and so forth. I think there's a social justice reason
that is very important and that motivates me on a day-to-day
basis.
Could you elaborate on the social justice aspect of using
predictive analysis to support international student
success and retention and why it matters?
I have complete confidence that the international students
we enroll at Georgia State are every bit as capable, intelligent,
and able as any domestic student we enroll. I have the same
confidence with regard to the low-income students we enroll
domestically from Georgia State. They come in with the same
abilities and capabilities. They don't always come in with the
same ability to navigate the complex bureaucracy that is a
university like Georgia State. So, what we want to do is look
for early signs that a student is uncertain, confused, getting
off path, and give them the information they need. And 90
percent of what Georgia State's interventions do are just that.
They're providing information to students. You thought you
registered for the right class, but in fact you didn't. You struggled on this first quiz, but here's where the tutoring office is
and here's the support system you can use to get yourself back
on track. Just giving the students the information-I think our
international students benefit from that immensely. n
This interview has been condensed for brevity.
M A R .+ A P R . 2018 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

17  



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - March/April 2018

From the Desk of
Frontlines
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Canada
Quick Questions
Feature: Using Technology to Reach Students Where They Are
Feature: Global Connections, Staying Local: Online International Education Continues to Grow As an Alternative—and Support—to In-Person Study
Feature: Getting to Work How Career Services Offices Are Helping Students Launch Their Careers
Feature: How Assessment Approaches Measure Up
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
International Enrollment
International Education Leadership
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Cover1
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Cover2
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 1
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 2
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 3
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 4
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 5
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 6
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 7
International Educator - March/April 2018 - From the Desk of
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Frontlines
International Educator - March/April 2018 - In Brief
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 11
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 12
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Global Spotlight: Canada
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 14
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 15
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Quick Questions
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 17
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Feature: Using Technology to Reach Students Where They Are
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 19
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 20
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 21
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 22
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 23
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Feature: Global Connections, Staying Local: Online International Education Continues to Grow As an Alternative—and Support—to In-Person Study
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 25
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 26
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 27
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Feature: Getting to Work How Career Services Offices Are Helping Students Launch Their Careers
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 29
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 30
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 31
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Feature: How Assessment Approaches Measure Up
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 33
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 34
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 35
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 36
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 37
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Education Abroad
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 39
International Educator - March/April 2018 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 41
International Educator - March/April 2018 - International Enrollment
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 43
International Educator - March/April 2018 - International Education Leadership
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 45
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Forum
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 47
International Educator - March/April 2018 - In Focus
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Cover3
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Cover4
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