ATLANTA–Georgia State University’s National Institute for Student Success (NISS) has received a $1.7 million investment from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation to assist universities around the country in starting programs to continue to close achievement gaps and help more students earn a college degree.
Georgia State has been widely recognized for designing and implementing scalable models of student success that help students persist and graduate, more than doubling its graduation rates for students from underserved backgrounds and eliminating achievement gaps based on race, ethnicity and income. Its new National Institute for Student Success provides a structure for innovations to continue and expand over the next decade and beyond. By connecting the key members of Georgia State’s student-success operation with peers at colleges and universities from across the U.S. and the world, the institute will incubate, test and share the “playbook” on student success.
“As institutions of higher education, we can be our own worst enemies, creating academic and bureaucratic obstacles that prevent our students from graduating,” said Dr. Timothy Renick, the NISS’s founding director. “The Clark Foundation’s generous support will provide critical capacity building to allow the NISS to help colleges and universities identify and remove these barriers using data-informed interventions that have been proven to work.”
Over the next 10 years, the Institute is committed to helping at least 100 colleges and universities create clearer, more supportive pathways to success for their students with the goal of replicating the improvements in graduation rates seen at Georgia State. This includes using technology to help advisers, faculty, administrators and students work collaboratively to keep more students on track to graduate. The result of this work will be more than 500,000 additional college graduates nationally, of which 170,000 will come from low-income and underserved backgrounds.
“Georgia State has a proven track record in helping students succeed. The Clark Foundation’s investment in the NISS approach to higher education will spur institutional-level changes and lead to greater access and affordability for a new generation of talented students,” said Joe Del Guercio, president and chief executive officer of the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation. “The foundation is committed to tackling achievement gaps and empowering students with the best opportunities to succeed.”
The A. James & Alice. B Clark Foundation partners with grantees who build practical, immediate and concrete connections between effort and opportunity. It focuses its investments in the following areas: educating engineers to solve society’s toughest problems, improving the lives of veterans and their families, and providing members of the District of Columbia (DC) community the best opportunity to thrive. Its recent investments in college persistence span its focus areas of DC Initiatives and Engineering Initiatives.