VSU Recognized For Use Of Technology To Improve South Georgia's Low Student Retention Rates

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Winnie Wright
March 25, 2014

Valdosta, GA - A study by Georgetown University found that by 2018 Georgia will need more than 250,000 college graduates to meet the growing workforce demand. Gov. Deal launched Complete College Georgia to help produce these graduates.

"For us to be where we need to be as a nation and as a state we need a more educated work force. Part of what we do in higher education is to educate that work force. And so, in order to meet these goals, we have to have students graduate. Well, in order for them to graduate, they have to be retained and progress" says Alicia Roberson, Director of Centralized Advising at VSU.

Part of VSU's Complete College Georgia plan was the expansion of the data system that helps track the academic progress of students. They say often students do not seek help until it is too late.

"Before, a student for instance would have to walk in to our Success Center to say, get help in math. Well now, if a math faculty sees a student is having problems, They can click one button, it automatically notifies our success center, so now the Success Center can reach out to the student. So really, that's our end goal here" says Brian Haugabrook, Interim Chief Information Officer at VSU.

The university says their improvements in technology could have lasting impacts on the community.

"As we continue to retain and graduate students in South Georgia, then that shows prospective businesses and companies that we have an educated work force. It gives them a reason to want to come and grow our economy by putting a factory here. Or putting a business here", says Roberson.

VSU says it uses many of the same tools that Amazon or Netflix would use to track habits. With the technology, they've learned that students who use library printers have a higher chance of staying on track to graduate.