Georgia College & State University selected to help close equity gap

Georgia College & State University selected to help close equity gap

G eorgia College & State University (GCSU) has been chosen as one of 19 colleges and universities nationwide to participate in an equity-gap initiative to level the playing field for historically-underrepresented students in education.

Equity gap refers to disparities in educational outcomes among minority populations. Closing this gap means moving beyond race, socioeconomic status and ethnicity or physical and mental disabilities to guarantee student success.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently announced a multi-year initiative to help educational institutions close this gap. In the next five years, it will fund $100 million to six recipients, including the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), to participate in the Student Success Equity Intensive (SSEI).

We’re committed to bringing more diversity to our campus. As a public liberal arts institution, we are in a unique position—with small class sizes, one-on-one mentorship and great support systems—to help underrepresented students thrive and complete their degrees. Through this program, we will learn how to do so much more.
– President Cathy Cox
In turn, AASCU chose 19 “equity-driven” institutions from rural, urban and suburban areas to play a vital role in SSEI’s collaborative and transformational experience. The application process was highly competitive. GCSU and the University of North Georgia were the only two selected in Georgia. Other designated institutions are in Texas, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Kentucky, New York and Guam.

“It’s a privilege to be selected for this innovative effort that will enable us to learn best practices and rely on data to assure all students can succeed here,” said President Cathy Cox. “Georgia College & State University is dedicated to providing opportunity and ensuring success for all students—especially for our underserved student populations.”

“We’re committed to bringing more diversity to our campus. As a public liberal arts institution,” Cox said, “we are in a unique position—with small class sizes, one-on-one mentorship and great support systems—to help underrepresented students thrive and complete their degrees. Through this program, we will learn how to do so much more.”

Each college or university is tasked with creating a team of campus leaders “to learn promising practices to close equity gaps and … to ensure that race and income are no longer predictors of success,” according to information released by AASCU.

This cohort of schools can accelerate the closing of their equity gaps for minorities by utilizing specific and customized support from AASCU, which includes peer-to-peer learning sessions across institutions. They’ll have access to resources like online modules and webinars and will receive support from experts in data analytics, equity, advising and strategic planning.

“We are thrilled to have GSCU participate in the Student Success Equity Intensive,” said Terry Brown, Vice President for Academic Innovation and Transformation at AASCU. “Their deep commitment to closing equity gaps to ensure that race and income are no longer predictors of student success, and their innovative approach to integrating this work across all areas of the university made them a great fit for this groundbreaking initiative.”