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Augusta University Campus Plan Update 2020

Institutional Mission and Student Body Profile

Founded in 1828, Augusta University (AU) is one of Georgia’s four comprehensive research institutions and has the unique designation as the state’s only public, academic health center. With its charge to serve the entire state, AU offers a broad range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional academic programs in liberal arts, allied health sciences, cyber studies, business, education, nursing, dental medicine, and medicine programs – making AU one of a handful of institutions in the United States with this curricular array. This portfolio and the university’s proximity to NSA Georgia, the U.S. Army Cyber Protection Brigade, the U.S. Army Cyber Command, and the Georgia Cyber Center provide AU a unique opportunity to provide strong pathways for health and cyber sciences. In its seventh year of institutional transformation, AU continues to find guidance in its strategic plan, Beyond Boundaries, which places student success at the core of its vision to become a top-tier university that is a destination of choice for education, health care, discovery, creativity, and innovation. AU leverages this transformation to attract highly talented students and faculty, and provide students a course to discover their potential.

More than 6,800 faculty and staff members serve over 9,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students enrolled in 10 schools or colleges. AU delivers 46 undergraduate majors, 51 undergraduate and graduate certificates, and 55 graduate and professional programs and is home to the state’s flagship public medical school and only dental school. In fall 2019, Augusta University enrolled 5,604 undergraduate students at the institution, representing an increase of 2.6% students from fall 2018. The vast majority of AU’s undergraduate students are from Georgia (87.1% vs. 12.8% out-of-state and <1% international). Most undergraduate students (81%) were enrolled full time, 58% were from the local area, and 65% of the undergraduate student body was female. The average age of the undergraduate student body was 25 years. The six most popular majors were Biology/Cell and Molecular Biology, Computer Science, Health Services, Nursing, Kinesiology, and Psychology. The ethnic diversity of the undergraduate student body remained comparable to previous years (48% racial/ethnic minority status), with slight increases in multiethnic and Asian student populations: 52% White, 25% Black (Non-Hispanic origin); 8.3% Hispanic, 6% multiracial, 7% Asian; <1% American Indian or Alaska Native; <1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander; and 1.6% unknown or non-disclosed. For peer institution comparative data, please visit

Improvement Practices

Improvement Practices and Decision-making

The enrollment patterns and demographics of undergraduate students continue to inform the development of Augusta University’s student success initiatives. The Units within the Office of Instruction and Innovation work in close collaboration with the Division of Enrollment and Student Affairs to maintain a connection with our students and track student data to inform decision-making. The Academic Success Center and Student Affairs canvas students for perspectives and instruction experiences. We strive to elevate pathways for student voices to inform our practices. In addition, AU analyze results from the Beginning College Survey (BCSSE) and National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) to help us understand the expectations and trends to support student success. Since moving to selective online and hybrid instruction in Spring 20 we continue to develop more intentional ways to reach out to students and faculty to guide our improvement practices and decision-making. Augusta University compares our retention and graduation rate trends to our institutional peers. We track our progress over time as well for populations like first generation and local students. The information is contained in our data and analytics systems that are used by leaders and units to understand and inform planning and decision making. 

Addressing Equity Gaps

The Academic Success Center (ASC) opened in 2017 with a mission to support and promote undergraduate academic success though tutoring, academic coaching, and targeted programming. The unit has been successful in reaching those goals, as indicated in the table below. Students who utilize services at the ASC in their first year at AU are more likely to be retained than students who do not. This trend is particularly strong for our Black students, and our work in this arena continues to make strides to reducing the equity gap at AU. Now that the ASC has established a presence on campus, we are piloting new programs that target traditionally disadvantaged students with career goals in health and cyber. The goal is to increase the graduation rate of students of color in STEM fields.

Retention rate: Visited the ASC in first year at AU BY RACE


First year

Second year

Third year



No visit


No visit


No visit

2017 (884)

72.9% (702)

58.9% (539)

49.9% (439)

Black (221)

73% (116)

37.1% (39)

64.2% (102)

24.8% (26)

59.1% (94)

22.9% (24)

White (493)

75.85 (179)

58.5% (190)

58.9% (139)

41.2% (134)

51.3% (121)

36% (117)

2018 (1045)

71.9% (751)

62.4% (652)


Black (291)

81.8% (166)

62.2% (56)

74.9% (152)

57.8% (52)


White (572)

76.3% (200)

61.9% (192)

61.1% (160)

52.9% (164)


2019 (1084)

75.4% (817)


Black (277)

79.5% (147)

65.2% (60)


White (585)

84.5% (201)

68.3% (237)




Augusta University’s Jaguar Jumpstart (JJSP) is a program designed to foster success for entering first year students who do not meet AU’s minimum entry requirements. The goal of the program is to make the transition from high school to college as seamless as possible by promoting academic success and building community among program participants. While the program was not developed to address equity gaps specifically, research indicates such programs have a positive impact on traditionally disadvantaged students. Many of the students who attend JJSP are first generation, students of color or have other attributes that reflect equity gaps in comparison to traditional first year students. The retention rate for students in JJSP has consistently been a couple of points lower than the AU average, however, when compared to students with a similar academic profile, the JJSP students are retained at equal or higher rates. JJSP has been operational for five years but this year, in response to COVID-19, we moved from a summer bridge to an academic year program. The academic planning, programming and assessment was revised to connect more deliberately with the Momentum approach content and address the equity gaps. As a result, we intentionally hired 8 student mentors (former JJSP) who best represented our incoming class on measures of race, gender and ethnicity.

African American Male Initiative: Cumulative GPA and Retention Rates



Retention rate



AA Men



AA Men























Established in 2018, the Office of Multicultural Student Engagement is committed to providing diversity focused educational experiences to all Augusta University students. The office creates and celebrates inclusive and safe spaces through programming, advocacy and educational initiatives that develop and empower culturally competent students, faculty and staff. These co-curricular experiences center on developing students’ self-awareness, and an appreciation for our interconnected world. In FY20, the office provided over 30 culturally focused programs that served over 1,300 students, advised 45 Cultural Registered Student Organizations and collaborated with more than 10 campus departments. In Fall 2021, the office will begin coordinating a peer-to-peer mentorship program that assists first-year and transfer students from underrepresented populations transitioning into Augusta University. This mentorship program will enhance the AU multicultural experience and advance our commitment to scholarship and success for participants.

The College of Science and Mathematics awarded sixteen students a National Science Foundation (NSF) S-STEM scholarship this fall. S-STEM focuses upon first-generation or low SES students. Scholars included academically talented students majoring in Biology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Ecology, Mathematics and Physics. The NSF-funded project seeks to increase retention and graduation rates for students in STEM fields by providing high impact practices such as peer mentoring, learning communities and hands-on experiences outside of the classroom. In addition, the project is designed to positively impact student self-efficacy as well as stimulate and support a sustained interest in STEM courses of study and STEM careers.

Momentum Update: Observations and Next Steps

Section 3.1 Existing Momentum Work

Purposeful Choice 

Strategy or activity

Integrating Momentum Approach INQR course

Summary of Activities

We have re-imagined INQR1000, a required one-credit hour course, into a space for transformational thinking. All entering students complete the INQR1000 course early in their academic careers. We offer 50 sections a year and faculty volunteer to teach the course and receive $1000 in professional development funds for participating. The course was often organized around a broad theme but each section is different based on the approach of faculty. We revisited the theme concept and developed a Design Your Life option focused on the purpose of college to directly integrate the Momentum approach in the academic sphere.

Staff and faculty from career services, academic advisement and academic success drafted the initial content. Faculty working with this group piloted the course in FA18. Based on their feedback the content was modified slightly and 3 sections of INQR1000: Design Your Life (DYL) were offered in SP19. In FA19 and SP20 we offered a total of 10 sections. The goal is to increase the number of DYL option each term. For 2020-21, we will offer 25 DYL sections, 50% of the INQR course sections offered.

Course content spans the momentum approach, and includes academic mindset and goal setting, examining the concept of purpose, encouraging students to explore and hone in on a career choice, and developing clear pathways to success through our newly developed program maps. Course discussions on skills and competencies have encouraged a more holistic view of education as students recognize a college degree can and should open doors to multiple careers rather than narrow their options.

Students in the course work in teams to explore a research topic related to the content. These projects encourage students to connect with each other and with faculty, increasing their sense of belonging and developing a bond with our university. AU intends to integrate focus areas more deliberately into all sections of the course in collaboration with colleges and departments. The goal is to provide students with an opportunity to develop an individualized success plan that maps out their path to graduation.

A course template was developed for course instructors with training sessions arranged in SP20 for the FA20 courses. This plan was disrupted by COVID-19.

Outcomes/Measures of Progress

In 2020-21, we achieved our goal to increase the number of Design Your Life sections with content reflecting the Momentum Approach. We have statistically significant results from paired t-tests that indicate the course is increasing students’ confidence in choosing a major, learning class material, and gaining a better sense of careers that fit their character. Students note a better sense of fit with Augusta University, reporting that the course has reduced their stress about college and informed them on how to plan more effectively.

Lessons Learned and Plans for the Future

We plan to continue increasing the number of DYL INQR sections offered over time but finding teaching staff is a notable challenge and we are reliant on the good will of faculty volunteering to teach the course. While most faculty believe in the idea of the course, they do not always feel able or qualified to teach the content. Consequently training sessions need to be more robust to better prepare them for the course content. We will develop a stronger marketing and recruitment campaign for instructors for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Changes because of COVID-19

The planned training did not happen as expected because of Covid-19. Moreover, faculty were very focused on preparing their regular courses for online instruction over the summer, and INQR, as a one-credit hour course, was not considered quite as important at that point in time.

Strategy or activity 

Infuse Momentum into Career Engagement

Summary of Activities 

Career Services launched Steppingblocks in August of 2019 as a software platform that can help students tie a personality assessment to career and major options, coupled with deep analytics on the career ladders of real Augusta University graduates from those disciplines. Students can assess the pathways of Augusta University alumni as an additional means of determining their academic plan based on career interests/abilities.

Outcomes/Measures of progress 

At the close of FY 2020, 533 students created an account on the Steppingblocks platform and 82% of the students completed the personality career assessment component. The system shows that 48% of the users return to access the platform
repeatedly for additional insights. Given this is a completely voluntary system and rollout, we are pleased with the fact that almost half of the users continue to harness the power of the data mining in the system.

Lessons Learned and Plans for the Future 

Healthcare, science, technology and education are the top common interests in students using the system. Top majors searched include healthcare, business and psychology. Students spend the majority of their time in the platform exploring careers and educational pathways. Aggregate data from the assessment analysis indicates the top 5 personality types of students align most with introversion, sensory strengths and a feeling vs. thinking framework. This was particularly helpful in learning how to create virtual content in light of COVID-19 challenges. Our fall 2020 virtual programming focused on designing content using these core traits to celebrate the individual, attract an emotional connection to the purpose/content and deliver a strong sense of structure to the content in a very tangible, applied manner.

Changes because of COVID-19 

No alternative arrangements were required due to the pandemic

Transparent Pathways 

Strategy or activity

Create Program Maps for each undergraduate program

Summary of Activities

A template was designed to allow academic departments to create a consistent four year program path for each undergraduate degree program. The template also includes co-curricular activities recommended by the department as beneficial for students pursuing their programs of study. A process was also created to ensure that the maps are updated yearly so that all maps will be displayed by academic year to allow students to align with their appropriate catalog term.

Outcomes/Measures of Progress

Program maps, currently housed on the Academic Advisement Center website, are available for all undergraduate degree programs for the current catalog year (2020-2021) and archived maps are available for the 2019-2020 catalog year.

Lessons Learned and Plans for the Future

Overall the strategy worked quite well. Departments were receptive to the idea of consistent four year plans across all degree programs when it was introduced prior to the start of the 2019 academic year. The effort at updating the maps for the current academic year also proved positive. Plans for the future include creating maps that are more interactive and visually appealing.

Changes because of COVID-19

Fortunately for this particular strategy there were no changes needed due to COVID-19

Strategy or activity 

Enhance High Impact Practices – Living Learning Communities

Summary of Activities 

Housing and Residence Life supports three Living and Learning Communities created through collaborations between Housing and Residence Life and Academic Colleges. The Science and Math LLC is open to first year students with majors in the College of Math & Science and is designed to provide a supportive residential learning opportunity to these students. The JAGByte LLC is a dynamic residential experience for incoming freshmen majoring in Computer Science, Cyber Operations, Cyber Security, Cyber Security Engineering, and Information Technology. This LLC provides an environment for students to become leaders in their field by introducing opportunities for personal development, academic achievement, community engagement, and professional development. Our Jaguar Jumpstart LLC is for freshman admitted to Jaguar JumpStart and focuses upon offering study skills, information literacy, tutoring, community service and social interaction. Our students who meet the criteria for each LLC must live within the assigned LLC spaces and actively participate is community initiatives. 

Outcomes/Measures of progress 







Math & Science






This chart represents the number of residents assigned to each LLC for the last two years. The decrease to the JJSP program is related to students who chose not to live on campus due to the pandemic.

Lessons Learned and Plans for the Future 

Living Learning Communities at Augusta University would benefit from an advisory council charges to assist in the design and implementation of future programs, as well as with developing assessment measures and innovative initiatives for maintaining student engagement within our current programs. Housing and Residence Life has created the proposal to create this advisory board and plans to pursue this further within this current academic year.

Changes because of COVID-19 

These communities have been especially effective as students incorporate social distancing into their learning and studying. 

Academic Mindset

Strategy or activity

 Mindset Survey Data

Summary of Activities

AU entering freshmen were invited to complete the “Getting to Know our Students” mindset survey in the fall of 2019 and fall 2020. The AU Mindset Team is being restructured due to faculty and staff turnover. We are currently in the process of building a group to assess the AU survey results and develop a response plan. The team will be a diverse group with members drawn from different units on campus including faculty and staff from the math and English departments, student success areas, instructional innovation and student life.

Outcomes/Measures of Progress

The 2019 mindset survey data provided by the USG was available in August 2020 and is currently under review. Initial analysis indicates AU students are more likely to report maintaining a growth mindset in math and English over the term when compared to other research institutions (3.80 v 3.71 and 4.09 v 3.97).

Lessons Learned and Plans for the Future

The integration of growth mindset strategies into the classroom is important and we need to develop a plan to engage faculty more intentionally. Mindset options in student success are well established, such as in INQR1000 and workshops, and we provide workshops for departments and classes on request. However, embedded mindset strategies in the classroom, with faculty using them as pedagogical tools, needs to be expanded. The Mindset Team will identify and develop opportunities to tie the concept more tightly with instruction. 

Changes because of COVID-19

In preparing for the fall term efforts were fully focused on adapting to the new instructional landscape and supporting faculty and students as they adapted to the new normal and online classes. We believe completing the survey was not as high a priority for them as it was the previous year and the response rate was lower. Marketing opportunities were limited and we had difficulty sharing incentives (SWAG) to encourage participation and students were focused more on technology so tended to ignore messaging they deemed as less important. The data from 2019 had no glaring red flags that indicated immediate attention so the impetus to use the data in planning was also tempered by the need to focus on managing the new normal. As the situation levels out, the team can once again focus on the information and review potential applications.

Strategy or activity

Gateway to Completion (G2C)

Summary of Activities

Year 2 of the G2C initiative was completed. The recommended alternative instructional strategies finalized in the 2018 academic year were infused in selected sections of each course for the 2019 academic year.

Outcomes/Measures of Progress

The pilot implementation occurred for Fall 2019 in each course. Faculty were beginning to analyze data from that pilot when the move to immediate online instruction occurred for Spring term so their work was interrupted.

Lessons Learned and Plans for the Future

The efforts of this work have shown that we can institutionalize the implementation of these and other strategies within the colleges here. We will continue to collaborate with USG and other USG institutions, but will not continue the formal agreement with the Gardner Institute.

Changes because of COVID-19

There were limitations during Spring with the move to off-campus instruction. It was determined that the pilot implementation would continue during the 2020 academic year to ensure a robust set of pilot data for analysis.

Strategy or activity 

 Instructional Advisory Committees

Summary of Activities 

In order to expand the student success discussion more broadly on campus three advisory committees, each consisting of both faculty and staff members, were created—Student Success, High Impact Practices and Instructional Innovation. Their charge was to provide guidance and create additional supports and programming in the area of student success.

Outcomes/Measures of progress 

The initial work of the committees led us to realize that there was potential for overlap and the need to identify a more efficient approach to the central theme of student success in light of the abrupt move to off-campus instruction.

Lessons Learned and Plans for the Future 

The focus of the committees was transferred to various units within the division of the Vice Provost for Instruction. These units include the Center for Instructional Innovation, Academic Success Center and the AU Quality Enhancement Plan for High Impact Practices. Just after they were charged and began their work, the move to off-campus instruction in the Spring occurred. With the move to immediate off-campus instruction more immediate support for students was needed than a committee structure could provide.

Changes because of COVID-19 


Strategy or activity 

Launch Health Professions Outreach Center

Summary of Activities 

Funds were redirected to provide targeted advising and additional programming for students interested in careers in health professions and establish an office dedicated to this work. A search committee was formed, the office structure and position descriptions were created and director position was posted.

Outcomes/Measures of progress 

Two successful rounds of interviews were conducted to select and hire a director. Funding for the director and two coordinator positions for the office were subsequently eliminated during the FY21 budget reductions.

Lessons Learned and Plans for the Future 

Due to the abrupt change to off-campus operations in the Spring we were unable to successfully complete the hiring process. Efforts are now targeted to build this capacity leveraging existing campus resources.

Changes because of COVID-19 



General Overview and Observations 

The integration of the Momentum Approach in the required Inquiry 1000 course that all entering freshmen complete has been very effective. The course is taken in term one or two by most all freshmen and gives them an opportunity to reflect and explore in a structured environment over the span of almost an entire semester, allowing for reflection, exploration and research. Class size is limited to 20 students to maximize opportunities for them to connect with their classmates, their faculty and their university. Weaving the Momentum Approach through areas both inside and outside of the classroom has allowed us to create a clear, consistent message to continually reinforce the concepts of academic mindset, purpose and pathways for students.

An additional benefit of asking for faculty volunteers to teach INQR Design Your Life (DYL) is expanding awareness for the Momentum initiative among faculty. Our volunteers develop an awareness of the goals and approach at a practical, student level rather than from a policy or theoretical perspective. We are slowly expanding the pool of faculty teaching the DYL section to have enough to teach 25 sections of the course in 2020-21. One of the future goals for FYE, as the operation center for the INQR DYL course, is to have instructors reflect and review the course template and content. Our hope is that as we expand the volunteer faculty pool of instructors, the core concepts of Momentum will be diffused into courses across campus.

As is discussed in Section 3.2 of this narrative, the “4 To Finish” theme was used for all orientation programming over the summer, with incoming students introduced to the key concepts of mindset, purpose and pathways. Student orientation is inherently designed to develop and strengthen a student’s connection to the campus and university community, thus building a sense of belonging. Students who feel they belong at Augusta University are more likely to engage with their academic plans and earn a degree. Belonging, mindset, purpose and pathway are connected with our “Engage” tag line, with both academic and student life programming referencing the ideas to promote cohesion. 

The impact of Covid-19, specifically the move to off campus operation in the spring has, without a doubt, slowed down our planned implementation of Momentum strategies. We developed some high touch program options based on face-to-face interactions, and this becomes almost impossible with a move to online instruction, limited social interactions, and masks. To address the current challenges we have scaled down events, moved some online and even tried outdoors but the weather is not always cooperative. Smaller groups have met in spaced classrooms and we have adapted some options to an online platform. While engaging students in virtual events is increasingly challenging, we keep trying. We have solicited student feedback regularly, through polls and phone calls, and are learning to be very creative.

Fall 2020 has been an interesting transition to the new, or now, normal, and we continue to learn more to engage our students. Our Spring 2020 programming was derailed, we started to get back on track with new approaches over the summer and this fall we are testing new options and slowly gaining speed. The concepts of the Momentum approach seem more important than ever as we seek to keep students engaged and focused on their academic journey. The most important thing we can do for now is focus on the students who are enrolled with us this term. To be agile in our program delivery and engage them to stay the path, strengthen their purpose, and maintain a positive mindset.

Follow up from Momentum Summit III - “Campus-Wide” Momentum Approach Activities (Beyond the Classroom)


Priority Work

“4 to Finish”

Description of Activities

To introduce students to their Momentum Year we collaboratively developed the “4 To Finish” initiative. The purpose is to encourage students to take four easy steps that will position them to move towards graduation each year. 4toFinish asks students to engage, make purposeful choices, develop their academic mindset, and follow their program pathway. Specific language for each step was developed as a concerted effort to make this a campus-wide initiative.

Activity status and plans for 2020

Prior to the pandemic the goal was to create a branded campaign, introduce the 4toFinish initiative through new student orientation, academic advising, and have faculty incorporate into their curriculum. Because of the pandemic, we did not achieve each of these tasks. However, we were able to organize our virtual orientation experience in Desire 2 Learn around the 4toFinish categories and also included them in our printed handbook, The Jaguar 411, provided to every student and family member in digital format.

Lessons Learned

As we continue to implement the 4 To Finish campaign, we have learned that we need to take additional time to get campus-wide support and buy-in for this initiative.

Priority Work

New Student and Family Transitions Office

Description of Activities

Augusta University created a New Student and Family Transitions Office during FY20. This office will focus upon new student transition (from admit through the first weeks of the first semester) and family engagement, specifically by incorporating programming to engage parents and family members to enhance student success. This summer we were intentional about engaging our families early and often throughout the virtual orientation program. Families were encouraged to participate and attend all virtual orientation sessions with their students.

Activity status and plans for 2020

With an office focused upon transition and family programming we will be able to offer more intentional, data-informed, transition experiences for students and their families. With the pandemic, we offered all of this programming virtually. For example, we hosted three sessions exclusively for family members that focused on a variety of topics. One session was specifically geared around success in the classroom where we had our vice provost of instruction, student counseling & psychological services, academic success, and our testing and disability services offices join us. Families were also communicated with weekly and given conversation starters that encourage discussion around what to expect from the college experience and how to best provide support as a family member. We are continuing to engage our families through our Parent & Family Association involvement as well as our Jag Family Ties Newsletter.

Lessons Learned

Students who have a support system tend to do better academically and persist to graduation.


Priority Work

Enhance High Impact Practices – Summer Workshops

Description of Activities

The First Year Experience (FYE) office along with the Academic Success Center (ASC) developed and hosted an Open House for incoming freshman the week before classes started in August 2020. The current COVID environment has changed the conventional transition from high school to college. Workshops were hosted by academic peer coaches and faculty, and provided students an opportunity to explore AU expectations, learn more about the technology needed for online courses, and promote an academic mindset. 

Activity status and plans for 2020

The Summer Open House had 297 participants across the 28 workshops to discuss academic mindset, study strategies, time management and the transition to college. Before fall classes began, the ASC hosted an Open House for freshman with 268 participants across 42 sessions focused on course expectations, online technology and time management.

Lessons Learned

The Open House was well received and well attended. We intend to continue this event and invite incoming students to explore the academic expectations of the first year. We hosted an on-site and online program to support student transition from high school to AU in response to the pandemic restrictions. It proved to be a good idea and we will continue the practice.


Priority Work

Extended Orientation/Transition Programming

Description of Activities

Prior to the pandemic our Housing & Residence Life hosted a program for our residential first year students, ROAR Camp, which focused on building a healthy residential community and having a successful academic experience. ROAR Camp also connected first year residential students with a peer mentor. Because this program was offered exclusively for residential students, we saw this as an opportunity to expand programming for commuting first year students. We planned to add a mentoring component to the orientation leader position that would focus on mentorship for non-residential incoming students for summer 2021 orientations. However, with COVID-19 we saw a need to speed our timeline up and reimagine the transition opportunities for both residential and non-residential students.

Activity status and plans for 2020

Over the summer of 2020 we worked collaboratively to transition ROAR Camp into our new Ready, Set, Go Augusta! (RSGA) program which welcomed all students through a series of virtual and in person programs throughout move-in week leading up to freshman convocation. During RSGA, students had another opportunity to connect with campus departments such as the Academic Success Center to learn about tutoring, Student Health, Wellness, and Multicultural Student Engagement during daily virtual “how-to” sessions. We also bumped up our timeline to transition orientation leaders into peer mentors and are currently piloting a program where all incoming students were given the opportunity to opt-in to having their orientation leader continue to serve as a peer mentor throughout the fall semester. Each month focuses on a different topic: Belonging & Transitions, Self-care during midterms, Civic Engagement/Leadership, and Academic Resources/Finals.

Lessons Learned

We currently have 218 students who opted to stay connected to their orientation leader as a peer mentor this fall. As one of the strongest components implemented since the Momentum Summit III, we hope to grow this program by strategically identifying students who may not have a peer mentor through any other means on campus as well as being able to offer monthly in person programs.

Priority Work

Faculty Orientation and Development

Description of Activities

In March 2020 faculty who were to attend the spring Mindset Summit received a survey from the USG to gauge their thoughts on academic mindset with the framework of changing instructional demands. The majority of responses focused on maintaining a connection with students and a need for faculty training in technology and instructional support. AU met these needs for Summer 2020 with a series of workshops developed and hosted by our Center for Instructional Innovation in collaboration with Information Technology Services. This series was also made available to all new faculty in Summer 2020.
New faculty orientation and new academic administrator orientation (department chairs and associate deans) were redesigned for Summer 2020 to include programming related to helping faculty better understand the students they teach and how their mindset and their specific context impact their engagement in learning. Sessions were developed in concert between the Office of Faculty Affairs, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, and the Division of Enrollment & Student Affairs. Sessions included “Fostering an Inclusive Campus Community” and “The AU Student”.

Activity status and plans for 2020

The Technology Series will continue to be offered in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. Professional development for faculty has been restructured conceptually to produce a number of semester long series offered under the umbrella of the Faculty Success Semester Series. Four of these series are focused specifically on the interaction of student mindsets and context with student learning: Creating Exceptional Learning Spaces (4 sessions offered Fall 2020), Understanding the AU Student Series (tentative title – 4 session offered in spring 2021), Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment (tentative title – 3 sessions offered in spring 2021), and Designing Instruction for Engaged Learning (tentative title – 3 sessions offered in spring 2021). The Faculty Success Semester Series will continue to be expanded to create opportunity for faculty to engage in professional development designed to enhance faculty understanding of students and how they learn, regardless of subject matter and whether at a distance, in small groups, in large lectures, in independent instructional settings, etc.

Lessons Learned

357 faculty participants now utilize best practices of online education to develop course content designed to engage students and promote academic success. We will extend the Center for Instructional Innovation support to faculty across the University to provide support to develop interactive content and leverage technology to expand distance learning capacity. 

The Faculty Success Semester Series are being offered in a virtual environment. Upon completion of the first series (Creating Exceptional Learning Spaces), we realized that these sessions provide an excellent opportunity for us to model the creation of engaged learning experiences in a virtual or online setting, with a focus on the learners’ mindsets. It is our intent to leverage these series to provide examples to faculty for how to think about mindset and its interaction with student learning.


Priority Work

Enhance High Impact Practices – Service Learning

Description of Activities

In Spring 2020, we added a Coordinator for Civic Engagement to the Office of Student Life and Engagement. This role was created with two goals in mind: (1) promoting civic engagement through connecting our students and student groups to community service opportunities on campus as well as in our local community, and (2) creating a protocol for documenting student service hours through a co-curricular transcript. 

Activity status and plans for 2020

The next major initiatives planned for this semester include collaboration with the Augusta University Virtual Days of Service and well as AU Values week in November.

Lessons Learned

Our vision is that every Augusta University student will be engaged in service from their first month as a student through graduation. Considering conditions of the pandemic as well a pending election, civic engagement this semester have focused on remote opportunities like care packages for health care workers and facilitating voter registration.

Priority Work

Enhance High Impact Practices – Engage to Explore, Engage to Plan

Description of Activities

The FYE office developed “Engage to Explore” and “Engage to Plan” workshops to connect to the 4-to-Finish initiative incorporated into Orientation programming. The workshops were based on the INQR1000 DYL content and were intended for students who were not enrolled in the course. The workshops, focused on purpose in college, metacognitive strategies/mindset, and meeting-the-majors, were hosted over the academic year.

Activity status and plans for 2020

Twelve workshops were offered in FA19 with more planned for the SP20. COVID-19 changed the spring plans. Workshops were well received by the students who attended. Future plans include further teasing apart activities for first and second year students to enhance the experience for each group.

Lessons Learned

The workshops planned for spring 2020 were not a priority as we very quickly moved to a fully online method of instruction. The technology challenges faced by some of our students were quickly brought to light and efforts were redirected to help the first year students adjust to the changed instruction. Workshops such as these are best conducted in a face to face environment so were not offered once fully online instruction began.

Student Success and Completion Team




Dr. Zach Kelehear

Interim Exec. Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost and Vice Provost for Instruction and Innovation

Dr. Susan Davies

Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs

Dr. Kathy Browder

Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs

Ms. Katherine Sweeney

Assistant Vice President for Student Success

Dr. Patrice Jackson

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs

Dr. Alexis Pope

Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management

Dr. Scott Wallace

Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

Ms. Holly Goodson-Rubio

Associate Vice President for Institutional Research and Analytics

Dr. Lorraine Evans

Executive Director, Academic Student Success Center

Dr. Elizabeth Huggins

Director, First and Second Year Experiences

Ms. Lyndsey Mayweather

Director, New Student & Family Transitions

Dr. Heather Schneller

Director, Housing and Residence Life

Ms. Pamela Witter

Special Assistant to the Vice Provost of Instruction