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Dalton State College Campus Plan Update 2021


The mission of Dalton State College (DSC) is to provide a diverse student population with opportunities to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to attain affordable baccalaureate degrees, associate degrees, and certificates and to reach their personal and professional goals. Through challenging academics and rich collegiate experiences, the College promotes lifelong learning, active leadership, and positive contributions to produce ethical and knowledgeable citizens who contribute back to society. The College’s vision is to deliver a transformational education by engaging the unique perspectives of a diverse student population to create sustainable solutions that improve our community and world.

In pursuit of that goal, Dalton State offers targeted four-year and two-year degrees and career certificate programs, along with a wide variety of activities that engage students in local community businesses and industries.  Each of the College’s four schools (Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and Health Professions) forges important partnerships to inspire students to be active members within their professions and communities.  

During the 2017-2018 academic year, Dalton State became the first college in Georgia to attain the status of being a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), enrolling 27% Hispanic/Latino students in Fall 2017. To date, Dalton State remains the only college in Georgia with that designation, with the percentage of Hispanic/Latino students increasing to 33.3% in Fall 2020. The student population remains one with a large proportion of first-generation attendees (49.7%, Fall 2020), with approximately 61% attending full-time and 47.5% of the students receiving Pell grants (Fall 2020). The student population is largely female (63.1%). The average age of the student body is 21.9, and the adult learner population remains relatively small at 6.1%. 

Enrollment declined for the 2021 AY, demonstrating a 3.4% decrease for a total student population of 4,794 in Fall 2020. Between Fall 2019 and Fall 2020, the College’s dual enrollment population experienced a minimal -0.5% decline, dropping from 391 students in Fall 2019 to 389 students in Fall 2020. This decrease was likely pandemic related. The College also experienced a decline in the number of degrees conferred during the COVID-19 pandemic, dropping from a high of 840 graduates in the 2019-2020 academic year to 780 graduates during the 2020-2021 academic year (a 7.1% decrease). The largest decline was among associate-degree graduates, with an 18.8% decline over the previous year, while the number of bachelor’s degrees conferred declined by 4.1%. Some demographic groups fared better than others. The number of Hispanic/Latino graduates increased by 10.9%, and the number of Asian graduates increased by 15.4%, while the number of white graduates decreased by 11.9%, and the number of blacks decreased by 14.3%.

The demographics of Dalton State are consistent with those of an access institution with a population of students who come to college as part of a new generation of learners in their families. They often work full- or part-time to contribute to their households and to cover tuition, fees, and textbooks. They often “stop out” due to the stresses of balancing academic and family life, but Dalton State faculty and staff are committed to their success, and the College is focusing its Quality Enhancement Plan for its SACSCOC reaffirmation of accreditation on the first-year experience.


Academic Advising

All departments and schools on campus reviewed the 9-credits selected for their focus areas, updated the program sheets, shared the updated sheets with the departmental faculty, and shared completed program sheets with the Advising and Student Success Center. These guided pathways support all students in that they include a plan that clearly presents the steps to program completion. The new program sheets have been designed to link purpose and pathway together. The Center continues to work with the Department of Marketing and Communication to publish the academic pathways and career information for each program in a visible place on the website. The new program web pages are well designed and will provide good information to prospective and current students, and once they are on the web, they will provide access to all. However, the project is behind schedule as Marketing has had competing priorities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ad Astra

Advising continues to work with Ad Astra to use the data provided to understand how successfully students are moving through the Momentum Year. Program maps have been updated within the Ad Astra program, and Ad Astra continues to improve its reporting to align with the Momentum Year. More training will need to be conducted to incorporate the tool in daily advising work.

Department chairs have participated in bi-weekly training in the use of Ad Astra, which can monitor course enrollment, compare trends with previous semesters, and predict seats needed based on student demand from pathway progress.

Financial Literacy Lab

Through a collaboration with the Believe Greater Dalton Education Partnership, the College was awarded funds from the College Access Grant which allowed for the purchase of 500 lifetime financial education student licenses through the National Financial Educators Council. Financial literacy is a significant issue for our student population, which includes a large portion of first generation, low income, underrepresented students. From Spring 2018 to Fall 2020, 31% of Dalton State students indicated financial concerns as the reason for their full withdrawal from college in exit interview data. The lab provides financial education in three areas that can benefit students on their journey to graduation: budgeting, planning for financial emergencies, and assessing ways to pay for education. Students who participate in the workshop series have access to an online personal finance education program to further their understanding. Peer financial fitness coaches provide one-on-one sessions and classroom presentations pertaining to topics on financial literacy for college students. The lab offers one-on-one individualized appointments, presentations and workshops, an online, module-based curriculum, and campus-wide financial literacy events. Student input was solicited through a survey in April 2021, which provided insight into the specific financial issues that students face. Currently, there have been 795 student touch points out of the 4,794 students who were enrolled last year, and the grant is expected to reach an additional 500 students in Fall Semester 2021. The College received an additional grant that will allow the lab to provide community assistance with FAFSA in Spanish and English, develop a bilingual finance education library, and provide additional financial education workshops. Evaluation will consist of documenting the number of students and community members served, surveying workshop and FAFSA night attendees to assess impact, and evaluating exit interview data to determine if there is a decrease in the number of students who withdraw due to financial concerns. In addition, our U.S. Department of Education Title V grant paid for the renovations of the physical space for the Financial Literacy lab as well as the salaries for all the peer coaches.

Science Education Grant (Noyce Scholarships)

To remove or reduce the financial barriers many students face in completing a bachelor’s degree, the College applied for a National Science Foundation's Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program grant, which it was awarded in May 2021. This five-year $1.2 million grant supports STEM majors who change to the Secondary Certification options in mathematics, biology, or chemistry and provides:

  1. Scholarships up to $15,500 for their junior and senior years.
  2. Mentors for their junior and senior years as well as their first year as a public school teacher.
  3. Specially trained host teachers and site supervisors during their junior and senior years.
  4. Two-week paid externship in industry.
  5. Tuition to earn an ESOL endorsement.

The grant will help fulfill the statewide need for STEM teachers while providing monetary and academic support to improve student access and success.

Institutional Resilience and Expanded Postsecondary Opportunity (IREPO) Technology Grant (WebEx)

The College recently received a two-year $2.1 million-dollar Institutional Resilience and Expanded Postsecondary Opportunity (IREPO) grant designed to help institutions of higher education emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic more resilient and expand educational opportunities for students. To improve delivery of online courses and to expand outreach of academic support services, career development opportunities, and developmental activities, Cisco WebEx Meetings will be purchased. Unlike the current platform, WebEx provides remote participants with the same experience as the students physically sitting in the classroom. It provides complete access to anyone who has a phone, thus helping to address equity issues. This expansion will serve all students and expand remote learning opportunities when necessary. Beyond the pandemic, the College envisions expanded real-time access to students from more remote areas of the College’s service area (some students drive an hour one way to get to campus) and/or students who because of temporary or permanent health issues are unable to be physically present in the classroom. The WebEx platform also provides transcription and captioning services to further increase accessibility for hearing and visually impaired students.   

U.S. Department of Education, Title III, Part F, Hispanic-Serving Institutions – Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (HSI STEM) and Articulation Program

On October 1, 2021, the College was awarded a $4.2 million dollar HSI STEM grant over five years, which has the potential to support all students regardless of major. A stated purpose of this program is to increase the number of Hispanic and other low-income students attaining degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Funds from the grant will be used to increase the number of students participating in undergraduate research by removing a barrier that prevents some students from participating. One barrier that hinders participation in undergraduate research is finances. Many of our students must work. Funds for student stipends will give them that extra assistance they need so that they do not have to work or so they can reduce the number of hours that they work.

As a part of the plan, the College will create a centralized STEM internship program, a peer mentorship program, and expanded research opportunities for our students in addition to increasing services for students facing hardships. The grant will fund a position for a STEM mentor and experiential learning coordinator, who will organize internship opportunities, as well as provide professional development and career coaching. A peer-to-peer mentorship program will also be created to provide students with additional support. The grant will fund a new position responsible for working directly with students in need to make sure they have access to the resources needed to succeed. That person will be responsible for connecting students with healthcare providers, state or federal benefits, food pantries, alternative housing, tutoring, counseling, or disability access. The grant also will fund two faculty positions, one in biology and one in chemistry; faculty and student stipends, facilities and equipment, and supplies for student research projects; and a dual enrollment coordinator.

Laptop Loan Program for Students

The temporary closure of the Roberts Library and the transitioning of many classes to a remote or virtual environment during of the COVID-19 pandemic created a hardship for our student population because of lack of access to technology. Though the library continued to provide a wide array of online services and support, students did not have physical access to the library’s computer labs or learning commons. When the library reopened with reduced hours in Fall 2020, access to laptops remained a challenge, a problem that was exacerbated when the library had to close completely because of extensive flooding. Faculty members contacted the library director to inquire if the library could loan laptops to students. At that time, the library had only 16 laptops, which were available for in-library use and 20 that were used during library instruction sessions. Working with the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management (whose office had also received numerous inquiries), the library was able to obtain 10 more laptops, which were quickly checked out to students who had expressed a need. 

Through funds from the emergency Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, the College purchased 200 laptops to be loaned to students. The library developed laptop loan processes and policies and has coordinated the assignment and check-out of laptops each semester. These policies allowed students to borrow a laptop for the whole semester beginning the week prior to the start of classes. During Fall 2020 Semester, there were 150 requests for laptops, and in Spring Semester 2021, there were 195 requests. This lending program removed structural barriers for our student population and has continued on into Fall Semester 2021, where 167 students so far have been able to borrow laptops.

Gateway to Completion (G2C) Course Redesign

The College’s G2C Steering Committee, liaisons, and MATH 1111 and ENGL 1101 Redesign Committees completed the final year of the course redesign process which is overseen by the John Gardner Institute.  During the 2020-2021 academic year, English and mathematics faculty implemented course-specific and cross-course recommendations that were situated in the G2C Principles and involved aspects of course structure and teaching approaches/pedagogies, monitoring student performance, and faculty development.

In MATH 1111, DFWI rates for Fall semesters have fluctuated between Fall 2018 and Fall 2020, ending with a decreased DFWI rate: 44.2% (Fall 2018), 35.3% (Fall 2019), 40.7% (Fall 2020). MATH 1111 DFWI rates between Spring 2019 and Spring 2021 also fluctuated as well but ended with a substantially decreased DFWI rate when compared with Spring 2019: 53.1% (Spring 2019), 27.4% (Spring 2020), 38.4% (Spring 2021). While success of the interventions was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, changes in the way MATH 1111 co-curricular classes were staffed (the same instructor teaching both the co-curricular support class and MATH 1111) and changes to the homework platform appear to have contributed to increased success in College Algebra.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a greater impact on success rates in ENGL 1101. In Fall 2018, 76.39% of the students enrolled in ENGL 1101 passed with a C or better. Our G2C redesigns showed promise in Fall 2019 with success rates improving to 78.68% (pre-pandemic); however, success rates decreased to 74% in Fall 2020. Since the pandemic began, success rates in ENGL 1101 in the spring have decreased considerably, dropping from 63% earning a C or better in Spring 2019 to 51% in Spring 2020 and to 48% in Spring 2021. Though all students were affected by the pandemic, our at-risk first-generation student population has struggled not only with the virus, but with the online, hybrid, and HyFlex modes of instruction necessitated by the pandemic. Students in our smaller face-to-face classes tended to be more successful. Now that we are primarily back to face-to-face instruction, we expect to see a positive change in this trend. The faculty involved in the Gateway to Completion redesign are continuing their action plans, and English faculty members with lower success rates have been asked to set teaching goals this year to improve student success.

Title V Grant

Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction received funds as a Hispanic-Serving Institution in 2019 from a federal Title V grant from the U.S. Department of Education to expand the program by adding more tutors and software to allow for distance learning. The $2.1 million grant was implemented in October 2019 and is a five-year grant that focuses on improving services to help students succeed and achieve their full potential. This grant has removed structural and motivational barriers that hinder student success by supporting the Tutor Ocean Platform, a virtual tutoring and appointment scheduling program that also permits students to set a language preference when selecting a tutor. Since the grant began, the top tutoring courses have included study skills, MATH 1111, MATH 2181, and BIOL 2212K. Since its adoption, the platform has had 6,074 student touch points, and 93.5% of the students felt more confident after using the platform to meet with a tutor. The grant has also given free access to all students to Grammarly Premium, a program that checks for 400+ common grammar and usage errors and provides detailed explanations for mistakes; usage data show that almost half the student population are Grammarly users. In addition, it has paid for a website translator that allows for instant translation into five languages. The grant also pays for several positions, including a supplemental instruction and programs specialist, an academic success coach, and an academic advisor, as well as part-time positions that include a Title V project director and an academic advisor that is shared with Residential Life, which oversees campus housing. The Title V Advisory Committee includes a grant director, the executive director of advising and student success, the vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, an academic coach, academic advisors, the Financial Literacy Lab specialist, the assistant director of peer education, and the supplemental instruction and programs specialist.

Affordable Learning Georgia/No Cost and Low Cost

Since this program began, faculty at the College have been awarded 18 grants, and the Affordable Learning Georgia website ranks Dalton State as number 7 in the University System for student savings and number 7 for the number of students impacted by these resources. During 2020, 16.9% of all course sections offered no-cost materials, 8.2% offered low-cost materials, for a total of 25.10% low cost/no cost sections, amounting to an annual savings of $774,821 for all projects implemented.


Dalton State’s big idea for its 2021-2022 Momentum efforts is that we are “All in It Together: Supporting Students on Their Journey to Success.” Student success efforts must be seen as everyone’s responsibility. No matter what one’s role is on campus, we all contribute—consciously or not—to our students’ sense of belonging, and we can all work together to help students strengthen their sense of purpose, understand the relevance of all of their course work, develop a growth mindset, and see setbacks as opportunities to grow and thrive.

Our campus Momentum Team recognized that among the challenges was ensuring that the whole campus community understood what the Momentum Year and the Momentum approach involve. Though the campus has completed multiple Momentum plans, perhaps only 30% of the staff and faculty fully understand or connect with the Momentum approach in their work. To address this, our 2021-2022 plan has involved multiple participants throughout the college in the development and implementation of the College’s work. In late spring 2021, Academic Affairs met with each academic department to discuss the Momentum approach and the College’s plan in order to enlist their support. Also in the spring, the College’s Quality Enhancement Plan team began meeting to create a plan to address a complete first-year experience for our students. In August, the Office of Academic Affairs organized a Staff and Professional Development Day that featured a number of interactive workshops focused on various aspects of the Momentum approach, and chairs and unit heads suggested faculty and staff set some personal goals to support our efforts.

Our progress toward implementing our big idea is detailed in the sections that follow.


Resilience Plans: Momentum Year


Progress Update (Accomplishments, challenges, successes, changes in planning, support of all students, lessons learned so far, and next steps)

Re-examination of Perspectives (first-year experience) courses

Exploration of first-year experiences beyond a single course


The QEP Planning Committee has examined research and data regarding various first-year student issues and is in the process of finalizing basic student learning outcomes/measures related to the first-year experience course’s (PRSP 1010) revision in light of the QEP. The QEP Planning Committee includes broad representation from both Academic and Student Affairs. There is widespread belief that the PRSP course should be the vehicle for addressing a number of student success gaps. Fortunately, the course is already in the catalog, approved for credit, and has a number of faculty committed to it.

Challenges include staffing a sufficient number of PRSP courses so that all first-year students can take the course, which is one of the required Area B electives; training so that each section of PRSP, despite the theme or faculty member, addresses key outcomes related to student acclimation to college (mindset, advising, sense of belonging/community connection, etc.); working against a history of various iterations and approaches to the first-year experience course that has led to confusion; and funding during a time of budget reductions.

As part of the QEP Planning Committee’s work, the committee, in conjunction with the  Student Transitions Committee, is submitting a proposal to the College’s Academic Programs Committee to make the Perspectives course required for all full-time/first-time associate (with the exception of AAS and ASN students) and bachelor’s degree-seeking students starting Fall 2022. This will require sufficient staffing and funding and proactive scheduling. This project will take a lot of coordination of moving pieces and a strong leader committed to mentoring faculty in the course. Next steps will include training and scheduling for the pilot year of the QEP, which will focus on the PRSP course.

The co-chairs of the Student Transitions Committee have made updates to the first-year Perspectives courses in support of the Momentum Year and academic mindset. In bringing back StudentLingo, a series of online workshops that focus on student success, and requiring it for our students, the course is reinforcing the growth mindset for students. Each student completes the “10 Habits of Mind” Workshop, which specifically leads into the concept of mindset.

Increased use of supplemental instruction in first-year English and math courses to promote student success

The assistant director of peer education and the supplemental instruction program specialist have successfully begun utilizing supplemental instruction for MATH 1111 in fall 2021. Supplemental instruction could not be implemented for ENGL 1101 this fall because on an inability to find qualified students. While historically the assistant director, with the help of the English Department, has found a sufficient number of English SI leaders, this semester we lacked qualified applicants even after working with English faculty for recommendations. There was a significant decrease in overall supplemental instructor leader applicants for each discipline this year, probably related to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

To address the decreased number of applicants, the assistant director will begin working with faculty to obtain recommendations much earlier in the semester in preparation for the next term. While the department potentially supports all students in a wide range of disciplines, the department is conducting assessment efforts to gauge reasons for nonparticipation so that it can adjust accordingly and support more students in the future. The department has learned that it needs to adapt SI Leader recruitment strategies for these changing times. Next steps include creating an action plan for greater intentionality in hiring peer educators and gathering data on participation and student success at the end of fall semester.

Expansion of one-on-one study skills program to include growth mindsets

Peer educator training was expanded to include a focus on mindset. The mindset expansion in the study skills program was implemented with interactive activities. The assistant director and SI specialist implemented a pre-test and post-test to better understand the mindsets of students before and after the 8-week series. Pre- and post-tests include Likert-scale and open-ended questions. So far, there have not been challenges, and no changes in planning have been necessary.

Preliminary data from pre- and post-tests are suggesting potential changes in student mindsets. A question example includes the following statement: “When I work hard, it makes me feel as though I’m not very smart.”
a. Pre-Survey:  62.5% Disagree; 25% Strongly Agree; 12.5% Agree
b. Post-Survey: 80% Disagree; 10% Strongly Disagree; 10% Agree

This intervention has the potential to support all students since any student who attends the workshop study skills series in exposed to this content. There have been 82 sessions conducted since August 2021. Preliminary results show that students are more invested in mindset material than anticipated, including concepts that are not included in pre and post-tests. For example, in the open-ended questions we received responses such as “I did not know the brain’s neutrons actually change and adapt when learning a new skill” and “I never thought I was smart, and I didn’t think spending extra time could help that.”

Next steps include assessing the mindset activities and delivery in this series after more mindset data have been collected from pre- and post-tests.

Choosing a Major Workshop

In Fall Semester 2021, the student success coach offered five workshops that cover strategies for choosing a major. However, because of lack of student participation, these will be offered again in the spring with broader advertising for the event.

Honors Program Co-curricular Experiences

Coordinator of the Honors Program and Dean of Students Office

Student Life facilitated Honors Program seminars that focused on personal and professional development and included a focus on student success, navigating campus resources, mental health awareness, and resume building. In Fall 2020, these seminars were conducted virtually due to COVID-19, and they were hosted in-person in Spring 2021. The Honors Program had a noticeable presence at the 9/11 Day of Service and the Big Event in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, respectively, and 42 Honors students participated in the 9/11 Day of Service during Fall 2021. The Honors Program hosted its inaugural Last Lecture on February 9, 2021. This event was conducted virtually and was attended by honors students, the Honors Program Council, and the administration. A recording of the event was disseminated to all faculty and staff.

COVID-19 was a considerable challenge for the co-curricular component of the Honors Program. However, Student Life’s willingness to offer programming virtually enabled honors students to experience the Honors Program seminars. Student engagement, even for a required event, is a challenge. Many students believe that their sole responsibility is to perform well in their classes. Although the Honors Program is an academic program, the Honors Council has made the decision to prioritize student engagement outside the classroom, and communication of this expectation to students takes persistence and time. Executing the co-curricular components of the Honors Program is an extremely important step in honing the culture of the Honors Program at Dalton State. These co-curricular events help the Dalton State community to consider the Honors Program as more of a holistic experience rather than a program centered solely on academic courses.

Since its inception in 2018, the program has been expanded to allow participation from dual enrollment students, and the program has grown steadily from its initial group of 20 students to include 153 students in Fall 2021, with 93 freshmen, 33 sophomores, 11 juniors, and 2 seniors. Next steps include assessing the effectiveness of co-curricular components of the Honors Program.

Honors Program Perspectives (first-year experience) Courses

Coordinator of the Honors Program

Students in the Honors Program were enrolled in one of three honors-only Perspectives courses in Fall 2020. These courses were team-taught by faculty members, which achieved a certain degree of interdisciplinarity in their course content. Although an innovative idea in principle, having the Perspectives courses team-taught required some challenges for faculty members who are accustomed to teaching their own subject matter and delivering their course content in a way in which they are comfortable. Consequently, in Fall 2021, Honors sections of Perspectives are not being team-taught.

Having honors-only sections has been advantageous for the faculty and the students in the program. These sections have strengthened the students’ sense of community and belonging and have elevated the perception of academic rigor for Perspectives courses.

Examination of the content of introductory science courses with a focus on inclusive learning and focus on removing barriers to inclusion and equity

Principal investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) grant

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) grant leadership team designed an Inclusive Teaching Fellows program for STEM faculty during the 2021-2022 academic year. This fellowship requires faculty to participate in the following:

1.A six-week Inclusive STEM Teaching comprehensive online course.

2.A six-week faculty learning community run alongside the course, and

3.A two-day symposium analyzing STEM success data in the College’s introductory STEM courses, identifying solutions, and creating an action plan going forward to modify the content and delivery of introductory STEM courses to improve student success.

Three faculty applied for and were successfully accepted into a national NSF program to be trained as facilitators in the online Inclusive STEM Teaching Project course in Summer 2021. In addition, five more faculty from different disciplines have been accepted to be trained as facilitators in this course in January 2022, further expanding the reach this project. Although the course appears to be focused on STEM, the inclusive teaching practices are generic and broadly applicable. Fourteen faculty across the STEM disciplines who teach introductory courses were successfully accepted as HHMI Inclusive Teaching Fellows for the 2021-2022 academic year.   

Though there are plans to expand the program in 2022, faculty time remains a challenge in preventing higher participation, as many faculty are teaching extra classes or are participating in pre-tenure, tenure, promotion, and post-tenure review or our SACSCOC reaccreditation efforts.

Successes so far include having 14 faculty apply to participate in the fellowships after a challenging 2020-2021 academic year; having three faculty trained as Inclusive Teaching facilitators, to be followed by five more; the interest in this material and project both inside and outside of STEM; and the expansion of this project through the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning across campus. Because introductory STEM courses are an important and required part of our general education curriculum, this work will provide support for all our students.

Lessons Learned so Far: A review of student success data in the College’s introductory STEM courses shows that this work is very much needed, but it is matched by faculty interest in supporting this work. Further, providing stipends encourages faculty to participate more completely in faculty development opportunities.

The first six-week faculty learning community is underway in STEM, which will be followed by a second cohort of STEM faculty and also a cohort of faculty from outside of STEM in Spring 2022.

Resilience Plans: Momentum Approach


Progress Update (Accomplishments, challenges, successes, changes in planning, support of all students, lessons learned so far, and next steps)

Departmental review of all program maps & focus areas and the sharing of program maps with professional advisors and all faculty advisors

All departments and schools on campus reviewed the 9-credits selected for their focus areas, updated the program sheets, shared the updated sheets with the departmental faculty, and shared completed program sheets with the Advising and Student Success Center. These guided pathways support all students in that they include a plan that clearly presents the steps to program completion. Because of the diversity of our programs, it has been a challenge to ensure that everyone shares a uniform vision and understanding of the purpose of the pathways. Next steps will include an annual review of the pathways to ensure that they include any updates and are accurate.

Focus on student, faculty, and staff well-being and resilience

Asst. Director of Fitness

Executive Director of Health and Wellness

Campus Recreation has been promoting well-being and providing on-going health-related engagement activities for students, faculty, and staff. These include “Fit in 30,” “Power Yoga Lite,” and “Core Yoga” fitness classes at Bandy Gym; “Pop-Up Workouts” via Teams; “Yoga Lite” via Zoom; Weekly Wellness Series via Teams; Instagram IGTV series “Being Active with Your Wellness,” “Fit Mind. Fit Body,” & “The 14-day Fitness Streak”; Stretch It Out via Teams; “Wellness Walks” on DSC campus; “No Machines Needed” workshop at Bandy Gym; “Core Strong” workshop at Bandy Gym; “Women’s Wellness Group” at Bandy Gym & via Teams; Wellness Coaching; and Personal Training.

The greatest challenge for programming has been the COVID-19 pandemic. When DSC reopened in August 2020, it reopened with most classes still online or in a hybrid format and with most staff alternating days in the office and at home, which kept the population at DSC at any given day to a minimum. Therefore, campus recreation saw a low number of students coming to the Bandy Gym to participate in the in-person programs. Those that would have liked to come were faced with restrictions such as mask mandates, locker room/shower closures, water fountains being shut down, distancing, mats not allowed to be borrowed, and the basketball court closure. All these barriers made programming not only a challenge for staff but a challenge for attendees. For the virtual programs, it was still challenging due to availability. Neither the Fitness Center director’s office nor home space was ideal space for virtual programming. Equipment needs, space, noise, reliable Wi-Fi, and available times were barriers. Wellness coaching did the best virtually compared to other programs. Even though now, we are all back full-time, normal is not normal. While some programming can be successful virtually, the challenges are helping students, faculty, and staff to feel safe; helping people get back into a routine after being out for almost two years; and remotivating the campus on the importance of getting back to taking care of themselves.

Among the successes was the ability of the assistant director of fitness to implement such a variety of virtual programs in conjunction with the in-person programs and being flexible with offering a program virtually or moving it virtually, when possible. This program supports all students (and the whole campus community) through the variety of programs offered, and there are no additional costs to students for any of the programs offered.

From March 2020 through summer 2021, no intramurals or outdoor trips were offered because of USG COVID-19 protocols. In Fall 2021 DSC is offering basketball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, and badminton. Campus Recreation has a number of challenges that go beyond the huge challenge represented by COVID-19 over the past year and a half. One of these is sharing space with intercollegiate athletics and fitness classes. With having only one large group space, the gym floor is used by PE classes, intramurals, fitness classes, and intercollegiate athletics.

In fall 2021, Campus Recreation had one of the highest participation rates for intramural basketball. Through intramurals we are able to field club teams in basketball as well and those teams’ travel throughout the southeast to compete in a variety of tournaments. We currently plan to participate in tournaments again in fall 2021 and spring 2022, and we have learned that intramurals offered in the evening can be successful. Campus Recreation supports the well-being of all Dalton State students, faculty, and staff through a remarkable array of activities and variety of sports.

The next steps are uncertain as the Bandy Gym is scheduled for a major renovation. Once the renovation begins, Campus Recreation will offer in-person programs and intermural sports to the extent possible and virtually when feasible. The renovation had been scheduled for fall 2021, but that has been pushed to either spring or summer 2022.  With the renovation, Campus Recreation should be able to meet more of the needs of our students. 

Focus on student mental health and well-being


The Counseling Center has been supporting our students through the following activities:

  • Faculty and staff interested in QRP training have received materials and are shadowing or facilitating QPR trainings with Counseling Center staff. Once trained, these staff will be able to provide training independently in the future.
  • Three speakers from Active Minds ( have been scheduled.  Marketing of these events will begin soon, and the events have been put on the DSC master calendar. 
  • The Center has purchased 100 self-help books from New Harbinger Publishing, and these are currently available for checkout at the Robert's library.  
  • Key stakeholders on campus have been trained, and Kognito is available to both students and staff for mental health training. 
  • Fresh Check Day materials (  have been purchased for three events and are available for use. A Fresh Check Day committee is currently working on completing the details of the program and training student groups to participate in the facilitation of the program in October. 
  • Permanent door signs with crisis and emergency numbers for each room in the residence hall and public bathrooms across campus are being installed in public restrooms as they are delivered, and permanent signs for the residence hall are currently in production.

Graduate School Fairs and Workshops

Library staff,

Office of Career and Professional Development


The Roberts Library in conjunction with the Office of Career and Professional Development and faculty hosted Grad School 101 panels to help prepare students for the College’s Graduate School Fairs. The workshops were designed to help students polish their resumes, write a statement of purpose, optimize their applications, and learn about the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT graduate school entrance exams, as well as exam preparation materials offered through the college. These workshops were held for October 6 and 7th, and all Dalton State students were invited to participate.

The Office of Career and Professional Development (OCPD) hosted a Graduate School Fair on October 13th. As of September 20, 17 schools registered to participate. This event was marketed to all students with a focused marketing campaign directed at Dalton State juniors and seniors. Challenges include the increase in Covid-19 numbers in our area, which is keeping some students and recruiters from attending. However, the event was an in-person event. Next steps include surveying participants for suggestions on improving future Graduate School fairs.

Campus-wide student leader mindset training


The assistant director of peer education included mindset training/development in the annual student leader retreat curriculum in August. While the student leader retreat would normally reach more students, attendance was limited to 60 students to avoid overcrowding for the safety of participants.

After the retreat, students completed an assessment regarding their experiences, and one question asked: “As a result of attending the retreat, I have a better understanding of how mindset can impact my role as a student leader and when working with other students.”

  • 61% said that it strongly impacted their understanding
  • 32.3% said that it did impact their understanding
  • 6.5% felt neutral
  • No student indicated that it wasn’t helpful

The assistant director had planned an interactive mindset activity that required students to get in groups and move around. However, due to physical distancing requirements, she made changes to the activity to allow for participation from smart phones, with results being projected on a large screen viewable by the audience. The format was well-received. Since student leaders interact with a significant number of students during the course of a semester, these leaders provide support for all students as the intent of the workshop was for them to interact with peers in ways that promote a growth mindset.

Students enjoyed learning about mindset. Of the 12 sessions that they engaged in, mindset was ranked as the second most impactful topic that they learned about (Diversity ranked #1).

Career Week and Career Fairs

Office of Career and Professional Development

The Office of Career and Professional Development (OCPD) offered free headshot days, with 118 students participating in Fall 2021. The office continued to coordinate the Nest-Career Closet that provides students with free interview-appropriate clothing and hosted a contest where students could put together a male and female professional wear outfit using clothing from The Nest and win a $100 gift card to the DSC bookstore. This contest helped generate awareness and visits into the Career Closet. The office also hosted a Fall 2021Internship Fair, and 105 students attended and spoke with local employers seeking to hire our students.

Challenges include faculty buy-in on encouraging students to attend career events, lack of student awareness of events, reduced participation because of COVID-19, lack of interest in learning about careers until graduation, and lack of an event space large enough for career fairs.

To improve faculty support for the importance of student participation in these events, the office will work with Academic Affairs. These events provide support for all Dalton State students, including alumni. They are marketed via email, the Roadrunner App, flyers, posters/A-frames, E-beep, social media platforms, DSC’s Marketing & Communications department, and in classroom presentations hosted by OCPD.

Success includes the ability to host in-person events for the first time since Fall 2019, increased faculty support for the event by offering class credit for attending, and positive feedback from all participants. Among the lessons learned so far are student preference for in-person over virtual events and understanding that word of mouth seems to be the best way for students to learn about campus events, programming, and resources. Next steps include preparation for Spring Semester 2022 events including Career Fairs and Career Week.


Our progress toward implementing our communication and data plans is detailed in the sections below.

Communication planning


Progress toward implementing your plans to tie together your Momentum efforts across the campus; what challenges, if any, you are currently facing (and what might help to overcome them); what lessons you have learned; and what measures you are using to understand your progress and success.

Improved awareness of the Momentum approach and its components

To improve campus awareness of the Momentum approach and its components, a member of the Momentum Team wrote and published an article on this year’s Momentum theme (All in It Together) in the Dalton Digest, a semester publication that includes reflections on classroom teaching, updates on programs and initiatives, and professional accomplishments.

In addition, the Office of Academic Affairs organized a Faculty and Staff Development Day in August. A number of interactive workshops focused on various aspects of the Momentum approach, including “Supporting Students: From Surviving to Thriving,” “QEP: Next Steps on the Journey to Student Success,” “Avoid the Weeds, Cultivate the Relationship: Supporting Students through Faculty Advising,” “Mental Health Matters,” and “Helping Students Take Ownership of Their Education through Project-Based Learning.” These workshops were well attended.

To understand progress, we will survey faculty and staff in Spring Semester 2022 to assess awareness of and involvement with Momentum activities.

Increased faculty buy-in and application of the Momentum approach and its components

In late spring 2021, Academic Affairs held virtual meetings with all of the academic departments on campus to discuss the Momentum approach and the College’s goals and action plans. In these meetings and at department meetings, faculty were encouraged to complete the newly created Mindset modules in the CETL GeorgiaView platform. In August, department chairs and deans also placed an emphasis on faculty goal-setting to encompass Momentum approaches, including a focus on purpose, relevance, sense of belonging, advising, and mindset.

Increased staff buy-in and application of the Momentum approach and its components

Staff in the Office of the Dean of Students were asked to set some goals that support the College’s Strategic Plan. One of the main goals of the 2020-2024 Strategic Plan focuses on student success efforts and includes as a subgoal “Expand Momentum Approach practices.” These goals will be assessed in the later part of spring semester.

Increased student awareness and buy-in of the Momentum approach and its components

The Dean of Students Office has continued to sponsor activities that promote students’ sense of belonging. These include Campus Activity Board events such as “Put Put with CAB,” “Day for Dalton,” “Get the Scoop on Involvement,” “Paint U Party,” “Farewell to Summer Luau,” and the CAB “Kickback Bonfire.” These events promote students’ sense of belonging and encourage campus engagement and are being offered face-to-face with social distancing to the extent possible.

Promotion of academic mindset awareness of parents

The Mindset Committee developed an informational sheet on academic mindset that was distributed to parents at New Student Orientation during summer 2021.  Because we are a Hispanic-Serving Institution, the informational sheet included Spanish and English Versions.

Data Plan

Most of the assessment efforts that we will be using to determine progress toward implementing our work to tie together our Momentum efforts across campus are set to be analyzed at the end of fall semester and the end of spring semester. These include the following:

  • The examination of student success rates in our first-year Perspectives courses.
  • Supplemental instruction success and participation rates at the end of fall semester.
  • Student perceptions pertaining to mindset and individual tutoring session data at the end of fall semester.
  • Student, faculty, and staff well-being participation in fall semester programming.
  • Student success in moving through the Momentum year.
  • Campus awareness of and participation in Momentum activities.
  • DFWI and retention rates.
  • Number of faculty implementing high-impact practices.
  • Faculty completion of the Mindset modules in GeorgiaView.
  • Participation in Career Week and Career Fairs.
  • Student participation in and satisfaction with Graduate School fairs and workshops.
  • Student, faculty, and staff well-being participation data.
  • Participation in and follow-up with attendees of the Choosing a Major Workshop.

A part of our data plan involved sharing DFWI rates with deans, department chairs, and program coordinators to identify courses where interventions could improve student success. The Office of Institutional Research and Planning and the Office of Academic Affairs distributed DFWI rates for all classes offered in Fall Semester 2020 and Spring Semester 2021 to deans and department chairs in May 2021. Chairs and deans were asked to review the rates to see if there were any courses or other issues that could be addressed (or that could be used to show improvement based on previous assessment).

In August, the Office of Academic Affairs sent the deans a listing of courses taught in their schools during Fall 2020 and/or Spring 2021 that had DFWI rates greater than 25%. As a part of a new Annual Program Data Review Report (submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs beginning October 2021), program coordinators were asked to review program and general education courses with high DFWI rates, noting differences between face-to-face, hybrid, and online courses, if applicable. For each course with a DFWI rate greater than 25%, program coordinators, in discussions with all program faculty, created action plans for improvement, which are described in the program review reports.

Faculty and Staff Outreach and Support


Progress toward implementing your plans to tie together your Momentum efforts across the campus; what challenges, if any, you are currently facing (and what might help to overcome them); what lessons you have learned; and what measures you are using to understand your progress and success.

Mindset modules for faculty housed in the CETL GeorgiaView Platform

The Mindset Committee developed an asynchronous course related to the three parts of academic mindset for faculty. The course includes informational items, activities, and discussions for reflection and planning and is available for all faculty in the CETL platform in GeorgiaView. Faculty have been encouraged to complete the modules as a means of professional development, and the Mindset Committee was expanded to include staff. At the end of Spring Semester 2022, to understand success and progress, the Mindset Committee will review the modules in GeorgiaView to assess faculty participation.

Development of Mindset modules for staff

Mindset Committee

The Mindset Committee is seeking input from the Staff Council’s Committee on Professional Development to determine topics on academic mindset that are interesting and useful to staff members across campus. Initial topics will be presented to the Mindset Committee at its October meeting. Staff members across campus have a wide variety of job responsibilities and levels of student interaction. The challenge of this activity is the creation and development of module materials that will be useful to all staff members.

Development of Quick Mindset Messaging Guide for faculty and staff

A member of the Academic Mindset Committee will develop an initial draft of a Quick Mindset Messaging Guide for faculty and staff and present it to the committee by October 1. The committee will provide feedback on the statement and share it with the executive director of the Advising and Student Success Center for review and input. An anticipated challenge is development of a guide that fits the variety of majors in the different schools. Once the guide is finalized, the executive director of the Advising and Student Success Center will assist with messaging outreach to faculty and professional advisors.