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GSC faculty, staff affirm student success key elements at AASCU Academic Affairs Conference

Gordon State College was represented at the 2023 American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Academic Affairs Summer Meeting conference in Baltimore. Several faculty and staff along with representatives from Wright State University in Ohio served on a panel and discussed the topic of innovative mentoring practices and how these practices provide key elements of the student success ecosystem.

The panel consisted of GSC’s Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, Dr. Joanne Ardovini; Associate Professor of History, Dr. Scott M. Shubitz; and Interim Dean of the School of Education, History, Math, and Applied Sciences, Dr. Stephen A. Raynie. In their session, each panelist described their innovative use of mentor practices and initiatives on building cultures that support student success.

“At Gordon State College, we want our students not just to graduate, but to thrive once they graduate; our EDGE paradigm for student development is transformational and developmental: Engaged Innovators, Dedicated Scholars, Gifted Communicators, and Ethical Leaders,” Raynie said. “Mentoring is one method we can use to fuel that development.”

GSC’s faculty mentor program pairs first-year students with faculty who offer professional and academic guidance as well as connect students with on-campus resources. The program is a part of a larger psycho-social student success ecosystem that specifically addresses the problem of limited resources at small higher education institutions.

Ardovini, who was named to the AASCU Academy for New Provosts (ANP) in November of 2022, feels that “once the student is put at the center of the training, everything would fall into place.” At GSC, she said, the student is put first, second and always.

The conference, held on July 19-21, offered sessions that were anchored in AASCU’s commitment to advancing equitable student success and key considerations including mindsets, policies, structures and practices of a student-centered enterprise.

Founded in 1852, GSC is a member of the University System of Georgia. The college has a distinctive legacy of excellent scholarship and service. GSC offers 12 four-year degrees and 11 associate-level degrees, which includes multiple baccalaureate pathways for students. With an enrollment of over 3,100 students, GSC offers an intimate academic setting with state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories. In this setting, students receive individualized attention that only a small college with dedicated faculty and staff can provide.

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