Challenges in Front of Us
Are We The Problem?
students who enrolled in college in 2018 who will not graduate.
of the students in the 2018 cohort who will not graduate are African American, Hispanic, or from low-economic backgrounds.
of students majoring in STEM fields are African American.
of students wished they had chosen a different major.
Bachelor degree holders make more than those with just a high school diploma.
Four years after graduation, African American students owe more in student loans than their white peers.
National percentage point gap between Pell and non-Pell students who graduate in six years.
Evidence-based, data-driven strategies for Student Success
The NISS provides partner institutions with in-depth diagnostic analyses, implementation support, and learning pathways that enable significant improvements in graduation rates and reductions of equity gaps.
Practical know-how developed by subject matter experts who have successfully implemented such programs on their own campuses.
Equity Gap Reduction
Innovative and proven approaches for large-scale, positive transformation for students from all backgrounds.
Data Driven Student Support
Equitable outcomes in the enrollment, retention, and graduation of students from diverse backgrounds through the implementation of data-informed practices
Holistic data analysis that identifies and addresses institutionally-created completion barriers.
Success by the Numbers
Georgia State is nationally known for pioneering student success programs that have eliminated equity gaps and improved college completion rates for all students.
“The lessons learned by Georgia State are transferable. The NISS disseminates evidence-based best practices to other colleges and universities and provides a suite of services to support their successful implementation.”
Dr. Tim Renick, NISS Executive Director
How does the NISS help institutions improve student success outcomes?
First-Time Full- and Part-time Freshmen Retention Rates
Average Percentage Point Increase Between Fall 2022 and Fall 2023 Retention Rates
The NISS’s first group of partner institutions—seven public universities in the University System of Georgia, including three HBCUs—launched the 5-month Diagnostic and Playbook process in 2021 and have had more than a year to implement their Playbook recommendations, most with formal coaching support from the NISS.
All seven institutions saw significant gains in retention rates over the last year, with improvements ranging from 3.9 to 14.9 percentage points. The average one-year gain of 6.7 points realized by NISS partners was four times higher than the 1.7-point gain seen by public universities in Georgia not working with the NISS.
Total Additional Students Retained Among NISS Partners
After a steep decline in retention rates across public universities in Georgia during the pandemic, non-NISS partners still lag pre-pandemic numbers by more than 4 percentage points. The NISS partners now exceed pre-pandemic numbers by almost 2 percentage points. These one-year retention gains translate into almost 800 additional students enrolled and a $4.7 annual increase in tuition and fee revenues.
Source: 2020-2021, IPEDS; 2022-2023, USG by the Numbers Retention Rate Reports
The NISS Diagnostic and Playbook and service model is instrumental in moving the needle on student success.
"NISS provided a holistic and data informed assessment of my institution’s current student success strategies. It was a thorough campus-wide effort which supported meaningful dialogue and follow-up….and served as a reminder to everyone involved of the greater good and importance of our collective work."
Dr. Raymond Clarke
Vice President of Student Affairs Savannah State University
Accomplishments by Georgia Southern University
- – New Proactive Academic Interventions increased student engagement levels from 27% to 99%
- – Redesign of First-Year Experience Course allows students to develop and apply information literacy skills and to engage with their degree program focusing on career growth, campus resources, and the university community
- – Eagle Engage Program: Connects students intentionally to right-fit co-curricular programs, provides easy links to student/advisor resources, and allows programs to easily invite targeted students to specific events
“We intend to increase retention levels above pre-pandemic record rates by implementing NISS recommended retention initiatives such as adopting predictive analytics, introducing the Keep HOPE Alive program, and developing infrastructure to support coordinated, comprehensive student care. Georgia Southern’s retention goal for 2026, with the guidance and support of the NISS, is 81%!”
Accomplishments by Fort Valley State University
- – Redesigned Enrollment 101: Equips students with the tools to navigate enrollment.
- – Targeted SAP Proactive Coaching: Targeted, data-informed support to help students at risk of losing eligibility for Federal Financial Aid hold on to their Pell Grants and Federal loans.
- – Advising Redesign: Is helping more students schedule advising appointments and register on time; Group Advising sessions at the Jones Student Center and library have shown a positive impact in retention.
- – Coordinated Communication Channels: Redesigning the use of email and text messages has played a pivotal role in fostering a more connected and informed student body.
- – 5.9% One-year increase in overall Fall enrollment
“The implementation of a comprehensive set of strategies has significantly contributed to the improvement of student retention and success within our academic community….By ensuring timely and relevant information reaches students, we have empowered them to make informed decisions about their academic journey, scheduling advising appointments, registering of classes in a timely manner, reducing uncertainty and enhancing their overall experience.”
President Paul Jones and Dr. Timothy Hatchett
Accomplishments by Kennesaw State University
- – Restructured ADVISING: Centralized management and reporting; Developed advisor dashboards to track engagement and initiatives; Adopted new advising technology
- – METRICS Dashboard: Resulted in 4% growth in student credit hour intensity
- – Early Alerts: 40% of faculty submitted mid-term grades for at least one course, totaling 38% of courses offered (2023)
- – uHoo Analytics: D2L-based faculty alert system being developed to facilitate student-success interventions during a semester
- – FLIGHT Program: First-year student engagement and identity program created under student affairs
- – BLOCK Scheduling: Redesign first-year experience; students select 2 blocks (15-16 credit hours) simplifying registration and ensuring a strong academic start
“Our partnership with the NISS has been a catalyst for change….[There are] six major student success initiatives in progress at KSU that are outcomes of our work with NISS.”
News & Insights
Feb 13, 2024 · 5 minutes
University System of Georgia Working with Georgia State University’s National Institute for Student Success
University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor Sonny Perdue today announced the successful…
Feb 6, 2024 · 10 minutes
National Institute for Student Success Receives $4.96 Million Grant from the Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation
ATLANTA—Georgia State University’s National Institute for Student Success (NISS) received a $4.96 million grant…
Nov 30, 2023 · 5 minutes
National Institute for Student Success Receives Grant from the Carol and Gene Ludwig Family Foundation
ATLANTA – The National Institute for Student Success (NISS) at Georgia State University received…