Academics

Metric Three


Metric 3: Degrees Conferred by Degrees Offered

This metric demonstrates that enrollment decline does not necessarily result in fewer degrees conferred. Table 3 shows that the reverse is true at SGSC for the five-year period. During the five-year period, there has been a significant increase in the number and type of student success strategies created to foster student achievement. The two SGSC campuses both have academic success tutoring centers, STEM centers, writing centers, and 24/7 tutoring availability through tutor.com. In addition, there is a student success program for residential students on the Douglas Campus (there are no residence halls on the Waycross Campus).

Table 3
Enrollments and Degrees Conferred by Degree Offered

 

FY2017

FY2018

FY2019

FY2020

FY2021

Total Student Enrollment

2542

2540

2482

2346

2028

Associate Degree

236

265

261

302

312

Career Associate Degree

60

41

48

42

44

Bachelor’s Degree

33

58

65

69

96

Total

329

364

374

413

468

 

Source: USG ADC Census; USG Degrees Conferred Reports. https://www.usg.edu/research/usgbythenumbers

Analysis and Evaluation of Metric 3

The table above shows that both transfer associate’s and career bachelor’s degree production have increased over the five-year period of data, in spite of enrollment decreases during the five-year period—most notably due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the most recent year. Apart from the effects of COVID-19, enrollment decreases are primarily due to the termination of a college non-degree entry program on the campus of another USG institution and the termination of some dual enrollment core curriculum offerings at area high schools. The salient point here, however, is that degree production has increased significantly over the five-year period, in spite of enrollment decreases, and, as demonstrated with metric two, graduation rates have also increased. It is important that the public understand that degree production and graduation rates are consistently rising at SGSC. The continuing COVID-19 pandemic creates some uncertainty regarding enrollment and graduation rates; consequently, the metric goal is 440 total graduates for FY 2022, with a minimum threshold of acceptability of 410—still above the number for FY 2020.

The career associate’s degree data is from the only such SGSC degree program, the Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN). Since FY 2018, degree production in the ASN program has remained steady and reflects the stringent faculty-student ratio required in Nursing programs.