Clayton State University received $636,200 in funding from the University System of Georgia, to help the state’s Complete College Georgia Initiative.
“How do you close an 18-percent gap between the numbers of Georgians who currently have some type of college degree and what the state’s workforce will need in 2020?” asked John Shiffert, director of university relations. “That is the challenge facing Georgia, its colleges and universities.” Shiffert added the money will be used to address Clayton State key institutional priorities and support the college completion efforts of Clayton State students.
To close the gap, 35 Georgia's public colleges and universities in the upcoming year will also receive funding totaling to $72.5 million. Gov. Nathan Deal and the General Assembly fully funded the University System's enrollment formula, and as a result, all 35 institutions will receive money to strengthen programs serving the system’s almost 320,000 students.
Shiffert said the money will be used to fund the following: $473,200 for seven new faculty positions; $118,000 for three staff positions that will enhance student services, these include a Financial Aid counselor, an academic advisor, and a position in the Registrar’s Office; and $45,000 for a development officer.
In addition to these funds, Shiffert added Clayton State has also received $250,000 funding for the Complete College Georgia Plan. According to Clayton State Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Micheal Crafton, these funds will be used to hire a data analyst and to provide support for those bottleneck academic areas that tend to lengthen a students’ time to degree, notably Math and English. “These efforts will come under the direction of Dr. Mark Daddona, associate vice president for Enrollment Management & Academic Success, whose office has already established a track record of success with the University’s First Year Advising & Retention Center (FYARC),” said Shiffert.
“Our Complete College Georgia Team is currently finalizing the Clayton State plan which will include a detailed budget developed to support the institution’s goals, objectives, and strategies,” added Daddona.
Shiffert said the seven academic positions will include: Faculty lines in Health Care Management, Psychology, Chemistry, Interdisciplinary Studies, Social Sciences, and Archival Studies. “We listed in our original statement of institutional priorities several faculty and staff positions that we considered critical to maintain and enhance our academic and student support mission,” said Crafton. “Our requests for funding were based upon strategic needs and upon overwhelming demand on our resources.
In addition to the seven faculty positions, the USG funding also benefits staff support of various aspects of Clayton State’s strategic plan, including the University’s ability to seek additional funding on its own.
“The office of development has collaborated with various departments and divisions on campus to prioritize initiatives which advance the University’s strategic plan,” notes Director of Development Reda Rowell. “The addition of a development officer will enhance our ability to seek funding sources to fulfill those priorities.”
It was last year when Gov. Nathan Deal announced that Georgia is one of 10 states to be awarded $1 million by Complete College America to fuel policy innovations and reforms aimed at significantly increasing college completion. In conjunction with this grant, Deal also introduced his Complete College Georgia Initiative.