Kennesaw State selected for AAC&U summer institute on student success

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Five-member team will work to develop and expand “high-impact” educational practices…

Georgia (Jun 3, 2013)Five-member team will work to develop and expand “high-impact” educational practices

 KENNESAW, Ga. (June 3, 2013) — Kennesaw State University is one of 48 colleges and universities selected to participate in an American Association of Colleges and Universities summer institute designed to help institutions develop plans to improve student success.

A team of five Kennesaw State administrators and faculty will develop an action plan to improve student retention, progression and graduation during the “High-Impact Student Practices and Student Success Institute” June 11–14 at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.  

The institute, one of three AAC&U offers during the summer, is designed to help campuses and systems develop institution-wide change strategies, especially ambitious goals for improving completion rates and the quality of student learning. Participant teams address barriers to student success and devise integrative plans to strengthen student learning.

“We’re very excited about the opportunity to attend the institute and develop an action plan that leverages KSU’s high-impact practices to enhance student success,” said Valerie Whittlesey, associate vice president for curriculum. “We have worked with KSU’s Enterprise Information Management office to complete an inventory of high-impact practices employed on the campus. We have also assembled a team of leaders working in some of those key areas.”

Whittlesey, who also serves as General Education Council chair and professor of psychology, will lead the planning team. Other team members include: Amy Buddie, associate director of graduate student support and undergraduate research and creativity activity in the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and associate professor of psychology; Beth Daniell, director of composition and general education representative for the English department, writing across the curriculum director and professor of English; Stephanie Foote, associate professor of education in first-year programs; and Maureen McCarthy, faculty executive assistant to Kennesaw State President Daniel S. Papp, chair of the “Engage KSU” initiative and professor of psychology.

The AAC&U has identified 10 “high-impact” educational practices that help assure student success. They include: first-year seminars and experiences; common intellectual experiences; learning communities; writing-intensive courses; collaborative assignments and projects; undergraduate research; diversity/global learning; service learning and community-based learning; internships; and capstone courses.

“Kennesaw State already excels in these practices,” Whittlesey said. “The Institute gives us the opportunity to further enhance and strengthen our high-impact practices and outcomes. Given KSU's commitment to a quality academic experience for students and to improving student completion rates, opportunities such as this institute are vital to our continued success.”

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 80 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of 24,600 students from more than 130 countries.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit