GGC selected for ACE Change and Innovation Lab

National initiative to increase first-generation and nontraditional student attainment rates 
Georgia Gwinnett College has been selected by the American Council on Education (ACE) to participate in its Change and Innovation Lab (CIL), a groundbreaking initiative to help colleges and universities implement significant and sustainable initiatives to increase the number of first-generation and nontraditional students who gain a college degree.
 
GGC is one of nine institutions that will work during the 18-month CIL project to implement concrete steps on their campuses and identify how some of these practices can be applied broadly at colleges and universities across the country. The project is being generously supported by a $400,000 grant from Lumina Foundation.
 
“We are very pleased to have been selected for this initiative,” said Stas Preczewski, interim president. “More than half of GGC’s enrollment includes students targeted through the CIL, which also will contribute toward Governor Deal’s Complete College Georgia initiative.” 
 
Georgia Gwinnett’s representatives for the program include Preczewski; Lois C. Richardson, acting senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs and provost; Adolfo Santos, dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Jim Fatzinger, senior associate provost for Student Affairs.
 
“The institutions that are participating in the Change and Innovation Lab are engaged in meaningful exploration of initiatives aimed at mobilizing higher education to increase student success and attainment nationwide,” said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. “We are grateful to Lumina Foundation for its support of this project, as well as for its continuing focus on improving postsecondary attainment.”
 
ACE convened the initial meeting of the CIL earlier this month in Washington, attended by campus teams that included each institution’s president or chancellor and chief academic officer. The criteria for selecting CIL institutions was designed to encourage high-access institutions to participate, including colleges and universities that enroll large numbers of Pell Grant recipients, have a history of serving or the capacity to serve post-traditional learners, and are interested in using technology and data to improve attainment rates.
 
Also participating in the Change and Innovation Lab are Brandman University (CA), Cambridge College (MA), Edinboro University (PA), Graceland University (MO), Hiram College (OH); Lehman College (NY), Mercy College (NY) and Winthrop University (SC).
 
“Campus leaders engaged in the Change and Innovation Lab are both systematically planning their own transformation efforts, with a focus on change leadership, faculty engagement, and the smart use of data, and helping us to develop templates and promising practices that can be applied more broadly,” said Cathy A. Sandeen, ACE’s vice president for education attainment and innovation. “The work being undertaken here is an important step in achieving the type of transformational change that is needed to reach ambitious national attainment goals.”
 
“We are very pleased that ACE’s Change and Innovation Lab for higher education leadership teams is underway and look forward to seeing the results,” said Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation. “We hope CIL can help provide the set of skills and tools leaders need today to close attainment gaps, and we are particularly hopeful that training leadership teams can more fully engage a campus in pursuit of those goals.”
 
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