Strategic Planning
Georgia Southern University

President’s Taskforce on Graduate Education


The Graduate Education Task Force is charged with developing and recommending action plans to grow graduate enrollment to 14%, 16%, 18%, and 20% of total university enrollment; identifying organizational infrastructures and institutional resources required to support current and increased graduate enrollments at Georgia Southern University; and establishing the necessary mechanisms for enrollment management, financial management, course management, and student services that result in high quality, high integrity graduate programs, and graduate student services. To that end, the Task Force is charged with the following the following tasks:

Task 1: Develop a comprehensive evaluation of current and projected graduate programs for growth potential
The growth of graduate education should come from both the expansion of current graduate programs capable of sustaining significant growth with minimal to moderate investment, and the development of new programs that align strategically with national, state and regional interests.
Task 1 Goals:

  1. Examine the growth potential of existing programs through assessment and program review.
  2. Examine the potential for new intra- and inter-departmental programs as mechanisms for graduate program growth.
  3. Explore the development and expansion of graduate certificates, professional science master programs, and fully-online programs where such programs are appropriate.
  4. Explore the development of new, interdisciplinary programs that will encourage cross-fertilization in both teaching and research, and allow new collaborations and initiatives to flourish.
  5. Identify institutional resources required for successful implementation and sustainable growth.

Task 2: Enhance the College of Graduate Studies through restructuring and revitalization efforts
The College of Graduate Studies serves as the central collegiate component for uniting the graduate academic community at Georgia Southern and has a significant role to play in serving all academic departments and students. A more comprehensive and robust College of Graduate Studies is needed to serve both current and future capacities in graduate enrollment—from the first student connection, to commencement, and beyond.
Task 2 Goals:

  1. Examine current organizational infrastructures as related to current enrollment and anticipated growth.
  2. Examine current services, procedures and engagement activities as a function of current enrollment and anticipated growth.
  3. Identify institutional resources required to augment the current suite of services provided by the College of Graduate Studies, as well as institutional resources required to achieve effective, sustainable growth in the academic units. Support services include, but are not limited to, the following:
    1. Comprehensive recruitment, admissions and enrollment management models, supporting prospective and admitted students
    2. Advanced student support services such as retention programs, international recruitment, professional development programs and post-graduate placement
    3. Monitoring student academic progress towards degree, collection and mining of student data, and strategic execution of institutional and business intelligence analyses
    4. Pursuit of federal training grants
    5. Student support through strategic allocation of assistantships, fellowships, and financial aid
    6. Training opportunities for teaching assistants to ensure SACS compliance
    7. Thesis and dissertation approval
    8. Oversight of postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars
    9. Faculty and Graduate Program Director support and development
    10. Fund raising

Task 3: Implement a comprehensive model of enrollment management for graduate education
A comprehensive model for enrollment management should take into consideration proactive, multi-year approaches to forecasting enrollments through pre-determined enrollment goals established in cooperation with college leadership, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.
Task 3 Goals:

  1. Establish an organizational model for graduate recruitment that is specific to the needs of individual graduate programs
  2. Establish an enrollment management model that takes into account coordinated recruitment, admissions, targeted enrollment and student support from application to commencement
  3. Identify resources required to support active, full-time engagement by Program Directors

Kathy Albertson (Provost’s Office)
Tristam Alderidge (Graduate Admissions)
Laura Gunn (JPHCOPH)
Jonathan Harwell (Graduate Student Representative)
Donna Hodnicki (CHHS)
John King (COBA)
Chris Kowalczyk (Graduate Student Representative)
Lixin Li (CEIT)
Tracy Linderholm (COE)
Charles Patterson (COGS/Research)
Jeff Palis (International Studies)
Curtis Ricker (CLASS)
Steve Vives (Chair)
Stephen Zerwas (OIE)


Last updated: 11/19/2013

Office of the President • P.O. Box 8033 Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-5211