Orientation Planning Committee Awarded Regents Momentum Year Award

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Gordon State College Orientation Planning Committee, led by Dr. Peter Higgins, was recognized at a recent Board of Regents meeting and presented with the University System of Georgia’s Regents’ Momentum Year Award for Excellence in Advising and Student Success.

GSC President Dr. Kirk A. Nooks accepted the award which was presented during the BOR’s meeting in Savannah. He shared the award with faculty and others today.

In announcing the award Dr. Tristan Denley, executive vice chancellor & chief academic officer of the University System of Georgia noted “We received many outstanding nomination portfolios this year and each was thoroughly reviewed by a panel of faculty and administrators from across the University System. When the review committee met to discuss the nominations and finalize their recommendations, they voted unanimously to recommend you as this year’s winner.”

The committee noted, “The Gordon State College Orientation Planning Committee created a New Student Orientation Program that builds student momentum by emphasizing the advising relationship. Honoring the college’s motto – a place where students come to flourish – the interdisciplinary planning committee created a program that embodies the Momentum Year.”

Higgins, assistant vice president for academic excellence, said of the award, “We know very well how much outstanding Momentum Year work is being done on campuses across the USG, so to be singled out for recognition like this is both gratifying and humbling. The most exciting part for me is that this project was truly a team effort—we had faculty and staff from literally every corner of the campus make significant contributions. Rebuilding our New Student Orientation brought the entire campus together in ways I had not experienced before during my time at Gordon State.”

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Jeffery Knighton, a member of the Orientation Committee said, “We are honored to receive this recognition from the USG for the work of restructuring our new student orientation process.  This recognition complements our ultimate reward—an improved student experience that leads to better outcomes for our students.  We are fortunate to have Professor Higgins, and his entire team, dedicated to our students’ success.”

Statistics show that emphasizing the “advising relationship” of New Student Orientation has a positive impact on students.

A survey of students who attended NSO indicated that 62 percent agreed that they developed “a great sense of institutional pride and respect for the college.”   Fifty-nine percent of the students surveyed agree that the new student orientation helped them acknowledge individual responsibility to the campus community as well as ownership and responsibility for creating their own college experience.” 

“This means that as a team we are doing a better job of getting students in the correct academic mindset to ensure they are successful with college level work,” said Gordon State President Kirk A. Nooks. “This approach will have a positive impact on students well into the future.”