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Undergraduate Advising & Transition (UAT) recently held their biannual Success Summit, providing GT students with the support and resources they will need to successfully transition while learning online. In its new e-format on Canvas, the January 2021 Summit was the most successful one yet.

Undergraduate Advising & Transition (UAT), previously a part of OUE’s Center for Academic Success (CAS), has hosted a Success Summit every spring and fall semester to help students either transition into the Georgia Tech semester. Most years, the Summit consists of workshops and panels discussing academic motivation, time management, and tutoring in conjunction with Tutoring and Academic Support (TAS).

Beatriz Rodriguez, Assistant Director of Academic Coaching and Success Programs, is a member of the UAT team that plans and hosts the Summit each semester. COVID-19 has caused the Institute to change their programming since March of last year, so Beatriz and her team have worked over the past two semesters to restructure the week-long event into an online format. Taking inspiration from the Graduate Professional Development Passport model, UAT create the e-Success Summit via Canvas modules.

“We recognized that through this model we’re no longer asking students to give up 4-5 hours of their time before classes start,” says Beatriz. “Now we have a self-paced model where students can sign up and complete their modules whenever they want throughout the week.” In addition to the five modules students can complete, the Canvas site also hosts discussions posts and a live chat for students and coaches to discuss each module.

Switching to this model has proven to be beneficial for both students and staff members. Students, once they complete all of their tasks for the day, receive a digital badge that ensure that students are participating and completing their modules. Participation has increased immensely, ranging from 30-40 average students in previous years to over 200 this semester. Additionally, providing online resources that will remain on the site for reference allows students to take what they’ve learned into the rest of their Georgia Tech academic careers.

“Since moving the program online, we’ve learned that students prefer this method over the traditional in-person programs,” Beatriz concludes. “A challenge we have faced is how to keep students engaged with active learning through online methods, but we’ve been leveraging technology to increase our reach and impact to students who wouldn’t otherwise participate.”

The next Success Summit will happen before the Fall 2021 semester.