For the last five years, Georgia State University has awarded more bachelor's degrees to African-Americans than any other nonprofit college or university in the country. Serving more than 30,000 students — GSU became the state's largest university in 2015, when it merged with Georgia Perimeter College — the university has also brought up its graduation rate by more than 20 percent since 2003. So how did GSU get to be a paragon of personalizing education for all students?
We spoke with GSU academic adviser Chris Almond and his former advisee Keandris Cousin to find out. They met when Cousin, a first-generation college graduate, was struggling to find a way to finance her last semester of school, all while balancing five classes, three part-time jobs and two internships. Cousin is now a manager with Delta Airlines in Atlanta. Lindsay Page, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, also joined to explain how an artificially intelligent chatbot helped curb a phenomenon called "summer melt."