East Georgia State College’s Dr. Deborah Kittrell-Mikell recently traveled to the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom to conduct a presentation entitled “Giving More Attention to the Goal of Retention.” Her proposal was accepted in February and she attended the 2017 International National Academic Advising (NACADA) Conference, which consisted of participants from 19 countries represented by over 225 delegates. Most of the institutions that had proposals accepted were from comprehensive (research) universities; East Georgia State College was the only state college from the United States and in the University System of Georgia to participate.
Dr. Kittrell-Mikell has worked as an administrator in the advising profession for over 20 years and currently serves as the Director of Advisement on the EGSC - Swainsboro campus. In her presentation, she explained how, under the umbrella of intrusive and developmental advising, she was able to develop and implement five practices used for African-American male students and five used for students in the Learning Support program that have been successful in helping to retain students. She explained that collaborative efforts from the faculty at East Georgia State College has been an ongoing factor in the success of working with this population of students. She also identified two key resources that she found most helpful in accomplishing her educational endeavors in working with these students. One is a book by Kathleen F. Gabriel (2008), Teaching Unprepared Students: Strategies for Promoting Success and Retention in Higher Education, and the other is a book by Robert Palmer, Luke Wood and T. Elon Dancy (2014), Black Male Collegians: Increasing Access, Retention and Persistence in Higher Education.
Proud to represent EGSC in the United Kingdom, Dr. Kittrell-Mikell said, “As Director of Advisement at EGSC, one of the goals of working with African-American male students and Learning Support students is to cultivate an environment that empowers, inspires and motivates them to not only pass their classes, but excel academically.”