Augusta State near top in testing

Augusta State University outperforms almost all of its peers on state testing, and that success is seen across racial groups.

Georgia classifies 13 institutions as state universities, including Augusta State, and among those only Georgia College and State University beats ASU on the Board of Regents tests, according to the most recent data available on students who have earned 45 hours of college credit.

Augusta State also surpassed Georgia State University, one of the state's three research institutions.

The success on the tests, which have a reading and an essay portion, is seen in all demographic areas, said Thomas Gardiner, assistant dean of ASU's Pamplin College of Arts and Sciences.

Black students, for instance, score better than their counterparts in any of the other 12 state universities. They perform nearly as well as black students at Georgia Tech.

"We've known in general that ASU does well," Dr. Gardiner said, then added that he was "pleasantly surprised" by just how well. "I think there's a culture of commitment in the department."

The Board of Regents testing office recently asked the university to submit a report on what enables it to do so well.

"Every time we grade a paper it's a teaching opportunity," Dr. Gardiner said. And when you set high expectations, students will rise to meet them, he said. Professors don't teach to the test. The test results are just a byproduct of rigorous classes.

Dr. Gardiner also attributed Augusta State's success to its writing center and a dedicated faculty. Students are taught by professors, not teaching assistants.

"I believe our instructors see their mission here as helping students who arrive in their class regardless of their background," Dr. Gardiner said.

The Board of Regents exam tests basic competency of reading and writing skills.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

2004-05 BOARD OF REGENTS TESTS

RESEARCH UNIVERSITIESREADINGESSAYBOTH
Georgia Institute of Technology98.5096.7796.42
Georgia State University93.5988.9686.52
University of Georgia97.6194.8093.84
REGIONAL UNIVERSITIESREADINGESSAYBOTH
Georgia Southern University96.2495.9793.83
Valdosta State university87.986.2280.72
STATE UNIVERSITIESREADINGESSAYBOTH
Albany State University53.0360.6148.05
Armstrong Atlantic State University87.1785.7179.88
Augusta State University95.2995.7892.69
Clayton State University74.6274.4367.18
Columbus State University82.8881.9575.21
Fort Valley State University60.8073.0754.93
Georgia College & State University96.6296.0194.08
Georgia Southwestern State University86.9785.7180.25
Kennesaw State University85.7678.8776.05
North Georgia College & State University91.2281.1179.96
Savannah State University72.8083.9467.88
Southern Polytechnic State University87.8377.6876.52
University of West Georgia91.768.5084.26

Source: University System of Georgia Board of Regents