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AMERICUS, Ga. (May 22, 2017)—Continuing its commitment to advance education, the AT&T Foundation presented Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) with a check today on their campus to support the University’s Gateways to Completion project. The grant funds will help faculty and staff at GSW reduce failure rates in "gateway" courses which have high rates of failure.

The Gateways to Completion process of continuous improvement, under the guidance of the John Gardner Institute, will help GSW create and subsequently implement an evidence-based plan for improving student learning, success and completion in courses that have historically resulted in high DFWI (grade of D, F, Withdrawal or Incomplete) rates especially for low-income, first generation and historically underrepresented students as defined by race and ethnicity. The courses involved in the plan include College Algebra, English Composition II and Essentials of Biology 1.

“Georgia Southwestern State University is proud to be working with the John Gardner Institute to apply the Gateways to Completion program,” said GSW Interim President Charles Patterson. “We are very grateful to AT&T, Bill Leahy and Courtney Brinson for their continued support of Georgia Southwestern.  This contribution by AT&T is a direct investment in the University’s faculty and the development of curriculum that support teaching, learning and student success.”

"Programs like Gateways to Completion are a testament to the strong commitment to education from Georgia's elected leaders like Lt. Gov. Cagle, and they effectively prepare Georgia's students for success in today's careers that require continually evolving skill sets,” said Bill Leahy, president of AT&T Georgia. “AT&T is proud to support Gateways to Completion at Georgia Southwestern State University, and the efforts being made to engage staff, faculty and students in the job of helping students find success in the classroom and build strong foundations for their futures.”

In support of public higher education in Georgia, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle was on hand during the presentation ceremony today on the GSW campus.

“It is always a pleasure to host Lt. Gov. Cagle on the beautiful campus of Georgia Southwestern State University,” Patterson added. “He has been a champion for education in the state of Georgia.”

Georgia Southwestern’s Gateways to Completion plan will officially begin June 14, 2017 and will be completed by June 30, 2018. The goal of the project is to reduce DFWI rates by 10 percent.

For additional information, call (229) 931-2037 or email

G2C ATT web

AT&T Georgia President Bill Leahy, center right, presents a check to GSW Interim President Charles Patterson, center. In support of public education in Georgia, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, center left, was on hand for the presentation, as well. L to R: Lynda Lee Purvis, GSW; Lou Chase, GSW Foundation; Randy Howard, Sumter County; Kathy Burns, Sen. David Perdue's Office; Boris Peltsverger, GSW; Americus Mayor Barry Blount; Kenneth Cutts, Rep. Sanford Bishop's Office; Cagle; Sam Miller, GSW; Patterson; Courtney Brinson, AT&T; Leahy; Brian Adler, GSW; Reda Rowell, GSW Foundation; Rosalyn Kirk; Gaye Hayes; and Rep. Bill McGowan.

About AT&T

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About Georgia Southwestern State University

Georgia Southwestern State University, located in Americus, Ga., is a public, four-year unit of the University System of Georgia with 3,000 students. Georgia Southwestern offers outstanding professional programs of study as well as degrees in the arts, humanities, sciences and graduate programs in business, computer science, education, English, and nursing. Founded in 1906, Georgia Southwestern is recognized as one of the best value colleges in the South. Visit for more information.

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