COLLABORATIVE ACTIVITIES THROUGH MEMBER SERVICES
Professional Development Opportunities
Each year, GICA develops a robust calendar of professional development programs. These programs are offered to key campus groups to provide inexpensive, high-quality opportunities for professional growth and development. GICA member institutions place a high value on these training programs and find them to be a cost-effective way for staff and faculty members to remain current in their fields of expertise. Additionally, the programs allow participants a forum to explore new solutions for issues that arise on all campuses. GICA is committed to providing nationally-recognized speakers for these professional development programs at a reduced cost. In 2016, GICA held meetings for 345 participants from 25 member institutions including provosts, chief financial officers, information technology directors, human resource directors, and chief student affairs officers. GICA also hosts state-wide meetings to address timely topics of interest, such as complying with updated Title IX regulations or learning about updates to Clery Reporting. The format of these meetings varies depending on the topic, and include webinars, conference calls and in-person meetings.
GICA’s members frequently collaborate to save money and increase efficiency. Twenty-three companies participate in the GICA Procurement Portfolio, which provides cost savings on a diverse, broad range of products and services. GICA maintains membership in two group purchasing organizations, the Coalition for College Cost Savings and E&I, which increase member institutions’ access to discounts offered through national contracts. GICA member campuses spent over $30.2million through the GICA procurement program in 2016.
GICA’s member institutions collaborate to purchase a suite of online wellness and prevention services from EverFi. This agreement allows GICA institutions to purchase best-in-class online programs to address the critical issues of high-risk drinking, sexual misconduct, relationship violence, stalking and sexual harassment among students, faculty and staff. GICA partners with the University System of Georgia to obtain deep discounts for all of Georgia two- and four-year institutions of higher education.
GICA continues to oversee an Enterprise Term License Agreement (ETLA) with Adobe. GICA institutions aggregated their student populations to obtain a significantly discounted price for this multi-year agreement. This unprecedented collaborative project for GICA institutions was formed in 2015, and very few group ETLA agreements still exist for independent colleges and universities in the country.
The Higher Education Systems and Services (HESS) Consortium
GICA and eight member institutions assisted in forming The HESS Consortium. This national effort is focused on collectively lowering costs and increasing collaboration between private colleges and universities in the area of administrative systems and services. The consortium seeks new opportunities for collaborative pricing of vendor software, consultative services, software-as-a-service and cloud services.
GICA’s members view collaboration as a valuable way to work together to improve the efficiency of their institutions, learn new ways of serving their key stakeholders and leverage their collective buying power to decrease costs. GICA institutions collaborate in a variety of ways to enhance the educational experience and operational efficiency of each campus. GICA raises funds to help defray the costs associated with launching these collaborative endeavors.
GICA institutions continue to benefit greatly from the work of the Compliance Collaborative. The Compliance Webinar series delivered compliance trainings on background checks, I-9 issues, and the 2016 Fair Labor Standards Act changes.
The thirteen GICA institutions that formed the Compliance Collaborative Program in 2015 had the unique opportunity to access the Compliance Program Director, Leigh Parker, who joined GICA in February 2016. These institutions receive policy advice related to Title IX, the Violence Against Women Act, the Clery Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Director regularly reviews internal policies such as sexual misconduct policies, disability service policies, and Annual Security Reports. Over the past year, these colleges and universities participated in a number of custom, in-person trainings designed exclusively for the Collaborative schools including Title IX Investigator issues, hearing panels and appeals matters, and Responsible Employee and Clery Act Campus Security Authority Training.
GICA administers nine named scholarship programs, totaling over $61,000 in scholarship assistance to students who attended a GICA college or university. Additionally, GICA raises donations to support student scholarships in addition to managing an endowment. Together, more than $683,000 in scholarship aid was distributed. With the assistance of these scholarships, students are able to attend the GICA member institution that best fits their academic, social and spirtual preferences and needs. Many GICA scholarships are awarded to financially needy students who might otherwise be unable to attend college. These scholarships award financial assistance to deserving students and assist them in achieving their education and career goals.