VSU, Columbus Technical College Form Pathways Program Partnership

| June 2, 2017

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University just became the first University System of Georgia institution of higher education to sign articulation agreements with all 22 units of the Technical College System of Georgia.

On Wednesday, May 24, VSU and Columbus Technical College entered into a Pathways Program partnership designed to increase the number of West Georgians pursuing and earning advanced training and education.

The Pathways Program agreement will allow Columbus Technical College students with an Associate of Applied Science in one or more of the 29 articulated programs to maximize the transfer of credits in order to complete either a Bachelor of Science in organizational leadership, a Bachelor of Applied Science in human capital performance, or a Bachelor of Science in office administration and technology in two years or less at Valdosta State University, noted Dr. Joseph G. Weaver, director of Off-Campus Programs at VSU.

“This agreement provides Columbus Technical College students with an opportunity to smoothly transition to VSU, expand their knowledge and abilities, and enter Georgia’s workforce with the sophisticated critical-thinking, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills needed to be successful,” shared Dr. Richard A. Carvajal, president of VSU. “Higher education has never been more important in Georgia and across the United States. We look forward to welcoming our Columbus area friends into our Blazer Nation family for many years to come.”

Columbus Technical College opened its doors on Dec. 1, 1961, with seven instructors, 39 students, and eight academic programs. At that time, it was known as the Columbus Area Vocational-Technical School and operated as a unit of the Muscogee County School District. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and has an annual enrollment of approximately 6,000 students who are primarily residents of Muscogee, Harris, Talbot, Stewart, Quitman, and Chattahoochee counties and military personnel at Fort Benning. Its faculty and staff are committed to anticipating and responding to the community’s educational and workforce training needs, with a focus on helping the region’s businesses and citizens prosper. It offers associate degree, diploma, technical certificate of credit, customized training, continuing education, and adult education programs designed to develop a globally competitive workforce.

“Articulation agreements between the Technical College System of Georgia and the University System of Georgia provide associate degree graduates with the most affordable means of earning a bachelor’s degree,” said Lorette Hoover, president of Columbus Technical College. “VSU’s articulation agreement is the most generous of all, as our associate degree graduates are now eligible to earn that initial bachelor’s degree and then have the option to go on to pursue a master’s degree and maybe even a doctorate in the future. We are excited about the opportunities our students will have to further their education, advance their professional careers, and improve their quality of life.”

The Pathways Program centers on the priorities of Complete College Georgia, an initiative developed to increase the number of Georgians earning a college degree. It is a collaboration between Valdosta State University and partner institutions like Columbus Technical College to allow students with approved Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Applied Technology degrees to maximize the transfer of credits in order to complete a bachelor’s degree in two years or less. Pathways students can expect 51 or more transferable credit hours to be applied to either of the three articulated programs — Bachelor of Science in organizational leadership, Bachelor of Applied Science in human capital performance, or Bachelor of Science in office administration and technology — all of which are offered completely online.

“Over the past four years, hundreds of Technical College System of Georgia students from throughout the state have taken advantage of the Pathways Program to continue their education at VSU,” Weaver said. “As a group, these students have performed very well academically — a tribute to the education they received while earning their two-year degree. We look forward to expanding our Technical College System of Georgia relationship through other initiatives that will benefit the students we serve now and in the future.”

It is projected that over 60 percent of jobs in Georgia will require a certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree by 2020. Presently, approximately 42 percent of the state’s young adults, its developing workforce, are prepared to such a level, which means that Georgia must not only maintain current graduation levels but also produce an additional estimated 250,000 graduates in upcoming years to remain competitive.

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