Regents Approve Termination of 253 Associate Degrees
Atlanta — January 10, 2012
The Board of Regents may have set a record with its action today to terminate 253 associate degree programs, of which 250 are associate of applied science degrees (AAS) and three are associate of science degrees. While the number is extraordinarily large, the majority of the terminated programs have been on the books, but currently have no students enrolled.
The regents’ action today follows its November 2011 approval of a new articulation agreement with the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), which is designed to reduce duplication of program offerings, avoid inefficient use of state resources, and minimize mission overlap between the USG and TCSG. The offering of AAS degrees falls primarily under the mission of the technical college system.
“The goal is to look at the array of programs offered by the System to ensure we have the right mix and that we and TCSG are aligned in ways that avoid unnecessary duplication of degree offerings,” said the USG’s Interim Chief Academic Officer David Morgan. “That we are terminating such a large number at one time is an indication of how serious the regents are taking our new relationship with the technical college system.”
Morgan also said that the elimination of the programs would enable the USG to focus its resources on academic programs that contribute toward efforts to increase college completion rates in Georgia through Gov. Nathan Deal’s Complete College Georgia initiative. “Both systems have ambitious goals to meet under this initiative and we must work together and work efficiently to succeed,” Morgan said.
Many of the programs that are being terminated have been inactive for a period of time, but were never officially terminated through board action. The USG currently offers 472 AAS degrees. Between the programs terminated today and the additional programs that are being deactivated–the first step per board policy to terminating a program–the USG will be eliminating nearly 78 percent of its AAS offerings, which leaves only 104 AAS programs (22 percent) in the USG.
A large number of these programs were approved years ago when the USG and TCSG developed cooperative AAS degrees when TCSG institutions were not yet accredited by the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools (SACS). Now that nearly all TCSG institutions are accredited, the need no longer exists for the USG to offer these specific programs.