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University System is ‘Faster, Friendlier and Easier’ for Military Personnel to Get a College Degree

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Atlanta — March 5, 2007

The University System of Georgia (USG) is stepping up efforts to serve the educational needs of the U.S. military by launching the Georgia Military Education Initiative (MEI). A coordinated and synchronized System-wide approach will be used to expand the degree programs, courses and support services available to every branch of the military.

“Georgia has one of the largest military populations in the nation, and the University System should become a major educational service provider for those men and women who are serving our country through military service,” said USG Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr.

North Georgia College & State University (NGCSU) has been designated as the lead institution in the MEI, given its status as The Military College of Georgia and its close association with the military community. Officials at NGCSU will orchestrate the planning and development of the initiative’s overall strategy with the support and oversight of the Board of Regents, the University System Office staff and in cooperation with other USG institutions and eventually, the Department of Technical and Adult Education.

“We are honored to accept responsibility for coordinating this effort and look forward to the USG becoming a major provider of educational programs to the military,” said NGCSU President David L. Potter. “Using the inherent strengths of various USG institutions in a collaborative manner, we expect to rapidly expand our support with flexible, high-demand programs of superior quality. The end result will be an overall increase in opportunity for the men and women of the Armed Forces and an enhanced capability for the innovative delivery of instruction by USG institutions to all our citizens.”

The MEI initiative has been planned as a coordinated, highly flexible, high-tech approach to serve military personnel who seek to further their education. University System officials seek to address the unique challenges that make it difficult to provide college degree programs to military personnel – a population frequently on the move and out of reach of a USG campus – through traditional means.

Other than the obvious goal of helping military personnel earn a college degree, the MEI program also will address some logistical issues faced by this group. Customer service to the military community will be improved by making access to the University System’s programs and services faster, friendlier and easier. The new initiative will eliminate red tape that could be a barrier to admission for military personnel and expand the use of technology to deliver online courses to military personnel, no matter where they are based.

University System officials have been working since the spring of 2006 with a military-based educational group known as the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) to develop prototypes for courses that can be delivered to military personnel in the field through such means as the popular iPod.

As part of the MEI initiative, a number of online degree programs will be used to help expand program delivery – the USG’s eCore (core curriculum courses), WebMBA (online master’s degree in business administration), WebBSIT (bachelor of science in information technology degree), European Union and African Studies Certificate programs.

For more information on the University System’s developing MEI program, contact: Billy E. Wells Jr., executive assistant to the president of NGCSU, 706-864-1993, bewells@ngcsu.edu.

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