Public service activities at University System institutions are diverse. To help facilitate these activities, the following special public service organizations have been established:
Georgia Extension Service
The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service/Fort Valley State College Cooperative Extension Program operates in 159 counties, serving the people of the state through a traditional concept: taking the University to the people. A staff of highly trained specialists in agriculture, home economics, community and rural development, and youth development supports county extension personnel. In concert with client advisors, they identify key issues, develop programs, and carry out their mission of teaching in an informal, out-of-classroom setting.
The Extension Service, along with other state extension services and the UGA College of Agriculture, has identified issues to target in its programs. They include: alternative agricultural opportunities; building human capital; competitiveness and profitability in agriculture; conservation and management of natural resources; family and economic well-being; improving nutrition, diet, and health; revitalizing rural America; water quality; and youth at risk.
Within the context of these national initiatives and The University of Georgia Strategic Plan, the Extension Service has targeted five critical issues for intensified educational emphasis: agricultural profitability and sustainability; water quality; food quality and safety; rural economic development; and parenting education.
Rural Development Center, Tifton
This unit of the Cooperative Extension Service is an outreach service center for The University of Georgia's Cooperative Extension Service. The primary focus is on the development of the economic potential of the state's agriculture. Agricultural specialists housed at the Center are the link between the knowledge of University researchers and the county agent and farmer. The Center also serves as a conference center offering educational programs designed to help provide solutions to identified state and national issues which encompass the College of Agriculture priorities with emphasis on those issues critical to rural revitalization.
Georgia Center for Continuing Education
Georgia Center for Continuing Education plans and implements educational programs in response to the diverse needs of adults throughout Georgia, the nation, and many foreign lands. These needs are expressed individually or through a range of governmental agencies, business and professional organizations, and civic, cultural, and education groups. The center's staff works with University faculty, other experts, and clientele groups to extend the relevant resources of the University to adult learners.
The center delivers a complex, comprehensive educational program through residential conferences and short courses; on campus and off-campus programs for credit, non-credit, and certification; credit and non-credit audioconferences and teleconferences; independent study; mass media; and National Public Radio. The Georgia Center's electronic classroom provides distance education opportunities to students nationwide. The classroom is equipped to deliver two-way audio and video via digital compression and is connected to the statewide distance learning system, Georgia State Academic and Medical System (GSAMS), which has over 200 receive sites around Georgia. The classroom is also interconnected to the teleproduction facilities of the center and provides access to Georgia Public Television and the Georgia Center satellite uplink. Other services include cooperative programming with other institutions of higher education; television and film production; print design and production; media library operations; and consultation and supportive services to organizations and agencies.
Economic Development Laboratory
The Georgia Tech Research Institute's Economic Development Laboratory, through its campus-based programs and industrial extension regional offices, is Georgia Tech's primary vehicle for interaction with industry in Georgia. The laboratory holds conferences, courses, and symposia throughout the year. The lab is involved with assisting business with technology, engineering safe workplaces and environments, advancing manufacturing technology, conducting economic and marketing services, and providing education and training.
The Industrial Education Group helps Georgia companies improve their productivity and product quality through in-plant training of managers and supervisors. The many programs include supervisory skills, statistical process control and customized technical training. Classes feature actual case studies and emphasize implementation of what is learned.
Urban Life Center
This center at Georgia State University seeks solutions to urban problems through instruction, research, and service.
Sources:Policy Manual, 1983; Utilization of the Continuing Education Unit (C.E.U.) within the University System of Georgia, 1988; Annual C.E.U. Reports