External Affairs Division

Higher Education Regional Strategy for Southeast Georgia’s Workforce

Atlanta — August 17, 2017

Today, the University System of Georgia announced plans to support the workforce needs of Southeast Georgia through a regional strategy of specially tailored degrees and academic programs offered by the new Georgia Southern University and Savannah State University in Statesboro, Savannah and Hinesville.

For the new Georgia Southern University, the institution will continue to offer in Statesboro all of its current academic programs and services, while expanding its degree offerings in Savannah. In addition to becoming the fourth largest public university in the state, the new Georgia Southern is expected to accelerate its growth in Statesboro, along with the campuses in Savannah and Hinesville.

“Our goal was to serve students better with a regional strategy of degree offerings, and we are excited this plan accomplishes that and advances our mission in Southeast Georgia,” said Chancellor Steve Wrigley. “Thanks to the dedicated work of campus representatives from Armstrong State University, Georgia Southern University and Savannah State University, along with the support of the local community, many people have worked together to develop this plan for the region. On behalf of the University System, I thank them for their hard work and support.”

“This is a significant milestone for Georgia Southern and positions the institution for even greater growth in Statesboro, along with the campus locations in Savannah and Hinesville,” said Regent Laura Marsh. “We believe that by taking the best of each university’s scholastic offerings and expanding geographically, we will make significant strides toward the goal of increasing the number of Georgians attaining a college degree in the region and statewide.”

“Through the new Georgia Southern University and Savannah State University, the University System of Georgia is using its full scope of resources to increase the number of academic and degree programs we offer for students and the workforce across the region,” said Regent Don Waters. “Whether a student is interested in a career in the health professions, social work or transportation and logistics, we will provide high-quality programs directly tied to the needs of the regional economy of today and the future.”

Regional opportunities will be made possible by both the new Georgia Southern and Savannah State University through campuses in Statesboro, Savannah and Hinesville with academic programs and new degree offerings as follows:

The Colleges of Georgia Southern:

Eight Colleges: The new Georgia Southern will have eight colleges with five based in Statesboro: College of Arts and Humanities, College of Behavioral Sciences, College of Business, Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Computing, and College of Science and Mathematics; and three based in Savannah: College of Education, Don and Cindy Waters College of Health Professions, and Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health.

  • Classes from each of the colleges will be offered in both Statesboro and Savannah, with a select offering in Hinesville.

Academic Program Highlights for the Region:

Business: The new Georgia Southern will continue to offer its full Business degree programs in Statesboro, including its MBA programs. Additionally, the new Georgia Southern and Savannah State will each offer their MBAs in Savannah. Over time, Georgia Southern will expand its Masters of Accountancy and make this program available in Savannah, too.

  • Georgia Southern BBA in Economics: Will now be offered on the Armstrong campus and will replace Armstrong University’s Bachelor of Science in Business Economics. It is estimated there will be 150 new students per year admitted to this program at the Armstrong campus.

  • High-Demand Business Degree Consortium: The new Georgia Southern and Savannah State will partner to establish a high-demand business degree consortium in Savannah. Georgia Southern and Savannah State will use existing faculty from both institutions to offer high-demand career programs in logistics and tourism and hospitality management. Students will receive their diplomas from their home institution of record. The consortium will allow Georgia Southern and Savannah State students to cross-enroll in coursework at both institutions for selected business degrees.

Engineering: Georgia Southern’s Engineering program will remain based on the Statesboro campus, continue offering its full programs in Statesboro and will expand its offerings in Savannah.

  • The new Georgia Southern and Savannah State will have clear, seamless pathways between the institutions for their respective engineering and engineering technology programs.

  • Georgia Southern will offer the first three years of its bachelor’s in mechanical engineering degree and the bachelor’s in manufacturing engineering degree at the Armstrong campus. For students on the Armstrong campus, Georgia Southern will use its Statesboro campus, with its state-of-the art equipment, for the one year of study needed with the equipment-facility intensive portion of the degree program.

Education: Due to the ongoing regional and state demand for teachers, Georgia Southern and Savannah State will both offer a full complement of teacher education programs. Georgia Southern will do so as a part of the consolidation with Armstrong State on its Statesboro and Savannah campuses. Savannah State will expand their programs in Savannah over time in order to meet workforce needs.

Military and Veterans: The academic program offerings at the Liberty Center in Hinesville will be expanded with three degree programs designed for military and veteran needs. Savannah State will offer the following academic programs at the Liberty Center:

  • Forensic Science
  • Homeland Security & Emergency Management
  • Social Work

Pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the academic programs will be implemented over a period of time beginning fall semester 2018 through fall 2020.

“The University System’s strategic plan and investment will assist in expanded opportunities for current and future students educated by the outstanding faculty in the region,” said Armstrong State Interim President Jennifer Frum. “The regional campuses have a bright future that builds on a rich legacy of transforming students’ lives for the better.”

“Savannah State University welcomes the opportunity to continue to serve the citizens of this great region and beyond as we enhance academic offerings that will prepare our graduates to excel in the workforce for generations to come,” said Savanah State President Cheryl Dozier. “This strategic approach builds on the strengths of Savannah State University and enhances our collective ability to better serve the region.”

“This announcement is a strategic step forward for the entire region,” said Georgia Southern University President Jaimie Hebert. “The new Georgia Southern University will meet the educational needs of a diverse student population, and these graduates will be the driving force behind the economic expansion of Southeast Georgia.”

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