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University System of Georgia Announces Higher Education “Access Grants”

Atlanta — August 7, 2002

The University System of Georgia is expanding access to higher education statewide with $1.9 million in special funding recommended by Governor Roy E. Barnes and approved by the Georgia General Assembly.

“Access grants” have been awarded as part of the University System’s “Enhancing Access” special funding initiative to increase the state’s educational attainment level. Georgia currently ranks lowest among the states in the percentage of its population enrolled in post-secondary education.

The statewide effort is aimed at bringing high-demand, four-year degree programs to two-year college campuses statewide. The primary goal is to increase the number of Georgians earning bachelor’s degrees

Board of Regents Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Fiscal Affairs Daniel S. Papp said nine different four-year USG institutions will collaborate with 10 two-year colleges and three satellite centers in the statewide initiative. The grants will enable 22 USG institutions to collaborate and extend their resources to areas of the state where students currently are underserved.

Most of the access grants will allow four-year institutions to take advantage of the University System’s statewide network of facilities to offer specific high-demand, four-year degree programs on the campuses of two-year colleges.

“Growth in areas of the state served by several of our two-year colleges has led to a critical need for baccalaureate programs in high-demand fields such as education and information technology,” Papp said. “We are targeting people who - for one reason or another - discontinued their education and are unable to resume it unless opportunities are made very convenient to them.”

In addition to the four-year programs, access grants also were awarded to meet the demand for two-year degree programs, in Dublin and Athens. In these cases, USG two-year colleges in other parts of the state will collaborate to extend their outreach efforts to these communities.

In some cases, classes may be delivered at least in part via GSAMS or the Internet, but all of the institutions given access grants plan to have instructors at the host site on a regular basis. Some of the collaborating two- and four-year institutions plan to share teaching duties, whereas in other cases, only the main institution involved will supply the faculty.

The following University System of Georgia’s institutions around the state were awarded access grants:

  • Armstrong Atlantic State University (Savannah) received $200,000 to partner with Georgia Southern University (Statesboro), Savannah State University, Coastal Georgia Community College (Brunswick) and East Georgia College (Swainsboro) to provide center support for the Liberty Center in Hinesville.

  • Gainesville College, a two-year institution, received $200,000 to expand its program offerings in Athens. The college will offer programs in several disciplines.

  • Macon State College received $150,000 to partner with Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (Tifton), Gordon College (Barnesville) and Middle Georgia College (Cochran ) to offer programs in information technology on the three two-year campuses.

  • Southern Polytechnic State University (Marietta) received $164,000 to collaborate with Floyd College (Rome) in offering upper-level courses in information technology on the Floyd campus.

  • Middle Georgia College (Cochran) received $92,000 to expand its academic support services at the Dublin Center.

  • University of Georgia (Athens) received $200,000 to partner with ABAC in offering a degree program in agriscience and environmental systems on ABAC’s campus in Tifton.

  • Valdosta State University received $220,000 to offer its major in early-childhood education on the campuses of ABAC (Tifton), South Georgia College (Douglas) and Waycross College. VSU has offered programs in education at these three institutions for many years. Improved collaboration between the participating faculties has led to more cohesive programs of study that address the “Principles and Actions for the Preparation of School Educators,” a teacher-education policy adopted by the Board of Regents in 1998.

  • The University of West Georgia (Carrollton) received $198,000 to partner with Floyd College (Rome) to offer its existing major in early-childhood education on the Floyd College campus.

  • Albany State University received $200,000 to collaborate with Bainbridge College to offer its existing majors in early-childhood education and middle-grades education in Bainbridge.

  • Georgia Southern University (Statesboro) received $200,000 to extend its outreach efforts to Dublin, where it will offer a major in special education and middle-grades education at the Dublin Center; and

  • Southern Polytechnic State University (Marietta) received $100,000 to extend its outreach efforts to Gwinnett County, where it will offer its existing bachelor of science in information technology at the Gwinnett University Center.

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