May 30, 2017
17-161

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU, Columbus Technical College Form Pathways Program Partnership

PHOTO CAPTION: Valdosta State University and Columbus Technical College recently entered into a Pathways Program partnership designed to increase the number of West Georgians pursuing and earning advanced training and education. Pictured, from left to right, are (back row) Chris Melody, director of VSU’s Camden Center; Mark Smith, coordinator of the VSU Center at Moody Air Force Base; Dr. Lynn Minor, interim dean of VSU’s James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services; Dr. Anthony Scheffler, interim associate vice president of the Division of Academic Affairs at VSU; Dr. Connie Richards, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at VSU; Dr. Joseph Weaver, director of Off-Campus Programs at VSU; Dr. Reynaldo Martinez, director of the Department of Adult and Career Education at VSU; Nathan Metzner, adult recruitment officer in the Office of Adult and Military Programs at VSU; (front row) Dr. Brian Gerber, interim provost and vice president of the Division of Academic Affairs at VSU; Dr. Richard A. Carvajal, president of VSU; Lorette Hoover, president of CTC; and Dr. Melanie Thornton, vice president of the Division of Academic Affairs at CTC. 

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University just became the first University System of Georgia institution of higher education to sign articulation agreements with all 22 units of the Technical College System of Georgia.

On May Wednesday, May 24, VSU and Columbus Technical College entered into a Pathways Program partnership designed to increase the number of West Georgians pursuing and earning advanced training and education.

The Pathways Program agreement will allow Columbus Technical College students with an Associate of Applied Science in one or more of the 29 articulated programs to maximize the transfer of credits in order to complete either a Bachelor of Science in organizational leadership, a Bachelor of Applied Science in human capital performance, or a Bachelor of Science in office administration and technology in two years or less at Valdosta State University, noted Dr. Joseph G. Weaver, director of Off-Campus Programs at VSU.

“This agreement provides Columbus Technical College students with an opportunity to smoothly transition to VSU, expand their knowledge and abilities, and enter Georgia's workforce with the sophisticated critical-thinking, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills needed to be successful,” shared Dr. Richard A. Carvajal, president of VSU. “Higher education has never been more important in Georgia and across the United States. We look forward to welcoming our Columbus area friends into our Blazer Nation family for many years to come.” 

Established in 1906, Valdosta State University is a premier comprehensive university that offers both the extensive academic, cultural, and social opportunities of a major university and the small classes and close, personal attention of smaller institutions. It boasts more than 100 degree, certificate, and endorsement programs on campus and online for undergraduate and graduate students. It also has a full menu of extracurricular activities, from national championship athletic and academic teams to honors organizations, sororities and fraternities, intramural sports, educational and service clubs, a symphony orchestra, art and theatre, research opportunities, and more. Even as underclassmen, students file patents on inventions and make life-changing scientific discoveries, present at national and international conferences, publish research in collaboration with their professors, work in campus-based clinics that benefit the community, live and learn at partner institutions around the globe through study abroad, and more. The possibilities are endless.

Columbus Technical College opened its doors on Dec. 1, 1961, with seven instructors, 39 students, and eight academic programs. At that time, it was known as the Columbus Area Vocational-Technical School and operated as a unit of the Muscogee County School District. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and has an annual enrollment of approximately 6,000 students who are primarily residents of Muscogee, Harris, Talbot, Stewart, Quitman, and Chattahoochee counties and military personnel at Fort Benning. Its faculty and staff are committed to anticipating and responding to the community’s educational and workforce training needs, with a focus on helping the region’s businesses and citizens prosper. It offers associate degree, diploma, technical certificate of credit, customized training, continuing education, and adult education programs designed to develop a globally competitive workforce.

“Articulation agreements between the Technical College System of Georgia and the University System of Georgia provide associate degree graduates with the most affordable means of earning a bachelor's degree,” said Lorette Hoover, president of Columbus Technical College. “VSU's articulation agreement is the most generous of all, as our associate degree graduates are now eligible to earn that initial bachelor's degree and then have the option to go on to pursue a master’s degree and maybe even a doctorate in the future. We are excited about the opportunities our students will have to further their education, advance their professional careers, and improve their quality of life.”

The Pathways Program centers on the priorities of Complete College Georgia, an initiative developed to increase the number of Georgians earning a college degree. It is a collaboration between Valdosta State University and partner institutions like Columbus Technical College to allow students with approved Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Applied Technology degrees to maximize the transfer of credits in order to complete a bachelor’s degree in two years or less. Pathways students can expect 51 or more transferable credit hours to be applied to either of the three articulated programs — Bachelor of Science in organizational leadership, Bachelor of Applied Science in human capital performance, or Bachelor of Science in office administration and technology — all of which are offered completely online. 

“Over the past four years, hundreds of Technical College System of Georgia students from throughout the state have taken advantage of the Pathways Program to continue their education at VSU,” Weaver said. “As a group, these students have performed very well academically — a tribute to the education they received while earning their two-year degree. We look forward to expanding our Technical College System of Georgia relationship through other initiatives that will benefit the students we serve now and in the future.” 

It is projected that over 60 percent of jobs in Georgia will require a certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree by 2020. Presently, approximately 42 percent of the state’s young adults, its developing workforce, are prepared to such a level, which means that Georgia must not only maintain current graduation levels but also produce an additional estimated 250,000 graduates in upcoming years to remain competitive.

VSU has now signed Pathways Program articulation agreements with Albany Technical College, Athens Technical College, Atlanta Technical College, Augusta Technical College, Central Georgia Technical College, Chattahoochee Technical College, Coastal Pines Technical College, Columbus Technical College, Georgia Northwestern Technical College, Georgia Piedmont Technical College, Gwinnett Technical College, Lanier Technical College, North Georgia Technical College, Oconee Fall Line Technical College, Ogeechee Technical College, Savannah Technical College, South Georgia Technical College, Southeastern Technical College, Southern Crescent Technical College, Southern Regional Technical College, West Georgia Technical College, and Wiregrass Technical College.      

On the Web:
http://www.valdosta.edu  
https://www.columbustech.edu

Articulated Programs

• Associate of Applied Science degrees in accounting, applied technical management, automotive technology, business management, business technology, computer support specialist, criminal justice technology, dental hygiene, diagnostic medical sonography, drafting technology, early childhood care and education, engineering technology, human resource management, industrial systems technology, networking specialist, paralegal studies, paramedicine, pharmacy technology, radiologic technology, respiratory care technology, sports and fitness management, surgical technology, and technical studies are the articulated programs for Columbus Technical College students who wish to pursue either a Bachelor of Science in organizational leadership or a Bachelor of Applied Science in human capital performance at Valdosta State University.

• Associate of Applied Science degrees in accounting, applied technical management, business management, business technology, general studies, and human resource management are the articulated programs for Columbus Technical College students who wish to pursue a Bachelor of Science in office administration and technology at Valdosta State University.

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