September 8, 1998

Consortium offers educational alternative for freshmen

For potential Valdosta State University students who had trouble meeting the state's higher academic admission standards this year, there is a new option.

VSU has joined with four area two-year colleges to form the South Georgia Regional Educational Consortium (SGREC). Abraham Baldwin College, Bainbridge College, Waycross College and South Georgia College will offer classes on the VSU campus as part of the agreement.

"The University System wishes to make readily available a high quality post-secondary education to every qualified Georgian," said Dr. Hugh C. Bailey, VSU president. "For years, Valdosta State served as the junior college for students nearer it than other two-year units of the University System. Since it became a regional university and its admission standards have been raised, the University System has wisely chosen to establish a consortium of four two-year institutions on Valdosta State's campus to provide remedial work and freshman-year courses for those students who do not meet Valdosta State's admissions standards.

"These students can enjoy the privileges of campus life and receive the guidance and nurture they need to advance in the shortest possible time to a baccalaureate degree," Bailey said.

VSU's existing developmental studies classes for traditional, incoming freshmen have been phased out in conjunction with the higher state admissions standards, making the consortium program an alternative for many students.

Dr. Joseph Hathaway, SGREC coordinator, said the program is primarily designed for motivated students who have difficulty meeting the state's new minimum admissions standards. "If a consortium student completes 30 credits with a 2.0 grade point average or better, then they can move into VSU as a sophomore," Hathaway said. "We want to target students who lack the necessary qualifications to gain regular entrance, but present academic characteristics that show they can achieve."

Hathaway said there are currently more than 40 consortium students, but he expects that number to grow as the program progresses. Consortium students are eligible to participate in all VSU activities.

Consortium students come from six counties surrounding VSU: Lowndes, Lanier, Cook, Echols, Brooks and Berrien. Student records are filed through ABAC in Tifton.

Fall consortium classes begin Sept. 16, offering a range of daytime classes. Offices are located in the southeastern corner of the University Center. For more information on the SGREC, call (229) 293-6247.

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