February 1, 2013

Angela Hobby, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

Valdosta State and Wiregrass Partner to Produce More College Graduates

VSU President William J. McKinney, left, is joined by Wiregrass Georgia Technical College President Ray Perren, in signing the Pathways Program agreement, which will help more students earn a college degree.

VALDOSTA—Earning a college degree just became more accessible with the new Pathways Program developed by Valdosta State University and Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. The program allows students with an Associate of Applied Science degree from Wiregrass to transfer to Valdosta State and work toward a bachelor’s degree.

According to Andy Clark, associate vice president for Enrollment Management at VSU, after a student successfully completes their associate’s degree from one of Wiregrass’s 27 programs they can begin working on a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership or a Bachelor of Science in Technical Studies at Valdosta State.

“The program creates a pathway for students to earn a bachelor’s degree once they successfully complete an associate's degree at Wiregrass," Clark said. “Both of the programs are offered online and designed for working adults. This will help the students advance in their professional career.”

According to Clark, the Pathways Program centers on the priorities of Complete College Georgia, an initiative developed to increase the number of Georgians earning a college degree. In 2012, institutions in both the University System of Georgia and Technical College System of Georgia submitted plans to achieve the ambitious goal of adding more than 250,000 post-secondary graduates to Georgia’s workforce by 2020.

“Our relationship with Wiregrass and the Technical College System is a very important piece of what we do with Complete College Georgia,” said Valdosta State University President William J. McKinney. “It is these types of collaborations that will assist more students in earning a college degree and help to create a more highly educated workforce throughout Georgia.”

Valdosta State and Wiregrass have worked as educational partners for many years and developed programs that improve overall student success and increased workforce development. The Pathways Program will help increase the number of college graduates in Georgia, as well provide students with more educational options as they prepare for new careers or advance in their current profession.

“Valdosta has something that is very unique with the relationship that exists between Wiregrass and Valdosta State. This does not happen in all communities,” said Wiregrass President Ray Perren. “As I looked at the Pathways Program, it occurred to me that this is the most broad-based and widely scoped program that exists between any two USG and TCSG institutions in Georgia, this is absolutely a model to latch on to and carry forth for the benefit of our students.”

With campuses located throughout South Georgia, the online degree formats will allow Wiregrass graduates from South Georgia an opportunity to earn a four-year degree.

About Valdosta State University

Valdosta State University is one of the University System of Georgia’s two regional universities. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Valdosta State draws students from 49 states and more than 79 countries. Valdosta State’s programs, including those at the graduate level, are developed with specific reference to the professional educational needs of the region. As a regional university, Valdosta State is charged with meeting the professional and general educational needs of its 41-county service area. For more information on Valdosta State University, visit www.valdosta.edu.

About Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.  Accredited by the Commission on Colleges Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Wiregrass serves an 11 county area in South Georgia. The mission of the college is to provide workforce development through academic programs, continuing education and economic development, and adult education. For more information on Wiregrass Georgia Tech, visit www.wiregrass.edu.