June 3, 2015

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU, Georgia Northwestern Tech Form Pathways Program Partnership

Valdosta State University signed articulation agreements with Georgia Northwestern Technical College on Tuesday, simplifying student transition between the two institutions of higher education. Pictured, from left to right, are Pete McDonald, president of GNTC, and Dr. William McKinney, president of VSU.

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University signed articulation agreements with Georgia Northwestern Technical College on Tuesday, simplifying student transition between the two institutions of higher education.  

The Pathways Program agreement will allow Georgia Northwestern Technical College students with an Associate of Applied Science to maximize the transfer of credits in order to complete either a Bachelor of Science in organizational leadership or a Bachelor of Applied Science in human capital performance in two years or less at Valdosta State University, noted Andy Clark, vice president for the Division of Enrollment, Marketing, and Communications at VSU.

“I am thrilled to have the articulation agreement between Valdosta State University and Georgia Northwestern Technical College become a reality,” said Dr. William J. McKinney, president of VSU. “VSU is committed to building pathways that enable students to take the next step in their pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.”

A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, Georgia Northwestern Technical College is recognized as a premier college for workforce development in the nine-county area of Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Murray, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College is the largest college in Northwest Georgia and the fifth largest technical college in the state, with an annual credit enrollment of 8,200 students plus an additional 6,300 non-credit students utilizing resources available through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and other programs. It offers associate degrees, diplomas, and technical certificates in some 200 programs of study, covering everything from business and health to industry and public service, and has campuses in Rome, Calhoun, Rockmart, Rock Spring, and Dalton.

"GNTC is very pleased to enter into this articulation agreement with Valdosta State University, which will expand the continuing educational opportunities for our students,” said Pete McDonald, president of GNTC.

“The agreement is a strong indication of the continuing collaboration between the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia,” he continued. “The expanding partnership between our two systems of higher education will help build a better workforce for the state of Georgia."

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 Georgia Northwestern 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 two articulated programs, Bachelor of Science in organizational leadership or Bachelor of Applied Science in human capital performance, both of which are offered completely online. 

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 14 Technical College System of Georgia institutions of higher education — Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, South Georgia Technical College, Southwest Georgia Technical College, Albany Technical College, Savannah Technical College, Gwinnett Technical College, Central Georgia Technical College, Lanier Technical College, North Georgia Technical College, Altamaha Technical College, Ogeechee Technical College, Southern Crescent Technical College, Southeastern Technical College, and Georgia Northwestern Technical College.

Valdosta State University is a premier comprehensive university characterized by outstanding instruction, a wide range of student life opportunities, and a close connection to the community. Established in 1906, the institution's mission is to prepare students to meet global opportunities and challenges through excellence in teaching and learning; to expand the boundaries of current knowledge and explore the practical applications of that knowledge through excellence in scholarship and creative endeavors; and to promote the economic, cultural, and educational progress of the community and region through excellence in service outreach. VSU seeks to accomplish this mission in a dynamic, student-centered learning environment marked by a respect for diverse abilities, backgrounds, and contributions by all members of the university community.

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Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.