July 14, 2015

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Offers New Spanish, French Degree Programs Through eMajor

World Languages, Cultures Focus Better Prepares Students for Realities of Global Expansion and the Internationalization of the Workplace

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University now offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and an online Bachelor of Arts in French through the University System of Georgia’s eMajor initiative. Classes begin in August.

The eMajor initiative allows colleges and universities within the University System of Georgia to collaborate on in-demand degree programs and offer them in an accelerated online format to students at their respective institutions. In addition to the two new online bachelor’s degrees, VSU also now offers online minors in both languages, an online Spanish for professionals certificate, and an online certificate and endorsement in teaching English to speakers of other languages, or TESOL.

Plans are underway to add online minors in German and Arabic in the very near future.

“A foreign language is a wonderful addition to any traditional major,” said Dr. Viki Soady, head of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at VSU. “It adds an international dimension to any resume and prepares graduates for higher-paying positions in almost any field in multicultural America.

“A simple Web search will indicate the many positions in medical, legal, social services, and criminal justice fields and business that offer higher starting salaries and opportunities for quicker advancement to job applicants who have the skills to understand the language and culture of clients whose first language is not English.”

These new online degree, certificate, and endorsement programs are specifically designed to meet the needs of adult learners, military students, working adults, and returning students seeking degree completion. Courses are offered entirely online and in accelerated formats, making the programs accessible for those that need the flexibility to fit college around hectic work and family schedules.

“These online degrees and certificates will expand access to foreign language education through flexible, virtual delivery and will empower Georgia learners to gain the skills and knowledge needed to establish themselves as leaders in today’s competitive global workforce,” said Meg Giddings, chief executive officer of the University System of Georgia’s eMajor initiative and director of the Office of Extended Learning at VSU.

The University System of Georgia’s eMajor initiative directly aligns with Georgia’s “Go Back. Move Ahead.” campaign, which encourages many of the more than one million Georgians who have completed some college to return and finish their degrees. “Go Back. Move Ahead.” is part of Gov. Nathan Deal’s “Complete College Georgia” initiative, which launched in 2011. 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.

“Military personnel and their families and those who wish to pursue a college degree while remaining at home or working a full-time job will find that these programs will enable them to improve their educational level while accommodating their busy lives,” Soady said.

“The online courses are convenient … [and] are designed to be user-friendly and to extend the warmth and availability that VSU instructors display in all formats. There is nothing impersonal about the eMajor approach to online instruction. [The] eMajor courses can be combined seamlessly with face-to-face courses to ensure timely completion of degrees. Every student has different time constraints and can factor the flexibility of eLearning into their degree plan.” 

Giddings explained that eMajor degrees allow students to return to the institutions in Georgia that they have come to know and trust, without giving up the other important commitments in their lives.

The University System of Georgia’s eMajor initiative is a group of collaborative institutions that partner with one another to deliver high-quality, online bachelor’s degree, certificate, and endorsement programs featuring workforce-ready majors that prepare students for success in diverse professional fields, help them advance in their current career, or open new professional doors. All eMajor programs are offered by traditional, public, regionally accredited Georgia institutions.

In addition to the new degrees launching in the fall, VSU currently offers a Bachelor of Science in office administration and technology, a Bachelor of Science in organizational leadership, and a Bachelor of Arts in legal assistant studies through the eMajor initiative.

Contact Dr. Viki Soady at (229) 333-5948 or vsoady@valdosta.edu to learn more about VSU’s world languages and cultures programs.

Contact Meg Giddings at (229) 245-6490 or mhgiddin@valdosta.edu to learn more about eMajor programs.

On the Web:

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.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

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