Valdosta Daily Times

September 21, 2012

VSU announces plan to help more students earn a degree


Valdosta State University

VALDOSTA — Gov. Nathan Deal’s Complete College Georgia initiative -- designed to increase the number of Georgians earning a degree – reached another milestone with the release of a report that outlines specific plans  by institutions in both the University System of Georgia (USG) and Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG).

Improving college completion has become a national issue, with 33 states, including Georgia, joining forces to significantly increase the number of Americans with quality career certificates or college degrees.

A study last year by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce found that within the next decade approximately 60 percent of jobs in Georgia will require some college education or training. Currently in Georgia only  42 percent of young adults have a college education (certificate, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree or higher).

The Complete College Georgia report details how USG and TCSG institutions will achieve the ambitious goal of adding more than 250,000 post-secondary graduates to Georgia’s workforce by 2020.

In the executive summary of the Complete College Georgia report, a number of components that, taken together, will work to increase access to college and college completion throughout Georgia.

These include:

1. Better data collection and analysis to identify strengths and areas for improvement as well as those needs of various regions and populations;

2. Increased partnerships with K-12 to improve college readiness for students out of high school;

3. The improvement of access to college and graduation for all students;

4. The reduction of the time it takes to earn a college degree;

5. The development of new models of instruction and learning for students; and

6. The transformation of remediation.



As part of the Complete College Georgia report, Valdosta State University outlines strategies that include strengthening many existing programs and creating new ones that will improve overall student success, specifically in the following  areas: collaborating with K-12 schools, improving access for working adults and military students, increasing online bachelor's degree options, and using a variety of information technology tools for early intervention of students who are academically at risk.

A major focus of VSU’s Complete College Georgia plan is the addition of more online degree programs. For more than a decade, VSU has offered online graduate programs including education specialists, master’s level education degrees, and  a Doctor of Public Administration. Last year, VSU began offering undergraduate online degrees in Office Administration and Technology, Criminal Justice and Organizational Leadership.

The full Complete College Georgia report is available online at: http://www.usg.edu/educational_access/documents/USG_Campus_Completion_Plans.pdf