This week, East Georgia State College and Georgia Regents University received approval from the University System of Georgia Board of Regents to launch a cooperative academic program that will serve as an open door to higher education for Augusta-area students who may not otherwise be eligible for regular admission into GRU.
As public universities, it is imperative that each of our institutions maintains our goal of promoting access to higher education and responding to the needs of our communities.
GRU and EGSC are dedicated to student success, and together we are working to promote the statewide goals of Complete College Georgia – including providing students with a convenient and affordable access point, and an opportunity to earn an associate’s degree while preparing to transfer into a bachelor’s degree program.
What these two great institutions are embarking on is not new, as this model for access has been implemented by EGSC in Statesboro. The EGSC-Statesboro campus has been in existence since 1997, and has garnered much success in preparing students for transfer to Georgia Southern University. The number of successful student transfers has increased steadily, beginning with just under 200 in 2007 and more than 550 in 2011.
It is this success that proves that the East Georgia program provides clear leadership, enhanced resources and student accountability, while ensuring a greater degree of dedicated faculty effort, enhanced learning support and careful attention to the retention, progression and graduation of each and every student enrolled in the program.
Similarly to the Statesboro initiative, our partnership will enable Augusta students to remain in the area, providing them with a seamless transition to GRU, or any other institution, following their successful completion of 30 credit hours with a 2.0 or higher grade-point average. The program will begin this fall with an estimated 200 students expected to enroll.
East Georgia State College-Augusta replaces a program at GRU known as University College, and will be on GRU’s Summerville campus offering Learning Support courses and classes that make up any Regents’ High School Curriculum deficiencies, as well as core curriculum courses. EGSC will charge EGSC tuition and fees, as well as GRU’s mandatory and elective fees which provide EGSC-Augusta students with access to student services on campus such as the University Wellness Center and computer labs.
With one of the lowest tuition rates in Georgia, students in Augusta now can satisfy core classes more economically while excelling in a student-focused learning environment with small classes, individualized tutoring and advisement in EGSC’s Academic Center for Excellence.
Both institutions are deeply committed to serving area high school students and active and retired military personnel. We seek to not only educate, but to retain the best and brightest students to meet the workforce needs of this region.
Gretchen Caughman, Ph.D.
Timothy Goodman, Ph.D.
(The writers are, respectively, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost for Georgia Regents University; and vice president of academic affairs at East Georgia State College.)