State's schools should not be merged

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As an alumna of East Georgia College in Swainsboro, I am disheartened to learn of a proposal to merge the state's remaining two-year colleges with the states's technical schools.

I can wholeheartedly say that I experienced the two best years of my college life -- including the two that I spent at Georgia Southern University -- at EGC. The small class sizes enabled me to acclimate to the college atmosphere while giving me a sense of what the expectations of a larger university would be.

While I applaud the technical schools in our state, I feel that this proposed merger would do students more harm than good. Aside from the obvious issues that such a merger would involve -- to close or not to close the two-year colleges, whether to use the semester or quarter system, what to do with the employees of the two-year schools, etc. -- this merger would be a slap in the face of all that the two-year colleges have strived to become.

I cannot fathom where I would be today without my time East Georgia College. I used the two years I spent there as a stepping stone to something larger. I didn't go from a little fish in a small pond in high school to a little fish in a humongous pond at a large university. Instead, I formed relationships with the faculty and staff at EGC, and learned to cultivate a better understanding of what the real world was like before moving on to bigger things.

Keep in mind, folks, that bigger isn't always better. Smaller schools are what many youngsters need and want in today's age where you aren't just a number, but a person to be recognized for who you are and what you can contribute to society. Please join me in urging our governor and your lawmakers to strike down this merger proposal.

Deborah Steele


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willistontownsc 02/07/09 - 07:28 am
I agree, Ms. Steele. South

I agree, Ms. Steele. South Carolina Gov. Sanford's draconian proposals include merging ALL two year colleges, which would mean the shutdown of South Carolina-Salkehatchie, and South Carolina-Beaufort and leaving people who want to go to these colleges without a place close to home. Perdue and Sanford doesn't care about education and it is appalling.

patriciathomas 02/07/09 - 08:05 am
A lot of good points, Ms

A lot of good points, Ms Steele. The two year college, (formerly known as junior college) is an excellent transition to the large school environment and change of life style experienced in the universities. They've been dwindling for the past 25 years, but not disappearing. Small, private institutions have appeared to fill the gap of the junior college. It's not the exact same thing as the two year state institution, but it serves the same purpose. All is not lost, it's just changing. Life goes on.

boats2c 02/07/09 - 11:17 am
When I first learned of the

When I first learned of the possibility of the mergers between the two year liberal arts colleges and the vocational colleges I was, for lack of a better word, devastated. My wife and I are graduates of Swainsboro Tech and believe that we received the best technical education afforded and it satisfied our needs. That education, however, regardless of its importance in the work force, didn't prepare us for careers as educators, doctors, attorneys, etc.
As Ms. Steele aptly pointed out, the smaller class sizes, relationships with the faculty, etc. are essential for a number of students who are intimidated when faced with leaving a high school where they are a name and face to sitting in classes of hundreds and being basically seen as a number.
Upon learning of the proposal, I mailed a letter to Governor Purdue requesting that we eliminate some "give away" programs such as early headstart/headstart/pr-k and supportiall our educations of higher learning. I encourage all to make your voices heard by writing, visiting or calling the Governor.

Riverman1 02/07/09 - 03:40 pm
I can also see where it is a

I can also see where it is a slap in the face of tech school grads. Some of them go through some rigorous training and end up in high paid positions with lots of responsibility. I don't think they would like being identifed as a grad of a junior college. It works both ways, but I agree with the letter. This discussion has been going on forever. Unless credits from the tech school will transfer to 4 year colleges (and they won't), why do it?

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