Ogeechee Technical College signed articulation agreements with Valdosta State University on Wednesday, simplifying student transition between the two institutions of higher education.
The Pathways Program agreement will allow Ogeechee Tech students with an Associate of Applied Science to maximize their transfer of credits 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, said Andy Clark, the vice president for enrollment, marketing and communications at VSU.
“I am thrilled to have the articulation agreement between Valdosta State University and Ogeechee Technical College become a reality,” said Dr. William McKinney, the president of Valdosta State. “VSU is committed to building pathways that enable students to take the next step in their pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.”
Ogeechee Tech provides technical education programs at the associate degree, diploma, and certificate levels, using traditional and distance education methodologies; student support services; adult literacy education; continuing education; and customized business and industry workforce training to the residents of the communities it serves.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Valdosta State University,” said Dr. Dawn Cartee, the president of Ogeechee Tech. “The level of cooperation from VSU’s administration and staff has been fantastic. Our ultimate goal is to provide greater opportunities for our students if they choose to continue their education upon graduation from Ogeechee Technical College.”
Since receiving full regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Ogeechee Tech has begun forging agreements with other institutions of higher education.
Last month, Cartee and Georgia Southern University President Dr. Brooks Keel signed an agreement for a pilot project allowing a limited number of OTC students to take any of three classes at GSU. Both presidents said at the time that more agreements between the two schools are forthcoming.
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 and partner institutions like Ogeechee Tech to allow students with approved Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Applied Technology degrees to maximize the transfer of credits 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.
By 2020, it is projected that more than 60 percent of jobs in Georgia will require a certificate, associate degree or bachelor’s degree. 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.
Valdosta State has now signed Pathways Program articulation agreements with 11 Technical College System of Georgia institutions of higher education. It has also signed agreements with North Florida Community College; Central Texas College; Georgia Military College, which has several campuses, including one in Augusta; and Tallahassee Community College in Tallahassee, Florida.
Dr. Joseph G. Weaver, the director of off-campus programs and acting director of admissions at Valdosta State, said that the goal is to sign articulation agreements with every college in the Technical College System of Georgia and with every community college in the North Florida counties — Leon, Jefferson, Columbia, Baker, Hamilton, Madison and Nassau — receiving out-of-state tuition waivers from VSU.