Local Colleges Work Together to Create Pathways for Higher Education

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The College of Coastal Georgia and Coastal Pines Technical College participated in the signing of two special agreements that create clear pathways for students to earn a bachelor’s degree. Community leaders, faculty and staff from both institutions, and students were in attendance for the signing, along with University System of Georgia Chancellor Sonny Perdue and Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Greg Dozier.

These partnerships allow students to move more smoothly between colleges, and guarantees that classes completed at a technical college will be accepted when a student transfers to the College of Coastal Georgia. The first of the two agreements is between the College of Coastal Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). This agreement allows for associate of applied science graduates from any technical college in the state of Georgia—including Coastal Pines—to pursue a bachelor’s degree in workforce management and leadership at Coastal Georgia. The agreement is the first of its kind between Coastal Georgia and the TCSG.

College of Coastal Georgia President Dr. Michelle Johnston spoke about the benefits of partnership, emphasizing that more can be achieved together than alone.

“It’s a very special and unique agreement between the College of Coastal Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia. This agreement is about removing barriers of access and affordability that often preclude associate of applied science graduates from getting a bachelor’s degree because the options aren’t there for them, or because their life situation isn’t conducive for a face-to-face classroom experience,” Johnston said. “The bachelor’s degree portion of this program is offered through a high-touch, online program that is available, accessible, and attainable.”

Chancellor Perdue remarked on the difference an education can make in the lives of young people.

“We’re blessed to be in a state with ample educational opportunities to raise the bar and provide talent from communities like this,” Perdue said. “This is a partnership that lends itself to facilitating the transition from wherever someone wants to start and go all the way through, in an affordable, accessible way that makes sense for their lives. If you change the life of young people through education, it elevates the opportunities for our state, our nation, and our world.”

Dozier said that TCSG represents the continuing of education of citizens across the state and providing opportunities that lead to change within communities. He said the mission of TCSG is to have a well-educated, locally competitive workforce for economic prosperity.

“TCSG is right at 50 percent first-generation students. We’re changing lives each and every day. That means our communities are growing, and we’re growing together as one. I think we’re making a huge difference, and our students continue to have pathways that are endless,” Dozier said.

The second agreement was signed between Coastal Pines and Coastal Georgia. The agreement indicates that any graduate with an Associate of Applied Science Education degree at Coastal Pines who is accepted into the education program can seamlessly transition to the College to finish their bachelor’s degree. The agreement ensures that both institutions continue to provide outstanding teachers for the region and state, and creates a clear pathway for students to earn their bachelor’s degree.

Coastal Pines Technical College President Lonnie Roberts believes that the agreement contributes to the local, educational vitality of the area.

“At the heart of this agreement is our shared commitment to put students first and provide them with the tools they need to succeed,” Roberts said. “In doing this, it will help retain talent within this region and community.”

The special signing event demonstrated how partnership can lead to a better educated Georgia.

For more information on the Associate of Applied Science Education degree from Coastal Pines Technical College, visit www.coastalpines.edu. To learn more about the Department of Education and Teacher Preparation at the College of Coastal Georgia, visit www.ccga.edu/artsandsciences