Thanks to milestone agreements, students who complete information technology programs at Central Georgia Technical College and Middle Georgia Technical College will soon be able to seamlessly transfer to Macon State College to work on their bachelor’s degrees in IT.
The articulation agreements, the most comprehensive ever reached among the three regional institutions, take effect with Macon State’s 2012 spring semester, which begins January 9. By making this important move, Central Georgia Tech, Macon State and Middle Georgia Tech are tapping into a recent agreement between the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia to improve the ability of students to move between the two systems and earn degrees.
The presidents of the three institutions will sign the articulation agreements during a formal ceremony that begins at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, at Middle Georgia Technical College in room 9 of the H Building, which is on the south side of the campus. Middle Georgia Tech is located at 80 Cohen Walker Drive in Warner Robins.
Under the agreements:
• Graduates of these Central Georgia Tech programs will be able to seamlessly transfer to Macon State as juniors to complete a bachelor’s degree in IT: associate of applied technology degrees in computer programming, computer support specialist, Internet specialist (web design), and associate of applied science in networking specialist (Windows). In addition, Central Georgia Tech students who complete technical certificates of credit or diplomas in computer programming and computer support specialist can transfer to Macon State and apply that credit toward bachelor’s degrees in IT.
• Graduates of these Middle Georgia Tech programs will be able to seamlessly transfer to Macon State as juniors to complete a bachelor’s degree in IT: associate of applied science in computer support specialist, information technology professional, networking specialist (CISCO), and networking specialist (Windows). In addition, Middle Georgia Tech students who complete technical certificates of credit or a diploma in computer support specialist can transfer to Macon State and apply that credit toward bachelor’s degrees in IT.
In the past, it was not unheard of for tech college graduates to transfer to Macon State or other University System institutions to work on bachelor’s degrees. Absent formal articulation agreements, however, it was likely that not all of their tech college credit was accepted and they had to retake certain courses.
The presidents of Central Georgia Tech, Macon State, and Middle Georgia Tech said the new agreements among their institutions ushers in a critical era of higher education cooperation in the region.
“We are pleased to partner with Macon State to facilitate transfer in the area of information technology,” said Dr. Ivan H. Allen, Middle Georgia Tech president. “This agreement offers our students expanded opportunities to continue their education in the IT field. This is good news for our students and for our community. We’re very grateful to MSC President Allbritten and his faculty and staff for their commitment to working with us to strengthen articulation between our colleges, and we look forward to collaborating on future transfer agreements.”
“This really is a new day,” said Dr. Jeff Allbritten, Macon State president. “When I met with the presidents of Central Georgia Tech and Middle Georgia Tech there was an amazing amount of goodwill at the table. We must create better pathways for tech college graduates to transfer here to get their bachelor’s degrees so they can move into management in their various professions. All of us working together can become a higher education force to be reckoned with.”
Dr. Michael Moye, president of Central Georgia Technical College, said, "Partnerships between institutions of higher learning are crucial for the success of our students. We are delighted at the opportunity to provide a seamless educational experience with a four-year institution that will allow our students the opportunity to pursue their educational goals and help our community and state have a competitive workforce."
Articulation agreements like those approved by Central Georgia Tech, Macon State and Middle Georgia Tech have critical implications for the state’s economic development.
In August, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced that Georgia was one of 10 states selected to receive funding through Complete College America, a national organization focused on increasing the nation’s college completion rate through state policy change, and to build consensus for change among state leaders, higher education, and the national education policy community.
At that announcement, Deal said that the funding would help springboard his Complete College Georgia Initiative. “One way we can further leverage our educational assets to make Georgia more competitive is by increasing college completion rates,” Deal said.
Subsequent to Deal’s announcement, the University System’s Board of Regents approved a draft plan that commits the 35 institutions in that system to increase college completion. That plan includes the new agreement with the Technical College System to make it easier for students to move between the two systems.
The plan seeks to address statistics showing that currently in Georgia, about 42 percent of young adults hold a certificate, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree or higher. Yet studies project that by 2020, 60 percent of all jobs will require some form of postsecondary education.
“Because the gap is so wide, we have to think bigger; we have to use multiple strategies to attract, retain and graduate significantly more Georgians from among both traditional and non-traditional populations,” said Hank Huckaby, the University System’s chancellor.