GA University System Receives $1 Million –

In an effort to improve Georgia’s college completion rates, The University System of Georgia (USG) was recently awarded a $1 million grant to create an accelerated bachelor’s degree, which will be offered primarily online.

The grant is from Next Generation Learning Challenges—a national initiative to improve college readiness and completion—led by EDUCAUSE, and principally funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Columbus State University will develop the degree program, a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a Civic Leadership focus, scheduled to launch fall 2013. The program will be designed to target those who historically have not been served well by higher education, including low-income students and the young adult military population.

The new degree program, which consists of online eight-week courses, will allow students to work at their own pace, is accelerated, and will allow students to receive credit for experience and skills they have already attained. The accelerated aspect of the degree includes a student being awarded a certificate credential within the first year, an associate degree before the end of the second year, and a bachelor’s degree upon completion.

Through USG’s partnership with Desire2Learn, a learning management system provider, faculty for the program will be provided with advanced learning analytic tools to support students in real time.

Columbus State University is expected to enroll 500 students in the first year of the program.

Columbus State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of fields. The school offers an online Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in General Business through the Turner College of Business, which is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

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