South Georgia State College (SGSC), Wiregrass Georgia Technical College (WGTC) and Coastal Pines Technical College (CPTC) announced a historic collaboration that will provide education students an opportunity to obtain an elementary and special education four-year degree locally. With the signing of the articulation agreement on September 29, 2021, students can now seamlessly transfer from WGTC and CPTC into the Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Special Education program at SGSC.
The dream of a four-year program became a reality when SGSC partnered with the University of North Georgia in 2018 to design, develop and implement an elementary and special education degree that was much needed and requested for this community and region. With the support of the University System of Georgia and the Board of Regents and the work of many at SGSC, the program officially began fall semester of 2019. Memorandums of understanding have been signed with local school districts in order for the education students to train with college professors and also participate in intensive levels of clinical experiences in public school classrooms. The first graduates walked across the graduation stage in 2021 and 100% of them found employment in area school systems.
SGSC President Dr. Ingrid Thompson-Sellers feels the articulation agreement with our fellow technical colleges is a perfect fit. She says, “We all have the same passion for educating young people, providing graduates who will positively contribute to the workforce and community and supporting the economic development of our region. This program features high academic standards and is distinct in the way the students are able to participate in a high level of supervised clinical experiences. Our technical college partners will lay the foundation for these future educators and SGSC will take them through a program that provides valuable training through coursework and exceptional experiences with classroom teachers in our area.”
“This is truly a 'grow our own' type of teacher education program and we are grateful for the collaboration and partnership through this agreement,” continues Dr. Thompson-Sellers. “I extend my sincerest thanks to Mr. Lonnie Roberts, President of Coastal Pines Technical College and Ms. DeAnnia Clements, Interim President of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College for their confidence in partnering with us. This opens the door to work together in future endeavors and on behalf of the South Georgia State College team, we are truly honored and excited!”
The articulation agreement is the first of its kind with South Georgia State College and the local technical colleges. The significance is shared among the leadership of each participating institution.
Coastal Pines Technical College President Mr. Lonnie Roberts shares his thoughts. He stated, “Coastal Pines Technical College is excited to partner with South Georgia State College to offer the opportunities this agreement provides to the students, citizens, and education systems in Southeast Georgia. It is a great example of outstanding institutions of higher education working together to strengthen Georgia’s workforce and prepare for the future.”
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Interim President Ms. DeAnnia Clements says, “We are excited to have this articulation agreement in place for our students. We know there is a great need for educators in our local school systems, particularly in the areas of science and math, and this partnership will allow Wiregrass to help meet the needs of the communities we serve.”