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Colleges merging in Georgia

Earlier this month, representatives of the University System of Georgia proposed that eight colleges across Georgia would merge into four. The university system began a study that would determine whether thirty-five campus systems would minimize the amount of institutions it runs to help reduce government costs.

As of January 10, 2012, the merger between eight institutions within Georgia won the approval from the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. The following institutions were combined: Augusta State University with Georgia Health Sciences University, Gainesville State College with North Georgia College and State University, Waycross College with South Georgia College, Macon State College with Middle Georgia College.

Officials expressed that there are many benefits of this combination-the expansion of services and an important change in direction. Students who were included in these colleges will see an increase of educational contributions, through classroom delivery and increased use of distance learning.

However, with this decision, not only will the student population skyrocket, but the cost of tuition will most definitely increase for students that are enrolled in these institutions. Some state legislators may disagree with the integration because districts may be affected.

Ultimately, the state Board of Regents concluded that this decision would: cut back a great number of administrative jobs, avoid duplication of programs, create access to classes in rural areas, increase in education attainment levels, create potential for economies and economic development.

Representatives stated that programs originally offered at the institutions are not going to change. This unification could be a superior opportunity for the communities supporting the now united colleges, creating pride within the population.

The plan for consolidation sprouted due to an awareness that the university system wasn’t doing a sufficient job to cut back on spending and helping the state’s economy. The merger is not expected to go into effect until twelve to eighteen months.





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