Georgia colleges look at new ways to use online courses
By Laura Diamond
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Georgia college leaders joined a new partnership to explore how they can best use the fast-growing market of free online courses. The University System of Georgia announced Thursday it is one of 10 public systems and universities taking a collaborative look at how massively open online courses (MOOCs) could increase access and make a degree less expensive. MOOCs started almost two years ago to offer quality online college courses from elite schools, including Georgia Tech and Emory University. Millions of people worldwide signed up. Lately the focus has been on turning these free courses into college credit.
Gordon president highlights college, students
At the beginning of his speech before the Rotary Club of Griffin on Thursday, Gordon State College President Max Burns asked who in the audience had attended the Barnesville college, or who had relatives or friends who had attended. Most Rotarians raised their hands at one point or another. “If you grew up here, the likelihood is you had some connection with Gordon in some form or fashion,” Burns said. Despite drawing a significant number of students to campus every semester — Gordon State’s current enrollment is about 4,100 students, with about 450 of those coming from Spalding County — it is likely that most of them won’t finish their education at the college. “We are an access institution,” Burns said, explaining that many students come to Gordon State first because they may not have been immediately accepted at one of the state’s research universities and because it makes financial sense. “If you want to cut the cost of a Georgia Tech degree in half, you take the first two years at Gordon.” Speaking of degrees, Burns told Rotary members that Gordon State’s spring graduation had more than 600 graduates — a higher number than the school’s total student population in 1972, when it joined the University System of Georgia.
GGC to Host 2013 National Soccer Championship
The Association of Independent Institutions voted for Georgia Gwinnett College to host the November tournament.
By Joy L. Woodson
Officials announced that Georgia Gwinnett College will host its first major intercollegiate athletic championship in November. The Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) voted recently to have the men’s and women’s soccer championships at the Lawrenceville college, according to a press release from the college.
Sethna Named Regents’ Professor Of Marketing
The University System Board of Regents has named Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna a Regents’ Professor of Marketing. The honor will be effective on July 1. Sethna is completing his tenure as president of the University of West Georgia. During his tenure as president, Sethna also served as a professor at the University of West Georgia.
Ga. schools launch bioscience degree partnership
by Associated Press
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — A new partnership between Gwinnett Technical College and Southern Polytechnic State University is expected to allow students to earn an associate’s degree and easily transition to university-level studies. Gwinnett Tech officials Friday announced that students in the bioscience program will be allowed to transfer all of their coursework to Southern Polytechnic State University and earn a bachelor of applied science in biotechnology in two years.
Bioscience Partnership Degree Launches
City To Proceed With UWG Project
by JOHN A. WINTERS
The Newnan City Council voted to remove contingencies and move forward with plans on converting the old Newnan Hospital on Jackson Street into a University of West Georgia Newnan campus during its meeting earlier this week.
Officials mull over route of GreenBelt near University of West Georgia
Carrollton GreenBelt officials will decide by June 30 how they will route the 1.7 miles of trail from the University of West Georgia to the Maple Commons shopping center at the Highway 166 bypass. GreenBelt representatives Thursday night explained three routing alternatives to an audience mostly composed of residents of the Heritage Hills subdivision near where the trail will run. …The Carrollton GreenBelt is a paved, 12-foot-wide, trail system designed for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles. When completed, it will form a 16-mile loop around the city of Carrollton, connecting existing neighborhoods with the city school campus, University of West Georgia, city parks and several commercial shopping centers.
State salary freeze not equal for all
BY JAMES SALZER – THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
For Fayette County history teacher Joseph Jarrell and thousands like him, the state has virtually eliminated raises for years. Meanwhile his health insurance has skyrocketed, the cost of driving to school in Peachtree City has gone up, even the cost of the bananas he awards to his best-on-the-test students — he writes “top banana” on the peel — has risen. Jarrell skillfully leads his students through the rise and fall of empires, but it may take even more skill for him to make sense of the rise and fall of the past decade: in 2012, he made $296 more than he did in 2008, and he’s taking home far less money now than he was then. Ron Jackson runs the state’s technical college system, which increased tuition 13 percent last year and suffered a $17 million state budget cut for the upcoming year. The system has merged schools and uses mostly part-time faculty to save money. Unlike Joseph Jarrell, however, Jackson has received two substantial raises since 2010, raising his pay from $158,000 to $189,100.
Professors Are About to Get an Online Education
Georgia Tech’s new Internet master’s degree in computer science is the future.
By ANDY KESSLER
Anyone who cares about America’s shortage of computer-science experts should cheer the recent news out of Georgia Tech. The Atlanta university is making major waves in business and higher education with its May 14 announcement that the college will offer the first online master’s degree in computer science—and that the degree can be had for a quarter of the cost of a typical on-campus degree. Many other universities are experimenting with open online courses, or MOOCs, but Georgia Tech’s move raises the bar significantly by offering full credit in a graduate program. It comes just in time. A shortfall of computer-science graduates is a constant refrain in Silicon Valley, and by 2020 some one million high-tech job openings will remain unfilled, according to the Commerce Department. That’s why Georgia Tech’s online degree, powered by Udacity, is such a game-changer.
The Answer Sheet by Valerie Strauss
Common Core: Assessing the real level of support
Does “the great majority” of Americans really support the Common Core? How do we know? Here’s a piece on the subject from P.L. Thomas, an associate professor of education at Furman University in South Carolina. He edited the 2013 book “Becoming and Being a Teacher,” and wrote the 2012 book, “Ignoring Poverty in the U.S.: The Corporate Takeover of Public Education.” This was published on @the chalk face.
State tests REACH scholarships in Bulloch
By Dal Cannady
STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) – Five Bulloch County students signed scholarship agreements that would not pay out for another five years. The five are part of a state pilot program called REACH (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) in Georgia. Bulloch County is one of only five counties chosen to test the program. The needs based scholarship is offered to rising eighth graders as an incentive to master high school studies. “Starting in 8th grade, it pairs the student with an academic coach and mentor through high school graduation. If the kids graduate, they earn the $10,000 scholarship,” stated REACH’s Brian Moore. That value could double to $20,000 if the students elect to attend one of three schools in Bulloch County — Georgia Southern University, Ogeechee Technical College or East Georgia College.
MOOCs Morphing Into a Path for College Preparation
by Anya Kamenetz, The Hechinger Report
Last week, the Massive Open Online Course platform Coursera announced a new partnership with 10 major state flagships and state university systems. While Coursera’s existing university partnerships focus on professors at elite institutions producing and sharing online versions of their courses, these partnerships are different. The focus is on incorporating existing MOOCs and newly created MOOCs—covering basic intro level and general education requirements—into the universities’ offerings, flipping the classrooms at public institutions, using MOOCs as a catalyst for collaboration on teaching and learning, and enhancing access to credit-bearing programs. One area of innovation that Coursera co-founder Daphne Koller cited is the use of MOOCs for high school dual enrollment programs.
The changing face of technical education
Once considered the training ground for manual tradesmen only, Georgia’s schools have adapted to today’s work force
By Laura Raines
For EDU Atlanta
After graduating from high school in 2008, Kristina Palermino worked as a medical assistant at a health clinic, but soon realized she would rather work behind the scenes in a laboratory. After researching clinical lab degree programs, she found a new career direction at Gwinnett Technical College. Today Palermino is halfway through an associate degree program in bioscience technology. “I wanted a degree with versatility, and this is it,” she said. “There are many biotech industries in Georgia, so I could take my skills into the agricultural, health sciences, forensic or environmental sectors.” The hands-on curriculum is challenging, and Palermino values learning from instructors with different specialties (plants, proteins, chemistry) and work backgrounds. …Gibson believes that Baxter International’s decision last year to locate a $1 billion biopharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Covington was influenced by the Technical College System of Georgia’s ability to build a long-term pipeline of skilled workers.