COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor Hank Huckaby and Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) Commissioner Ron Jackson announced Georgia's "Go Back. Move Ahead." campaign.
The campaign will encourage many of the more than one million Georgians who have completed some college to return and finish their degrees.
Columbus Technical College and Columbus State University are among the many Georgia schools participating in the campaign.
"In order for Georgia to remain economically competitive, we must have an educated work force, and focusing on college completion is one way we intend to do that," said Gov. Deal. "'Go Back. Move Ahead.' provides resources for prospective students and makes it easy for any Georgian who has started college to go back to school and earn a degree or certificate."
"Go Back. Move Ahead." is a part of Gov. Deal's "Complete College Georgia" initiative, which launched in 2011. It is projected that by 2020, more than 60 percent of jobs in Georgia will require a college certificate or degree. Presently, however, only 42 percent of the state's young adults have earned a college credential — creating a need for an additional 250,000 graduates.
The University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia serve more than 300,000 students each year and are a major component of Georgia's economy. Gov. Deal and higher education administrators recognize that the state must do more to make it easier for Georgia adults to return to school and complete their degrees.
This group includes approximately 1.1 million working-age adults, or 22 percent of the state's population, who attended college for some time but did not finish.
Columbus State University has long had an office dedicated to helping welcome back any students who have been out of high school for a few years.
"We are excited that the State is launching the 'Go Back, Move Ahead' initiative to entice adult learners to further their education," said Dustin Worsley, Columbus State's Square One: Adult Re-Entry Coordinator. "This initiative will add to the programs and services that CSU already offers to adult learners, and will enhance CSU's status as an adult-friendly institution."
The initiative will offer Georgians a simpler enrollment process, more flexible ways to transfer earned college credits, additional course schedule options and a personal academic advisor. Options for returning to college in Georgia include enrolling on campus, taking classes at a satellite location or using the online options available at many of Georgia's public institutions.
The USG and TCSG are collaborating on the effort, which will include unprecedented public outreach to every part of Georgia. A significant media buy will purchase billboards, radio, video, print, and online digital media. There will also be grassroots community outreach and operational improvements at key campuses to make it easier for Georgia adults to return to college and earn their degrees.
Interested students can be connected to a college representative online at www.gobackmoveahead.org or by calling 1-844-GOBACKNOW.
Anyone interested in returning to college at Columbus State University can call the Square One: Adult Re-Entry Coordinator at 706-507-8785.
"Many Georgians choose not to return to college because they believe it is too difficult, too expensive or simply inconvenient," said Gov. Deal. "I have challenged our University System to make it easier for these Georgians to go back, and I'm pleased with the response. Regardless of individuals' personal or financial situations, we are committed to making it possible to go back, move ahead and make college work."
For more information about Complete College Georgia and the "Go Back. Move Ahead." campaign, visit www.gobackmoveahead.org.
For more information about opportunities at Columbus State University for adult learners to go back to college, contact:
Square One: Adult Re-Entry Coordinator
Academic Center for Excellence (ACE)