ALBANY, Ga. -- Students at Albany Technical College will soon have the means to obtain a bachelor's degree from a metro Atlanta institution without leaving home.
The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU) signed an articulation agreement Monday that allows TCGS students to complete the first two years of a Bachelor of Science in engineering technology degree program at one of 19 technical colleges in the state -- including Albany Tech -- and then ultimately earn the degree from SPSU.
The agreement allows TCSG students to select a pre-engineering technology associate degree program specializing in electrical engineering technology, industrial engineering technology or mechanical engineering technology. Students can take the associate degree courses at a technical college and either enter the work force directly or transfer those credits and get a bachelor's degree in engineering technology at SPSU.
Albany Tech offers several degree program opportunities in the engineering technology arena. Under this agreement, students will be able to meet SPSU curriculum requirements via Albany Tech's labs and distance learning facilities while earning their bachelor's from the Marietta institution.
"Students will have the opportunity to continue their major through Southern Polytechnic," said Anthony Parker, president of Albany Tech. "We will basically be a regional campus for (Southern Polytechnic)."
The Albany institution is expected to hold a local signing for its agreement at its campus in the coming days with SPSU Vice President of Academic Affairs Zvi Szafran in attendance. Albany Tech will be among the first to offer the pre-engineering technology program, along with four other technical colleges in Georgia.
The change is expected to take affect this fall.
"We already have graduates that may take advantage of it in the fall," Parker said. "(As a result of this agreement), we will have individuals that get educated here, and (regional) employers will have a crack at (hiring) people from Southwest Georgia.
"We've been working on this with Southern Polytechnic for three years. We've been excited and enthused that they are interested in working with us."
Parker also added that this agreement will not adversely impact Albany Tech's relationship with Albany State University, as some courses within the affected degree programs not offered by the technical college should be available at ASU.
Under the agreement, a TCSG graduate will enter SPSU with up to 61 semester hours that count toward the 130 semester hours required for the Bachelor of Science degrees. This differs from previous agreements in that TCSG students receive "one-for-one" credit for courses taken at a technical college, meaning that there is a corresponding course at SPSU for each of the 18 articulated TCSG courses.