Published Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cooperation, coordination can enhance higher education programs locally

Editorial

Getting our state university system more closely working together with our technical college system would seem to be a win-win idea for our state and benefit many students who are seeking an education.

Such a relationship seems to be developing with Gov. Nathan Deal already having brought together technical college presidents which are governed by the Technical College System of Georgia and presidents of the universities which are under the jurisdiction of the chancellor of the University System of Georgia and the Board of Regents.

The governor is looking for ways to improve the number of college graduates in our state. Certainly having the technical colleges and the universities closer aligned to allow technical college graduates with associate degrees to easily transfer to universities can result in more college graduates.

West Georgia Technical College President Skip Sullivan talked about this relationship last week when he updated the Coweta County Development Authority about plans for the technical college’s campus here in Coweta County. Steel for the first building of the Coweta campus was arriving last week. That steel should go up in the days ahead, and the first building on the campus is expected to be ready for classes in summer 2013.

During his update, Sullivan talked about the technical school forming connections with other colleges and universities offering classes locally. He said he believed the new technical college campus in Coweta could be “an excellent location for a higher education center.”

Such a center has been talked about for at least a decade in Newnan and Coweta County. While college/university level offerings have expanded in our county, this idea of WGTC forming relationships with some of the other higher education institutions has merit.

The University of West Georgia has for years had its Newnan campus on Shenandoah Boulevard. As West Georgia expands locally, there is a plan to have the university also move into the former Newnan Hospital Building on Jackson Street near downtown Newnan. That could be a significant plus for the community and the university’s presence here.

Mercer University is eager to expand its college offerings here, and Brewtown-Parker College also has classes in Newnan. It would seem that both Mercer and Brewton-Parker — and possibly other colleges and universities —would be good fits to develop connections with West Georgia Tech and its Coweta County campus.

We like what’s happening with college programs in our community. Continued expansions of such programs and cooperation and coordination between the institutions bode well for students and the community.

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