UWG Receives State Funding for Complete College Georgia Initiative

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ongoing work by Georgia's public colleges and universities to increase college completion rates will get a boost in the upcoming year with $72.5 million in new funds. Gov. Nathan Deal and the General Assembly fully funded the University System's enrollment formula, and as a result, all 35 institutions will receive new funding to strengthen programs serving the system’s almost 320,000 students.

The University of West Georgia will receive $900,000 for new faculty positions in an effort to promote retention, progression and graduation as its share of this funding.

The funding will help UWG’s efforts under the state’s Complete College Georgia Initiative, that addresses the gap between the numbers of Georgians who have some type of college degree and what the needs of the workforce will be in 2020 — just eight years away.

By then 60 percent of the jobs in Georgia will require some form of a college education, such as a certificate, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree. Today, only 42 percent of the state’s young adults have continued their education beyond high school. College completion is an imperative for a prosperous future in Georgia.

UWG’s need for funding was identified after a yearlong study of retention, progression and graduation by UWG’s Presidential Special Commission. The commission issued 60 recommendations. Of these, five were identified for immediate implementation. Others will follow by order of priority.

Thus, the $900,000 will be used in the following ways:

  • New faculty to fill backlog courses. These are courses where demand far exceeds supply, creating a backlog, and potential barrier to timely graduation. These courses include: Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Biological Diversity, Spanish and Psychology.
  • Hire faculty to increase the number of seats in Core Curriculum courses, for example, English, Mass Communication, Art, Sociology, Foreign Languages and Economics.
  • Fully fund Graduate Teaching Assistants for the Ph.D. program in Psychology. This will enable highly qualified doctoral students to teach core classes in Psychology, thus increasing core curriculum seats.