The board of regents has granted approval to the University of Georgia to begin offering two undergraduate majors on the UGA campus in Griffin.
Beginning in August 2005, UGA will offer a biological science major leading to a bachelor of science in agriculture degree and an environmental resource science major leading to a bachelor of science in environmental sciences degree.
The new majors will be convenient for south-metro Georgia students and are expected to be very popular, according to Gerald Arkin, assistant dean at the UGA Griffin campus. For more than 100 years, the UGA Griffin campus has housed research faculty in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
“Griffin campus faculty have traditionally taught undergraduate classes,” Arkin says. “Over the years, many Griffin faculty have traveled to Athens to teach, and in some cases provided instruction from Griffin to Athens via distance education. Griffin campus faculty also engage in graduate education for master’s and Ph.D. students, many of whom do all or part of their research here in Griffin.”
The UGA Griffin campus degrees are designed to work in partnership with area two-year colleges, as students must have 60 hours of transferable college credit before enrolling in the degree programs.
“Partnering with Gordon College in a ‘two-plus-two program,’ students will take their freshman and sophomore classes on the Gordon campus and their junior and senior classes on the University of Georgia Griffin campus,” Arkin says.
“Gordon College’s close proximity and course offerings make the partnership an attractive one for students and institutions alike. I look forward to working with [Gordon College] President Larry Weill and his staff in this new venture.”
In the past, students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in the Griffin-Spalding County area have had to travel to Clayton or Bibb counties to continue their education past the associate degree level.
“Offering UGA undergraduate degree programs on the Griffin campus is a major step in making higher education ever more accessible to students,” Arkin says. “The University of Georgia Griffin campus undergraduate degree programs are intended to offer convenience and accessibility for students who cannot go to Athens for their degrees because of jobs, family or other commitments.”
The new majors require students to meet UGA’s transferring student requirements: at least 60 hours of credit and at least a 2.5 grade point average. Once accepted, students can attend classes in Griffin, rather than in Athens, and still be an official UGA student.
“After they meet all the university standards, our Griffin students will become bona fide UGA ID-carrying students,” says Marilyn Johnson, coordinator of academic programs on the Griffin campus.
The first six upper-level Griffin campus courses will be taught this fall, from 8 a.m. until noon on weekdays, by UGA Griffin campus faculty.