South Georgia State College Provides Alternative Path with VSU Entry Program

Barbara Kieker

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Students who think college is not an option should think again.  The South Georgia State College entry programs offer another option to high school students who are unable to meet the academic requirements of a regional university or unable to afford it. 

"No matter what profession a student may be interested in, the core curriculum for freshman year is here," said Valerie Webster, director of Planning and Entry Programs for South Georgia State College. 

South Georgia State College was formed in January 2013 through the consolidation of South Georgia College in Douglas, Ga. and Waycross College in Waycross, Ga.  In fall 2013, 2,579 students were enrolled at South Georgia State College including students from 109 Georgia counties, 28 other states and 10 other countries. Approximately 72 percent of students attend full-time. 

Another option for high school students

The school offers two entry programs: the Georgia Southwestern State University Entry Program in Americus and the Valdosta State University Entry Program in Valdosta.  More than 400 students are enrolled in the entry programs each semester. 

"We recruit at area high schools for the entry programs, and we collaborate with Valdosta State and Georgia Southwestern State to serve students who don't meet their entry requirements," Webster said. 

"Our entry program includes 30 credit hours in core courses such as composition, U.S. history, science and algebra.  Most students don't have a major per se; they are still just getting their feet wet in the whole college experience." 

The entry programs are flexible in terms of location.  Students have access to all four South Georgia State locations in Americus, Douglas, Valdosta and Waycross.  Additionally, students in the entry program in Valdosta pay student fees to Valdosta State, which gives them access to the university's rec center, library, health center, and tutoring and counseling services. 

The entry programs also prepare students for the high-tech online features that are integral to many courses at Valdosta State.  According to Webster, the faculty has embraced the technology and work one-on-one with students to ensure they are comfortable with it. 

A choice of educational outlets

After completing the entry program, students will have completed their freshman year of college and are ready to move to another educational outlet, according to Walda Kight, vice president of External Affairs for South Georgia State College. 

"The goal for most students is to get a bachelor's degree, and it is their choice where to go," Kight said.

"We offer two bachelor's degrees at South Georgia State College – a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and a Bachelor in Biological Sciences, which is new this fall." 

Students choose from two tracks for the Bachelor in Biological Sciences degree – a track in nature and ecology and a pre-professional track for those interested in medicine, dentistry, pharmacology and other health fields. According to Kight, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing met a lot of demand in the area for qualified nurses.  In May 2014, 24 graduates received Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees from South Georgia State College. 

"Our goal is to add another degree program in the next couple of years," Kight said.  

More information on South Georgia State College is available at

About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.