State awarded $1M college completion grant - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

State awarded $1M college completion grant

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Georgia has been awarded $1 million by Complete College America to help more students in the state finish their degree.

Governor Nathan Deal announced the grant when he unveiled his plan to help more students in Georgia get a college diploma.

"College attendance is important but college graduation is even more important. So getting people to persist to graduation has always been a concern," said Albany Tech President Dr. Anthony Parker.

Dr. Parker says he's delighted to hear of the news.

"This may give us an opportunity to create study groups and tutorials and those kinds of things that are going to help more students to continue on with school, so it's applauded. It's a great opportunity," said Dr. Parker.

Governor Deal says by the fall of 2012 at least five technical schools' programs must be restructured to better support students who work while attending college.

68% of the students at Albany Tech have jobs. Dr. Parker says his college is already fulltime worker friendly but the grant will only help more.

"Each of our programs has the opportunity to take the academic core online and most of them have at least 1 opportunity to take a course online," said Dr. Parker.

Georgia is one of just 10 states to receive a grant from Complete College America, which received funding support for the awards from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

"We are very fortunate that we are ahead of most other states in that particular arena and certainly this will give our state the opportunity to compete for industries that are going to require individuals to be highly educated," said Dr. Parker.

Governor Deal also wants to focus on remediation programs as well as implement technology-based diagnostic assessments to determine how much remedial help each student requires.

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