Published on 2013/03/29

Georgia Seeks to Enroll More Non-Traditional Students

Colleges and universities in Georgia are striving to enroll a larger number of students to bring the state closer to its goal of reaching a post-secondary attainment rate of 60 percent of the population by 2020. According to The Athens Banner-Herald, 42 percent of Georgians currently hold a higher education credential.

“Our best chance is to reach out to non-traditional students,” Hank Huckaby, chancellor of University System of Georgia, said during a Monday economic development forum at the University of Georgia.

According to Huckaby, there are approximately 1.3 million people in the workforce who are considered non-traditional and may be looking at furthering their post-secondary education.

There is economic impetus behind this move, as the state must prove they have the ability to provide employers with an educated local workforce. Although Huckaby said Georgia’s higher education institutions are making a positive impact on the state’s economic growth, government officials are not fully convinced. It is expected that the University of Georgia and the University System of Georgia will need to contribute more to developing the state’s economy.

However, Huckaby pointed out that workforce and economic development are not the sole priorities of four-year universities.

“There’s still a great misunderstanding, especially in the legislature, about what we do in economic development,” Huckaby said. “We have a responsibility to provide an educated, informed citizenry.”

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