THOMASVILLE — Students seeking to earn associate’s degrees or a certificate in certain fields at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College now have a way to finish their education at Thomas University.

TU President Dr. Andy Sheppard and Wiregress President Dr. Tina Anderson signed the articulation agreement Tuesday morning on the steps of TU’s Smith-Bonvilian Hall.

Under the new agreement, students can start their path toward being a nurse at Wiregrass and complete their work toward a bachelor’s or master’s online at TU.

“Wiregrass is known for its nursing program and Thomas University is known for its nursing program, particularly its master’s in nursing,” Dr. Anderson. “To put those two together makes for a stronger health care system in south Georgia.”

The agreements signed Tuesday morning, Dr. Sheppard said, “represent, by far, the most comprehensive arrangement between the two institutions.”

Dr. Sheppard called the agreements vital to the south Georgia community.

“We have a serious nursing shortage,” he said. "Hopefully, regional medical centers will benefit from it. They can get their nurses started now and raise up a more powerful employee.”

Under the arrangement, students can do their in-person learning for clinicals at Wiregrass and transfer their credits — without losing any in the transition — to TU’s programs.

“The programs offered are online,” Dr. Sheppard said, "which means students can began their work at Wiregrass and go get jobs and continue their studies on their calendar and on their time.”

Said Dr. Anderson, “that’s the beauty of when you have an agreement like this. Students don’t lose credits. With an agreement like this, those credits move forward. It’s a great return on the investment for students and for taxpayers also. It’s a wonderful opportunity to advance the areas that are needed. The agreements we made are in areas that are needed in our community right now. So to get workers out in the pipeline without a disruption is wonderful.”

The agreement also extends to the education and business disciplines. Graduates from Wiregrass’ associate of applied science degree in early childhood care and education can transfer to TU’s bachelor of science in elementary education. Wiregrass students must complete their AAS in early childhood care and education with a grade of C or better in all courses. TU will accept of 39 hours of credit toward a bachelor of science degree, in addition to general education core courses completed at Wiregrass. 

Business education students at Wiregrass who complete an AAS in business management can transfer credits to Thomas University to complete a BS in administration, management or marketing. 

TU’s bachelor programs in business and education are offered on campus and online.

“An articulation agreement like this allows them to go smoothly from Wiregrass to (Thomas) and not lose classes,” Dr. Anderson said. “We love the partnership." 

Editor Pat Donahue can be reached at (229) 226-2400 ext. 1806.

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