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Tech credits can shift to Brewton-Parker
BPC enters into agreements with three state technical schools
Published 3/11/08 in The Times-Herald
By W. WINSTON SKINNER
Students from area vocational-technical schools will be able to transfer core courses and several other classes as electives to Brewton-Parker College if they want to get a bachelor's degree in technical management.
Presidents of Brewton-Parker and three state technical schools — West Central Technical College, West Georgia Technical College and Griffin Technical College — have signed articulation agreements. Those agreements designate certain courses as equivalents for credit — whether at the technical school or Brewton-Parker.
"It's certainly a historical moment," said Dr. Robert Arnold, president of Griffin Tech.
The agreement also allows students to use 24 hours of technical courses as electives for Brewton-Parker's technical management degree. Janie Lore, head of the local BPC program, said the articulation agreements permit eight technical classes as electives.
"We have been in the process of talking about articulation of classes for quite awhile," Lore said.
Progress on the articulation agreement sped in recent weeks. Dr. Cindy Skaruppa, Brewton-Parker's vice president of enrollment services, talked about the proposal during a meeting at Central Educational Center in February. The articulation agreements were signed prior to a reception at CEC on Friday afternoon.
Signing the agreements were Dr. David Smith, president of Brewton-Parker; Dr. Skip Sullivan, president of WCTC; Dr. Daryl Gilley, president of West Georgia Tech; and Arnold.
Brewton-Parker is a four-year college affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention. The college's main campus is at Mt. Vernon-Ailey in southeast Georgia. Brewton-Parker has several satellite programs, including the local one at CEC headed by Lore, a longtime Coweta educator.
The CEC program is Brewton-Parker's only satellite in metro Atlanta. "We're happy to be here," Lore said.
Smith said the agreements will allow Brewton-Parker to better serve the young people who study through its programs as well as "some not so young people that we serve." Most students in the local BPC program have been non-traditional students — adults returning to the classroom after a hiatus.
Smith and Lore noted the late Dr. Starr Miller, a Newnan resident who twice served as president at Brewton-Parker, was one of the school's leaders who dreamed of the technical management degree. Miller's wife, Luine, attended the articulation signing and gave the invocation to open the ceremonies.
"Dr. Miller was very interested in having our college here," Lore said.
Skaruppa commented on the quick progress which brought the schools together to sign the articulation documents. She thanked representatives of the technical colleges for their help "as we were putting together these agreements."
She also promised to keep the technical colleges informed about progress of their students who transfer to Brewton-Parker. "We will provide you with complete data," she said.
In addition, Skaruppa thanked WCTC, WGTC and Griffin Tech for allowing Brewton-Parker recruiters to have a presence on their campuses.
"What we do is all about students," Sullivan said after the agreements were signed. "If we can help them be successful through such acts as this, we want to do it."
"It's all about students," Gilley agreed. "That's why we're all here."
Arnold talked about what can be accomplished when school's leaders communicate. "Anytime we can sit down face-to-face," he said, "it's the best thing to do."
"It was truly a collaboration," Skaruppa said.
Luine Miller said the process reflected her husband's philosophy. "Rather than being competitive, be cooperative," she said.
Dr. Lucy Hayden, head of the Commission on Higher Education, attended the articulation signing ceremonies. The commission is a local organization working to expand higher education opportunities in Coweta County.
Hayden thanked the presidents of the four schools for "that kind of responsiveness to the needs of the community." She said the four institutions have become "a role model" as the commission works to bring other schools to the area.
Lore said the technical management degree will allow more people to earn a bachelor's degree "in a very timely manner." She termed the agreements "a good thing," and added, "It's what employers want."
Reprinted with written permission from The Times-Herald.