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Higher education in Georgia is dominated by the University System of Georgia. It is the fourth largest university system in the United States, with 35 public institutions of higher learning that enroll more than 311,000 students. The university system is governed by the Board of Regents, whose goal is to ensure access to academic excellence and education opportunities for all Georgians by maintaining affordability, strengthening partnerships with other state education agencies, increasing its participation in research and economic development, encouraging the creation of new knowledge, creating enrollment capacity to meet the needs of additional students, and renewing its undergraduate education to meet students 21st century educational needs.
The Georgia Higher Education Alliance is another organization devoted to meeting the educational needs of Georgians, in particular, working adult students. It’s comprised of 20 colleges and universities and, through panel discussions and educational fairs, helps students identify the programs best-suited for their goals, whether that’s through online, on campus, or accelerated programs. Here’s a more in-depth look at some of the distance learning opportunities in the state of Georgia:
Founded in 1785 in Athens, the University of Georgia is one of the oldest public universities in the country. It’s also one of the largest, with more than 34,000 total students. The school has been recognized as one of the Public Ivies, meaning it provides an Ivy League-caliber education, but at a public school price. To that end, the school has been called one of the “100 Best Values in Public Colleges” by Kiplinger’s Magazine and is ranked one of the top national universities and top public schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report . U.S. News also recognized UGA’s business, education, engineering, and law graduate programs, and its online education program in its rankings. Through the school’s distance learning program, students can earn a master’s degree in education, as well as several education certifications. Since the school is a member of the University of Georgia System, students also have access to programs through the Georgia ONmyLINE database, which features online college courses and online college degree programs at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate levels.
Located in downtown Atlanta, Georgia State University, or GSU, serves about 30,000 students. It is one of the University System of Georgia’s four research universities and the second largest in the system, after the University of Georgia. The school offers more than 60 graduate and undergraduate degree programs in the arts and sciences, education, law, nursing and health, and policy studies. Its online graduate education program is ranked among the best by U.S. News & World Report in its 2012 survey of online colleges. Students can earn a Master of Education, a Master of Arts in Teaching, or a Master of Science in education online through the school, which is a member of the Georgia Higher Education Alliance. Students also have access to the distance learning programs offered through all 35 colleges and universities in the University of Georgia System through Georgia ONmyLINE.
South University was founded in 1899 in Savannah as a two-year practical business college. Since then, it’s grown into a four-year university offering a variety of subjects to study with campuses in Texas, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Alabama, Michigan, Virginia, and Florida, in addition to the Savannah campus. Students can earn associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degrees in the areas of nursing and health, business and information technology, legal and criminal justice, and the creative arts on campus or off through South University Online. In recent years, the school has launched online master’s degrees in business administration, criminal justice, and healthcare administration. Through South University’s School of Pharmacy, students can also earn a doctorate in pharmacy at the Savannah or Columbia, SC campuses.