Published on 08/18/05

New UGA degree program starts on Griffin campus

By Faith Peppers
University of Georgia

Today, 15 University of Georgia students made history. They were the first undergraduate students to attend classes toward a UGA degree in Griffin, Ga.

"This is a pivotal, historic moment for the UGA Griffin campus and the metro Atlanta Southern Arch," said Gerald Arkin, assistant dean for the Griffin campus of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

"UGA degree programs are now available and accessible to students, particularly place-bound students, that would otherwise not be able to get a UGA degree," Arkin said.

The program has attracted a collection of traditional and nontraditional college students from across the south metro Atlanta area.

On the Griffin campus, these students will have two degree options: a biological science major that will lead to a bachelor of science in agriculture and an environmental resource science major that will lead to a bachelor of science in environmental sciences.

The new teaching program offers students the benefit of study close to home, with world-class facilities, laboratories and faculty members.

The century-old Griffin campus has long been a nationally respected agricultural research facility. It's home to some of the world's most respected agricultural, environmental and food scientists.

To enter the Griffin-based program, students must have 60 transferable hours of course work. To make that transition easier, UGA is partnering with nearby Gordon College in a two- plus-two program. Students do their freshman and sophomore work at Gordon and transfer to UGA at Griffin to complete the degree.

"I watched both of the first two classes as they began, and things are going well," Arkin said. "We started out on the right foot."

Besides the core students on the Athens campus, the CAES also offers degrees through their Tifton, Ga., campus, in a similar arrangement with Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. That program graduated its first class of students in May.

Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.