Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 28

COURTESY VALDOSTA STATE UNIVERSITY

Going back to school
Adults train for better careers
in Georgia
BY CAROLYN CRIST

28

COURTESY MELISSA TOLBERT

W

hen Melissa Tolbert
decided to go back
to school at age 33,
it was a big decision.
She worked at the University of Georgia's (UGA) Institute
of Continuing Judicial Education in
Athens, often traveled 120 days per
year to facilitate training for judges
and clerks statewide and was married with three young sons. But her
busy life didn't stop her.
She first earned an associate
degree in business administration
at Athens Technical College. When
she completed that degree, a UGA
colleague and career coach encouraged her to consider Valdosta State
University's (VSU) organizational
leadership program, a fully online
bachelor's degree that certifies students in management, administration
and human resources. Now she's
scheduled to complete VSU's online
master's in public administration
program in May.
Each step along the way, Tolbert
has seen a bump in her expertise,
status and pay. She's also made time
to complete class assignments in the
evenings, spend time with her family

and be there for her sons' participation in 4-H and FFA livestock events.
"Doing online classes can take
away from family time, so I try to do
most of my work after their bedtime
or on the weekends when they're
participating in events," she says.
Tolbert is one of thousands of
Georgians who go back to school
each year to change careers and
boost their credentials. In a 2011
initiative, Gov. Nathan Deal started
"Go Back. Move Ahead." to encourage more adults to complete their
degrees with flexible schedule options. As part of a larger Complete
College Georgia program, the initiaMore online at www.georgiamagazine.org

Above: Valdosta State University may create
an add-on certificate in project management so that students like Michael Anderson who earn an organizational leadership
degree will be able to demonstrate that they
have the additional expertise that employers
are seeking. Left: While pursuing her master's degree in public administration through
Valdosta State University's online program,
Melissa Tolbert makes sure she has time
to spend with her sons, Clayton, clockwise
from back, Matt and Will.

tive promotes a simpler enrollment
process for nontraditional students,
new ways to transfer college credits and personal academic advisers
who coach students through the
process. The programs are meant to
reach Georgia's 1.1 million workingage adults-22 percent of the state's
population-who attended college
but didn't complete a degree.
"Many Georgians choose not to
return to college because they believe it is too difficult, too expensive
or simply inconvenient," Deal says
about the initiative. "Regardless of
individuals' personal or financial situations, we are committed to making it
possible to go back, move ahead and
make college work."
With the state's two higher
education systems-the University
GEORGIA MAGAZINE


http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - January 2018

Contents
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 3
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 5
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 6
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 7
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 8
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 9
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 10
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 11
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 12
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 13
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 14
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 15
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 16
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 17
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 18
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 19
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 20
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 21
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 22
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 23
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 24
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 25
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 26
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 26A
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 26B
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 26C
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 26D
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 27
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 28
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 29
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 30
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 31
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 32
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 33
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 34
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 35
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 36
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 37
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 38
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 38A
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 38B
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 39
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 40
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 41
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 42
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 43
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 44
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Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 46
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 47
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 48
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 48A
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 48B
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 49
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 50
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 50A
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 50B
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Cover4
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