Fort Valley State University’s New Program to Enhance Access to Higher Education

fvsuFort Valley State University, the historically Black educational institution in Georgia, has entered into an agreement with Gordon State College in Barnesville, Georgia, that aims to increase access to college for students who show promise but have not achieved the necessary admission requirements for a state university.

Gordon State College enrolls about 4,000 students, primarily in associate degree programs. African Americans make up 39 percent of the student body.

The Fort Valley State University Gordon Access Program (FVSU GAP) participants will be considered Gordon State College students, but will attend classes taught by Gordon instructors at the FVSU campus. They will live on the FVSU campus and have full access to FVSU facilities, services and student activities. Students who successfully complete the one-year FVSU GAP program will be academically eligible to transfer to Fort Valley State or any other senior-level university in the state system. About 30 students are expected to enroll in the FVSU GAP program this fall.

lawrence“This program is a great example of two dynamic institutions of higher learning strategically partnering to increase access to higher education for Georgia residents,” said Dr. Stevie L. Lawrence II, executive director for the Center for Retention Services at Fort Valley State University.

Dr. Lawrence is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, where he majored in history. He holds a master of public administration degree from North Carolina Central University in Durham and a Ph.D. in urban higher education from Jackson State University in Mississippi.

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