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Colleges work to help students succeed
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Gone are the days when students were classified as “college material” by nothing more than a passing glance at their high school academic records. These days, area colleges and universities are helping potential attendees get that extra boost in order to succeed in higher education through provisional, incentive and preparatory programs.

AASU’s Liberty Center
At Armstrong Atlantic State University’s Liberty Center in Hinesville, the four-year school has partnered with two-year Waycross College to better prepare students for their eventual transition to a four-year university, said Dr. Joseph Weaver, Liberty Center director and assistant professor of philosophy.
The Liberty Center survived the state legislature’s deep cuts to its public college and university system and is staying in Hinesville to continue offering programs to traditional and non-traditional students, including the preparatory programs.
“Two-year schools allow those students who haven’t taken the SAT or scored low” to begin studying in a college setting, Weaver said. “We can also admit students who didn’t go through a college prep program. At a two-year college, they’ll take those core courses. We can admit any student with a diploma from an accredited high school, or a GED.”
Weaver said such students who enroll at the Liberty Center go through learning support and obtain 30 transferable hours before becoming eligible to transfer, either to one of AASU’s four-year programs “or any other school that will admit them.”
Weaver said the Liberty Center is seeing a greater number of Liberty County students seeking a way into eventual four-year program admission, and it is also seeing an increasing number coming out of Long, Effingham and Bryan counties. On rare occasion, students from Chatham County will take advantage of opportunities at the Liberty Center.
“Over time we’ve seen a larger increase in traditional-age freshmen in general,” Weaver said. “They choose to start here because of the cost and location, because of its effectiveness and affordability.”
He added that there is a $400-per-semester difference between AASU’s main campus and the Liberty Center, which doesn’t charge parking fees, student activity fees or other fees related to a central campus.
“Some students do their entire four-year degree here, but every student can get two years here before moving to the main campus,” he said.

Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern University in Statesboro offers the Eagle Incentive Program to students who have been provisionally accepted. The summer program is designed to immerse incoming freshmen in college-level work so they can demonstrate preparedness for the rigors of higher education.
To qualify for EIP, provisional-status students must have earned an SAT score between 920 and 990 (math and critical reading), or a 20 on the ACT. State minimum requirements for each portion of the tests are 430 critical reading and 400 math for the SAT, and 17 English and 17 math for the ACT. Enrollment is on a first-come, first-serve basis, generally beginning in the late spring.
In EIP, students take three academic courses from hand-selected professors, earning eight credit hours toward graduation. According to GSU’s information site, the courses are not remedial. Students in the program may also take part in the on-campus life by living in campus housing.
EIP students, who complete their eight hours and earn a cumulative gpa of 2.0, can enroll regularly for the fall. This year’s EIP program begins June 17 with move-in for on-campus residents and is followed June 18 with a two-day orientation.
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