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CCGA, city and county agree to make college degrees more accessible
Posted 08/04/2016 08:08AM

By LAUREN MCDONALD The Brunswick News

LEAP Signing

College of Coastal Georgia agreed on Wednesday to remove a few barriers for city and county employees wishing to return to the classroom and get a college degree.

Administrators with the college signed an agreement Wednesday with officials from both the City of Brunswick and Glynn County to be partners going forward in the Leveraging Educational Attainment through Partnerships program, or LEAP.

The program will offer city and county employees the option to get a college degree at College of Coastal Georgia.

"The agreement itself is a partnership between the college and the city and the county, saying we have created a pathway of entrance for all employees that want to come back to school," said Kimberly Burgess, an admissions counselor who will be the point of contact for employees who want to enroll at the college.

The goal of the partnership is to create a more educated workforce for Glynn County, said CCGA President Greg Aloia.

"Part of our job in our community is to be the college that is relevant in their lives," Aloia said. "That's what excites me about this initiative."

He said the aim is to make education more accessible in the community.

"It would be very nice for us to be able to say we have the most educated workforce in the state," Aloia said.

City manager Jim Drumm, who took part in the signing, said he has seen young and old city employees who will benefit from this initiative.

"I look at my workforce and look for the skills that we need in the 21st Century, and this is a great opportunity," he said.

Employees who wish to attend the college should contact Burgess, who will begin the process by reviewing their transcripts.

"No matter how old they are, no matter where they're from, no matter what state they're in ... I will do a review of their transcripts to let them know where they stand academically with us," she said.

Then if the employee chooses to enroll, the college will waive the application fee and will offer them a scholarship to help offset the cost of their first semester.

"It's a comprehensive agreement that helps them through the enrollment process, helps offset the cost of going to school and it gets them on the correct degree plan for degree completion," Burgess said.

Many people aren't able to advance in the workforce because of barriers they face due to their level of education, she said, but this partnership will alleviate those barriers and will have a direct effect on boosting the local economy.

"Our hope is a year from now that this program has increased the number of individuals who have completed their degree and that they make themselves more marketable in the workforce," Burgess said.

Those interested in taking advantage of the partnership can contact Burgess at 279-5770 or at

Reporter Lauren McDonald writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 322.

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