Transfer Process Eases for Skilled Workers

June 29, 2021

Article By: J.K. Devine

Many skilled trade workers in industries such as engineering and healthcare need an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, certification and license to enter the workforce, but those who wish to advance in their fields need more. A new articulation agreement between the University of North Georgia (UNG) and Lanier Technical College can help AAS-degree graduates earn a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree.

“Students can graduate with an Associate of Applied Science and earn $35,000 to $40,000 a year. But in 10 years, they still may be earning close to that same amount,” Dr. Michael Rogers, assistant vice president of Academic Affairs at UNG, said. “Thanks to our articulation agreement, Lanier Tech graduates can enroll at UNG and get that bachelor’s degree; then they can get that promotion, earn a higher salary and have more responsibilities.”

The partnership saves those graduates time and money.

“It will maximize the courses they have already taken and shorten the time it takes to earn their bachelor’s degree,” he said.

The agreement allows Lanier Tech graduates to transfer their general education core courses as well as three accounting courses and one economics course. They may also transfer 21 occupational credit hours from their skilled specialty, which are normally not transferable.

“The biggest selling point is they can use those 21 credit hours toward the 120 needed to graduate with a bachelor’s degree,” Katie Simmons, associate dean of undergraduate programs for UNG’s Mike Cottrell College of Business, said.

Lanier Tech graduates may pursue a BAS degree in technology management and select one of four concentrations: accounting, information systems, management, and marketing.

“It’s a business-focused degree,” Simmons said, adding it may lead to other opportunities such as graduate school or a new profession. “Some may want to teach in their chosen profession, but they need a bachelor’s degree. The BAS program gives them the degree they need to teach at a technical college. They may take other courses at UNG to earn a teaching certificate if they wish to teach in the kindergarten through the 12th-grade system.”

Simmons explained the average BAS student is 30 to 35 years old and has 10 years of experience in a skilled trade. Earning a BAS degree in technology management can improve their prospects. For example, a chef with an associate degree in culinary arts wants to move into corporate management with a national hospitality chain, but may need a bachelor’s degree to make that move.

The articulation agreement also includes a provision for associate-degree graduates interested in a business degree. UNG will accept four Lanier Tech courses toward a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree. UNG offers BBA degrees in accounting, finance, information systems, management, and marketing.

“This initial articulation agreement is the beginning of our two institutions creating additional pathways for students to achieve a bachelor’s degree and even more career opportunities,” Lanier Tech President Tim McDonald said. “This articulation agreement builds on the existing University System of Georgia and Technical College System of Georgia agreement, which specifies 28 Lanier Tech general education courses are eligible for transfer.”