SWAINSBORO, Ga. (WSAV) — Going to college can be an exciting time for many, as it opens the door to a plethora of new experiences and provides the opportunity to dig deeper into interesting subjects. However, it can also come with challenges which may lead to some not being able to finish. 

According to the Education Data Initiative, an estimated 73% of those with some college but no degree drop out of college within 12 months of first enrolling.

With the help of an $18,000 grant from the University System of Georgia (USG), East Georgia State College (EGSC) aims to help adult learners finish their associate degrees. 

East Georgia State College campus. Photo provided by Harley Strickland Smith.

Adult learners, students 25 years of age and older, often face challenges when trying to complete their degrees. These challenges can include family obligations, financial obstacles, and doubts related to their academic self-efficacy.

EGSC plans to use the adult learners grants to implement the “Adult Learners Program” to mitigate these challenges and help these students complete their associate degrees.

The program will focus on the recruitment and retention of former and new EGSC adult learners. Dr. Thomas Caiazzo, who will serve as the Adult Learners Coordinator for the program, is tasked with recruiting adult learners from local employers, organizing on-campus and virtual recruitment events, organizing semester information sessions, and collaborating with the Adult Learners Team at EGSC to continuously improve the program.

“This grant will allow EGSC to reach out to students who have the potential to finish their degree with us. I will do everything that I can to accommodate these students and promise them they will be treated in a respectful manner,” said Caiazzo. “I look forward to having these students back in our classes and supporting their academic journey.”

Dr. David Chevalier, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at EGSC said, “As an access institution, EGSC welcomes both high school graduate and non-traditional students. This grant will help us with recruiting and providing opportunities to adult learners including first generation college students to attend college and earn a college degree.”

For more information about East Georgia State College and how to apply, click here.