In a development fraught with significance for both the University System of Georgia (USG) and the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), Clayton State University President Dr. Thomas Hynes and Atlanta Technical College President Dr. Alvetta Peterman Thomas signed a “2+2” Articulation Agreement on Tuesday, Mar. 3, providing A.S. degree holders in supply chain management at the former institution to seamlessly transfer to the supply chain program at Clayton State.
The ceremony, held in the Atrium of Clayton State’s Harry S. Downs Center, was attended by members of both institutions, Clayton County Chamber of Commerce officials, Officials from the TCSG, and supply chain management industry representatives, representing the additional economic development significance of the agreement.
According to Clayton State‘s Director of the University’s Center for Supply Chain Management John Mascaritolo, the 2+2 scenario will allow Atlanta Tech students who graduate from the Technical College System of Georgia institution with a two-year A.S. degree in supply chain to transfer directly into the supply chain program in College of Business at Clayton State for another two years to finish their supply chain bachelor’s degree. Mascaritolo and the dean of the College of Business at Clayton State, Dr. Avi Mukherjee, both also point out the historic nature of the agreement, as previous articulation agreements between USG and TCSG institutions have been limited to A.A.S. degree holders receiving partial credit for their technical college work.
“The door is now also open in the future for transfers between Clayton State and Atlanta Tech in other business degrees,” adds Mascaritolo, who also stated his hope that other units of the TCSG would ultimately become involved.
Mascaritolo started the supply chain programs at both Clayton State and Atlanta Tech. Indeed, in 2010, Atlanta Technical College became the first school in the technical college system to offer a degree in supply chain management. The two-plus-two plan aligns the two school’s programs, allowing Atlanta Tech supply chain management graduates to continue their studies and earn a bachelor’s degree in the field.
“Giving our students a path to the higher degree was always part of our long-term vision,” said Kemith H. Thompson, Atlanta Tech supply chain management program manager. “An agreement with Clayton State is ideal for student advancement. Clayton State has a robust bachelor and master’s degree programs and their location is close. A bachelor’s degree will give our students greater career opportunities.”
“This is a first in the history of Atlanta Technical College, a true two-plus-two agreement that allows a seamless transition between Atlanta Tech and Clayton State,” said Thomas prior to the signing ceremony.
At Atlanta Tech, students complete their core college courses and gain a foundational understanding of the supply chain infrastructure. “We introduce them to the big picture and prepare them for entry-level jobs, such as supply chain analysts,” said Thompson. “By continuing their studies at Clayton State, they’ll learn additional methodologies and specialties. A bachelor’s degree will qualify them for management positions.”
To bridge the gaps of technical and university education, Atlanta Tech aligned their core courses more closely with Georgia’s university system. They also changed the degree from the traditional associate of applied science to an associate of science degree, giving supply chain students smoother access to the College of Business at Clayton State and other universities.
Students aiming for a bachelor’s degree in this field may choose to take their first two years of classes at Atlanta Tech. “They can get their requirements out of the way at a much lower cost,” said Thompson. “That’s a good option for anyone.”
The new agreement also provides a significant economic development boost for Clayton County. In his remarks prior to the signing, Hynes noted that, “one of the keys of the Clayton County Economic Development Plan is supply chain” and noted the efforts of the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce, the Clayton County Board of Commissioners, and the Clayton County Development Authority in creating that plan.
“There’s a strong commitment to workforce development here, and the Clayton County Economic Development Plan recognizes the impact on workforce development of higher education,” he added.