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Armstrong Task Force Phase One Update

Nov. 16, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

The Armstrong Task Force (ATF) was charged with identifying a list of academic programs as part of a short-term plan to elevate enrollment on the Armstrong campus as early as fall 2023. After reviewing regional and state employer demand data from several sources and student demand data from surveys and enrollment trends, the team identified a total of nine programs to recommend. These programs have capacity for growth, are in demand, could be adapted to new delivery modes, and are not contingent upon external approvals to move forward.

With consultation from a variety of constituents and stakeholders, we will begin immediately highlighting eight of these programs: computer science, criminal justice, economics, information technology, logistics, management, marketing, and psychology. Management and marketing will be new additions to the Armstrong campus and are the top two student-desired business programs that also align with our labor market needs. The remaining six programs are currently offered at the Armstrong campus but will be enhanced through course scheduling and delivery flexibility that aligns with the needs of our adult learners, military affiliated, and working students. The ninth suggested program, a health degree, will go forward in our next phase.

In addition to these eight programs, efforts are underway to enhance dual enrollment programs in Savannah. Since access to dual enrollment courses on our campus is not available to all high school students in the area, we are working with the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System to deliver select courses in area high schools.

We are also looking at new pathways into our academic programs. Starting with these eight identified programs, we are planning an associate degree with a concentration in each program that will be available for students seeking stackable credentials as part of their educational journey.

This is just the first phase for the Armstrong Task Force and builds upon recent academic alignment of new programs with local needs. The elevation of three additional academic programs that were previously identified as part of the Regional Academic Plan are also underway and will further enhance Armstrong enrollment:

  • The new undergraduate program in sustainability science is currently enrolling students, and the two new graduate degrees in environmental science will begin in spring and fall of 2023.
  • Expansion of the nursing cohort size is underway to educate more students for this high-demand career.
  • The College of Education is working directly with the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System to promote higher education as a pathway to success through stackable credentials, and with professional development activities.

As part of this first phase, University Communications and Marketing is planning a robust advertising campaign in the regional market toward prospective students to promote both these eight individual programs as well as the Armstrong campus as a special destination for a transformative educational experience. This is in addition to the general advertising and marketing we have underway for the Statesboro and Hinesville campuses, and for Georgia Southern in general.

As promised, the work so far has relied heavily on data, and I appreciate the team’s willingness to evolve and innovate. I’m inspired by the ideas being generated from this task force. We must continue to challenge ourselves and each other as we move forward to recapture market share in Savannah and prepare for the development and growth of the region in the coming years.

To future align the university market needs, we now turn our attention to developing a long-term plan to differentiate the Armstrong campus as a unique and critical component of Georgia Southern University. In alignment with our mission and vision, our goal remains to grow ourselves to grow others, and we will accomplish this through academic program development, methods of delivery, innovation in instruction, student services, student engagement programs, and all other services that prepare our students for success.

My thanks to everyone involved!


Last updated: 11/16/2022