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Board of Regents approves two new degree programs

Two institutions in the University System of Georgia are launching degree programs focused on two of the state’s top industries.

The system’s Board of Regents voted Tuesday to offer a new nexus degree in film production at Gordon State College and a new master’s degree program in epidemiology at Augusta University. Gordon State College is located in Barnesville, 40 miles from the Georgia Film Academy’s flagship instructional site at Trilith Studios in Fayetteville. With six major film studios located in metro Atlanta, Georgia is now the third-largest state in film production. Film production was the first area of study to offer nexus degrees in Georgia, an initiative that grew out of the College 2025 program system Chancellor Steve Wrigley introduced in 2017 to better tailor course offerings to the state’s 21st century workforce needs.

Columbus State University graduated the university system’s first two nexus degree holders last month, both in film production.

Gordon State is expected to draw many of its film production students from nearby Southern Crescent Technical College, which offers an associate’s degree in film.

Georgia is the thirdhighest employer of epidemiologists in the country.

The University of Georgia already offers an epidemiology masters degree, while Georgia State University and Georgia Southern University offer master’s in public health with a concentration on epidemiology. Still, many of the state’s undergraduates with epidemiology majors leave Georgia to attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Georgia students who graduate with a master’s in epidemiology can be recruited to work in a variety of governmental institutions within the state, the most prominent being with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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