Valdosta State University (VSU) is a public, four-year university in Valdosta, Georgia. It is a member of the University System of Georgia. Distance learning is available statewide. Additionally, the College of the Arts has an outreach program for over 40 counties.
VSU was founded in 1906 as a normal school, became a 4-year school in 1922, and received university status in 1993, when it adopted its current name. The University now awards associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
In addition to the numerous classroom, dormitory, and administration buildings, VSU features a beautifully landscaped park for student and public use. Two small creeks cross the campus. VSU defines its mission as, in part, to “prepare our students to meet global opportunities and challenges through excellence in teaching and learning.”
The University is composed of a number of different schools and colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of the Arts, the Langdale College of Business Administration, the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education, the College of Nursing, the Division of Aerospace Programs, and the Division of Social Work. There is also a Graduate School.
Bachelor’s degrees are awarded in a number of different disciplines, including biology, history, computer science, legal assistant studies, accounting, marketing, education (covering a wide range of specialties, including American Sign Language/Interpreting), art, music, and nursing. Students are also required to take courses within the University System of Georgia’s core curriculum.
The largest graduate division at VSU is education. The Ed.S. degree is awarded in multiple areas within the College of Education. The school awards three doctoral degrees, in Adult and Career Education, Curriculum and Instruction, and Educational Leadership. Master’s degrees are also awarded in English, marriage and family therapy, criminal justice, business administration (MBA), psychology, nursing (MSN), art education, social work (MSW), and library and information science (MLIS), among others. The most popular majors at Valdosta include accounting, biology, criminal justice, early childhood education, management, nursing, secondary education, sociology, speech communication, communication disorders, and sports medicine/athletic training. Of the over 400 full-time faculty members at Valdosta, roughly 90% of them possess the terminal degree in their field.
Virtually all George Core Curriculum classes are available online through eCore. Professors for eCore classes may or may not be affiliated with VSU; some teach at other member institutions of the University System of Georgia. VSU uses BlazeVIEW (Blackboard Vista 8) to administrate online classes. In addition, VSU offers Second Life, a virtual environment for instructors and students to interact. Unlike most colleges and universities, distance education classes as VSU are less expensive than in-person classes.
Full degrees are available from VSU’s distance education arm for three Masters of Arts in Teaching degrees, three Ed.S. degrees, and four M.Ed degrees. Certified teachers may further their education through add-on endorsement programs in online teaching, gifted teaching, and library media. Other online programs include a certificate program for English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), a bachelor’s of science in office administration technology, a master of business administration, a master of library and information science, a master of public administration city manager track, a master of social work, and a doctor of public administration.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Valdosta offers a cooperative degree program in pre-engineering. Students complete up to two years of a BS requirement at Valdosta before transferring to either Georgia Institute of Technology, Mercer University, University of Georgia, or Southern Polytechnic State University to complete the remainder of their education. Specializations can include aerospace, electrical, computer, or a variety of others.
The overriding factor in consideration for admissions at Valdosta is potential for academic success. Indicators referred to include previous academic record, entrance examination performance, good conduct and demonstration of leadership skills in previous academic settings, and results of other tests or personal interviews deemed necessary. Admission to the University does not necessarily indicate admission to the major of choice for any given applicant. Some colleges and departments keep their own requirements for admission, and applicants should inquire with the department of their choice. Enrollment standards include an SAT score of 1100 or ACT score of 24, and a minimum high school GPA of 3.0.
In addition to the wide range of state and federal aid available to any college or university student in the state of Georgia, VSU administrates dozens of their own need- and merit-based scholarships. The university offers a general scholarship application which will automatically enter a student into consideration for all applicable scholarships.
Student Financial Aid Details
There are close to 200 student clubs and organizations at VSU to meet a panorama of personal and professional interests.
Students living on-campus may choose between seven residence halls and two apartment buildings. Residents of the traditional and suite-style halls must participate in a meal plan; students in campus apartments may choose to participate in a meal plan or not. Apartments are open to upperclassmen only. There is a thriving residential Greek system on campus as well.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The athletics department at VSU is known as the Blazers. The Blazers compete on the intervarsity level in the NCAA Division II and the Gulf South Conference. Men’s competitive sports include football, cross-country, basketball, baseball, golf, and tennis. Women’s competitive sports include basketball, cross-country, softball, tennis, and volleyball. There are also competitive cheerleading squads and dance teams at the university.
For non-competitive student athletes, there are dozens of club sports and intramurals to choose from. VSU athletic facilities include weight rooms, exercise equipment, tracks, pools, tennis courts, and racquetball courts for student use.
Distance Education. Valdosta State University. Web. 14 June 2011.
Faculty. Valdosta State University. Web. 14 June 2011.
Fiske, Edward B. Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011. Chicago: Sourcebooks, 2010. Print.
Housing. Valdosta State University. Web. 14 June 2011.
Pope, Loren. Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That’s Right for You. New York: Penguin. 2007. Print.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.