16 years after high school, local student to earn degree

When Albany local Lisa Battle-Jackson graduated high school in 1999, she had no idea it would take her nearly 16 years to earn her college degree. But whether it’s two years, four years or 20, the result is equally rewarding.

Following high school, Lisa enrolled in college but soon dropped out to take a job and earn an income. When she moved to Albany several years later, she made the decision that it was finally time to go back and earn her degree.

Now, she’s a supervisor at Southern Company and a candidate for graduation for a bachelor’s in business administration at Georgia Southwestern.

Scheduled to graduate next month, Lisa has worked steadily to earn the degree she’s always wanted, and she’s a shining example that anyone can go back to school and make college work.

And she couldn’t have picked a better time for herself, or for the state of Georgia.

By 2025, 60 percent of jobs will require a college credential. Today, less than 45 percent of our state’s workforce is prepared to such a level, creating a need for an additional 250,000 graduates beyond current graduation rates in order to meet these demands and remain economically competitive.

For these reasons, Georgia’s public colleges, universities and technical colleges are making it easier for adults to return to school and finish their degrees. Through the “Go Back. Move Ahead.” campaign, the state now offers more flexible course options, easier ways to transfer earned credits, additional online courses and personal academic advisers to meet the unique needs of adult learners.