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Posted: May 10, 2011 5:07 p.m.

Perimeter to offer four-year degrees

 ATLANTA (AP) — The state Board of Regents has approved a plan to let four two-year colleges in Georgia begin offering bachelor's degrees.

The board voted Tuesday to allow Darton College in Albany, Georgia Highlands College in Rome, Atlanta Metropolitan College and Georgia Perimeter College to start four-year degree programs.

Robb Watts, chief operating officer for the university system, said the change in the colleges' missions is because of high demand for four-year college degrees in those parts of the state.

Officials say the move will help address nursing and other health care professional shortages across the state. The colleges will also offer degrees in sign language, biological sciences and health informatics.

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