History of the Georgia Probe Tour

HomeHistory of the Georgia Probe Tour

In 1950,  under the direction of Bill Row of West Georgia College, the Georgia Association of Colleges recognized the need for an organized program of high school visitations throughout the state. This need was felt because high schools were asking colleges to visit them on a haphazard basis, and college representatives were requesting entry into the high schools at different times during the year.

The original schedule was established so that representatives could move throughout the state with ease and without a great deal of overlapping and so that only one program would be held at the same time.

Originally, programs were either held during the school day, after school, or at night. Many of the day programs were held in the local churches. Some programs were of the fair type where all the representatives were either the gymnasium or cafeteria. Some of the programs were a regular three period schedule of thirty minutes each, while some had an assembly program, which preceded the regular program. A few programs had luncheons or dinners in connection with them.

In 1960 the University of Georgia was asked to take over the administration of the College Day schedule and did so – changing the coordination from the Georgia Association of Colleges to the Georgia Education Association. M.O. Phelps and the University Admissions office assumed the responsibility for making out the schedule and the Georgia Education Association distributed the schedule to high schools, colleges, and vocational – technical schools and hospitals schools of nursing. The College Day Committee was composed of the college representatives from the Georgia Association of School Counselors. This committee approved the program and handled the business concerning the programs.

Between 1960 and 1965   more and more programs were consolidated, and gradually most of the programs were held at night. Attempts were made at various times during these years to have counselor’s conferences along with the programs, and several of these were held and some of them were more or less successful.

Around 1966  the administration of the College Day schedule was accepted by LaGrange College. The administration of these programs stayed at LaGrange College for two years and was moved back to the University of Georgia’s admissions office took over the administration of the program and organized the Articulation Committee, which was composed of representatives from various organizations interested in secondary and high education. About this time, attendance at the College Day Programs began falling off, so various experiments were held to try to improve participation. An attempt was made to have the schedule in the spring, particularly aimed at high school juniors. This experiment met with limited success. Other attempts were made to hold the College Day Programs on college campuses. This too was successful in some areas, and not as well received in others.

One of the first projects of the Articulation Committee was a workshop for high school counselors, which was held at Rock Eagle. This workshop had excellent potential. But only about twenty counselors attended, so the extent of the participation was limited. The small number of counselors was probably due to the fact that counselors or their schools had to pay their own expenses.

In 1969  the Articulation Committee asked the Georgia Education Improvement Council (GEIC) to take over the sponsorship of the activities of the Articulation Committee. Ed Martin, Executive Director, assumed the chairmanship of the now established Georgia Education Articulation Committee.

A project was introduced whereby assembly programs would be held in selected high schools in the general area of the host College Night program. This idea produced limited success. In 1971 the
Articulation Committee sponsored a series of counselor luncheons throughout the state. These luncheons were fairly well attended and in some cases were quite effective. The Articulation Committee also sponsored four thirty-minute movies for educational television. These programs were entitled “Colleges, Colleges, Colleges,” Fort Valley State, Oxford College, LaGrange College and Georgia College participated in these television productions.

The Articulation Committee through the GEIC co-sponsored the Certificate of Merit Program with the University of Georgia for several years.

Under the leadership of GEIC, “PROBE: A Look into Post secondary Education,” became the official theme of the varied articulation activities involving secondary and post secondary education. What had been a new version in 1971 of College Day/Night programs has now become a traditional approach to articulation between high school and colleges, state vocational – technical schools of nursing.

As a result of the reorganization of Georgia State Government, the GEIC was transferred to the General Assembly and consequently in 1972 relinquished leadership to the Articulation Committee.

In 1972, Lloyd Joyner, Registrar and Director of Admissions of Georgia Southern College, assumed the chairmanship of the Georgia Education Articulation Committee. Georgia Southern College also provided the necessary administrative and logistical support. During Mr. Joyner’s chairmanship, the work of GEAC was conducted by an extensive committee structure involving many professional educators from throughout the state. These committee members were chosen from both secondary and post secondary levels of education.

Between 1972 and 1980, the number of fairs and mini-fairs offered throughout the state increased. The fairs, held primarily in shopping malls and civic centers in the larger cities and metropolitan areas, reached increasingly larger numbers of high school students and their parents. The mini fairs, conducted in high schools, continued to serve the less densely populated areas of the state during school hours. The counselor workshops held around the state increased in popularity and provided high school counselors the opportunity to interact with college representatives as well as to attend formal informational sessions.

Mr. Lloyd Joyner retired from Georgia Southern College in March of 1981. As a result of his retirement, the chairmanship of GEAC was changed. George Stanbury, Dean of Admissions of Georgia State University, who held office for two years with Erin O’Brien as treasurer, then assumed the chairmanship. In January of 1983 Thomas McDonald, Vice Chancellor of the University System of Georgia, was elected President of the now incorporated GEAC, following Dr. Stanbury’s leaving the GSU Admissions Office. The Administrative support for GEAC remained at Georgia State University for four years. In September of 1984 the GEAC office was moved back to the University of Georgia with Erin O’Brien as treasurer. In 1992 the administrative coordinator and support was moved to North Georgia College with Bill Smith as treasurer. In 2001, Bill Smith retired from North Georgia and was made Executive Director.

In 2018, Bill Smith retired from Probe after a growing the tour to host some 300 + colleges annually throughout the state of Georgia. The board named Clinton Hobbs, executive director. The GEAC home office was officially moved to Young Harris, Ga in 2018.